Blue chairs over looking the Mediterranean and a sunset

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons

Blue chairs over looking the Mediterranean and a sunset

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons. Nice has been a ‘sometimes’ home for me for 10 years now, while I was living in London.

I used to fly down a couple times a month and enjoy my cute apartment in Old Town, just a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea. Ok, it’s literally a 4-minute walk to the beach at the pace I go.

Nice is now my primary home and I have a different perspective. Like any place, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly of this Mediterranean travel destination. I know lots of folks who would love living in Nice France, so I put together 14 reasons why I love living in Nice, and a few reasons I don’t.

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14 Reasons I love Living in Nice France – Pros

The Weather in Nice

Nice boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, and the bright sunny days are synonymous with the Cote d’Azur, in general.

I was suffering from a severe lack of sunshine in London, to the point I originally bought a place in Southern Italy. Fortunately, I pulled out of that purchase and found a place in Nice, instead.  It felt much more sophisticated and the weather was just what I was looking for.

Growing up in Wisconsin, we had cold winters, but at least we had sunny days! I need to see the sun and Nice gets plenty of sunshine.

Even when it’s chilly in Nice, but the sun is out, it’s a lovely place.

The cafes turn on their heat lamps and there are wind blocks. You can still enjoy the lovely Nice cafe culture even when the weather is crisp.

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons the Empty beach

You can be outside year round in Nice, even in winter.

Living in Nice France makes you appreciate history

I love the history of Europe, in general. Who doesn’t? And living in Nice makes you appreciate it even more. Nice was tossed back and forth between Italy and France which adds to the intrigue of this area. Nice was under Italian rule until 1860; then it became part of France.

It’s cool to hear the local folks in my neighborhood still speak a local dialect that is a mix of French and Italian, and the street signs are in French and Nicois.

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons - the syndics suck

Views of apartment exteriors in Nice France

My hometown had a few beautiful, historical homes, but that doesn’t compare to the 300-year-old building I live in. That just blows my mind… There’s a 400-year-old convent behind me, and to know that my building was built onto that 100 years later, is just surreal.

The architecture of these buildings is amazing. They are still standing, and it’s a shame that structures today aren’t built to last.

living in nice france pros and cons - the beautiful alfresco restaurants

La Reserve Restaurant Nice, France – built into the rocks

Archeological Digs in Nice

I love walking up to Castle Hill. It’s quite amazing. Castle Hill is where the origins of Nice began. There are fortress walls and ruins you can still see today. There’s a Christian and a Jewish Cemetery up there as well. It’s the roots of Nice.

A friend of mine was on an archaeological dig a few years ago, where she was uncovering pieces of the old, original chapel. The main archaeologists were doing the bigger dig and she was up there in her ‘Indiana Jones’ hat and dirty neck scarf dusting off what they were uncovering. I seriously wanted to go up there and help them dig up everything! I find it all fascinating, and by doing so, you are also a part of the history of what is uncovered.

You take history for granted when you have it around you. My first trip to Italy 30 years ago scarred me for life with all the history.  Things I’d only ever seen in books. It left an impression on my life that will last forever.

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons Walkway up to Castle Hill in Nice

Walkway up to Castle Hill in Nice

Location of Nice on the Mediterranean Sea and Bay of Angels

The Mediterranean Sea needs little introduction. Not sure what it is about saying, “Mediterranean Sea,” but it smacks of luxury, beauty and desire. It just struck a chord with me.

The waters in Nice become a turquoise, milky blue. Not like the see-through Caribbean, but there’s more contrast. Some days it’s staggeringly beautiful and the blue extends for quite some distance, and other days, after the rains, it’s completely murky brown. That’s because the minerals and sediments from the mountains are slipping down to the Med.

Also, when I first started living in Nice, I didn’t realize it was called the Bay of Angels. Those who know me, know I’m a big believer in angels and fate, and that may have been a reason how I ended up living in Nice France by the Bay of Angels.

Promenade chairs in Nice

The Fresh Food Markets in Nice

Living in Nice France you have plenty of reasons to eat healthily.

