With sunshine all year round, you can’t go wrong with choosing a trip to Nice. This is one of France's top french cities. Its seaside location is a massive pull for tourists, and its sprawling, albeit surprisingly modern city, is truly breathtaking!
We always feel drawn towards Nice. Sure, Paris is nice, but there's something particularly magical about Nice. Perhaps it's the beach location? Or the clash of Mediterranean and Italian influences that intertwine with its culture? Or the winding streets that lead you by old buildings, bespoke restaurants and fascinating landmarks. Maybe also 'cause it's so surprisingly gay? Whatever it is, we just can’t get enough! As far back as the 1700s, rich folk from all over Europe came here for their holiday. It was their relaxing getaway…and now, we’re also claiming it for us!!
The food, in particular, is noteworthy. We know the French love their food, but Nice is on a whole other level. They have the whole southern hospitality thing down. Seb and I could literally sense that the chefs in each restaurant pored over every aching detail of the dishes they prepared for us. The hard work really shows!
This is our gay travel guide to Nice including the best gay bars, clubs, events, hotels and more.
Pro tip: news for 2020 travel to Nice…
- Nice will be the departure city of Le Tour de France
- Sexy new 5* hotels due to open in late 2020: the Maison Albar & the Hotel du Couvent
- New non-stop flight from New York/Newark to Nice International Airport with United Airlines.
Disclaimer: this guide was produced in collaboration with the Tourism Board of France as part of their “Top French Cities' campaign.
Visit the best gay hotspots in Nice
If it's your first time in Nice or you just don't want to go out by yourself, then we recommend joining a Gaily night-time tour of the city to introduce you to the best gay bars and clubs. When we've done these tours we've found it to be the best way to quickly make friends and have a really fun night out!
How safe is nice for gay travellers?
Simply put, Nice is a very gay-friendly place. We'd rank Nice up there with Paris as the most gay friendly cities in France – a country we rate as being one of the most gay friendly countries in the world. Homosexuality was decriminalised back in 1795 in France, making it one of the first countries in the world to do so. Since then, the French have adopted a laissez-faire attitude. They just like to keep to themselves and have a mantra of minding their own business.
In Nice, we noticed many same-sex couples kissing and holding hands in public, particularly around the Old Town. There are also various LGBTQ events throughout the year, so gay folk across Nice are made to feel thoroughly appreciated. With loads of gay bars and clubs across the city, there are so many safe spaces for LGBTQ people to hang out and be their fabulous selves.
Arriving in Nice soon?
If you're arriving late at night or just don't want to deal with the hassle of juggling your luggage on public transport then you can organise a private airport transfer to Nice with Welcome Pickups. Your professional driver will be waiting at Nice airport to whisk you straight to your hotel with zero fuss and stress.
The gay neighbourhood of Nice
Whilst there is no concentrated gay village in Nice, many of the best hangouts are located in and around the Old Town. Each night, loads of gay clubs and bars swing open their doors to LGBTQ patrons and paint the town with glittery magic. The best part is that they are all close to the must-see sightseeing spots in Nice as well.
We also found it particularly surprising how good the drag scene is. We found lots of awesome bars that proudly show off fierce queens voguing the house down and lipsyncing for their lives. So, if you're a lover of drag, a visit to Nice is well worth it!
Getting around the city is easy. With car-sharing options and bikes for rent, you can take control of moving around. Those who’d rather opt for traffic can take advantage of the bus or tram services. There are over 40 routes that pass through the city, making it simple to get around. You can also simply walk to most places if you're staying in the city centre.
Explore Nice on a gay tour
One of the best ways to explore Nice is with a cute local! It's a great way to get a feel of the famous Promenade de Anglais, the Old Town and the other main attractions, whilst also learning about what gay life in Nice is really like.
Gay hotels in Nice
Comfy beds? Yummy breakfast? Luxury? Local? Close to the action?
All of these factors cross our minds when picking out the perfect place to stay. Factoring in our budget and the amount of time we have, we feel like we have to resort to some kind of Pythagorean theorem in order to make a decision that works, especially when embarking towards a place we’ve never been to before. Luckily for you, we’ve already scoped out Nice and laid down a list of some of our favourite places to stay.
For more inspiration be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to the best gay hotels in Nice.
Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée
Why we love it
- Price range: $$$
- Spacious, luxurious rooms with modern furniture
- Delicious Mediterranean style restaurant
- Incredible rooftop swimming pool
Perched along the legendary Promenade des Anglais, the Hyatt Regency oozes style, class and comfort. Popular with couples, especially gay ones, the hotel is close to some of the hottest tourist sites in Nice.
This option is definitely more on the luxury side of things. Prices are high, but the level of service makes up for it. Spacious room and fabulous views fitted out with modern furniture and comfortable bedding, you’ll find it hard to leave your room.
If you find yourself stuck for choice between the hundreds of food places across the city, then you could do much worse than the Le 3e restaurant. The chef has crafted an exceptional menu that combines the best attributes of Mediterranean cuisine. Fresh veggies, spicy dishes and delicious seafood, we personally couldn’t get enough.
