The French Riviera city of Nice is known for many things. Located on the rocky shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the city is blessed with incredible scenery and amazing views. It's also famed for its chic atmosphere and, along with the nearby city-state of Monaco with its famous casino, is known as a playground for the international jet set. Plus, the gourmet restaurants and charming cobbled streets of Vieux Nice make the city a fantastic place to wander, whether on a guided tour or by yourself.
Take a walk under the swaying palm trees of the Promenade des Anglais overlooking the Baie des Anges, and you'll soon see why Nice is considered one of the most beautiful places in France. But the city has more to offer than spectacular views and a world-famous Matisse Museum. As the fifth-largest city in the country, Nice also has a thriving nightlife just waiting to be discovered. Whether you choose to party in the bars of the Old Town, take a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, or prefer to explore some of the city's up-and-coming neighborhoods, you'll find plenty to do here once the sun goes down. And if you're wondering where to stay in Nice, we can help with that too.
Of course, exploring the city either by day or by night is much easier if you don't carry more than you need to. That's where Bounce comes in. By partnering with local businesses in Nice and around the world, Bounce makes sure you always have safe and convenient luggage storage wherever you are. Drop off your bags and explore some of the best things to do in Nice at night with this guide.
Le Vieux Nice
The Old Town of Nice is a fun place to explore by day, with its winding cobbled streets, quirky stores, luxury boutiques, and numerous restaurants. But at night, the narrow streets take on a whole new appearance. The historic buildings of Nice city center are lit up at night, making the city a night photographer's dream. Plus, many of the old buildings have been converted into trendy bars and restaurants where you can make new friends with both other travelers and locals. While most tourists are sleeping, you'll have the run of the historic heart of the city. This is also a great place to go if you're wondering where to find the best street food in Nice, because chances are, you'll find it here. You can explore the Old Town with a small group tour, and at night, many of these tours turn into pub crawls that will let you explore the most lively bars in the city. For example, you can take a Nice pub crawl that will take you to four bars, including Paddy's Bar and the Waka Bar, plus an after-hours nightclub, giving you an excellent overview of the nightlife of the city. The guides are also fun and entertaining and will help you get to know your fellow travelers while you explore the Old Town of Nice at night.
Looking to party like it's 1929? This establishment, located on the Promenade des Anglais close to Place Massena, is one of the most famous of Nice's many luxury hotels and exudes old-world charm while still managing to be a lively place to visit today. The hotel is home to a two Michelin star restaurant and was once the place to be seen for Europe's wealthy, including many royals. The Hotel Negresco has preserved its old-school charm, right down to its liveried doormen, and a drink in the luxurious hotel bar will make you feel like you've stepped back in time to Nice's Golden Age. At night, the Negresco bar plays an eclectic mix of jazz, pop, and soul, mixing the best of the past with modern classics to provide a glamorous experience for anyone who visits.
If you're lucky enough to be on the French Riviera coast in spring, you owe it to yourself to check out Nice Carnival. This is one of the biggest Carnival celebrations in the world, and is known for its costumed performers and its Battle of Flowers that takes place along the Promenade des Anglais. The Carnival festivities continue long into the night, when Place Massena becomes the place to party and enjoy the fireworks and music while you dance the night away with enthusiastic locals. You'll be participating in a very ancient tradition, but it won't feel that way. Instead, you'll be having a good time in the Old Town and experiencing one of the best traditions in Nice.
It's only a 30-minute drive or train ride from Nice-Ville train station to Monte Carlo. Although located close to Nice, the principality of Monaco is its own sovereign state, but don't worry. You won't need to show your passport to get across the border. Monaco is known for the Prince's Palace, its world-famous Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit, its stunning views of the Mediterranean coast, and of course, its grand casino.