Nice has a couple of good fresh vegetable markets. One is on the Cours Saleya in Old Town, which is parallel to the Promenade des Anglais. That market caters more to tourists because of its location, but they have good quality products, and there’s a fabulous flower market, too.

I love looking at the skinny lemon trees with huge lemons hanging on them. I wonder how they don’t tip over. And you can usually get a cute bouquet of flowers for $5.

The second market, and better one, in my opinion, is the Liberation Market near the Liberation Tram stop.

At the Liberation market you’ll find local vendors from France and Italy selling good quality fresh and organic products.

The best vendors in my opinion are down Roassal Street, where you’ll find an Italian vendor at the end and a North African one next to them. Their prices are the best in the market and the quality is super.

There’s yet another market vendor on the right side that has a lot of vegetables in bowls for $1.10. Some of the vegetables may look at bit manky, and some are perfectly fine.

The bowls for €1 are great if you find items you’ll cook up or consume today. They are also good for items you plan to blend or juice.

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons - great fresh veg market

Liberation Market in Nice

The Local Events and Festivals in Nice and around the Cote d’Azur

There are so many local festivals in Nice and along the Cote d’Azur. You simply need to check your calendar and go. Whether you love Garlic, Onions or organic items, there are festivals to attend. Then there’s the Honey Festival in Mouans Sartoux, the Nice Carnaval, the Menton Citrus Festival, the Nice Jazz Festival and Jazz at Juan-Les-Pins.  There are so many local festivals where they celebrate their local fare and local traditions. I usually put annual reminders in my calendar so I follow up on which festivals are on and when.

Many of these are a way to connect with smaller towns to celebrate what they are known for. There’s always something going on.

People enjoying the Honey Festival in Mouans Sartoux France

I love going to the Honey Festival in Mouans-Sartoux just an hour from Nice.

The Art Scene in Nice and the Cote d’Azur

The art scene in the South of France is well known. This used to be the playground of Picasso, Chagall, Miro, Matisse and many other famous artists. There are numerous galleries where you can see their pieces.

Go to St Paul de Vence for the day to see this artist village that is very much alive and kicking today. You can buy original pieces from famous artists and signed prints, and take a piece of history home with you.

Just one stop on the bus before St. Paul, you have the Fondation Maeght where you find one of the most important private collections of modern and contemporary art. They have interesting temporary installations throughout the year and the foundation is in a beautiful, woodsy setting with lovely, sculpted gardens.

There’s the Picasso museum in Antibes, the glassblowers in the village of Biot, the Matisse and Chagall Museums in Nice. There’s something for every art lover.

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons - the art

Christo Exhibit at the Fondation Maeght – B: 1935 – D: May 31, 2020


As time goes on, the art scene has morphed.  I find artists appear to latch onto the success of the famous, impressionist artists by means of location. Almost as if to say, I’m in the South of France where all the greats were, thus my art, too, is great. And it fails. Art becomes a twisted version of someone’s reality, which generally is true, but you need to pick and choose what you see based on your preference.

I have attended a variety of gallery openings, but I find some of the art stifling, provocative, and on the verge of being perverse.  I’ve seen photo displays of female genitalia, stinking bodily hair hanging from a ladder, and public hair pasted onto the outside of a white dress.  I don’t appreciate it.

French Healthcare

You may have heard that the healthcare in France is very good. It is! We are covered by a universal government system plan, which is frankly, quite sufficient. If you need to visit the doctor, it will cost you around $25 for a visit.

I took my mom to the emergency room 10 years ago and they charged her $25, plus we had to get some medicine which cost $16. I know these prices because my mom kept the receipts! She was so flabbergasted that a foreigner would receive treatment at such a cheap cost. She was interested in living in Nice with me simply for this fact.

Recently, we are asked to buy into a supplemental healthcare insurance, kind of like in the US. This will cover us for expenses on top of what the government will pay for standard services. This is more for specialists providers and it’s being required of foreigners. In France, it’s called a Mutuelle, but it’s still reasonable.