From all the eating and snacking you’ll find yourself doing it, you’ll be relieved to know there is a fitness centre in the hotel, with great cardio-equipment. Or maybe you won’t be so happy with the idea of exercise staring you in the face as you try and enjoy a relaxing holiday. But there's always the amazing rooftop swimming pool to get some laps in while enjoying views across the beach.
There's also an indoor swimming pool, a hammam, sauna and even a casino on-site. In terms of the area, there are tons of local shops and cafes to pop in and out of. Cultural fans will love visiting the Matisse Museum, which is practically on the hotel’s doorstep.
Hôtel Ellington Nice Centre
Why we love it
- Price range: $$
- Jazzy bar and lounge
- Sunny patio to kick back and relax
- Famously gay friendly
Famous for hosting LGBTQ travellers, the Hotel Ellington radiates elegance and design. Centred close to all the main attractions, the hotel offers all you can really ask for on a cosy city getaway.
Rooms are priced reasonably, especially considering the central location and the high level of luxury. Decorated with plush furniture and warm colours, it offers you a tranquil sanctuary tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city outside.
The Duke bar gives off a similar vibe. With jazz music playing in the background, stepping into it feels like you've gone through a portal to another time. The style mimics that of the 1950s, with its use of dark browns and reds, along with sophisticated seating, chandeliers and a gorgeous map on one of the walls. It is total retro vibes!
Plus, if you fancy a drink outside, in the basking sunshine, then the patio area serves you that fantasy. With dim lighting, wrought iron tables and chairs, and silver tiled flooring, it has a truly unique ambience. During the summer months, bands often play out there, so it’s a nice play to kick back your feet and soak in the melody.
Close by is a string of other bars and restaurants to choose from. There is also the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Fine Arts Museum and Matisse Museum, so you’re basically spoiled for choice with things to do.
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.
Blue Angels Gay Bed and Breakfast
Why we love it
- Price range: $
- Gay men only
- Lovely doting hosts
- Very intimate, only two guest rooms
Don’t call me angel…call me Blue Angel!
You could say this place is something kinda ou la la! because there are no girls allowed!!!
You read that right…this is an exclusively gay guesthouse. So, if you’re looking to just have a relaxing gay-centric getaway in Nice, then this place will fit the bill nicely. At just a stone's throw from the train station, it's also well situated if want to travel to other places in France on the TGV.
It’s fairly lowkey. After all, it’s just a B&B so don’t come expecting crazy parties and long nights dancing in the halls. There are only two guest rooms – though these are spacious and very comfortable. They are quite simple, with a comfy queen-size bed and some furniture.
The sweetest part of this experience is in the morning when loving couple (and owners) Jean-Michael and Philippe fuss and fawn over you. Serving up an amazing scrumptious breakfast, it will truly prepare you for a busy day of sightseeing.
The guesthouse itself is close to all the main attractions. The nicest part about staying in a B&B is that you can get all the real tea on the best things to do in the city. You’ll just know you can really trust everything they say or recommend. Plus, there is the chance to have a genuine connection and banter with the hosts who share your everyday experience as a gay person.
Villa Saint Exupery Beach Hostel
Why we love it
- Price range: $
- Excellent location
- Fun lounge area and 24/7 gym
- Free walking tour of Nice
Sometimes, you just want a holiday without bankrupting yourself. Which is why hostels are a saviour! The Villa Saint Exupery Beach Hostel is ideal for backpackers and those looking for a quick, weekend break in Nice.
This hostel is fabulous. Not only is it central, colourful and super LGBTQ friendly, but it is the first hostel we’ve ever come across that operates a 24-hour gym. Let’s get physical!
It also has a great common area, with TVs, ping pong table and lounge chairs, so you can chill out and meet fellow travellers. There's a bar as well that offers up a range of tasty drinks and scrumptious food. Villa Saint Exupery really knows how to spoil their guests!
At just 20 metres away from the main square in Nice, you'll have no excuse for not hitting up all the main tourist sites. Bars, restaurants and shops galore, you’ll be relieved that you only have to move a short distance at the end of the day before collapsing into your bed.
The hostel also provides free walking tours of the city. This is great to do on your first day to get a sense of the city and pick out the spots you want to visit first. Though with such a central location, you’ll be able to see so many notable places right from the doorstep.
Gay bars in Nice
It’s time to socialise! Whether you are parching for a cocktail, or simply in need of some good ‘ole draggy fix, Nice has plenty of options for a fun, LGBTQ centric night out. Sure, it won’t have quite as many options as Paris, but for its size, Nice is surprisingly bursting with choices for gays to go to. You can join a night-time tour of the best gay bars in Nice if you'd prefer to have a local guide to show you around. If you're exploring by yourself then here are some true gems:
Red by name, red by nature… This bar takes its love for the colour red to the extreme! With walls splattered in bright, neon shades of red, LED screens that play the hottest music videos and gorgeous queens walking about the place, this place feels like the inside of a demon lair. If Hell looks like this, then take us there! There is also a lovely sit-out area where you can have your drinks and watch the world go by. Speaking of drinks? They are delicious, and the staff are always beyond welcoming. Perhaps to compensate for the sharp tongues of the drag cabaret acts. With superstars like Saphyre and Tatyana performing in front of crowds on the weekends, no one is safe from their sassy quips and eleganza! You could say they will re(a)d you to filth! The Red Kafe is located at 9 Rue Halévy and is open every day from 6pm – 2.30am.
