Nice, France: What to pack, what to wear, and when to go [2022]

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

Traveling to Nice, France? Nice is one of the most beautiful places on the Riviera, with amazing weather, giant events, and plenty of great food. This article tells you when to go, what to wear, and what to pack.

Contents

About your travel guide

Hi! I'm Dev. I've traveled all over the world and in my travels, I have made many packing lists. In this series, my team and I have compiled the most useful information, as well as things we couldn't live without, to help you plan your trip.

When to go to Nice, France

Based on the climate and weather in Nice, the best time to go is June. However, you can almost never go wrong in Nice -- there's always an amazing event or festival going on. In July, you can enjoy warm weather and attend the Bastille Day celebrations.

December brings Christmas markets, and February and March bring Carnival.

Of course, there's also the famous Cannes Film Festival, which comes to the area in May. If you're looking to avoid crowds, the shoulder season -- September and October -- are also an excellent option.

Important essentials for Nice, France

Here are some general tips on what to wear in Nice, as well as several items to remember to pack when traveling there.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 ESSENTIALS

  • A vaccine card protector

    Vaccine cards frequently get worn. An unreadable vaccine card may result in severe consequences. This vaccine card protector helps stop that.

  • N95 masks for crowded airports

    These N95 masks provide the best level of COVID-19 protection available.

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination/negative test

    Make sure you have a printed copy, since some attractions will not accept a photo on your phone.

  • Travel disinfecting wipes

    Use these to sanitize plane and hotel surfaces.

  • Hand sanitizer

    This hand sanitizer is an easy-to-carry plane-friendly choice.

  • Touchless thermometer

    A touchless thermometer is important to have.

  • Kids' KN95 masks

    N95 masks are not available for kids. These are a good alternative (and can also be used by adults if N95 masks are not available).

Other health necessities

  • Travel first aid kit

    This one is a great option.

  • Emergency rapid COVID-19 test

    U.S. residents can get them free here. Otherwise, you can buy them here.

  • Emergency motion sickness relief

Don't forget these

 

Activities for Nice, France

Here are some activity recommendations and activity-specific packing tips for Nice.

If you are planning to see Cimiez Convent, or if you go to the cathedral, Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicolas à Nice, you will need to be dressed appropriately. We recommend the following:

There are several excellent museums that you should see, including the Matisse museum and the Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall. These musems (especially the latter) have excellent walking grounds, so you should expect to do a lot of walking. These are useful:

Here are some tours that you should consider in Nice:

  • Cannes and Monaco day tour

    When going to Nice, you can't miss nearby Monaco and Cannes. We generally recommend either renting a car or taking public transportation, but if you don't want to do all of the planning, a good tour is an excellent choice. We recommend this one, which includes Eze, Monte Carlo, and Cannes.

    Check out the tour

  • Food walking tour of Nice

    If you're going to Nice, you'll want to sample the local wine, and of course have a great Salad Nicoise. But skip the tourist traps and find the places locals go. You can ask locals or check out a good guidebook, but if you want to skip the hassle and have someone guide you, this is an excelelnt option.

    Check out the tour

  • French Riviera private yacht cruise

    If you're on honeymoon or celebrating an anniversary, and you want to do something you'll never forget, this may be worth the splurge. Charter your own private yacht for the day and feel like one of the celebrities cruising along the coast. We suggest a sunset tour with a bottle of fine champagne.

    Check out the tour

  • Make your own perfume with an expert perfumer

    Want a unique gift for yourself or someone else? Join a perfume making class and make your own perfume with an expert French perfumer.

    Check out the tour

  • Provence vineyard day trip

    Here's one we wouldn't miss. Enjoy the vineyards of Provence on a private day tour from Nice. Sip wine at multiple vineyards, and learn wine tasting from experts. But prepared to be a bit tipsy at the end!

    Check out the tour

 

What to wear/what to pack for Nice, France by month

Already know when you're traveling?

January

January in Nice is crisp. The average overnight temperatures in the area are in the low 40s F (single digits C). But the colder weather doesn't bring low humidity, which is in the 60% to 70% range on average.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in January:

The cool weather in January makes beach going difficult, so you are best off spending January in the museums. The Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nice is a great art museum that features works from many different periods and styles. The Musee Matisse is another great art museum that is dedicated to the work of famed artist Henri Matisse. For those interested in history, the Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall is a great museum that tells the story of the Bible through the artwork of Marc Chagall.

Also, in nearby Monaco, the Monte Carlo road rally takes place this month, and there are several festival-like events in conjunction with it.

 

February

February in Nice can be chilly. Temperatures average in the 50s F (low 10s C) during the day. It rains once in a while. The Nice Carnival occurs around this time, bringing dancing, food, music, and parades.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in February:

In late February (or early March), the city of Nice bustles with activity as the Carnival comes to town. There are bands, parades, and fireworks, as well as some traditions, such as the burning of the king.

In addition to Carnival, you can enjoy the top museums (such as the Musee Matisse and the Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall). You can also enjoy strolling the old town and visiting parks, although some will still be closed for the season.

