Our Gay Couple Travel France City Weekend Nice in December – a trip to French luxury, food, and beauty. Nice is a hot spot at the Mediterranean Sea in between the Film Festival in Cannes and the Luxury destination Monaco for shopping and a high-society lifestyle. For most people, a trip to the French Côte d’Azur is connected to a perfect stop for Carnival in February or a beach break in Summer, but certainly not for an Advent Weekend in December. It should be and we will show you why. In Wintertime, the city of Nice is a perfect place for a gay couple to spend a relaxed weekend in the late autumn warmth of the French south coast. Sunny and warm weather, the Objectif Film Nice Festival OVNI, plenty of restaurants with delicious food, for example at “Chez Acchiardo” and a very gay-friendly vibe are some good reasons for a gay nice France travel. Join us on our discovery tour, get inspired by your gay travel to the turquoise blue French beaches of Nice, and see the city of Nice through a couple of men‘s eyes.
– in collaboration with Nice Tourism –
“Nice, the beautiful” – at the French Côte d’Azur
The city of Nice is proud of calling itself the 5th most popular city in France. Correctly, in our opinion, not only because it is officially the 5th biggest city in the country. The harbor city with about 350,000 inhabitants is well known for its rich history strongly connected to Italy since the border to the Italian neighbor is just 30 km away. Unsurprisingly, the culture and cuisine of Nice are influenced by the Italian. But can you imagine how tasty the food becomes when French and Italian flavors complete each other? Our Gay Couple City Weekend Nice was mainly about long walks around the old town and its tiny side streets, the busy beach along the Promenade des Anglais, especially with a little sunshine over the weekend, and stops in restaurants, cafés, and bars to enjoy the best of both, Italy and France. Nice is beautiful, and you can see, feel and taste that even in December. You don’t need much, just time to calm down from the daily business. Fun fact before we start with our travel story: The nickname of the city in the French Riviera is “Nice the beautiful” (French: Nice la Belle). And we will show you in our blog post some great reasons for that.
How safe and how gay-friendly is Nice?
The overall impression of Nice was great. Gay couples, men and women, gay bars, the gay-friendly neighborhood, and the LGBT Center of the Côte d’Azur made us feel very safe, especially around the city center. Walking hand-in-hand was no problem, and we didn’t experience any violence or aggression. Just like in every bigger city around the world, be aware of your direct environment, especially at nighttimes and of the lightened city parts. In general, the rainbow flag is omnipresent, as small rainbow stickers on front doors, shops, and restaurants operated by openly gay couples and posters of gay parties all over the city. Sadly, the face of the city changed since the Nice attack on the 14th of July 2016. More armed army representatives, canceled events like the gay carnival in 2017 (costs for security are not affordable), and a higher amount of caution in the population are the results of the cargo truck incident after Bastille Day fireworks. Nevertheless, it seems the city and its people are doing their best to overcome the trauma of terrorism by slowly going back to normal life not bowing to fear and terror. Nice is beautiful, still. And there was no moment during our stay we felt unsafe or in danger.
Our home base for our Gay Couple City Weekend Nice explorations was the gay-friendly Art & Boutique Hotel Windsor, just a 5-minute walk away from the Promenade des Anglais and the beach. What is special about this accommodation in Nice? Interested in which art room we stayed? Read more about our gay-friendly Hotel experience on the review page!
Wandering around Nice Old Town Center
Nice is a compact yet spacious city. Once we knew in which direction the beach was located, we found ourselves well orientated. We never got lost, since we always could walk in a southern direction towards the beach promenade. If you stay at Hotel Windsor, you can leave the Hotel to your right and walk straight down to the beach. Take your time walking in an eastern direction towards the former castle hill of Nice and the harbor area. Once you passed the Monument du Centenaire on your left, you can enter the old town area of Nice in between the Boulevard Jean Jaurès to the North and the Quai des États-Unis to the south to your left-hand side. Small side streets, old and beautiful buildings with markets and squares in between will make you forget the time quickly. Some ideas for a break: the book market in front of the Palais de Justice, a short visit of the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, or the chocolaterie-confiserie La Maison Auer for some great sugary presents.