Give our regards to Broadway! As there is no business like show business. Fans of musicals and all things stagey cannot pass this bar up. With cabaret nights, drag acts impersonating Golden-age divas and lots of throwback tunes, Le Cave Wilson feels like a portal that brings you back to the 1960s. The interior is truly unique as well, with chandeliers and walls covered in old movie advertisements and actor headshots. It takes the piano bar vibes that you expect to come across in New York and finds a way to make it deliciously French…think Barbra! One of the best drag acts sees a fabulous Streisand impression, a la ‘Funny Girl’. Though if you prefer modern-day queens, just know that Gaga often makes an appearance as well. This was just a fun night all around. Light entertainment, cheap drinks and quintessentially glam! Located at 16 Rue Gubernatis, La Cave Wilson is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, otherwise, it is open from 6pm until 12.30am.
The inside of this bar looks like Scary Spice exploded! The walls are plastered in leopard print, which somehow works being paired with fresh flowers in glass vases, swinging chandeliers and an exposed brick roof. This truly is one of our favourite interiors to a bar that we’ve seen – definitely the most unusual. Getting past all that to what you really want to know – yes, the drinks are fab! And yes, the bar staff are cute! We particularly recommend trying some of the wine – you know us for our love of Pinot Grigio! The bar is relatively small, though this just means that it is a great place to go for a chilled evening. We stumbled upon on it whilst exploring the Place Massena and the old town. It's hard to miss. The outside has the name splashed across a sign, with a background painted in swirling rainbow colours. Located at 1 Rue Alberti, Le Couloir is open every day (except Monday) from 6pm – 1am.
In the mood for some bad singing? Well, you’re in luck – as Le Swing throws the most fabulous karaoke in all of Nice. After a few drinks and a wink from the resident drag DJs, anybody can feel confident to go up and channel some Whitney! Tuesday nights are when you can find their karaoke event on. On other nights you'll find drag shows with fierce and sassy performers voguing the house down. These French queens love their Europop, so look forward to loads of cheesy classics and Eurovision favourites. Drinks are fairly cheap, and the crowds always lively and friendly. The glittering disco ball in the middle of the dancefloor leaves its guests bathed in flashing light and feeling ultra-camp! Located at 10 Rue Defly, Le Swing is open from 6pm – 2.30am.
Put Insta Bar all over your Insta! Whilst this place is relatively quieter than the other bars on this list, that doesn’t make its charm any less dim. The drag queens are still just as fierce, the drinks are just as delicious. The lights are just as glitzy and bright! It’s definitely more of a quick, social meetup point before heading out on the town. One thing that really stood out was the performance battle of the local queens. It really celebrates its homegrown gender-bend artists and does so by having them face off head-to-head in lip sync battles, dance-offs and roasting one another. Located at 10B Rue Bavastro, Insta bar is open Thursday – Sunday from 6pm – 12am.
Gay clubs in Nice
Some like a quiet drink. Some love a crazy night of dancing. We’re fans of both – but there is really nothing better than undulating around on the dancefloor beneath the flashing lights of a good club.
Nice has a handful of excellent gay clubs which are always a lot of fun. They can mainly be found in and around the Old Town, surrounded by historic buildings and artsy eateries. Remember you can always join a night-time gay tour with a local guide to take you to all the gay hotspots, but we’ve compiled a list of our favourites around the city here as well:
It’s only open three nights a week, but boy do they make those days count! Le Glam lives up to its name, with rotating glitter balls and the word GLAM projected onto the walls in bright pink. The staff are super friendly and happy to talk tourists through the menu of cocktails. They pack their drinks strong though, so if you're a lightweight you will feel the love very quickly! The bartenders are also very flirty, so be careful with your heart, they’re just doing it to be nice. It can get a bit hot on the dancefloor, so dress light and keep hydrated. Then let the music carry you away. The DJs here are fantastic and play all the tracks that we gays love. Plus, some classic tunes from back in the day. Located at 6 Rue Eugène Emmanuel, Le Glam is open Friday – Sunday from 11.45pm – 5am.
Fans of snakes and ladders will love this place. A dance floor that is only accessible by climbing up a little ladder adds a dash of uniqueness to this place. Sure, it might seem a bit dangerous at first, but it's all in good fun. It’s small, though this allows for a more intimate setting. The music is fabulous, the drinks are great, and the crowds are a mix of old and young. There is also some great drag-tainment, with fierce performers like Holly White taking to the stage in all their androgynous fabulousness. It opens at 10pm, and usually can be quiet for the first while. But come midnight and the place is popping. No Cinderella to be found here. All the queens from around the town come flocking to the party! Le S6 Club is located at 6 Rue Raoul Bosio and is open from 10pm-5am Tuesday – Saturday.
