City Guide Nice

27th April 2016
City Guide Nice

Life on the Côte d'Azur is a dream for many. Cerulean seas, sun-filled summers, and a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle – it’s no wonder expats flock to this region to enjoy the benefits. Situated on the French Riviera between the glamourous towns of Monaco and Cannes is Nice, a city that has been tempting expats from their home countries for centuries.

As the first French city to base its economy on tourism, Nice has a long history of welcoming foreigners. From as far back as the 18th century, the English have travelled to this Mediterranean paradise to enjoy the pleasant climate – temperatures regularly reach 30 °C (86 °F) in summer – and the extraordinary beauty of Nice for holidays. Today, Nice is still a popular tourist destination as well as being home to a thriving and diverse expat community.

The main city square, the Place Masséna, is a generously spacious area bordered by Italian-inspired red ochre buildings and lined with stone pine and palm trees. At the centre of the square is the famous Fontaine du Soleil, which has a statue of Apollo in the centre surrounded by bronze fountains. Being so close to the Italian border, the city contains a unique blend of French and Italian architecture that constantly reinforces the feeling of being in the Mediterranean. Another famous attraction is the Promenade des Anglais – named for the aforementioned English holidaymakers – which is a beautiful, 3.5 mile walkway that runs alongside the Mediterranean sea.

Though the majority of expats who move to Nice are retired, it’s not the quiet town many imagine it to be. The Place Masséna, for example, is used for numerous concerts, carnivals and parades throughout the year. Nice is also incredibly popular both for shopping and nightlife and, as the fifth most populous city in France, is home to a broad spectrum of people. 

As you’d expect for such a desirable spot, property in Nice is not easy to come by. With tourism being so popular in the city, the housing market is mostly set up to cater to those looking for short term stays and vacation rentals rather than those looking to settle down for the long term. If you can find a suitable spot, however, prices are surprisingly affordable. Slightly higher than the French national average of 3,200 EUR per square metre, properties in the city average around 3,640 EUR per square metre. 

Many expats will also be pleased to hear that getting about in Nice is easy, even without a car. The Tramway de Nice, which has enjoyed many updates in its more than 100 years of service, now connects the northern and eastern suburbs via the city centre. Further extensions are planned, making access to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport possible via tram as well. There are also bike rental stands dotted throughout the city but for many a leisurely stroll taking in the sights is the most pleasant way to get around.

If you are preparing to move to Nice from London, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way. We are here to help and advise you, from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home.

Information correct at time of publication.

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