The Transport system – International Airport/trains/buses

Transport here is really reasonable, and usually reliable, except when there’s a strike.

For the bus and tram, you simply buy a 10-ride ticket for $11 and you have 10 rides. And the bus will take you all the way to the Italian border, which is about a 2-hour ride!

There are also buses that take you to other parts of Europe, such as FlixBus and EuroLines. The buses and tram are cheap and clean.

The Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport is just 4 miles from the center of Nice and accommodated 1 million passengers a month before the covid-19 outbreak. Now, one of the Terminals is closed until 2021 and we wait for the other terminal to open up.

There were more than 100 destinations to fly to from Nice, and sometimes there were 15 flights a day to London, which was really handy when I first came here. There are more seasonal flights in the summer to warmer destinations.

We have a reliable train service, which scoops us to Italy in 40 minutes. I love taking taking day trips from Nice to Italy on the train. There are the national French trains, and there’s a Thello Line that will take you from Nice to Milan in about 4 hours.

Train travel is pricier in France than any other transport in my opinion, but I love taking the train because it’s so relaxing for everyone involved.

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons - the tramway

The Staggering Beauty of the Cote D’Azur

Living in Nice France and the Cote d’Azur is a feast for the eyes. This area, and the South of France in general, is so incredibly charming. I don’t know whether it’s the trees, the colors of the buildings, the color of the sea or what. But all wrapped up, it’s just so frickin’ beautiful.

The drive from Nice to Monaco and beyond that winds around the Mediterranean is just staggering. The mountains and the cliff-hugging homes are jaw-dropping. The views from Eze Village are just incredible. Wondering through the trees up on Castle Hill make you feel like you are miles away from anyone.

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons Walking Nietzche path from Eze Village

Walking Nietzche path from Eze Village

Music Scene

There are plenty of opportunities to see live music in Nice. You’ll find many restaurants with a small trio or duo performing. Plus there are numerous venues with live music – most notably are Kosma Club, Shapko Bar, Ma Nolan’s Irish Pubs, Akathor Pub, and the bar at the Negresco Hotel, to name a few.

One place to go for traditional jazz is Cave Romagnan on Rue d’Angleterre. It’s one of the oldest wine caves in Nice, and on Saturday evening from 7-10pm, this tiny hole in the wall fills up with traditional jazz and blues.

There are usually more musicians than the space can hold, and getting a drink there can be a challenge, because people belly up to the bar and the manager isn’t interested in serving anyone quickly.

Living in Nice you'll find lots of music street performers

Ability to Speak Italian and Improve my French

Living in Nice, you can easily get by with English and Italian. But it’s great to know that I have 3 different ways to communicate to people.

I was worried I would lose my Italian living in Nice, but I have plenty of opportunities daily to use it. Plus it allows me to improve my French, which I really need to do.

My biggest challenge with the French language is using the telephone. For one, I don’t like the telephone, and if I do need to speak in French on the phone, it’s usually with some service provider – like the phone company or electric company. I need to see people’s lip when I speak and the phone is the worst for my language confidence.

The Italian border sign in France

Living in Old Town Nice, everything is on my doorstep

Since I live in Old Town Nice, which is a village within itself, I literally fall out my door to a coffee shop, bakeries, butchers, grocery stores and restaurants. Everything is on my doorstep. And Nice is a relatively safe place to live.

The tram and bus are around the corner. I walk 4 minutes to the beach. Two train stations are within 15 minutes from me. The hospital is a 20-minute tram ride away and the pharmacy is at the end of my street. The leafy Castle Hill is only a 20 minute walk up.

I seriously can’t complain about my location for convenience. I’ve thought about moving out of Old Town, but sometimes I can’t justify it. Plus it’s easy to see friends when they come to town. I’m only 10 minutes away from anything, really.

Butchers in Nice France

My street is always buzzing especially the butchers in the morning.

However, the thing you need to realize is that within Old Town, the locals are not interested in mingling with you. They have a standard clientele, for decades, and even if they see you 3x a week, they will not say hello to you and will continue to treat you like an outsider.