Are you a night owl like us? Or simply having trouble getting to sleep from all the excitement of being in Nice? Le Klubber has answered your prayers. It only opens its doors at 5am and closes them at 10am. We love pulling all-nighters, but this pushes things to a whole new level! You’ll be having coffee and pancakes as a nightcap after you leave. The club itself is hardcore – it would have to be considering how late it opens! Techno music blares from the speakers, guests strip down to their underwear, whilst others roam around in leather gear. This is a place where you can push boundaries. Also, if you have been out all night, namely at L'Oméga Club or Red Kafé you can get a €5 discount at the entrance of Le Klubber! Located at 14 Rue Benoît Bunico, Le Klubber is open Saturday – Monday from 5am – 10am.
Low ceilings, bright lights, hot guys. L’Oméga is an intimate, yet fierce night out. A night here is exciting, adrenaline-inducing and unforgettable. It’s a lot darker than other clubs we’ve been to in Nice, yet this only adds to the electrifying atmosphere. The flashing, neon lights echo the rave halls from the 1990s. The drinks are delicious, and the bar staff aren’t bad looking either…The DJs also love a good throwback tune, which only makes the nights even more fun for us lovers of vintage pop. The drag shows here are super campy and fun. They generally happen on Saturday nights, with resident queens battling it out on stage. Located at 8 Passage Emile Négrin, L’Oméga is open from Friday to Sunday from 11.45pm – 6am.
Generally hosted in the High Club Nice, RainboWorld is a fabulous gay event occasionally thrown to paint the town with glitter. These epic parties are rare, so you'll need to keep an eye on the RainboWorld Facebook page to know when the next one is on so you can attend while you're in Nice. But you don't want to miss out as it's an incredibly fierce night with LGBTQ DJs, stunning performances and everyone wearing amazing costumes as they dance the night away. Located at 45 Prom. des Anglais, the High Club is open Friday and Saturday from 11.45pm – 5.30am – but for RainboWorld Events you'll need to check the Facebook page for the next dates.
Gay beaches in Nice
“We’re going to the beach-each, let’s go get away”…stretching out in our Speedos (or nothing) always feels super liberating. Nothing feels better than filling up on some much-needed D – the vitamin kind!
The beaches of Nice, in particular, are super fabulous, particularly as they form part of the French Riveria. With stunning scenery, gorgeous weather and cool waters, you owe it to yourself to take yourself out of the city for a minute, and pop along to the beach!
St Laurent d’Eze Plage
This is probably one of the most popular gay nudist beaches on the French Riveria though it's notoriously difficult to reach. There are no food places around for miles, so if you plan on going, then pack up a picnic! It gets particularly busy on the weekends, and you can see why. You’ll get to absorb some absolutely stunning natural sights. The promenade winds out from the lush, woodland area alongside a gurgling stream, then leads to the beautiful bay with waves that crash into the rocks. You’ll never want to leave! Bear in mind, the beach is narrow and mostly made up of stones.
You can reach the beach by taking the #100 bus that travels towards Monaco. You disembark at “Parking St Laurent d’Eze”, and just follow the signposted trail until you reach the beach. You’ll know you've found the right place when you see loads of casual, naked people all about the place!
This one is a bit more connected to the rest of the world. Down the track from the popular Plage de Carras, the Castel Plage borders a fabulous restaurant of the same name. We love beaches that are right in the heart of the action like this one. Sure, it's nice to go off the beaten track, but we like the idea of being able to run off and replenish on snacks and drinks whilst sunbathing. This option also allows you to book your own sun lounger, so you can be guaranteed a prime spot to relax, and it's very popular with the local gay population.
Le Plage de Coco Beach
While this one is called a beach it's actually more of a rocky outcrop where you can jump straight into the water or use one of the iron ladders to get in. There are a couple of spots where you can spread out a towel plus it doesn't get too crowded, just some locals and nude sunbathers. There is a first-aid station and a lifeguard around during summer, in case you ever need a little help.
Gay events in Nice
Come when Nice is quiet. Or come when Nice is popping! Throughout the year, Nice has many exciting things happening across the city – and if you plan your trip well, you’ll find yourself in the middle of one of the events. From Pride to music festivals, there is something for everyone. This is our list to the main gay friendly events of Nice that we recommend checking out:
Lou Queernaval in Feb/March
When the Nice Carnival comes to town, the whole city comes alive. Gay tourists and locals are most drawn to the LGBTQ segment of the event called the Lou Queernaval. It's become so popular, that each year’s event is hotly anticipated. With DJs, musicians and drag artists performing to large crowds, the streets are lined with dancing people, rainbow-inspired costumes and same-sex couples happily engaging in lots of PDA. It feels like Pride Part Deux! You can read more about our time experiencing the Lou Queernaval here. Unfortunately, the Queernaval won't be taking place in 2020, but keep your an eye on the Facebook page for details about next year.
Fête des Roses (May)
Spring arrives and so does the Fête des Roses. Taking place at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, just outside of Nice, this event has been going strong for over 10 years. The villa welcomes gardeners, horticulturalists and lovers of all things plants to its celebration of roses and plants. With over 30 exhibitions taking place, visitors can learn and share garden tips, take part in workshops and enjoy a floral-inspired fashion show. Florals in spring? Ground-breaking! There are also stalls set up in the beautiful gardens for people to come and admire exotic plants and beautiful flower arrangements.
