If you’re wondering what Nice has to offer queer and lesbian travellers, you’re in the right place. In this guide, I provide a complete rundown of queer and lesbian Nice, including the best queer bars, clubs, events, and things to do around the city.
Nice is the underrated jewel of the South of France. A stunning seaside city complemented by its charming old town and epic surrounding landscapes, it’s earned its place as one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe.
We had no idea what to expect before our recent visit. Nice isn’t somewhere you hear talked about often, especially when it comes to inclusive LGBTQ+ destinations. However, we were thrilled to find that it is, in fact, a hotspot for queer and lesbian travellers.
Queer and lesbian Nice offers a thriving LGBTQ+ scene, with several bars, clubs, saunas, and other LGBTQ+-friendly things to do around the city. Also boasting unrivalled climate and all-year-round sunshine, queer travellers can look forward to endless fun in the sun.
This article aims to arm you with everything you need to visit this incredible destination. Find out why we believe it to be one of the most underrated queer-inclusive cities in the world.
So let’s get to it. Here’s a complete guide to queer and lesbian Nice!
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Queer & Lesbian Nice FAQs
Before I jump into talking about the best queer and lesbian bars, clubs, events etc., in Nice, I thought it would be good to answer some of the frequently asked questions we get about our trips.
• Book a hotel or hostel here or check out air bnbs in Nice
• Stay connected in Nice with a portable wifi hotspot or a local e-sim
• Get to know the city on a best-selling Nice tour.
• Don’t forget travel insurance – World Nomads is our go-to choice for cover.
LGBTQ+ Rights in Nice
LGBTQ+ Safety in Nice
France is often considered one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, and we would have to agree. We’ve not visited anywhere in France where we’ve felt uncomfortable displaying our relationship, and Nice is no different.
While Nice may not be considered as progressive as queer London or Berlin, there’s still a welcoming and tolerant attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community. This is apparent in the annual community queer events and the proud couples strolling hand in hand around the city.
Of course, the usual risks attached to intimate relations or travel in general still apply. These LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Tips will help you look after yourself and your belongings.
Best Time to Visit Nice
Set at the heart of the French Riviera, Nice boasts a warm and dry Mediterranean climate throughout the year.
Even the winter months are appealing, with highs of 15°C and very little rain. It’s the kind of winter climate most of us can only dream of, making for an ideal winter city break in Europe.
LGBTQ+ travellers visiting Nice may want to schedule their trip around the various queer events that take place around the city.
Lou Queernaval, for example, takes place in February, Nice Pride in July, and So Fetiche! in November. You can read more on these events and others further down.
Regardless of when you choose to visit, you can always take advantage of the queer nightlife in Nice, alongside all the other wonders around the city.
Getting Around in Nice
Like most cities, the best way to explore Nice is on foot. It’s especially the case here so you can absorb the city’s rich historical and cultural heritage.
Nice is up there with the likes of Prague and Budapest as one of the most picturesque cities in Europe. The architecture is outstanding, and you’ll encounter all kinds of hidden wonders as you navigate the city.
Trams are the way to get around for those less abled on their feet or for locations further afield. There’s even a direct tram (L2) from the airport to the city, which is super convenient and cheaper than a taxi.
Either way, we always rely on google maps to give us the best route for travel.
Some might say that a guided tour is the best way to experience this gorgeous and charming city.
For example, this guided cultural walking tour will allow you to dive into Nice’s compelling history and learn the significance of local landmarks.
We always use Get Your Guide when we book tours. They have an endless selection of tours in locations worldwide, including Nice. Check them out!
Save Time and Book a Tour
For a more local experience, we recommend checking out the guided tours on Get Your Guide:
Where to Stay in Queer & Lesbian Nice
Nice has plenty of accommodation options, ranging from low-budget hostels to high-end hotels and apartments. You’ll find that almost all of them are welcoming to LGBTQ+ travellers.
That said, some establishments are members of ‘Naturally Iridescent Nice’ – a sub-division of the local tourism board working to ensure that local businesses are inclusive.
Hotels and other businesses that display the ‘Naturally Iridescent Nice’ logo have participated in a training program on welcoming and including LGBTQ+ travellers in their hospitality.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Hotels in Nice
Below is a list of some hotels that have participated in the ‘Naturally Iridescent Nice’ training program:
- Anantara Plaza (5*)
- Hyatt Regency Nice Palais De Méditerranée (5*)
- Hotel Beau Rivage (4*)
- Le Meridien Nice (4*)
- Arome Hotel (3*)
- Hotel Monsigny (3*)
- Le Seize Nice (3*)
- Hotel H33 (2*)
- Victor Hugo Nice (2*)
You can also check out many other accommodation options here. Or use the Map below to see all your options:
The Best of Queer & Lesbian Nice
I’m sure you’re keen to learn more about what there is to see and do in this beautiful LGBTQ+-friendly city.