 

March

March in Nice is cool. The average overnight temperatures in the area are in the 40s F (single digits C). But the colder weather doesn't bring low humidity, which is in the 60% to 70% range on average. During this month, you may be able to catch the Nice Carnival, with lots of parades, food, and events. The Festin des Cougordons also occurs in March.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in March:

In March, you may be able to catch the tail end of Carnival, depending on the year. You can also attend the Race to the Sun bicycle race.

It's still a bit early for beachgoing, and many parks are still closed, but it's a great time to stroll the city and visit the museums.

 

April

If you go to Nice in April, you will notice that it can be chilly. Expect it to rain a bit less than half of the time. Daytime temperatures are in the low 60s F (high 10s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in April:

In April, the parks open up and spring gets into season. You can do the Cliff Walk along the coast or see thousands of species of plants in the Parc Phoenix.

It's a little early for sunbathing on the beach but you can take full advantage of the city's indoor and outdoor activities.

 

May

May here is mild. Temperatures average in the high 60s F (low 20s C) during the day. It rains 5-10 days this month. This is an excellent time to go to Nice if you're a movie buff or just enjoy seeing stars, as the Cannes Film Festival occurs this month. But beware: hotels (and everything else) can get very expensive this time of year.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in May:

By May, most of the city's attractions are open. If you're lucky, you can get tickets to attend the nearby Cannes film festival, or Monaco's Grand Prix.

You can walk the beaches (although it's still too cold to get in the water), and enjoy the beautiful parks in the area, including the Colline du Château, a former castle with an amazing view high above Nice.

 

June

June here is warm. Temperatures average in the 70s F (mid 20s C) during the day. It rains sometimes, but is still an excellent time to visit Nice. You avoid some of the crowds that come later in the summer, but still get to enjoy the great weather.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in June:

By June, beaches start to fill up in Nice, and summer tourists begin to fill the city. You have plenty of options for activities this month.

There are music festivals all over France in June and July, but you'll probably spend most of your time on the beach.

 

July

If you vacation in Nice during July, you are likely to find that it is pretty consistently hot and dry with little rain. Temperatures tend to hover around the low 80s F (high 20s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the high 60s F (low 20s C). Humidity is generally around 70 during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain sometimes. Summer gets extremely crowded in Nice, and July brings additional crowds due to the Bastille Day celebrations.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in July:

July is peak tourist time for Nice, where the beaches are full and activities are in full swing. If you can't get a spot on the beach, consider attending one of the music festivals (such as the Jazz festival), or take in some of the museums.

 

August

If you are traveling to Nice in August, you will notice that it is extremely warm. Expect it to rain once in a while. Daytime temperatures are in the low 80s F (high 20s C). August is a very busy time for Nice, so expect lots of crowds.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in August:

August is packed in Nice. For a break from sun bathing, stroll the old town, where you can still find a tourist-free corner. You can enjoy the outdoor markets, or take in some culture at one of Nice's smaller museums.

 

September

If you vacation in Nice during September, you might notice that it is a perfect temperature. Temperatures tend to hover around the 70s F (mid 20s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 60s F (high 10s C). Humidity is generally around 70 during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain about a third of the time. This is a great time to go if you want to avoid the crowds and save a little money, as accommodations are cheaper than they are over the summer.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in September:

September is shoulder season in Nice, so crowds disappear and the beaches become empty. You can generally still enjoy some sunbathing on the beach.

For a change of pace, visit the botanical gardens at Parc Phoenix or walk the coast, beyond the Promenade des Anglais.

 

October

Traveling to Nice in October, you will notice that it is mild. Expect it to rain 5-10 days this month. Daytime temperatures are in the low 60s F (low 20s C). It is shoulder season in Nice, so you will experience fewer crowds and generally find lower prices.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in October:

By October, many of Nice's outdoor activities begin to shut down. You can still walk the Promenade des Anglais, but you will need a light jacket or windbreaker.

The Nice Opera season is in full swing, so it's a great time to see a show, and of course, you can always check out the museums.

 

November

In November, Nice is crisp. Temperatures routinely are in the low 60s F (high 10s C) and once in a while jump into the 60s F (high 10s C) range. At night, lows are in the high 40s F (single digits C). This is also a rainy time for Nice, with several of the days of the month having rain. In November, humidity reaches as high as 70%.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in November:

November is still a good time to do some outdoor activities, such as walking the city, but you should plan to spend time at the museums, such as Musée Masséna, or the beautiful religious buildings, such as Monastère de Cimiez.

 

December

If you vacation in Nice during December, you are likely to see that it is cool. Temperatures tend to hover around the high 50s F (mid 10s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 40s F (single digits C). Humidity is generally between 60 and 70% during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain 5-10 days this month. December brings Christmas markets, and Nice looks splendid decked out for the holidays.

What to wear/what to pack:

What to do in Nice in December:

December is cool and rainy, so you will spend much of your time indoors. There are several museums, both large and small, to visit, as well as the opera.

However, you can't miss the Christmas markets, which spring up in small towns and big cities all over the south of France. There are also great New Years' Eve events to enjoy.

 

Check out our guides for these other locations: Gozo, Malta, Herborn, Germany, Marlinton, West Virginia, United States of America, Marsaxlokk, Malta, Odessa, Ukraine, Rogaland, Norway, Sauce, Peru, Castricum, Netherlands, Hampton, Virginia, United States of America, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, United States of America, and Mossel Bay, South Africa.

1097