Fête de la Musique (June)
The Fête de la Musique is a celebration that takes place every summer solstice on the 21st June in cities, towns and villages across France. More than a music festival, the Nice Fête de la Musique is a free event that spills out from the bars and restaurants onto the streets and encompasses every type of music imaginable, from local amateur teen bands to professional classical musicians, to club DJs and traditional folk bands. The best part about it is that it is completely free! It’s basically like a giant concert in the middle of the city. In the Old Town is where most of the action takes place, with musical acts for every kind of fan. Or else you can find hidden gems based in the surrounding neighbourhoods of the city, where local acts stage more intimate performances.
Bastille Day (July)
One of the most popular holidays across France on the 14th of July, so expect lots of fireworks! Bastille Day marks a celebration of the unity of the French nation during the French Revolution, so it really calls for a party. Most people tend to gather on the Promenade des Anglais, as this allows for optimal viewing of the firework display. Grab a snack or drink and snuggle up with a loved one as the black sky gets illuminated with colourful sparks. Lots of clubs and bars across the city will have their own themed events to mark the occasion. Recent years have also seen commemorative displays take place after a terrorist attack struck Nice on Bastille Day in 2016.
Nice Pink Parade in July/August
This is the official Pride event of Nice. Hundreds and thousands of people flock to the city each year in all of their gay glory. The city has a surprisingly vast LGBTQ scene, with tons of drag artists and queer activist groups coming together to celebrate the festivities. The parade kicks off at 5pm from St Jean-Baptiste and moves through the Rue de Verdun, the Promenade des Anglais, the Avenue des Phocéens, then Avenue Jean Jaurès, before finally returning to the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art. It all culminates in a “Pink Drink” party at the front of the museum, with awesome DJ sets, singers and dance acts! It usually happens at the end of July or early August, so expect hot weather. Pack loads of sunscreen, tank tops and shades! Also, make sure you are drinking lots of water.
Gay saunas in Nice
Whether you're looking for a bit of sleaze or a place to unwind, meet new people and enjoy being in the nip, these are some of the best gay saunas in Nice:
From the arched doorway, with gleaming blue paint and gorgeous stone craft decorating the exterior, you’d be forgiven for believing you were about to enter an elegant government building. Scratch that! Inside, you’ll find three floors of sweaty bodies, gurgling jacuzzis and hot saunas. Get it all off and unwind in the steaming rooms of Les Bains-Douches. There's a labyrinth, private cabins, a bar and more to keep you entertained. The staff are friendly, and the entrance fee is cheap compared to other saunas around Europe. Les Bains-Douches is located at 7 Rue Gubernatis and is open from 1pm to 10am every day.
Be the queen that you are and head off to Sauna du Chateau! The clientele here is particularly buff and super sexy. There is also quite a diverse age range, though most guests tend to be slightly older. With sauna rooms and jacuzzis galore, you can end up spending many hours here just unwinding. Holidaying can be a tiring ordeal. Yet the staff at Sauna du Chateau make you feel truly at home. Picture yourself, in a pool, chatting to fellow tourists and locals whilst knocking back a cocktail or two? This is the fantasy that Sauna du Chateau delivers, with a Finnish sauna, Turkish hammam, swimming pool and videos to help you relax. Located at 17 Rue des Ponchettes, Sauna du Chateau is open from 1pm – 8pm every day except Friday, where it opens from 1pm – 12am.
Gay cruising in Nice
Here is a roundup of some of the best clubs for gay cruising in Nice:
Black walls lit up in neon red lights line the corridor as you enter. The words LE CODE are shone across the walls. Burly men in tight leather bondage move ferociously across the room. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d wandered into a spy film. Throw in all the dark rooms and glory holes, labyrinth and whip cracking, and you’ll feel like you're in a Bond movie…‘Bondage… James Bondage!’ A night at Le Code is exciting. With themed events like naked parties, you'll feel totally liberated after spending an evening here. With toys and whipped cream available at the bar, you’ll have all you need to make this visit a truly memorable one. Though don’t be intimidated walking in. Curious cats are just as welcomed as eager beavers – and you won’t be made to feel bad or uncomfortable if you don’t want to indulge in any activity yourself. Le Code is located at 4 Rue Jean-Pierre Papon. It is open from 10pm to 3am Sunday to Thursday, then 10pm to 5am on Friday and Saturday.
The Eagle has landed! Leather daddies, fetish fiends and bears rejoice! The Eagle celebrates you in all your glory. With pulsing, techno beats bouncing through the walls as you walk in, ripped men standing behind the bar and loads of other dudes dancing around in S&M gear, you’ll be starkly reminded that you aren’t in Kansas anymore. The bar has a “come as you are” mantra. Just have a drink, do some flirting and enjoy the evening. The Eagle Bar isn’t for the fainthearted. So be prepared going in. There are loads of hideaways and glory holes to lose yourself in. Also, labyrinths where you could literally get lost. As always, don’t be pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do. Just be safe and have fun! Located at 18 Rue Emmanuel Philibert, Eagle Bar is open daily, all night from 10pm.