I’m here 10 years and I’m still treated like they don’t recognize me, even though they see me every other day. There’s no, ‘Hello.’ Nothing. Do not delude yourself.  These people are happy for your money, but they don’t care about who you are or how you are doing.

Living in Nice France is practically living in Italy – Proximity to Italy

I should really move this higher up, because it truly is one of the main reasons I decided on living in Nice France.

I was originally looking for a place in Italy since I studied there in college and fell in love with Italy. But when I came to the Cote d’Azur I felt I could have the best of both worlds. I’m only 50 minutes from Italy by train, and I pop over from Nice to Italy for a day trip twice a month.

Originally the number of direct flights to London was a big consideration, and Nice has 10-15 direct flights a day. That meant I could easily fly down to Nice on a Friday evening and be back in the office on Monday morning.

I was also concerned that if I moved to Italy it would ruin my idyllic memories of my time there as a student.

Studying abroad is one thing. I felt like I was on a year-long vacation when living there.  As an adult with bills and responsibilities, it would be a different story. I was worried that the bureaucracy in Italy would make me hate it, like I hate France, sometimes. Like the US. Same, same. Now I just dip in on occasion, get my Italian fix and then come back to Nice.

Living in Nice France Pros and Cons living near Italy

Charming street in Ventimiglia Italy

Living in Nice France you are so Close to the Mountains

Living in Nice France will make you realize how much you love the mountains and outdoors.

While I don’t get up there often enough, the mountains and ski resorts of Valberg, Auron and Isola 2000 are 1.5hrs from Nice by bus. It doesn’t matter if it’s the summer or winter, they are stunning to see and a great way to spend a day trip from Nice.

And France has some wonderful ski resorts. The second time I went skiing, I was in Chamonix by Mont Blanc, and that resort area is so incredibly beautiful.

Auron France in October

Auron France in October

Living in Nice France – The Cons

Customer Service

Living in Nice don’t expect great customer service. It’s an oxymoron here. It doesn’t matter if you are at the post office, the bank, in a shop, at a restaurant or bar. There just appears to be no need for customer service.

It’s particularly unnerving in restaurants and bar where I’m used to servers going over the top to ensure they get a good tip. Not here.

Waiters make a standard wage, and tips are called, ‘Pourboire’, or translated as, ‘to drink.’ Tips are so you can have something to drink at the end of your shift, not to pay your mortgage! Thus, they don’t give a shit if they get to your table or not.

And you can forget someone coming over to ask if your overcooked burger is just right. They don’t care. They’ll come back at the end of the meal to gather your plate. You need to flag them down like a New York taxi if you want something changed, or God forbid they forget to give you napkins or ketchup. If I were a waitress in this town, I’d make so much money… I’d be running rings around these people!

Utility Companies and Services

Don’t get me started. You can easily sign up for a cell phone in Nice. They’ll happily put you on a plan, take your details, your choice of automatic payment, but when you need to change something, you’re sent to an antiquated system of having to call the frickin’ phone company.

See my comment about speaking French on the phone above. I just can’t do it. I will sooner cancel my phone contract by mail and start with a new company than have to deal with trying to renegotiate my phone contract on the phone with someone I can’t see. Those morons in the shops are there to sell and there’s no after care.

The electric company continues to send me harassing letters every couple of months because I refuse to get one of their smart meters. I’m completely against it and they treat me like I’m a stupid foreigner who is unaware of my rights. The concept of ‘fu*k the foreigner is rife here.

Then when you want to cancel something, it has to be done by registered mail, which you have to pay extra for. I swear the post office is in cahoots with these companies as they just feed off one another.

The Syndic (Condo Association)

We all pay into maintaining our buildings, unless you are fortunate enough to have your own private home. So we all have to pay in for the maintenance of the facades and interior corridors, interior lighting, the electronic doorbell, the roof – bla, bla, bla. I pay $1500 a year for my upkeep. This is simply the lights in the hallway, making sure the security phone downstairs works, the cleaning lady who does 5 floors with one bucket of water and the Syndic’s charges… Highway robbery, run by old Italian/French mob families.

