Where to stay in Nice for first time: 6 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Nice as a first-time visitor can be overwhelming. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Nice for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Nice for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Nice and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Nice is a beautiful city located on the French Riviera in the southeastern part of France. It is known for its stunning Mediterranean coastline, vibrant street life, and rich cultural heritage.

The city is home to the beautiful Promenade des Anglais, spanning along the waterfront of the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels) and offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

The historic Old Town of Nice is a maze of narrow streets, colorful buildings, and lively markets. It is home to several historical landmarks, including the Cours Saleya market and the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate.

You can climb the stairs or take an elevator to reach the Colline du Château (Castle Hill) for panoramic views of Nice. The park at the top is a peaceful retreat with gardens and waterfalls.

The city also offers a diverse culinary scene with a focus on Mediterranean flavors. You can try local specialties such as socca (a chickpea pancake), ratatouille, and salade niçoise.

Is Nice safe to visit?

Yes, Nice is generally a safe city to visit. But, like any other popular tourist destination, it’s essential to take common safety precautions, such as being aware of pickpocketing and tourist scams, securing your belongings, and avoiding walking alone in poorly lit areas late at night.

Where to stay in Nice for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Nice for first-timers and tourists are Vieux Nice (Old Town), Promenade des Anglais, Nice Port, Jean-Médecin, Le Carré d’Or, and Gambetta. It is always wise to remain vigilant and take basic safety precautions to ensure your safety wherever you go.

Vieux Nice is one of the most popular areas for first-time visitors. It is the historic heart of the city that is known for its charming narrow streets, historic buildings, vibrant markets, and lively atmosphere.

Promenade des Anglais is an Iconic seafront location with beautiful views, beaches, and a pleasant promenade. Luxury hotels often line the Promenade.

Jean-Médecin is a central location with easy access to the train station, shops, and restaurants. Good for shopping and dining. Le Carré d’Or is an upscale area with luxury boutiques, high-end restaurants, easy access to the beach and the old town.

Gambetta is a quiet area with many budget-friendly accommodations, local markets and a more residential feel. It is also well-connected to public transport, easy access to the seafront and major sights.

While the majority of tourist areas in Nice are generally safe to book accommodations, you should avoid staying or exercising high alert when visiting some certain areas that have high crime rate. These include Les Moulins, La Trinite, L’Ariane, in the northern part of the city, and Gare du Sud.

During my trip to Nice, I stayed at the Ibis Styles Nice Centre Gare. The hotel had a great location in central Nice, a short walk from Nice-Ville Train Station, the city center, and Jean Medecin high street. My breakfast was lovely with many choices of fresh pastries and fruits. Great base for the SNCF trains to Monaco and Cannes, and to explore the city.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Nice for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Nice first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Nice first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Nice, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Nice have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Safe areas to stay in Nice for first-timers and tourists:

1. Vieux Nice (Old Town)

Vieux Nice is an excellent choice for tourists who want to stay in the historic heart of the city. This area has a central location, making it a great base to explore the city on foot.

Vieux Nice is known for its narrow winding streets, colorful buildings, and a lively, bustling atmosphere. The historic architecture and vibrant markets add to the charm.

Many of Nice’s top attractions are located in or near Old Town, including the famous Promenade des Anglais, Opera House, Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, and Castle Hill. It is also a short distance from numerous beaches including Plage Ponchettes, Plage Castel, Plage Opera and Plage Lido.

History buffs can visit numerous museums and art galleries in Old Town including the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Musée du Palais Lascaris, and Museum of Photography Charles Nègre.

The Cours Saleya market is a must-visit, offering fresh produce, flowers, and local crafts. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and find unique items. On Mondays, an antique market takes place here.

Old Town is filled with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars. You can explore both traditional French cuisine and international options. The area comes alive at night with a lively nightlife scene. 

Consideration: The great old town location does mean that you get some noise from the street late into the night, so this may be an issue for light sleepers.

Best places to stay in Nice Old Town for first-timers:

Mid-range ($$): Palais Saleya Boutique hôtel, great 4-star hotel centrally located in the heart of Old Town, in the Palais de Justice square, easy access to the beachfront area and public transport. Short walk from the major attractions like Cours Saleya, viewpoint of the castle hill, Place Massena, and Coulée Verte. It has 24-hour front desk, paid airport transfer, and comfortable family rooms.