Naked dance parties. Cruising mixers. Boxer nights. There is always something happening at the Morgan Club. We love this place for its carefree spirit. Everyone here is so friendly. The drinks are fabulous, and the music is a little less intense than some other cruising bars in the city. There are even some sexy go-go dancers that really help liven the place up. With a boutique adjoining the bar that sells an assortment of items, from handcuffs to jockstraps, you won’t have to worry about coming up short-handed here. After you’ve stocked up on some items, the next step is finding a hideout. There are private cabins that you can sneak off into, though some don’t even make it that far. The best part is, no one really cares. It’s all about being free and loving yourself. Located at 3 Rue Claudia, Morgan Club is open from 10pm to 2.30am, Tuesday to Sunday.
Malabar Station really feels a bit like an underground train station, which adds a unique allure and vibe. It’s a nice place to come grab a drink before heading out elsewhere, as it opens a little earlier than other bars around the city and closes early as well. Though don’t get us wrong, this place can get a little frisky as well! With dark rooms, cabins and play zones available, this place can become whatever you make it. The carefree nature of the place could make any shy person willing to whip off some clothes and just enjoy some good old fashioned fun. Located at 10 Rue Bonaparte, Malabar Station is open from 6pm to 2.30am Wednesday to Sunday.
Gay friendly restaurants in Nice
When we’re not thinking with our hearts, we are thinking with our stomachs! France is known the world over for its food, so the pressure was on for Nice to deliver. Especially since the city prides itself on a special cuisine called Nicoise – a blend of both Italian and French. We’re delighted to announce that it did not disappoint! We couldn’t get enough of the food in any place we tried, and we ate out a lot. Here are just some of our favourites:
It's at the heart of the gay scene and it is gay-owned, so you basically owe it to your community to pay a visit. After all, it is called Les Garçons – which is French for ‘the boys’! This place attracts a largely LGBTQ crowd and is the perfect spot for dinner before painting the Old Town pink. Inside is relatively simple, with wooden floors and tables. The service was quick and prompt. It’s the kind of place for grabbing a quick meal whilst bustling around the city. Each dish proved that staff had great attention-to-detail and a true love for the craft of French cooking. We loved the duck breast infused with orange sauce and covered in breadcrumbs.
La Route du Miam
La Route du Miam is considered one of the best restaurants in Nice and for good reason. The menu is quite short and expensive, so definitely consider coming here for a special occasion. The restaurant also only opens for a mere two hours! So, you better get in quick if you are desperate to try some of the delicious foods on offer. Each dish is bursting with colour and flavours, fully absorbing its authentic Mediterranean roots. The staff here are excellent and very knowledgeable about what is on the menu and what wine works best with each course.
La Belle Saison
Veggies rejoice! La Belle Saison is one of our favourite vegetarian restaurants in Nice. Inside, it's quaint and truly adorable. Straight from the pages of an IKEA catalogue, the furniture is bright and modern. With such compact furniture and adorable animal-themed paintings on the wall, your mind feels truly at ease as you walk in. The staff are totally awesome and happy to calm down any carnivores from feeling out of their depths. The food here makes you feel like you’ve undergone a huge detox. Everything is so healthy and delicious, making you feel truly rejuvenated to go out and keep exploring.
Here’s to the ladies who brunch! Olim may be tiny, but it makes up for that in charm and Instagrammability. With plenty of breads, cakes, croissants and scones on offer, this place is fabulous for a quick bite whilst exploring the city. Instagram buffs will love Olim for how adorable the layout of each dish is, with cute jam jars and coffee cups – totally worthy of going on the main feed. Sweet tooths will also fall for the assortment of cakes and treats that are on display but there are also healthy options. A fabulous spot for when you are feeling peckish, but not quite ready to have a whole meal just yet.
King Marcel Nice
Hands down, one of our favourite restaurants for burgers in Nice. Inspired by the burger joints of the USA, King Marcel takes the red, white and blue sentiment and makes it their own – literally their own as their country colours are also red, white and blue! With hot wings, cheesy fries and chicken strips also on the menu, all fast food junkies are catered for. King Marcel also has the option of sitting outside, with red lawn chairs and rickety tables outside the restaurant on a terrace for patrons to enjoy.
Best things to do in Nice
When you are not busy partying in the clubs or stuffing your face in one of the many food places, you’ll, of course, be wanting to explore the city. But what to do, what to do? Well, we’ve got you covered, and have a list that lays down all the best Nice has to offer to make your trip a memorable one.
Discover Nice on a gay tour
If you really want to get to the heart of the gay scene in Nice then you will love joining one of the Gaily LGBTQ friendly walking tours. You can actually choose from both a day-time gay friendly walking tour or a night-time tour which visits the best of Nice's gay bars and clubs! If you've never visited Nice before or perhaps feel a little shy heading out on your own, this is a wonderful way to explore and relax with your new gay friends. Whichever one you pick you'll get to learn about Nice's gay history with a friendly local guide who knows all the best places for food and drinks.
Exploring Vieux Nice
From the winding, cobblestoned pathways that weave in and out between ancient buildings, to the pastel shades of the various shops and cafes which house an assortment of local businesses – Vieux Nice (Old Nice) is bursting with vibrancy and charm that only the French can deliver. Or southern French we should say. After all, the country folk hospitality is what oozes from every street corner. Smiling faces from stalls and behind the shop counters are in abundance, and the locals are only happy to welcome you to their city. Simply taking an afternoon (perhaps on a bicycle?) to just admire the views and ambience is a necessity.
