Watering Holes: The 10 Best Bars in Nice and Around

While French Riviera towns like Antibes and Cannes are highly seasonal, Nice is a proper major city (the only one in the French Riviera actually) that is home to a vibrant nightlife scene with dozens of bars, lounges and pubs to quench your thirst year-round. Whether you're looking for a rowdy pub to quaff back pints with other English speaking visitors and ex-pats or a chic and very French lounge to order bottle service and chill before hitting the small dance floor, Nice has options for all styles of watering hole. Try long-time scale favorites like Akathor Pub and Bar des Oiseaux, which have plenty of seats at the bar and tables, but also offer an opportunity to dance, should you wish to groove. Or head to one of Nice's cozy pubs like Big Ben or Wayne's for a more conversationally social atmosphere plus weekly trivia or karaoke nights or watching the big game on the flatscreen. While for a tres chic local experience check out Le Ghost, which has a speakeasy vibe, great cocktails and DJs that spin each night – it's a bar/club hybrid, but a very intimate space. Beyond Nice, Cannes is just a 10 minute ride by train, and offers more bar and nightlife options, including a swank favorite spot that's listed here. 

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Comfortable seating and ghostly interior creates the ideal backdrop for the skilled DJ's, who play nightly at this small club with a speakeasy vibe – you'll have to ring a bell the get in. A different style of electronica is is spun each...  Read More

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Le Pub Opéra


In the heart of Old Nice, this bar has been serving the artsy crowd in an elegant setting for decades now. Located across from the Opera House and other cultural venues, it has a swanky upscale vibe and offers excellent service as long as you...  Read More

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Big Ben


Another authentic feeling British pubs in Nice, Big Ben offers a much more relaxed atmosphere than most of the others in town. If you want to avoid blaring lights, booming music, and gyrating bodies and instead want to relax with a cold pint in...  Read More

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Located in the heart of Vieux Nice, on cours Saleya, this club has been popular for years now thanks to a rotating line up of nightly events – during the week there's karaoke and pub quiz nights and even an evening dedicated to students, while...  Read More

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On the main tourist strip in Old Town, this international pub is known for its party atmosphere and live music scene and has been a player in the Nice nightlife scene for nearly 20 years. It attracts huge crowds during the season, both tourists...  Read More

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Photo courtesy of Chez Wayne's


Walking inside Wayne's you'll forget you are in France – it feels exactly like a raucous pub in London with an inviting dark wood interior. As such, it is the most famous English pub in Nice and has a reputation with English-speaking tourists...  Read More



Located in the nearby town of Cannes – just 10 minutes by train from Nice – Zoa is a hip fusion sushi restaurant serving some of the best cuts of raw, fresh fish in town by day and early evening. But long after the sun has set and the final...  Read More

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Bar des Oiseaux


Tucked away in a far corner of popular Old Nice, this bar may be difficult to find, but it is worth searching for. Comedians and entertainers frequently take the stage to amuse uproarious crowds at the bohemian favorite. There is live music most...  Read More

Les Distilleries Idéales


The exterior and the interior are quite basic, and you may not even realize you are passing a bar unless you happen by during a raucous show. However, this small bar is popular among locals for its unique list of drinks and its low-key...  Read More

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Café de Turin
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia


This cafe and bar has been around for years and has collected a large, local following, who come not only for a cocktail, but also for its excellent fresh seafood. Tucked onto one side of the place Garibaldi, the location is prime and the...  Read More


Meet Becca Blond

Becca Blond is an award-winning Denver based freelance travel writer. She has authored more than 30 Lonely Planet guides on five continents. She also writes about Colorado and the world for...  More About Becca