Mid-range ($$): Aparthotel AMMI Vieux Nice, 3-star good value for money aparthotel, located in the Old Town district, close to Bourgada Garden, Boulevard d’anglais, and an easy bus ride to Monte Carlo. Easy access to tram and local amenities. The hotel has paid airport shuttle service, fabulous breakfast, and air-conditioning rooms with kitchenettes, so you can cook your meal. 

Budget ($): Les Suites Massena, great accommodation in Old Town close to everything including Jardin Albert 1er, Massena Square, and Nice Opéra. Short walk to numerous beaches, Restaurants, bars and shops. Rooms are spacious, very clean, and modern. Easily accessible from the airport with nearby tram. 

Budget ($): Hotel Rossetti, lovely accommodation in central Old Town, easy distance from the beach and the Nice Cathedral. Great base to explore the city on foot, as it is a pedestrian area. If you are driving, you can park your car at a local car park for around 30 euros per day.


2. Promenade des Anglais

The Promenade des Anglais is an excellent base for those who appreciate stunning sea views, want convenient beach access, and are willing to indulge in a more luxurious stay.  

The Promenade des Anglais is one of the most iconic and picturesque locations in Nice. It offers stunning views of the Baie des Anges. The palm-lined promenade is a great place for a leisurely stroll.

There are both public and private beaches along the Promenade des Anglais. You can go swimming, sunbathing, and enjoy the Mediterranean sun and sea.

This area is home to numerous cultural attractions such as the Negresco Hotel, a historic landmark, and the Masséna Museum. The Old Town and Castle Hill are also within a short distance away.

The Promenade is lined with cafes, restaurants, and bars, making it easy to find a place to dine with a view. It’s a popular spot for enjoying a meal or a drink while watching the sunset.

Best places to stay in Nice in Promenade des Anglais:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel Le Negresco, 5-star beachfront hotel, centrally located on the famous Promenade des Anglais. 15 mins  walk from Old Town and Nice-Ville Train Station. It has private parking, a private beach, free airport transfer, and fabulous breakfast. You can find many reasonable cafes and restaurants nearby.

Mid-range ($$): Le Meridien Nice, 4-star hotel located right on the Promenade des Anglais, offering beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. It has a rooftop terrace, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. Within walking to the old town and the beach. Lots of cafes and eateries nearby.

Budget ($): Locarno, 3-star cute hotel located in a quiet area, good base for a relaxing short stay. Within walking distance from the seafront and  Promenade des Anglais. 20 mins walk to the old town, 15 mins walk to the Nice SNCF Train and Bus Station. The hotel has fabulous breakfast, close to the tram station.


3. Nice Port

Nice Port (Vieux Port) is a great location for those who want to stay close to the ferry port or take ferries to Corsica. This area also has a central location, easy access to the old town and major attractions.

Nice Port is home to numerous seafood restaurants, cafes, and bars. It’s a great place to indulge in fresh seafood and enjoy dining with a view of the harbor.

The Mont Boron hill, located near Nice Port, provides panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a lovely area for hiking and enjoying nature.

Best places to stay in Nice Port for tourists:

Mid-range ($$): L’Abeille – Boutique Apartments, good value for money accommodation, located on Rue Bonaparte with charming bars and restaurants, close to the Port and old town. Rooms come with a fully equipped kitchen. They have a beautiful communal garden area and delicious breakfast. Walking distance to trams/buses at Garibaldi Square and Port Lympia where the bus departs to Monaco. 

Budget ($): Hotel du Pin Nice Port, popular 3-star hotel, in central Nice, near a beautiful square, short distance from the ferry port and the Promenade des Anglais. Breakfast has a wide range of bread, pastries,yogurt, fruits, eggs, cheese, and bacon.

Budget ($): Hotel Le Saint Paul, popular 3-star beachfront hotel located in a peaceful area, close to Nice Port, where ferries depart to Corsica, 10-15 mins walk to a range of restaurants (including Le Saint Paul’s). The hotel has free parking which is very rare in Nice and a bonus for those who have a car. 