Promenade des Anglais
Take a stroll down the Promenade des Anglais! A 7km stretch that begins at the airport and runs all the way towards Quai des États-Unis. There is always a hive of activity happening along the promenade, particularly on weekends. Loving couples walking hand in hand, families enjoying a leisurely stroll, mothers wheeling their babies in prams, and tourists just trying to take it all in. Then again, if you’re not a fan of walking, you can always travel by segway! Cruise along in style down the stunning Nice coastline, looking so effortlessly glam. Regardless of how you travel pop into one of the multiple ice cream shops for a treat.
Cours Saleya Flower Market
Each morning at dawn, the flower market opens up and serves the floral needs of the Nice people throughout the day. Open throughout the whole week, except for Mondays, the presence of the Cours Saleya has the city bursting with colour and life. With flowers and plants to serve every occasion, coming here for just a gawk and a sniff is well worth your time. Whilst flowers get the starring role, other stalls sell an abundance of fruit and veggies, breads and meats, so you’ll be able to do a spot of shopping as well. If you prefer a guided tour, this one stops off at the flower market along with other lovely parts of Nice.
Matisse Museum (Musée Matisse)
Housing one of the largest collections of the artist Henri Matisse, this museum is perfect for any art lover. Opening its doors in 1963, it originally only exhibited the works on the ground floor, where it still drew thousands of curious tourists from around the world. Since then, it has expanded and now occupies the whole building! With a mix of paintings, sculptures and drawings, this museum will keep you busy for hours. If you love art and historic museums then this tour includes entry to the Matisse Museum as well as the Chagall Museum AND the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild!
Cimiez Monastery (Monastere de Cimiez)
With beautiful gardens surrounding the monastery, and a gorgeous Church where you can go in, admire the interior or sit in on a service, the Cimiez Monastery is well worth a visit. Having been built in the mid 1600s, the church oozes Gothic influences and is decorated with awe-inspiring Renaissance art. Even if you aren’t devoutly religious, there is something about going to a place that is so steeped in history and tradition. This is situated outside of Nice, and whilst it is within walking distance (if you really like to walk), we’d recommend getting the bus. You can catch the #17 bus from Pont Barla to get there.
Castle Hill (Colline du Château)
Overlooking the bay, the Castle Hill is a constant reminder for all Nice people of their troubled and violent past. Having been used as a military citadel, the castle has been around since the 11th century. Whilst it now lies in ruins, with Louis XIV demanding it be destroyed in the 1700s, it has become one of the most popular landmarks in all of Nice. Locals affectionately refer to it as ‘the cradle of the sun' as from the windows, one can see various other famous sights across the city become lit up by the sun throughout the day. If you're interested in Nice's history, you can enjoy a historic walking tour of the Old Town and Castle Hill.
Parc de la Colline du Château
There’s something about a city that contains a public park that we truly love. The clash of nature and urban just feels so beautiful to us. You can admire the rocky and hilly presence of the park from the Old Town, as you stroll around the market stalls, or you can look out at the Nice landscape whilst enjoying a picnic on the hillside. Trickling waterfalls and lush trees populate the park. It gets very busy during the weekends, with all of Nice desperate to explore the gorgeous wonders that exist within. Perfect for when you need a break from the city, the park gives you refuge and helps rejuvenate your mind.
Stretched out across 7 hectares, the Parc Phoenix is a wide landscape of wonder and beauty. With peacocks roaming around and various greenhouse displays, there is so much to see and do. Whilst most come to the park to see the animals, it is also worth having a look at the rest of the area in general, as the sights are truly beautiful. For animal lovers like us, the zoo area is a must. With a wide mix of creatures, from the furry to the scaly, you’ll find yourself falling in love again and again with every new friend you meet. We especially love the huge pyramid gazebo and the lakeside waterfall you can actually walk underneath!
Mont Boron is a hill that rises 200m above sea level. Offering stunning scenery of the French coast and city of Nice, the trek up Boron will also treat hikers to a bunch of fancy villas. With holiday homes of stars like Elton John, the area is bursting with nature and colour. Atop the hill is the iconic Fort du Mont Alban, a military fortress that has overseen much of France’s wars and transformations. If you have a free afternoon, grab some food and find a cosy spot, with a nice view and enjoy a picnic. If you don't feel up for hiking never fear, you can also join an e-bike cycling tour to get up there a bit more easily!
If you're in Nice you have GOT to at least visit the nearby tiny country of Monaco to experience the glitz and glamour! It only takes about half an hour to drive to Monaco from Nice, plus the views from the clifftops out to the ocean are incredible. We joined a night-time tour to Monaco so that we could see the sunset as we drove up the coast and then tried our hands at the famous Monte Carlo casino. Unfortunately, we didn't win enough to buy one of the amazingly expensive cars parked outside, but we sure had fun! The night-time views across the harbour are also super romantic…
Learn to cook French delicacies
Sure, I may have my own Frenchman to cook me wonderful French delicacies whenever I want them (hint, hint Seby!) but not everyone is so blessed! If you love French cuisine and would like to learn how to make some of the best dishes yourself, we recommend this local French cooking class. We both love joining local cooking classes when we travel, and this one is a fantastic way to meet some locals who'll take you into their home and teach you how to whip up a classic Niçoise salad, apple tartlets and more. Then you can eat as much as you want when you get back home!
