Spice up your France vacation with a visit to Nice. This sexy city demands attention for lovers: couples, honeymooners, and beach-lovers board flights to Nice for a vacation getaway on the French Riviera. The beaches are clean, the city is bold and the people are all around happy to be here.
Originally discovered by the Greeks, Nice is the capital of the French Riviera and boasts approximately 300 days of sunshine a year. It’s no wonder international travelers flock to Nice for vacations, French citizens hop Nice flights for weekend getaways, and the fabulously rich and spoiled dock yachts on Nice’s coastline. Nice is far less glamorous than its rival city Cannes, and travelers can easily find cheap flights to Nice any time of the year, which makes Nice middle-class compared to its upscale neighbor. But that doesn’t stop tourists from visiting Nice. Come and enjoy a taste of the Riviera in this laid-back sun-drenched city and it’s likely you’ll never want to leave.
Because of its shoreline location, the weather in Nice is clearly a travel factor, but surely not a deal breaker. The Mediterranean weather calls for lengthy, steamy summers that average about 80 degrees, but can reach up to 100. Fortunately, sea breezes simmer the heat down quite a bit, so book flights to Nice during the summer to experience the seashore at its finest hour. Winters are mild, with October being a wet start to the season.
Peak Season: Typically, the peak of summer is also the peak season in Nice. July and August see the clubs, beaches and hotels all crowded and bustling with tourists so make sure to secure your flight tickets early as the prices will rise over the summer.
February is also a high season for tourists, as it’s when the Nice Carnival occurs. It is the main winter event on the Riviera, and will make cheap flights to Nice extremely hard to find without booking well in advance. It is worth it though as the event is one of the largest carnivals in the world, with nights and day of parades and entertainment.
Off Season: Winter, although too chilly for beach activities, is a great time to find cheap flights to Nice, especially if you’re looking for peace and privacy. Most of the crowds have left the city, and while some restaurants are closed, it just means you’ll have more fun digging out hidden local gems.
Autumn is still pleasant with warm weather and most of the crowds have left. By November, a lot of the hotels and restaurant are closed. You can find cheap flights to Nice then and the weather is still warm.
Early spring is a quieter time to visit Nice, and you’ll be able to secure cheap flight tickets, too, as the tourists haven’t yet started to arrive.
Normally December, January and February offer the cheapest flights to Nice, with the exception of Christmas and the New Year. If you intend to visit Nice during the peak of Summer or during an event or festival make sure to book your flight tickets well in advance to avoid paying steep prices.
Visiting in spring or autumn offers cheap flights to Nice as well as pleasant weather and less tourists, so unless there is a specific reason to visit in the summer, secure your flight tickets for spring or autumn. If you are flexible with your dates, then you can grab some absolute bargains on flights to Nice. Whenever you plan to go, book 2 or 3 months in advance to get the best deals.
When traveling to Nice, expect flight times of just under 10 hours from New York, a little over 11 hours from Chicago and about 13 hours from Los Angeles.
Delta is the only U.S. carrier that offers direct flights to Nice, so on any other carrier you need a connecting flight. If you’re traveling to Nice from an international location, look for flights with Air France or Swiss.
Considering Nice’s warm climate and beaches, you should definitely pack a couple swimsuits, your sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. The weather can change quickly, and it cools down in the evenings, so bring items you can layer for more warmth. Sandals are a must, and you may want to have two pairs – one lighter pair for the beach and one heavier pair for staying comfortable while you walk around the city.
Getting to the city is very easy, with two buses that go straight from the airport. Make sure you press the stop button before your stop, or else the driver will keep going. You’ll see the stops come up at the front of the bus.
If you have luggage and don’t want to go through the hassle of a bus, then a taxi is an option. If you do take one though, make sure you agree on a fee beforehand and insist on a receipt. Even locals aren’t overly keen on using the taxis as they have a habit of overcharging.
There is a train around a 20-minute walk from the airport which will take you to the main train station or as far as Italy if you’re not careful so make sure to get off at your stop.
Nice is great for walking; the beautiful scenery, brightly lit streets, quaint buildings and sunny beaches are well worth it. The best walks are through historic Old Town and Promenade des Anglais, a four-mile stretch along the bay. If you do get tired of walking, most of the buses run until midnight.
The Sunbus, which stops at some of the city’s main attractions, is the most popular way for tourists to get around. Buy Sunbus tickets at local cafés. The other bus option is Nice By Bus, which conveniently sells passes for one, five or seven days. Taxis are available, but not as good. Drivers are known to overcharge tourists, so keep an eye on the meter and discuss the rate before you get in. To get yourself around the city, try renting a bike, moped, motorcycle or yacht. Trains can take you beyond the city limits. France’s train service along the Riviera is fast and cheap.
The beauty of Nice is hard to match, and you could spend weeks exploring the city and getting a taste of its culture. On a sunny day, take a walk along the Promenade des Anglais to have the beach and palm trees on one side, and some of Nice’s most incredible buildings on the other. The city set up underground tunnels for cars, leaving the promenade open for pedestrians and cyclists. Head from the promenade to the Baie des Anges beaches at any time, or take it to Villa Massena. This palace has a museum and some tranquil gardens where you can relax in the afternoon.
Breathtaking Orthodox churches are most common in Russia, but thanks to Tsar Nicholoas, Nice has one of its own in the Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe Saint-Nicolas. This church has magnificent architecture, murals and woodwork, making a visit is well worth your time. Since this church is still in use, make sure you dress conservatively so you can go inside.
Step back in time when you visit Old Town of Nice, which is known as Vieille Ville. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes, as you’re going to do plenty of walking on this area’s cobblestone streets. Nice in general has quite a few museums, and two popular options in Vieille Ville are the Galerie des Ponchettes and the Musée Alexis et Gustav-Adolf Mossa. After you’ve explored, head to the south side of Vieille Ville to check out the market, where you can buy fish fresh from the sea.
Planning to continue traveling after Nice? Cheapflights can help you with that. Delta offers direct flights back to the United States, or you can continue to more international destinations.
You can get to Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport on a local bus or a Nice Airport Express bus. While local buses are cheaper, Airport Express buses are also inexpensive and get you there much quicker. If you plan to take a taxi, it’s better to go with a rideshare service, instead. If you call for a taxi in Nice, the meter starts when the driver starts heading your way, not when picking you up. Taxi drivers in Nice don’t have the best reputation, so locals avoid them whenever possible.
While Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport is a small airport with only two terminals, it’s one of the busiest in France. It’s not too difficult to navigate, but it can get very busy, so make sure you arrive early.