Despite being an elegant city on the French Riviera, Nice is surprisingly accommodating for travellers on a budget. Peruse the morning Cours Saleya Flower Market, visit the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art or take a dip in the azure Mediterranean water. There are plenty of cheap hotels in Nice, bookable through Culture Trip, whether you pick a cosy guesthouse or a bolthole that’s as affordable as it is stylish.
Be transported to the privileged life of the Belle Époque at the Hotel Villa Rivoli, a former private house built in 1890 in the tranquil Musicians’ Quarter of Nice. The decor couldn’t be more typically French – Toile de Jouy pastoral scenes adorn the guest rooms and decorative detail is added by vintage bric-à-brac. Some rooms have balconies with views of the hotel’s private garden. You can aid your education in all things French by taking a market tour with a cooking class, arts and traditions tours or even brush up on your saxophone skills with the jazz course.
An Art Deco landmark on one of Nice’s most attractive boulevards, the Hotel Villa Victoria emanates splendour. Guest rooms are glamorously decorated with flock wallpaper and sumptuous bedding – our pick are the superior rooms with terraces to really make the most of the Riviera sun. After a day exploring the city, you can relax and rejuvenate in the landscaped hotel gardens filled with regional blooms. The garden is also the breakfast venue with bar service, sun beds and – if you’re feeling particularly Niçois – a game of pétanque.
Rewind the clock to the golden age of the French Riviera at the Jay Hotel, just a few streets from the Promenade des Anglais. Studios rather than guest rooms feature in this boutique hotel, where jewel tones set the backdrop to the Roaring Twenties feel, aided by walnut furniture with gilded accents. Complimentary refreshments are available throughout the day and the Jay Bar has a cocktail hour from 6pm to 8pm every night. The only thing that might wake from your 1920s reverie is the slick digital system for everything, from check in and room service to payment and check out.
Nice Riviera Sweet Home, run by host Genevieve, provides a great base to explore Nice. This affordable hotel in Nice is centrally positioned near the Place Masséna, the Promenade des Anglais and the pedestrianised Promenade du Paillon, which has grassy banks ideal for picnics. Genevieve’s guesthouse is decorated with wooden rocking chairs and colourful bedspreads. Tall windows make the rooms bright and airy, plus the generous breakfast will keep you fuelled until lunchtime.
An Italian couple run Breakfast at Sophy’s and each morning, guests are offered a cooked breakfast, as well as vegetarian and continental options. The Musée Masséna is nearby and pets are welcome. Furnishings are simple, and rooms have small balconies overlooking the streets two roads from the sea. A shuttle bus from the airport stops here, too.
This 25-bedroom, stylishly decorated Nice hotel is great value. Each room is individually designed, with colourful feature walls, quirky print chairs and arty coffee table books. Many of the rooms have a balcony and there’s a communal terrace where you can relax, drink tea and chat to fellow travellers. Breakfast is available on request and the hotel is in walking distance of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
The Maïoun Guesthouse has a homely atmosphere, with trinkets and books in the private rooms and relaxed communal areas, complete with table football and pool tables. Outside, a grassy patio is perfect for chilling out at the end of the day or enjoying the free breakfast in the mornings. There are two six-bed dormitories with curtained bunk beds, one for female guests and another mixed room, as well as double rooms.
Hostel Ozz, one of the best hostels in Nice, also offers great private rooms for travellers on a budget – it’s especially good for groups of three or four who can share a room and split the cost. Cool blue tones feature throughout the bedrooms, while the beds have unusual headboards made of corrugated plastic. The open-plan communal area includes a great bar and cafe.
This is an updated version of an article originally published in Alex Ledsom.
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