4. Jean-Médecin

Jean-Médecin (New Town) is a great choice for those who want to be at the heart of the city’s activities, enjoy shopping and dining, and have easy access to public transportation. 

This area is home to Jean Médecin Avenue, a bustling thoroughfare that stretches from the Nice train station, Gare Thiers, to the Place Masséna, a famous square in the heart of Nice. Along this avenue, you can find a variety of shops, department stores, restaurants, and cultural institutions.

The area is close to the Nice Etoile shopping mall, the Masséna Museum, and the Nice National Theatre. It’s also within walking distance of the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais.

Best places to stay in Nice in Jean-Médecin for visitors:

Luxury ($$$): Boscolo Nice Hotel & Spa, 5-star hotel situated in one of Nice’s most beautiful streets, easy access to the beach, the old town, and the shopping street. You can find a tram stop right outside of the hotel that has a connection to the airport. Many bars and restaurants nearby.

Mid-range ($$): Hôtel Apollinaire Nice, great 4-star hotel in Nice city center, easy to walk everywhere in Nice. Close to Etoile Shopping Centre, Place Massena and Promenade du Paillon Park. Lots of restaurants nearby. Breakfast is nice with many choices.

Budget ($): Hotel La Villa Nice Victor Hugo, 3-star accommodation centrally located on Victor Hugo Boulevard, in central Nice, great place to explore the city. Easy access to the beach, the pedestrian and shopping areas, the historic center, restaurants and cafés. 10 mins walk from Nice Train Station.


5. Le Carré d’Or

Le Carré d’Or,  also known as the Golden Square, is a great location for travelers who enjoy luxury shopping, fine dining, and want to be in close proximity to the seafront and cultural attractions.

Best places to stay in Nice in Le Carré d’Or for travelers:

Luxury ($$$): Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, 5-star art-deco style hotel, located in the beachfront area in central Nice. The hotel has  an on-site casino, 2 swimming pools, and a terrace with beautiful views of the sea.

Mid-range ($$): The Jay Hotel by HappyCulture, 4-star hotel in Nice city center area, 10 mins walk from the Place Masséna pedestrian area, the Vieux Nice with its flower market and Palais Lascaris with its baroque interior. Good location to take public transportation to the airport.

Budget ($): Hôtel de France, un hôtel AMMI, popular 3-star hotel in the heart of Nice in the Carré d’Or district, a short walk from Promenade des Anglais and the iconic Negresco hotel. 15 mins walk from Nice-Ville Train Station. Great location close to restaurants and bars but quiet at night.


6. Gambetta

Gambetta is a residential neighborhood in Nice, known for its local vibe, more budget-friendly options, and a quieter atmosphere compared to some of the more central and touristy areas. 

While not in the immediate city center, Gambetta is well-connected by public transportation, including buses and trams. It allows for easy access to other parts of Nice.

Best places to stay in Nice in Gambetta for visitors:

Mid-range ($$): Hotel La Villa Nice Promenade, 4-star elegant  hotel, in Nice City Centre, close to Promenade des Anglais, the Fine Arts Museum, and Gambetta Promenade bus stop. It has Fabulous breakfast, 24-hour front desk, and onsite parking with additional charge.

Budget ($): Hotel Villa Les Cygnes, 3-star good value for money accommodation, in a peaceful area next to the stunning museum of arts, 5 mins walk to the tram station, 20 mins walk to the downtown.  Beautiful garden, delicious breakfast, and handy for public transportation.

Budget ($): Arome Hotel, 3-star good value for money hotel located in a quiet area, on Rue de la Buffa, in the city center of Nice,  conveniently located within walking distance to all the places of interest. Easy access to Villa Massena Museum, the beach, and the historic center. 5 mins to the tram to the airport. 


In conclusion, Old Town, Promenade des Anglais, Nice Port, Jean-Médecin, Le Carré d’Or, and Gambetta are the best places to stay in Nice for first-timers and tourists. While these areas are generally safe to book your hotel, it’s essential to stay vigilant and be cautious of pickpocketing to have a safe trip.

You can continue reading other destinations in France in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Nice. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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