The rich culture and history, thriving night-life, and idyllic location on the beautiful French Riviera make Nice, France a destination backpackers, sightseers, and travelers through Europe should not miss.
Sun-worshippers from all over the world flock to the beautiful French Riveria to experience all the coast has to offer, and no trip to Nice would be complete without a visit to the Promenade Des Anglais and the city’s picturesque beaches. Proximity to the vast beaches of the Riviera is only part of the charm afforded visitors by Nice’s location, though. Only thirty minutes from Monaco and a mere fifteen miles from the Italian border, the city of Nice makes the perfect place from which backpackers and travelers may visit three countries.
Travelers looking for some after-hours excitement in the city should make it a point to visit Old Town and its many pubs. From pulsing dance-clubs to comfortable English styled pubs, Nice has something to accommodate everyone. Neighboring Cannes and Monte Carlo also feature thriving after-hours scenes that visitors to the area will not want to miss.
The history buff and the art enthusiast will find plenty of delights to pass the time while staying in the city too. The Nice Castle and the Musee Marc Chagall, which houses works of religious art, are must-see destinations for the cultured traveler. Of course, every visitor to the city should see the museum dedicated to one of Nice’s most famous one-time residents, Henri Mattise. The Musee Matisse features works spanning the world-renowned artist’s entire career.
Because Nice is such an ideal place for backpacking and traveling, there are a large number of hostels in the area. The following lists six of the best:
Centrally located in Nice, Villa Saint Exupery Beach Hostel is only twenty meters from the main square, Old Town, and the beach. There is a popular bar on-site that features regular happy hours, televised sports, and live music, making this a great stop for travelers looking for some after-hours fun. The Villa Saint Exupery Beach also features a TV Lounge with free SkySports and ESPN.
Villa Saint Exupery Beach provides maps and tourist information and also organizes free guided walking tours around beautiful Nice. The Saint Exupery Beach also organizes adventure tours featuring pub-crawls, scuba-diving, and sailing.
A free gym and sauna are among the amenities offered guests of the Villa, as are daily yoga classes. For a small fee a breakfast featuring ham, cheese, cereals, fruits, yogurt, salami, and fresh bread is provided between 7:15 and 10:30 AM every morning. Juices, coffee, and tea are also available. The cancellation policy at the Villa Saint Exupery Beach is twenty-four-hours.
Conveniently located near bus stops and the city’s main train station, Hostel Meyerbeer Beach is also the closest hostel in the area to the beach. All of its rooms are air-conditioned and have their own private bathrooms including shower. The hostel is monitored twenty-four-hours, seven-days-a-week by closed-circuit video.
For added peace of mind, Meyerbeer offers free use of safes and security lockers. Free WIFI service is available in all rooms including the common room. English Sky Cable Television is provided in the common room as well.
The Meyerbeer provides a common kitchen for all guests to use at their convenience. Hairdryers and ironing facilities are also available, and an inexpensive laundry is conveniently located right across the street. The Meyerbeer’s multilingual staff, free maps, and free tourist information make this a great stop for students and backpackers alike.
The dorms at Hostel Meyerbeer Beach have an age limit of forty-years-old and younger. The Meyerbeer has a forty-eight-hour cancellation policy, after which visitors who cancel will be liable for the cost of one night’s stay.
Located in the heart of Nice, across the street from the Gare de Nice Ville (the area’s main train station), the Antares Hostel is a short ten-minute walk to the beach. The Express 99 bus to Nice’s international airport stops right out front of the hostel.
The Antares boasts air-conditioned dorms all of which feature private bathrooms. Bed linens and towels are supplied free of charge, and there is a daily cleaning service. Free WIFI connectivity is provided in all rooms, as is access to computers, ensuring guests of the Antares will never be out of touch.
Visitors to the Antares Hostel have access to the convenience of a fully equipped common kitchen and outdoor courtyard. During the summer months, parties are thrown regularly, making this hostel an attractive choice for those looking to socialize during their travels. Antares Hostel also offers free luggage storage.