These fees go to the Syndic or condo association who manages the collective property. They are responsible for getting quotes, getting shit done, and holding an annual meeting to tell you how great they are. These Syndics are like old mafia families that have been manage a racket for centuries – because they have! Don’t kid yourself. They need to be abolished.

We recently had quotes to paint the facade of our building. Actually just the front face because we have no sides and they don’t care about the back because that faces a 400 year-old wall, and tourists don’t see that.  All the quotes came in around $50,000. Correct… $50,000 to paint the frickin’ FRONT of our 4 story building… Clearly it does not cost $50,000 and I would love go out and do the bidding myself and see what I come up with. But I can tell you the Syndic is making a killing off of overcharging owners, and getting kickbacks from the suppliers. You can be sure of that.

The Noon Cannon

You hear it every day at noon, and every day it still scares the shit out of me.

The famous midday cannon in Nice has been a tradition since the time of Lord Coventry-More’s visits to Nice in the 1860s.

Story be told, Lord Coventry-More and his wife used to vacation in Nice away from Scotland’s cold weather. Well, the misses was too busy gossiping daily with the other British women that she’d forget to prepare lunch for her husband. He’d be waiting and waiting …for his lunch… Like the guys couldn’t fix himself a sandwich!!

To fix the problem, he convinced the city to set off a cannon ever day at noon to remind her it was time to come home and make his lunch…. and we live with that misery every day.

It’s fine if you live outside of Old Town because it’s not that loud. I swear they set that thing off from my roof top, and I will never get accustomed to the shock of that noise. It even made my mom drop her coffee cup once… She called it, ‘That Cursed Cannon.’ 🙂

Changing Demographics

This was a problem the first time I came to Nice in 1997. People didn’t go into Old Town at night because it was dangerous. The streets were dimly lit and there was crime, theft, drug addicts – generally unsafe.

Now, in 2020, I’m finding the demographics of Old Town Nice once again changing, and it doesn’t feel safe.

I’m not one to stay out late, but we have an increasing growth of homeless on the streets whether local or immigrant, beggars, buskers with no musical talent playing the same song over and over, and unruly locals and tourists.

Just tonight I witnessed a restaurant manager below me get into an argument with my heavily pot-smoking neighbors. Why? Because the neighbors threw or poured water on the guests of the restaurant below. You could hear the manager screaming at them, then all of a sudden wine glasses started to be thrown at their window. The neighbor proceeded to throw down a glass of something himself. It’s out of control. We who live here have no peace, and those trying restaurants to make a living after covid want to let their patrons stay a little later.

Nice is not France

Yes, it’s located in France, but it’s not French. Remember, Nice was Italian until 1860, and there are a lot of Italians here, but now it’s a mixture of Italian/French, North Africans from Algeria and Tunisia, and tourists. There is little that is authentically French about Nice. If you want authentic, you need to go further west toward Provence.

This is where I’m at, at the moment. I originally came here because I wanted to be close to Italy with directly flights to London for work. Now that I’m a consultant who works from home, I’m seriously considering my priorities, and I’m not sure if living in Nice France will win out or not.

Well there you have it. What are your thoughts about living in Nice France? Would you give it a go, or a No!

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The Pros and Cons of Living in Nice France

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30 thought on “Living in Nice France Pros and Cons”

  1. Good to know about making changes with service providers. I’ll keep my Vodafone Italia and TIM SIMS and just get a French SIM to use as a Hotspot. The service in Le Port is much better than Old Town. I never felt secure in Old Town either. It may be that Condo Fees are just ridiculous in Old Town. Condo Fees aren’t cheap at Le Port or Mont Boron but there you’re getting something for your money. Condo Fees in Milan aren’t cheap either but it’s super organized here with accredited Condo Managing Corporations.

