Nice is one of the jewels in the sparkling tiara of the Cote d’Azur; a town of beautiful people and beautiful places that strings along the glinting pebbles of the Med-washed French shoreline. Stylish and chic, yet also historic to its core, this gorgeous town attracts sun seekers, A-listers, and anyone else in search of a taste of R&R on the riviera. Life buzzes around the coffee-clinking cafés of the Promenade des Anglais by the beachfront, while markets tout Provençal soaps and lavender blooms in Vieux Nice – old Nice – just behind. Beyond are Roman ruins, museums packed with impressionist masterworks, and irresistible coves and pine-studded bays that go by names like Antibes and St Tropez. What are you waiting for?
Airbnb is now a fantastic option for discovering unique stays in this sun-kissed city of southern France. Everything from sea-view penthouses on the Promenade des Anglais to hidden boltholes in the romantic old quarter is on the menu via the sharing service. Tempted? Read on for a guide to the top Airbnb areas and tips on some of the hottest properties you can book right now.
There are no restrictions on what travelers can and can’t book over the Airbnb platform in Nice. As a guest, you might be asked to provide your ID or passport upon check in, and could be liable to pay a tourist tax that’s around a euro per person, per night. That’s it. Easy.
Owners do have to register with the local authorities in France. You can usually check if they’ve done that by looking for the license number on the relevant Airbnb property page. If in doubt, you can always send them a private message using the contact host feature.
Where should I stay in Nice Airbnb?
The Promenade des Anglais (1) is the most iconic walkway in Nice, running all the way from east to west along the pebble beachfront past bars and cafés and boutiques. Behind that is atmospheric Vieux Nice(2) with its famous flower markets. Then comes Jean-Médecin(3), the stylish New Town and a hub for fashion shopping. Cimiez(4) is best for history buffs who want to trace the Roman past of the city. Le Port(5) is great for getting off the beaten path and watching the sailboats. Finally, further afield, the gorgeous inlets of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat(6) offer swimming in the Med and romantic riviera villages.
Promenade des Anglais
Proximity to the beach
Lovely cocktail bars for the sunset
Not too many Airbnbs to pick from
If you’re willing to fork out a little extra on that Airbnb in Nice, you might be able to score a pad down on the Promenade des Anglais. This is the main artery of the town, running in a scythe along the seafront behind a sun-splashed pebble beach and crystal-clear Mediterranean waters. The treat here is an Airbnb that opens onto views of all that. But you’ll also gain walking access to Vieux Nice, which is just a street back, and a whole strip of cafés and cocktail bars that are among the liveliest in the city.
No trip to Nice could possibly be complete without a jaunt through Vieux Nice. This is the enchanting old town of the city. Awash with pastel-painted buildings and red-tiled roofs, it’s the quintessence of southern France. Famous sights include the blooming and fragrant flower markets of Cours Saleya, and the daffodil-tinted frontages of the Baroque Nice Cathedral. However, more than anything, Vieux Nice is for settling in with a croissant and a coffee and watching the world go by.
Jean-Médecin is the New Town of Nice. A grid of well-maintained and wide boulevards, it’s upscale and smart to a fault. Come here to find the Louis Vuitton boutiques and the chic gallerias filled with designer handbags and jewels. Come here to sip Harvey Wallbangers in modish bars that spill out into the shade of plane trees. Expensive? Yes. Stylish? Exceptionally. On top of that, Jean-Médecin has good infrastructure, fantastic transport connections throughout the Cote d’Azur, and spacious Airbnbs.
Vieux Nice might be called the old town, but Cimiez is the real historic heart of Nice. This is where the Romans laid their foundations for their ancient city in the 1st century AD. The half-crumbled Roman arena and the remnants of the Roman baths testify to that. More heritage came in the millennia that followed, which you’ll spy out at the Henri Matisse (a onetime Cimiez resident) collections and in the Belle Époque façades. Geographically, Cimiez sits on a hill that rises over the Nice downtown to the north, which means Airbnbs here often have extra space and great views.
Le Port, also known as Nice Port or Port Lympia, is often overlooked by fly-in travelers – or, at least, those fly-in travelers who don’t have a yacht moored in the harbour! Still, it’s a fun and gritty part of the town. Handsome Genoese mansions cluster by the waterside to offer a bit of that riviera glitz, while seafarer bars and cafés dot the marina to bring a bit of energy. There are also lovely lookout points on the hills above Le Port, like Castle Hill with its manmade waterfall and pink-tinged Château.
Put the hubbub of the promenade and the chic cocktail bars in the tail mirror by whizzing out to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, preferably in a convertible! Jutting into the Med a little to the east of Nice proper, this is the French Riviera at its most stunning. Craggy cliffs dip to dusty bays of bright pebbles. Stone pines cluster on the headlands. Small villages with croissant-scented cafeterias huddle by bobbing yachts. You get the idea. Airbnbs in the area are often within walking distance of remote coves and swimming spots, making them a great choice for romantic stays.
Compact but cosy, and offering fantastic bang for your buck for a location in the midst of old Nice near Cours Saleya market, this two-person bolthole is a doozy of an Airbnb pick. The interiors channel a contemporary, industrial-chic feel, with paned windows connecting a small lounge-diner with a separate bedroom. WiFi and air conditioning come as standard.
Villa Carina is a fully-fledged house rental up in the historical quarter of Cimiez. You’ll have Roman ruins and paintings by Matisse right on the doorstep, but you’ll have to peel yourself away from the glimmering swimming pool and the sunning deck to see them. There’s a total of three bedrooms with capacity for up to six guests, which means Carina is a top choice for families and groups of friends alike.
There’s simply no denying the pull of the location of this family-sized pad. It sits smack dab on the Promenade des Anglais, just a short walk from the lapping waves of the Med and the main urban beach. Inside, the crew can spread out through three separate bedrooms (two doubles and a single). There’s also a large kitchen-lounge with a dining area and an L-shaped sofa.
Wow – just look at that view! Villa Boron straddles the rugged clifftops of the Cap de Nice just to the east of the main city. That gives it a front-row position over the Plage de Carras and the Promenade des Anglais, which it makes the most of thanks to open terraces and even an al fresco hot tub! Total square meterage is over 350 so there’s space for up to 12 guests across the five individual bedrooms. Luxury awaits…
Whisk the other half away to the azure waters of Villefranche-sur-Mer, a small coast town that hides around the headland just to the east of Nice. It’s a fantastic place for a honeymoon or a weekend away from the crowds, especially when you throw in the stunning sunset views from the balcony of this cosy Airbnb!
Nice isn’t known for its budget-friendly stays, that’s for sure. Still, by booking an apartment over Airbnb in Nice, you might just be pleasantly surprised at the rates. What’s more, you can usually cut costs more by finding bigger properties that will let you share the price of a holiday with everyone in your travel group. Oh, and Airbnb hosts are often happy to offer pretty generous discounts on longer-term sojourns.
The downside of an Airbnb in Nice is that you won’t get that pampering and luxury level of service that the French Riviera is known for. If you want daily housekeeping, room service, breakfast buffets and concierges at hand to help, you might prefer an establishment like Hotel Westminster. It’s got a prime location on the Nice seafront, along with indoor spa facilities and sumptuous suites with classic furnishings.
So, you’re looking to experience the charms of Nice? We can hardly blame you. Flower markets, Mediterranean beaches, fine French bistros, good wine, and even Roman ruins are all in the mix. For a stay with a difference, consider picking an Airbnb for your trip to the French Riviera this year.