Unless traveling as part of a group or family, visitors to the Antares Hostel must be forty-years-old or younger. The Antares has a twenty-four-hour cancellation policy. Check-in begins at 1 PM and checkout time is at 10 AM.
The Hostel Baccarat, located in the heart of Nice, is a two-minute walk from the city’s main train station. The beach, Old Town, the Castle of Nice, and Place Massena Square (Nice’s main square) are also only a short walk from the hostel. Baccarat provides visitors free WIFI connectivity and all-hours access to computers. Security lockers are available but visitors will need to purchase their own lock. For added visitor security, the Baccarat provides free luggage storage and is under twenty-four-hour closed-circuit surveillance.
Rooms and dorms at the Baccarat are air-conditioned and free towels and linens are supplied. A fully equipped common kitchen with a backyard is open twenty-four-hours for visitor’s convenience. The hostel throws parties every night, making the Baccarat a great choice for young travelers.
There is an age limit of forty-years-old in the dorms of the Baccarat and the hostel’s cancellation policy is twenty-four-hours. Visitors may check-in to the Baccarat between noon and ten in the morning, and check-out time is at ten AM.
A two-minute walk from the city’s main train station and a fifteen-minute stroll from the beach, Hostel Ozz & Bar by Happy Culture is centrally located in Nice. Housed in a beautifully renovated art-design building, Hostel Ozz is also very close to the Nice Etoile Shopping Center and the Marc Chagall National Museum. Free WIFI service is available in every room, and the hostel is monitored twenty-four-hours, seven-days-a-week by closed-circuit security cameras. A luggage storage room is provided, and all rooms feature private lockers for added security.
Hostel Ozz features an outdoor patio on which to eat, read, and/or just relax, and a daily breakfast is available for a nominal fee. All rooms feature private bathrooms with toilets and showers, reading lights, and every bed has its own electrical outlet.
Beds are dressed in linens, a duvet, and pillow. In its double rooms, the Ozz provides free towels and bathroom amenities. Visitors staying in the hostel’s dormitories may rent the same for a small fee. Ozz has a one-day cancellation policy and a checkout time of 11 AM.
One hundred meters from Massena Square at the heart of Nice, Open House Hostel is a mere two-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais and the city’s beautiful beaches. All rooms feature free WIFI service, a private bathroom including a shower, and security lockers. Two bath towels are provided per visitor, as are two beach towels. Linens are also supplied. A luggage storage room is available and for added security, the Open House Hostel is monitored twenty-four-hours a day by closed-circuit video.
The Open House has a newly renovated common room for visitors to enjoy. Free coffee and/or tea are offered all day long at the Open House, and the hostel hosts a book-exchange for the traveling bibliophile. A fully-equipped common kitchen is provided and there is a grocery store one minute from the hostel.
Visitors may check into the Open House between two-thirty PM and eight PM. Checkout time is eleven AM. The cancellation policy at the Open House hostel is three-days.
A bit more about Nice
There are so many interesting and exciting things to do, see, and experience in Nice and the city’s location makes it the ideal place from which to explore neighboring Monaco and Monte Carlo. Backpackers and hikers can enjoy the countryside and the beaches of the French Riviera by day and then return in the evening to take advantage of Nice’s vibrant nightlife and rich culture.
With so many options from which to choose, finding the ideal hostel for your backpacking tour of or vacation in France may take a bit of research. Travelers over forty, for instance, will want to make sure the hostel they choose does not have an age-restriction for double-rooms (most have age-restrictions in the dorms.) Visitors keen on partying until the wee hours of the morning will want to find a hostel with a relaxed curfew, or no curfew at all.
Any of the hostels listed above would make for a great place to hang your hat as you explore the splendor of Nice and its surroundings. They are all centrally located in the city, with easy access to the beaches of the French Riviera and the city’s main train station. They all look out for visitor security by providing lockers, luggage storage, and twenty-four-hour closed-circuit surveillance. Most importantly, perhaps, all the hostels listed above boast friendly, knowledgable staff eager to assist travelers as they venture out to see and experience all that the lovely city of Nice has to offer.