  2. I am hoping that perhaps you can help me? Basically I live in a very small complex in Nice, my apartment is 27 mètres with, just 4 other residents. One of the owners are Italian, and only use their apartment as a holiday home, and I have the feeling she is ripping me off with charges. I have the smallest apt. However, I have my own little garden of 42 sq, mètres. The Syndic charge me the most due to having the garden. I also have my own water meter. However, the Syndic insist that she does my water reading. I havent received a water bill in from the Water Board in 15 years. I feel that I am totally ripped off with nobody to help me. I am Irish. I have recently been inform d by this Syndic who had to be informed that I have a small amount of damp penetrating inside. My own insurance did an inspection, it is apparently penetrating from outside. I reported this to the Syndic. However, they told me that I am responsible My insurance company informed that the Sydic are responsible. I am Irish and I would really appreciate you help. Kindest Regard’ Geraldine.

    1. Hi Geraldine, so sorry for the late reply on this. Do you own the apartment? If you are renting I’m not sure if there’s a rental board you could consult to demand you see transparency in the billing. It also depends on the type of contract you have with the owner if it’s not you. Damp from the outside is a syndic issue. Frankly it does sound iffy and I’d seek an ombudsman service to see if they can help you. I’m not sure how they could charge you for a garden. It’s not as though they are paying for the use and I assume you’d pay tax on the space you have inside and out. There might be some facebook groups you could consult to point you in the right direction. Thx. M

  3. Hi there. Currently living in Nice and retired, but struggling to find retirees to meet during the day for activities etc. Lots to do as you say solo, but I like to meet and socialise. Any links and advice would be greatly received.

    1. Hi Philip, Thanks for reaching out. I’d go to the site Meetup . com and look at the activities in and around Nice. There’s usually a Sunday morning coffee meetup attended by people of all ages. That’s where I first went to meet up with the friends I still have today. Give it a try. Best of luck!

  4. Hi Dear Maureen!
    Great blog. Thank you so much for your efforts. Thank you for this valuable information. I really appreciate it!
    I have a question: is Nice a good place to open a business related to wedding planning, photography(wedding, portrait, headshots, fashion, real estate, product) and videography (wedding, real estate)? Or is there another place in the French Riviera better for this kind of business? What do you think about it? Please advise me, we want to move to the French Riviera or Italy next year.
    Stay Safe. Have a nice weekend. Best regards from CA.- Robert.

  5. I love France but the climate in Paris is not for me. Much too hot. I love the water so I’m considering Nice. My BF is Italian and pretty fluent. We’re both learning French as well; he’s pretty good and I’m getting there. Is it hard to make friends in Nice for Americans? I need a small circle of close buddies and a social life to be happy. Thank you for the post!

    1. Hi Gina, Nice is a beautiful city. Frankly, that’s what made me fall in love with her. The multi-colored apartments in Old Town, the beautiful acqua-blue water, but, in reality, it’s a big fake. You’ll find Americans there, but they may not be the type you want to associate with. That is not to be negative, but it’s a reality of Nice. As they say, ‘It’s a sunny place for shady people.’ As long as you understand that, you’ll understand that your relationships with locals and foreigners will be superficial.

  6. Great website! I’m considering buying a new development just outside the village of Eze. It’s brand new; ready in 2 years. It would be for retirement/semi-permanent living, and renting out when I’m not there. I lived in the area (VFSM) about 30 years ago for language school when I got a job transfer to Paris from USA. Do you think this is a wise move?

  7. Hi Maureen! I’m a fellow midwestern girl from Minnesota and my fiancé’ is a Wisconsinite :). We are going to be moving to France at some point and looking at Nice. We are about 50 year old hipsters but would like some peace outside of the tourist area.. I have been researching and I thought we would love the Liberation neighborhood. But I can’t seem to find a lot of information on rentals or villas, or small Maisons. Are there not many rentals in the area of Liberation?

    Thanks~ Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea, thanks for your message. Liberation is a great area of Nice. The market is there, you’re close to the train to head to Cannes or Italy if you want, and the newly renovated Old Provence train station-come eatery/hangout is now open. There are plenty of places to rent in that area. I’d look at a couple of websites – Opio, Logic-Immo and seloger. You can do a search for appartement a louer Nice and see what you come up with. Depending on your visa situation, it may be difficult to get a rental because they want to see an employment contract. Doesn’t matter if you have enough cash for the year, it might not be accepted. Another place that helps expats is Nice Pebbles. Give them a try as well. Hope that helps. Happy hunting!

