Expats moving to Nice will find themselves in the centre of the French Riviera, between Cannes and Monaco, a place where beauty has inspired artists and drawn visitors for centuries. Considered the central hub of the region, Nice is not the quiet town that many may imagine, but rather one of the largest cities in France. The metropolis continues to grow more cosmopolitan each year in its nightlife and shopping options.
Most expats moving to or living in Nice are middle-aged or retired. Still, a significant number of twenty-somethings do come to the city to study or work in the tourism industry. The economy is generally strong and the unemployment rate is low, making it an appealing prospect for those looking to work in France. Expats can easily find jobs in the service and hospitality industries, especially if they know the local language.
Right in the midst of the Côte d’Azur, Nice has a lot to offer. Just think, sun, sea, cosmopolitan city lifestyle, as well as glitz and glamour on your doorstep. We all have an image in our heads of Nice, one reminiscent of 50s Hollywood movies, and it still manages to maintain that classic charm. It’s no mere fluke that expats and tourists alike flock to Nice.
The ideal day in Nice would start off with a day at the market. In the Old Town, the Cours Saleya is the place to go. There you’ll get hold of all the fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, and flowers you’ll ever need.
Once you’ve dropped off all of your shopping, heading to the beach and making the most of the beautiful countryside is in order. One of the best places to do so is Villefranche-sur-Mer. It’s a glamorous seaside town, with yachts anchored by the shore and it looks like it’s straight out of a vintage forties Provence postcard.
Once you’re back in Nice, you can relax and unwind with a few drinks at Promenade des Anglais. You could even satisfy your growing appetite at one of the many restaurants along the stretch. There, you can spend the rest of your evening relaxing with a few drinks. But if you don’t fancy ending the night there, you could head to the old town to see where the night will take you.
I will say pick a neighborhood close to your job ( avoid l’ariane, pasteur et les moulins ) or check out how long it takes by car or bus or train. Traffic jam is an issue, parking as well. Train is not always reliable, strike, incident, so find an alternative. Also, highway are towed and parking downtown is challenging.
Laurent De Alberti
I don’t know where you are moving from, but you should expect some cultural changes.
Nice is a fairly large city, but not a capital. You will find that a lot of people already have their own group of friends, sometimes for decades, and may not be in a hurry to make some new ones, unlike what happens in capitals. Don’t worry, with time, once you have made your own group of friends, they will be very loyal. Expect lots of dinner parties at each other houses, and spending time chatting away in cafes.
Explore the surroundings. The city is lovely, but there is a lot to see outside it too. Antibes, Cannes, Monaco, Eze, Villefranche… lots of lovely places a short train ride away. Further afield, the Southern Alps are beautiful, some great hiking in the summer and nice skiing in the winter. Italy is doable for a daytrip too, maybe skip Vintimiglia but do San Remo, even Portofino if you have a car.
Embrace the local specialities! Socca (a burned chickpea pancake) is fantastic, best place for it is René Socca in the old town. Also pizzaladiere (an onion tart).
As the largest city on the Côte d’Azur, Nice remains a highly desirable location. A warm climate, clear sea and good transport links ensure Nice remains an appealing destination. Low crime levels, good standards of health care, a multi-cultural environment and less pollution also serve to make it appealing to expats.
Some pertinent points to consider before relocating to Nice:
Nice boasts very good transport links with a busy port running daily ferries to Corsica. Notably, the bus and train system are very reasonably priced for passengers. The airport is well located and accessible.
Retiring to Nice
Moving to Nice can be financially beneficial to retirees, as a tax treaty with the UK means that many forms of tax that you will pay in Britain will count towards your French tax bill.
Its prime location on the French Riviera does, however, come at a cost and so property prices in Nice and surrounding areas are higher than most other areas of France. To the east of Nice are Saint-Roch and Riquier; are areas which are benefitting from investment and development.
Nice is a pretty nice location, but leisure is expensive, like restaurants, night life. Its the only bad thing. You should have a pretty great time there, close to the sea, nice weather, nice city and beautiful countryside.
Nice is famous for being a city with plenty of old, rich people. The rest of the population being mostly unemployed youngs with moto scooters transporting cannabis. Good luck :)
The difference in lifestyle and culture accounts for some of the reasons why the cost of living in Nice is often cheaper than London. For example, many residents and expatriates use the popular markets and shops selling local produce to select high-quality foods, which is cheaper than pre-selected and pre-packaged supermarket items. The drier days and warm sunshine encourage more people to travel to work on foot or on bike, plus the public transport system is effective, clean and well-used – there is less need to use a car for the daily commute.
Everything is new and fresh. It is a really nice clean place to live. You can tell the maintenance staff keeps up on things, and the tenants do their part too. So far we like our neighbors too. I cannot say that at all about our old place. These folks are more in line with our personality type. It is nice to have a covered parking area for our car too. The hot Texas sun wreaks havoc on cars.
1. The sunshine.
We really don’t think we need to elaborate much here: Nice is located in the South of France on the Riviera so any property purchased here is bathed in sunshine all year round. Plus you’ll get a lovely tan.
2. The sea.
There are no words to describe just how blue the sea is here (it’s called the Cote d’Azur for a reason): find an apartment with sea views in Nice or a great property in Cap d’Ail and we can promise you’ll never tire of the view.
3. The wine.
All of France can boast about its wine and Nice is located within one of the smaller, less well-known appellations meaning you are guaranteed fantastic wine from this region. A glass or two of the local vin blanc or rosé will go down very well on your new balcony or terrace! Nice’s famous wine is the divine Bellet wine, from the hills to the west of Nice. Definitely worth a try!
Nice has everything: from department stores to boutiques, from parks to cathedrals, from the beach to the mountains. There is always something new to be found. We have the largest Russian cathedral outside of Russia, a gorgeous old town, Roman baths up at Cimiez and our architecture is just gorgeous.
Nice is a nice place ;) and has good weather, salary seems good.
Nice is a prime location for expatriates. It’s situated on the stunning Côte d'Azur, giving access to miles of attractive beaches. It’s also nestled at the bottom of the Alps, close to the Italian border and only a short distance from the Principality of Monaco. It’s not hard to see why it is considered such a desirable city to relocate to for British professionals.
The quality of life is high. There is a lot on offer to suit all extracurricular interests and pursuits. With a warm Mediterranean climate, a lot of time can be spent outside on the beaches or in one of the many attractive parks, playing sports or enjoying family picnics. The all-year-round holiday vibe can be infectious, with both tourists and residents alike enjoying a relaxed lifestyle – two-hour lunch breaks from work are commonplace. There are also plenty of chances to immerse yourself in the local culture, with a strong music and dance scene, particularly jazz, and high-quality restaurants serving the best the region can offer.