The casino at Monte Carlo is where some of the richest people in the world come to try their luck and splash some cash, and you'll see that immediately by the supercars lined up in front of the palatial building. However, Monte Carlo casino is open to everyone - with the exception of residents of Monaco. As long as you don't live in the principality yourself, you're free to step inside and try your luck at the roulette wheel or the baccarat and poker tables. Be aware that although anyone can visit the grand atrium of the building and the slot machine room, to enter the grandest part of the casino where the real action is, you'll need to adhere to the dress code and show ID. No shorts or flip-flops are allowed, and for men, a suit jacket is recommended. Still, it's worth complying with these rules to see one of the world's most opulent gambling houses and play games of chance alongside some real high rollers. Even if you don't get lucky, the experience is worthwhile just say you've played in one of the most famous casinos in the world. And since Monaco is such an easy day trip from Nice, there's no reason not to take advantage.
Located on the west side of the city, Phoenix Park is a convention center and botanical garden that is home to one of the largest greenhouses in Europe. The park also contains a small zoo and an accrobranche aerial activity park, making this an excellent place to explore by day for families. It's also easy to get to, located close to Nice Airport.
However, the park often holds events that go into the night, too. Events are often themed according to season, such as the Halloween escape game and the Christmas celebration. Even at night, events held at Phoenix Park tend to be family-friendly, so it's a great option if you're visiting Nice with kids and are looking for something fun to do in your free time.
Nice's castle may be gone, but the hill it stood on is still one of the major attractions of the city. By day, you can wander along the hill hiking trails and enjoy the panoramic view over the open sea. But Castle Hill is especially worth visiting at sunset, when the scenery and the spectacular views are at their very best. Don't forget to bring a camera to what is undoubtedly one of the top attractions in the city. You could even bring a picnic with you and make an evening of it. In the summer, sunset doesn't happen until after 9 PM, so you can spend a very pleasant evening watching day turn into night from this iconic Nice attraction.
Day trips from Nice
As much as there is to do in the city itself, part of the attraction of Nice is how close it is to several other legendary French Riviera towns. As fun as it is to discover Nice, it's just as enjoyable to visit some of the nearby towns. And many of them have a nightlife scene to rival that of the city itself. Take a guided tour, hire a private guide, or take advantage of the region's excellent public transportation links to go on day trips and visit some of the nearby towns by day or by night, and you'll get a much better understanding of the lifestyle of Provence.
Located approximately halfway between Nice and the huge port city of Marseille, the coastal town of Saint Tropez has become a byword for luxury and recreation. By day, the town is a haven for art and history lovers, and a shopping mecca thanks to its popularity with the international jet set. And at night, Saint Tropez becomes one of Europe's top nightlife destinations. Think beach clubs, boat parties, and highly exclusive clubs where celebrities and the international wealthy go to let their hair down. To make the most of your time in this French Riviera town, it might be a good idea to get a hotel and make your day trip into an overnight excursion so you can party without worrying about how you'll get home.
Juan les Pins
Closer to Nice than Saint Tropez is, the gorgeous coastal town of Juan les Pins, itself a suburb of Antibes, is easily reached from Nice train station. Although Juan les Pins is also known as a destination for wealthy international travelers, it offers a more relaxed vibe than Saint Tropez. You could spend the day on the beach or admiring the artwork in Antibes' famous Picasso Museum, then spend the evening wandering around the Old Town, taking a walking tour of the stunning coastal trail that offers incredible views of the city and of Nice, or try the local cuisine in one of the many restaurants in the area. However you choose to spend your time, you'll be glad you made the short journey to see another legendary town on the French Riviera.
From the minute you arrive in Nice, you'll quickly see what all the fuss is about. Just the panoramic view from the Promenade des Anglais is enough to show you what makes the city so special. But once the sun sets and the bars and restaurants of this French city come to life, you'll be able to see a completely different aspect of the French Riviera. Whether you want to party the night away or prefer a leisurely meal in an upscale restaurant or a stroll along the beach, Nice can provide you with great ways to enjoy the night. So drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage and enjoy the many sides of this fabulous city.