  8. Hello and thanks for your wonderful insight, we were considering moving from Paris (although we’re expats here) what would be the safest area and good with young teenagers, I was looking around the Port, I hate driving so was aiming for something walking or tramway to everything. would you say in general the area around the airport is to be avoided and closer to the port end is safer? while staying as close to the coast as possible?

    1. Hi Sarah, Thanks for your comment. For families that is near the Port, I’d check out the Cimiez area. It’s much more leafy up there and a bit more chi-chi. If you are looking at Nice Port, it would be the area to the right. You have the Matisse Museum up there and it’s very residential. It’s going up a hill so many of the apartments/homes may have a seaview. It would be a bus hop down to the port or you could even walk. Check Century21 agency. They have a branch right on the road that goes from Nice to Villefranche. They’d have some options for family locations. Plus you have a big Carrefour grocery store up there. Let me know if you need further help. I have a friend here who was looking up in that area for the exact same reason. Happy to help. Thx again. Maureen

  9. Thanks Maureen for an informative article. I am considering to buy a holiday apartment in Genoa or in Nice. I do not speak Italy or French. I live in Bern, Switzerland.
    Any advice?

    1. Hi Nathan, thanks for getting in touch. I suppose the question is what are you looking for? Genoa is a bit bigger than Bern and Nice is a bit smaller. Genoa has a more industrial feel with it’s large port area and Nice has a larger international airport. The stretch along the Cote d’azur is truly stunning landscapes and manicured gardens. Anywhere from St Tropez over to Imperia, Italy on the coast are nice. Nice can feel small sometimes and the more you are there the more people know your business. Genoa would be a proper city with a bit more to offer for culture. There is an international airport that caters to low cost flyers and Milan is only a bit over an hour on the Thello. Plus from Genoa it’s easy to shoot down to the Cinque Terre and Portofino. The area also over to Camogli and Santa Margherita are quite nice. Nice and the Cote d’azur will require more money for a holiday apartment. Genoa will be more reasonable, but you need to be careful where you are in Genoa. In Nice, just pick a spot close to the tram that goes out to the airport. For a cheaper option head to the other side of the airport to Cagnes-sur-Mer which is cheaper, quieter and will eventually be on the tram route to Nice. Hope that helps. Thanks for reading. M

    2. I live in Milan and I’m moving to Nice. In Italy, the Genovese are infamous for being unfriendly and stingy. They also don’t speak much English. You can get by in Nice in touristy areas without speaking French. The airport in Genova is more regional. If you wanted to fly to the US or Asia, you would have to fly out of Milan or Nice.

  10. Dear Maureen,

    Thank you very much for this informative article.

    We have few things in common: London, angels and passion for the beauty in Cote d’azur Cot 🙂 I would like move to Nice for at least couple of months and I wonder if you could recommend a good website for renting rooms or maybe know someone who has a nice room to rent out. I need a nice bright room with good internet connection where I can also work.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Justyna, Thanks for your comment and for reading the blog. One thing I’d recommend is connect up with Nice Cote d’Azur living group on Facebook. There you can post your interest in booking for a few months and if someone has a room they’ll let you know. You could always try Nice Pebbles or the agency, Palais Immobiliere. There’s always Airbnb and in this climate you might find a great place at a cheap price. Hope that helps. Thank you again.

