Where to stay in Nice - expat's guide

11th February 2019
Where to stay in Nice - expat's guide

Moving to Nice, France, is an attractive proposition for British expatriates. Right in the middle of the French Riviera, it enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate and a coastal location.

It’s not too far from the popular luxury destinations of Cannes and Monaco, but it retains a more traditional charm. It’s a large, cosmopolitan city and the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast. Being such a growing metropolis with a strong economy means there are good work opportunities. And yet, despite being modern and efficient, it also has a natural beauty that has brought artists and writers to the region for centuries.

Its laidback lifestyle suits those looking for a better work/life balance. The landscape of the region encourages an outdoors lifestyle, with mountainous resorts inland and watersports on the seafront.

In order to make the most of everything Nice has to offer an expatriate, one of the first steps to take is finding the right accommodation to start your new lifestyle.

Property options

As with any major city in Europe, it can be difficult to secure a property that suits your requirements quickly. The city centre itself is a fairly typical mix of apartments. However, given the location is in a very tourist-driven part of the world, many properties are held for holiday rentals rather than long-term living. The most popular areas, near the port and the old part of the city, are incredibly desirable. When they come up on the rental or sales market, they are snapped up fast.

Most expatriates rent rather than buy, at least to start off with. It is expensive, even for a city, due to a limited supply. It’s definitely worth engaging the services of a rental agent who specialises in finding high-end property in Nice to get a heads-up on the best properties when they come on the market.

In the city, expect apartments to be on the smaller side. There are some modern condos and apartment blocks available, but there are also a lot of older buildings. These might add to the architectural charm of the city, but they can be a lot less charming without a lift to reach the higher levels.

As such, many expatriates opt to move to the suburbs, rather than live in the city itself. There are a number of affluent areas where apartments and houses are much larger, with far better amenities. The centre of Nice is easily accessible with a car or using public transport, though rush hour can be very busy.

Best neighbourhoods

When looking for accommodation, it’s worth doing some research on the best places to live. The Old Town (aka Vieux Nice’) remains very popular with both older couples and young professionals alike. It’s a charming place to reside, with pretty pastel buildings and impressive cathedrals adding a 16th Century charm. It’s close to the centre of the city too, making it a useful location for commuting. Just above Vieux Nice, on the hillside, is the suburb of Cimiez. This can be a great location for families, with large villas and plenty of outside space.

The most exclusive neighbourhood is Mont Boron. This majestic hill towers over the south-east of Nice and offers prestigious properties. This is the best place to find sprawling mansions, complete with swimming pools, with fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. It also has wide open green spaces and fine dining establishments, making it the place to be. If you prefer a luxury home on the water’s edge, consider Cap de Nice. This neighbourhood sits between the port and Mont Boron.

We are here to help and advise you, from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home. You can get in touch with us for advice and a no-obligation quote, and see our in-depth guide on moving to France.

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