Delicacies at Flower Market Marché aux Fleurs
Apropos chocolates… We have to admit, it has been a while since we had so many delicious brunch, lunch and dinner times during a weekend trip. But first things first. While wandering around the old town of Nice, we found our way to the famous flower market, the Marché aux Fleurs. Located just behind the Promenade des Anglais, every day until noon the market offers herbs, fresh fruits, fish, souvenirs, and… flowers. If you have some time over, just take your seat in one of the cafés at Place Pierre Gautier in front of the Palais de la Préfecture. We don’t know about you, but after writing about all these fresh goods, we are getting starving.
What better place could we have chosen for our late lunch than the Italian Restaurant “Chez Acchiardo“? Run by a family for 4 generations, the restaurant offers delicious homemade dishes from local products in a cozy ambiance. Have a look at our review about the Italian restaurant “Chez Acchiardo” in the old town part of the French city Nice.
The Best view over Nice: Castel Hill & Museum of Modern art
View from the Castle Hill
Of course, we spent some time during our walks searching for the best spots with a view over the city of Nice. And we found two! Our first hot spot over the city is the castle hill with the ruins of the Château de Nice. There are two options to reach the top: you can take the stairs all the way up to the Parc de la Colline du Château or you take the fast way by elevator. Either way, the view from the “Point de Vue de Colline du Chateau”, the lookout on top of the castle hill, is spectacular. The western view over the old town of Nice gave us an impression of the long beach promenade, while the eastern view is overlooking the Port Lympia, the harbor of Nice. Furthermore, the Parc de la Colline du Château is a great place for a shortstop, a snack, and some great photos.
View from the rooftop of Musée d’art moderne
The second location for a great view is the MAMAC Nice, the Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain – the museum for modern and contemporary art. If you have a French Riviera Pass, the entrance is free. We took the escalator and stairs all the way up to the rooftop. The view over the roofs of the old town is stunning. Especially during sunset. But the MAMAC is more than “just” the view. The museum is hosting great exhibitions, currently, for example, a beautiful exhibition of the artwork of the French artist from Nice, Ernest Pignon-Ernest on the first floor. Impressive and unique.
As always, we tried to find the best Escape room in town. Fox in a Box Nice makes you feel very welcome in their cute decorated waiting/chill area. We decided to play “The Bunker”, an escape room designed around the story of a nuclear bomb lounge by a mean spy during the peak of the Cold War in the early eighties. Read our Review now on our blog!
Gay & LGBT Night Life – bar and clubs
Important Events & Festivals
- February: Carnival de Nice. The Carnival de Nice is the main winter event on the French Riviera and will take place in Nice from 17th February to 3rd March 2018. It became one of the largest carnivals in the world, offering a unique program trying to provide the spectators’ as much security as possible, especially after the attack.
- August: Gay Pride de Nice. Every year since 2004 the city of Nice is hosting the Nice Pride – Pink Parade, the Lesbian and Gay Pride in Nice. After the attack of Nice July 2016, the Gay Pride de Nice will probably take place again in July or August 2018.
- February: Queernaval de Nice. Since 2015 the city of Nice is organizing the so-called Queernaval de Nice editions, a colorful rainbow gay pride carnival. Due to the terror attack in July 2016, the Queernaval was canceled and will be held in its 3rd edition the next time in February 2018.
- November: OVNI – Objectif Video Nice / Camera Camera during festival Movimenta. Initiated by the Hôtel Windsor Nice, the festival Objectif Vidéo Nice was held in 2016 again. In 2017 OVNI produced the Camera Camera installation for the festival Movimenta. Therefore, the Hotel rooms turned into video art installations providing different experiences for the spectators.
Plan your Gay Travels to Nice, France
A city trip to Nice on the French Riviera in December was a great decision. Starting with our Hotel Windsor, the OVNI festival, our Escape Room experience, and all the great places to enjoy the French-Italian cuisine, a city break Nice is a great idea in Summer but also an excellent idea in Wintertime. All you need to know about a gay couple city weekend Nice and the French Côte d’Azur you will find on our gay travel blog section about Nice.
Karl & Daan.
Thank you, Nice – Tourism, Hôtel Windsor Nice, and IGLTA for making this wonderful trip possible. Our opinion is our own, as usual.