Naturally, being queer does not prevent us from wanting to explore like any other tourist. You’ll likely want to experience the Nice highlights as well as the queer things to do in the city.
Since this is a guide to queer and lesbian Nice, I won’t delve into the highlights here. Instead, I recommend checking out this Nice itinerary.
For now, let’s look at all the fun queer things to do in Nice.
Looking for a rundown of the best queer and lesbian nightlife in Nice? Keep scrolling to the following sections.
Queer Things to Do in Nice
Unlike in other gay-friendly cities, there’s no queer neighbourhood as such in Nice. There is, however, Rue de Bonaparte, which frequents a number of queer-friendly and queer-owned establishments.
Rue de Bonaparte is located near Garibaldi Square, and it’s basically the unofficial gay area of Nice. It’s worth having a little wander around during the day to see all the rainbows, but most places will come alive after dark.
Besides that, you will find gay-friendly establishments all over the city. The old town’s fairytale streets are popular amongst queer locals and tourists, as are the promenade and port areas.
Queer Walking Tour
It’s always fascinating learning about the local LGBTQ+ history, and the best way to do that is on a queer walking tour.
With Gaily Tours, you can choose either a day tour or a night tour of Nice. The day tour provides a cultural walking tour of the city, whereas the night tour is about enjoying the local gay nightlife.
Either way, a tour is a perfect way to get to know the best of queer and lesbian Nice, so you can go on to navigate the city with confidence and pride.
There are a number of gay beaches dotted around Nice, some of which are nudist; however, lesbians in Nice may be disappointed since these are frequented mainly by gay men.
The top 3 gay beaches in Nice are St Laurent d’ze Plage, Castel Plague, and Coco Plague. My Nice lesbians may feel most comfortable in the last two since these attract a mixed crowd.
All these beaches boast the captivating azure waters that the Cote d’Azur is famous for, though you may want to bring something to sit/lay on since they are mostly pebbled.
Several restaurants in Nice are also part of the ‘Naturally Iridescent Nice’ program, which means you can expect a warm and inclusive welcome when you visit them.
That’s not to say other restaurants won’t be welcoming, though. They just may not be as educated regarding pronouns and other appropriate hospitality customs.
One of the restaurants within the program that I can recommend is Sentimi. A trendy restaurant in Garibaldi Square, you can expect some of the best Italian cuisine outside of Italy here.
For a more laidback vibe, Le Sunset is a queer-owned restaurant serving delicious Nicoise delicacies. As the name suggests, its beachfront position allows the perfect view for sunset.
Outside the program, we also had a fantastic experience at Chez Acchiardo. A traditional family-owned restaurant in the old town famous for its authentic Nicoise cuisine.
Librairie Vigna is a lesbian-owned LGBTQ bookstore and art gallery. It’s the ideal place to browse for new and used books on queer cultures, feminism, women’s history, the arts, and poetry.
Many lectures are also held here, as well as discussions and other lively events. As one of the few dedicated LGBTQ+ spaces in queer and lesbian Nice, it’s well worth a visit.
Promenade des Anglais
While not an explicitly queer thing to do in Nice, you’ll certainly want to add a stroll along the iconic promenade to your list of things to do.
The Promenade des Anglais stretches for 7km, so it’s perfect for walking, running, or cycling. There are also plenty of seating areas where you can sit and soak in the view.
The daytime is especially atmospheric when various street performers put on a show for the bustling crowds. It’s also when the beachside bars & restaurants come alive.
Local LGBTQ+ Organisations
We were thrilled to learn that there are several LGBTQ+ organisations in Nice working to make the French Riviera a more welcoming and accepting place for the community.
The LGBTQ+ Cote D’Azur Centre, for example, is a social and resource centre that offers support and services to local LGBTQ+ people and their families.
Then there’s Caram’Elles – an association for lesbians in Nice and the rest of the French Riviera. The organisation plan regular activities and meetings where locals (and tourists) can connect with other queer women.
The Caram’Elles organisation welcomes lesbian and bisexual women, but also transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
Queer and Lesbian Events in Nice
In addition to all of the exciting things to do in queer and lesbian Nice, these exciting annual LGBTQ+ events may be worth scheduling your trip around. Also check out this LGBTQ+ events calendar for upcoming parties and events.
Lou Queernaval (February)
Arguably the biggest LGBTQ+ event in Nice, Lou Queernaval holds the title for the first gay carnival in all of France.
