The Top 10 Best-kept Secrets of Nice

Megan O'Hara

As the stunning capital of the Alpes Maritimes department of France, the European city of Nice attracts around 4 million visitors a year who come to enjoy its beautiful coastline, thriving nightlife and rich cultural heritage. And if you’re wanting to escape the tourist traps and experience Nice as a true local, we’ve narrowed down the top 10 hidden gems begging to be uncovered in the city. From unknown vineyards to the area’s best party streets, here’s a list of Nice’s best and most coveted attractions.

Nice I

Rue Bonaparte

One of the most fashionable and cool areas of town just by the Place Garibaldi, Rue Bonaparte is a hub of bars, restaurants and cafés brimming with stylish customers enjoying an after-work aperitif. Having come to be known locally as ‘Le Petit Marais’ after the famous LGBT area in Paris, this glamorous strip of venues is the place to come to avoid the tourist trap of the larger beachside bars and clubs. Eat out at PINXCHO, a homely French restaurant with an eclectic atmosphere evoked by the mismatched lamps, ornaments and artworks strewn around the brick-walled interior. For visitors looking to dance the night away, Rue Bonaparte is one of the liveliest streets in the area, featuring venues such as the lively Gossip Bar, famed for its cool modern deco and loud pop music, and Bar L’Alchimiste, a trendy cocktail bar serving some of the best mixes in town. Rue Bonaparte, Nice, France.

1. Les Distilleries Idéales

Bar, French

Tucked away down some quaint side streets in the old city, Les Distilleries Idéales is an atmospheric bar displaying a typically French layout in which guests can truly experience their European location. With tables facing out onto the street it’s a perfect spot for people watching, and the rustic, brasserie-style interior is a stylish setting in which to soak up the buzz of one of Nice’s most architecturally and historically significant areas. Aside from its unique ambience, Les Distelleries also offers one of the best selections of local and international beers in town, both on draft and in bottles. The charcuterie and cheese platters are delicious options to nibble at alongside an aperitif, and for wine lovers there is also a vast selection of reds, whites and traditional Niçoise rosé wines available. Les Distilleries Idéales, 2 Rue de la Préfecture, Nice, France. Les Distilleries Idéales | © Scratch_n_Sniff/Flickr

2. Café du Cycliste

Cafe, Coffee

Coffee lovers will adore this trendy concept store and café, a venue which serves artisan coffee, tea and hot chocolate in an undeniably cool setting. Situated right on the port and looking out over the yachts parked in the bay, Café du Cycliste is a bright, minimalistic warehouse-style establishment exuding a sense of style and originality. Also selling top-quality cycle gear and bicycles, the crowd that frequent the venue tend to be super-fit locals who gather to read cycling magazines and enjoy a much-needed revival coffee. Also selling fresh croissants, pain au chocolate and a few light bites, guests can stop in here for a pick-me-up in a truly unique venue, oozing an exciting and urban vibe. Café du Cycliste, 16 Quai des Docks, Nice, France. Photo Courtesy of Café du Cycliste

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