Plan your trip to Nice
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Nice. Read on to find out everything the gay traveller should know before they go.
How to get there: If you're already in Europe then you can get to Nice via car, bus, train or plane. If you're flying to Nice from Europe or further away then you will be arriving at the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport which is about a 15-minute drive from the Nice city centre. You can get to the city from the airport via bus or taxi, although we prefer to organise a private transfer with Welcome Pickups. That way we know an English-speaking driver will be waiting for us and will take us straight to our accommodation without any messing about.
Visa requirements: If you have a passport from one of the countries that is part of the Schengen Zone, then you won't need a visa to enter France and visit Nice. If you're travelling from somewhere like the United States, Canada, Australia or other non-Schengen countries, then you probably won't need a visa to visit as a tourist, but make sure you check your personal visa requirements before you plan your travels.
Getting around: Once you're in the centre of Nice, it's actually pretty easy to get around the main sights by walking. If you want to explore a bit further afield or don't want to walk too much you can use the local bus and tram lines or rent a bicycle through the cool Vélobleu bike system. Here's some more information on Nice's public transport system.
Power Plugs: In Nice, and the rest of France, power socket E is used, which is also compatible with plugs for types C and F. If you're travelling from within Europe you shouldn't have a problem using your electronics, but travellers to Nice from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and many other countries will need to bring a travel adaptor with them.
Travel insurance: Even in a relatively safe place such as Nice, sometimes things just go wrong when you're travelling. Whether it's cancelled flights, lost luggage or even illness, we never travel without the security of knowing we have travel insurance to cover us if need be. We use and love World Nomads Travel Insurance because they offer affordable and comprehensive cover, plus it's easy to make a claim online when you need to.
Safety and Security: All travellers, regardless of sexuality, can encounter danger when travelling. We like to use CloseCircle's ‘virtual bodyguard' app when travelling to Nice or other locations because it provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Then they will help you with anything from advice to evacuation in the case of extreme weather or terrorism. Find out more about CloseCircle in our post on how gay travellers can stay safe while travelling.
Vaccinations: Before travelling to Nice you should make sure you are up-to-date with routine vaccinations like measles, mumps, chickenpox, etc. Depending on what you are planning to do in France you may also need vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B as well as rabies. Check the most recent advice on the CDC website before you go.
Currency: The currency used in Nice is the Euro, just like the rest of France and 18 of the other countries that are part of the European Union. The symbol for the euro is € and $1 US converts to about 90 euro cents while £1 is worth around €1.17.
Tipping culture: In general, you don't need to tip in Nice or the rest of France, but there are exceptions to the rule. A service charge is usually included in your bill at a restaurant but you can tip a bit more if you feel like you want to reward exceptional service. In places like cafes, bars or taxis you might like to just round up to the nearest full number as your ‘tip' when paying. Here's a more detailed guide on tipping in France.
Internet access: There are many places in Nice where you can access free Wi-Fi, like the airport, Promenade du Paillon gardens, in Place Massena, Place Garibaldi, Cours Saleya, Palais du Justice, and around the Nice Tourist Offices. If you know you're going to need reliable internet access for work, then you can also organise a pocket Wi-Fi device to use during your trip.
Online privacy: Attitudes to homosexuality in France, and Nice, are good, so you won't encounter any internet censorship or be unable to access certain websites while you're there. If you simply prefer to keep your online activities private, then we recommend using ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN provides reliable and affordable privacy when travelling, so we don't hesitate to recommend them.
Accommodation: There are lots of different accommodation options in Nice, beyond the few we've mentioned already. We always use Booking.com when we're travelling because they have so many choices at the best prices plus they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.
Sightseeing and adventure: Whether you want to just relax or visit the many exciting sights in Nice, you'll be able to find the perfect activity on GetYourGuide. We love using it to plan what we'll do in each new destination, and we know it's an easy to use online booking system with excellent customer support available 24/7.
When to visit: Since Nice is a beach town, you really want to visit during summer to make the most of your trip! July and August are the peak times to visit Nice for summer weather, but if you want to avoid the majority of the crowds and pay a bit less, the shoulder seasons of May/June and September are also quite warm.
Gay map of Nice
Here's a gay map of Nice which includes all the gay bars, clubs, hotels and sightseeing highlights we've mentioned in this post. Use it to plan your own amazing gay trip!
For more inspiration:
- For more of fabulous France, check out our gay guide to Lyon as well
- These are the gayest cities in Europe that you'll definitely want to visit
- And if you're travelling on a budget then you'll love these awesome gay hostels in Europe
- If you love the beach then these are the best gay beaches in Europe
- There are also many fantastic gay beaches in Barcelona, one of our favourite cities in Spain
- Speaking of, these are the best gay pride events in Spain
- If you need some inspiration for Pride, check out these sexy gay pride outfit ideas
- And don't head out without packing these must-have gay pride accessories
- These are also the biggest gay pride events in the world if you want to celebrate somewhere else!