  11. Hi Maureen,
    Thank you for writing so many clear thoughts about living in Nice, giving great tangible examples. I was thinking of moving there from London too and appreciate the better weather and the french language to add to the vicinity with Italy which is my country of birth.
    I also agree about the fees that go to the Syndic or condo association who manages the collective property 100%.
    I would have hoped for a sabbatical year there, now that the virus is reducing so much my working hours with little profit for the company (retail) I work for.
    But, I have changed idea because as you said the french would not be very welcoming and I would feel too lonely there, without even my little objects that make me feel at home on London (especially in the Event of a further lock down) Anyway, I ve decided that I’ll go there to spend some holidays! It would be nice to meet you🙂

    1. Hi Vale, actually maybe give Portugal a try or Valencia Spain. There are pros to both locations and both very relaxed. Have heard great things about property for renting or buying in both Spain and Portugal. I’d say 100% Italy for the lifestyle, but you know that too well. Thanks again for getting in touch.

  12. Hi Maureen – I wanted to ask since you have traveled so much – where else would you live if given the choice in the Mediterranean? I’m moving to Europe and can’t decide between Corfu, Mallorca or other Spanish towns and South France? I have family there so need to head back in the next year – greatly appreciated and love your articles – ian

    1. Hi Ian, I’m so sorry for the delay. And thank you for reading the blog. That is a very interesting question. I know a lot of friends right now who are looking at where they live and whether it continues to suit them. While I love the location in Nice, I’m beginning to question whether living in Old Town Nice continues to suit me. It was once a dangerous area, then cleaned up, and now again, feeling a bit dangerous. In the 10 years I’m there I see the same people almost every day, yet we have no interaction. No ‘hello’, no nothing… And I struggle with where to go next. I love Italy and Greece, but both have their downfalls and it depends on whether you need to work or not. If you don’t need to work, I’d say Italy or Greece 100%. The quality of life in both are far superior than other places. You live modestly and they are both a dream. I know a number of people moving to Valencia, Spain for work. Rents are reasonable but it’s a very large city with lots of international business there. Corfu has a bit of Greek mob mentality. Mallorca is lovely but cool/cold in the winter. Not sure if you’ve looked into Portugal? There’s a lot of positive about that country as well. You can buy/rent a place relatively cheap. Foods are economical. People are friendly… Keep in touch. Maureen

  13. thank you for your brilliant, frank and funny thoughts on living in Nice.
    much appreciated


  14. Hey,
    Great article 🙂
    What is your thoughts of Cimiez near the Rectorat de l’Académie de Nice, is it a good area to stay? Safe? Nice? Restaurants? Transport to centre good?

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for your comment. To be honest, that is a very residential area, so it will be quiet so long as you are not staying right under the A8, which is the motorway. There are a few shops, grocery stores, boulangerie, and a variety of Dr offices since it’s near Clinique Le Source. You will be at the mercy of the buses along the Cap-de-Croix to get you into town. Not sure if you need to be in that area, but I’d look further down toward the center of Cimiez along the Blvd de Cimiez. Cimiez is quiet leafy, and some refer to it as the cemetery as it’s very residential and quiet. I’d stay midway between where you need to be and the center of Nice. Hope that helps.

  15. Dayna,
    Thank you for the response. Yes, it is helpful. I will need to see them myself and keep in mind what they will be like during other seasons – different requirements for living in a place rather than visiting.

  16. Very nice article. You’ve convinced me. South of France it is. I’ve been leaning more toward smaller, quieter, medieval villages in the area…any suggestions for the best of these to live in? Eze, St.Paul de Vence, …?

    1. Hi Brad, Thanks for your comment. One thing I’d mention is while Eze and St Paul de Vence may be quieter in the winter, they are chock full of tourists during the summer. I live in Old Town Nice and some days it’s just a challenge to get to my front door. I’d suggest use Nice as a base and then explore some of the smaller towns nearby, like Villefranche-sur-mer, Beaulieu, St Raphael, Juan les Pins, Cagnes sur mer. Hope that helps.

  17. Thank you for the advice! We are moving to Nice next year and can’t wait! We REALLY wanted to move to Italy but since we’re American the visa is almost impossible to get. So I would definitely agree with you that the proximity to Italy is a really big selling point! Thanks again!

    1. Hi Dayna, thanks for your comment. Am surprised it’s more difficult to get a visa in Italy than France. What type of visa were you applying for? BTW, I was JUST looking at Italian property websites. 🙂 Thanks again.

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