Part of the famous Carnaval de Nice (a tradition that’s taken place for 150 years), Queernaval welcomes everyone. It’s a huge community event where everybody comes together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
Alongside the warm and welcoming attitude of the crowds, you can expect endless entertainment from drag performers to local artists, and basically a whole round great vibe!
In & Out Film Festival (April)
One of the most unique events in the gay & lesbian Nice calendar, In & Out Queer Film Festival originated in 2009. Its mission is to deliver underground queer cinema to a mainstream audience.
We were fortunate enough to attend some of the screenings during our recent visit and were thrilled to find a diverse selection of international cinema.
The movies covered various important LGBTQ+ topics, from trans rights to feminist activism, and there were also a few, uh-hum, intimate movies, if you get my gist.
If you enjoy queer cinema, this is your opportunity to watch some exclusive LGBTQ+ movies, including some juicy lesbian movies.
Pink Parade / Pride (July)
Nice Pride, otherwise known as Pink Parade, is the annual summer event in Nice that attracts crowds from far and wide.
A weekend of colourful celebrations slap bang in the middle of the Cote d’Azur summer, what better time to visit this glorious seaside city?
The festivities range from a pride march and other cultural/political events to wild parties and social gatherings. So gather your best pride outfits and plan a trip to Nice this Summer!
Nice So Fetiche (November)
If gay fetish is your scene, you’ll want to head to Nice during the last weekend of November for Nice So Fetish.
The event started in 2016 and welcomes people from all over Europe and creates a safe space to explore their fetish desires.
I should point out that this isn’t a cruising party, but who knows what will happen while mingling with others with similar interests.
Queer and Lesbian Nightlife in Nice
Knowing very little about Nice before our recent visit, I had low expectations in regard to its queer nightlife scene. I didn’t imagine it to be a party place at all, let alone for us gays!
As it turns out, Nice boasts a wild and open-minded gay and lesbian scene. From lively gay bars to energetic clubs and busy cruising spots for the boys, there’s plenty of fun to be had after dark.
As I mentioned earlier, the unofficial gayborhood in Nice is just northeast of the old town on Rue Bonaparte. Here you will find many of the city’s gay bars, cafes, and gay-owned businesses.
We soon realised that the party never stops in Nice – especially over the weekend. Many venues stay open until 5-6 am, and it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having so much fun.
By no means is Nice a gay Mecca (yet); however, we love to see how progressive the city is becoming. I have no doubt that you’ll love all that queer and lesbian Nice has to offer.
Queer and Lesbian Bars in Nice
It saddens me to say that there are no exclusively lesbian bars in Nice. However, these positively queer bars attract a mixed clientele under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.
La Cave Wilson
For a low-key, gay night out in Nice, head along to La Cave Wilson. An elegant cabaret bar with quirky decor, you can look forward to fabulous drag shows, strong cocktails, and a friendly vibe.
If it’s a drinks and nibbles kinda vibe you’re looking for, get yourself to Coco Vin. Here you can order delicious snacks alongside cocktails while enjoying a warm cosy vibe.
Le Couloir is an iconic gay and lesbian Nice bar which has been a staple of the local nightlife scene for 27 years. Its retro decor and unpretentious attitude attracts both locals and tourists while providing the ideal setting to unwind and socialise with others.
Le Red Kafe
For food, cocktails, and everything in between, Le Red Kafe overlooking Place Messina is the place to be! It’s a chilled bar perfect for dates or meeting with friends. Personally, I loved the outdoor terrace where you can sit and watch the world go by.
Queer & Lesbian Clubs in Nice
Le Glam is one of the most legendary clubs in all of the French Riviera, and if there’s one venue that’s popular amongst lesbians in Nice, it’s this one.
Expect nothing but great vibes and high energy on the weekends when DJs spin the best cheesy pop and club classics. Also, look out for themed events and drag parties.
A small and intimate venue in the heart of the city, L’Omega was one of our favourite nighttime haunts in Nice. The drinks are strong, the music is excellent, and the people are great – what more could you want?
Club Le 6
For a fun and free-spirited atmosphere, head to Club Le 6 for their unforgettable weekend club nights. Expect larger-than-life drag dancers on podiums and a fun-loving, energetic crowd!
Have Fun Exploring Queer & Lesbian Nice!
That concludes our guide to queer and lesbian Nice. I hope you found it helpful and have a fabulous time exploring this beautiful lgbtq+ friendly city.
If you have any questions or feel we need to include anything, please contact us in the comment section below. We love hearing from you!
Stay adventurous and happy travels.
Check out the rest of our awesome Queer Travel articles in our LGBTQ+ Travel section to help you with your travel planning.