Beauty of Nice, France
Nice is a beautiful city located in the south of France that attracts visitors from all over the world. Known for its stunning beaches, breathtaking architecture, and rich history, Nice is a popular destination for tourists. However, for LGBTQ+ travelers, finding information about queer-friendly places to visit can be difficult. Here are some of the best places to stay, eat, and have fun in Nice from an LGBTQ+ perspective, as well as some historical context and information about the queer community in the city.
LGBTQ+ Laws & Social Acceptance
France has been one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the world for centuries. The country legalized being gay in 1791, and since then has been a beacon of acceptance and tolerance. Civil unions for same-sex couples have been legal since 1999, and in 2013, France became the 14th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. France became the first country to declassify gender dysphoria as a mental illness in 2010.
However, identity is not something that is often talked about in France, but not because of homophobia – it’s considered rude to single someone out or directly ask about their LGBTQ+ identity. France has had relative equality for LGBTQ people since the 90s so forming a community with other LGBTQ+ people is not a necessity. While lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have relative equality, transgender and non-binary people are still discriminated against.
LGBTQ+ Center and Organizations in Nice
In Nice, the LGBTQ+ community is well established, and there are many resources available for queer travelers. The LGBT Center in Nice is a shared space for 19 different LGBTQ+ groups. They offer a range of services, including legal advice, counseling, and community events. Caram’elles is an LGBTQ+ organization in Nice that aims to raise awareness about the rights of LGBTQ+ people and to create a safe and inclusive environment for the community. Anna Crouse is a lesbian event planner in Nice who organizes events specifically for the lesbian community.
Ideal Time to Go
The best time to visit Nice is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when the weather is the warmest, and there are plenty of outdoor activities and events to enjoy. However, this is also the busiest time of year, and the city can get very crowded. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in the spring or fall.
Best Places to Stay
When it comes to accommodation, there are many options for queer travelers in Nice. La Compagnie is a business class only airline that offers flights to and from Nice. They provide a luxurious travel experience with a 15.6-inch in-seat screen for in-flight entertainment, fine dining, champagne, wine, and meditation.
Some LGBT friendly hotel options include the charming Hotel Ellington located in the heart of Nice and Hotel West End, known for its elegant Art Nouveau style and luxurious amenities, including an outdoor pool and private beach access. The Hotel Aston La Scala is a modern option with contemporary designs, upscale amenities, and a location in the city of the center. A more budget-friendly option is the Hotel de la Fontaine.
Despite being one of the more right-leaning cities in France, Nice is known for being a welcoming and inclusive place. Elodie, a lesbian woman living in Nice, says, “I feel very welcomed and free to be myself in Nice. I can walk into a doctor or shop without worrying about issues because I’m a lesbian.” While the LGBTQ+ community in Nice is not as visible as it is in other cities, there are still plenty of opportunities to connect with other queer travelers and locals.
There are several neighborhoods in Nice that are known for being queer-friendly. Bonaparte is a neighborhood in the city center that is home to many LGBTQ+ residents. Rue Delille is an unofficial lesbian area of Nice, with several lesbian-owned businesses in the area.
Things to Do in Nice
Nice is a vibrant city with plenty of attractions and activities for the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you’re looking for museums, bookstores, or restaurants, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in Nice.
If you love markets, the flower & gifts market is a must-visit. This market has something for everyone, including antiques on Mondays, flowers, handmade soaps, fruits, and gifts.
For those interested in art, the Renoir Museum is a must-see. As the father of impressionist works, Renoir’s art is a beautiful sight to behold. You can also check out the Harcourt Photography Museum, which showcases a very specific French style of photography.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, head to the Cote D’Azur Observatory. This is the perfect place to take a break from the bustling city and enjoy the stars.
If you’re a book lover, make sure to stop by Librairie Vigna, an LGBTQ+ bookstore that focuses on queer books of all varieties. They opened in 2011 and have partnered with the Lesbian Archives in Paris. They also promote queer events and activism, making it a great place to connect with the community.
For a refreshing break, head to the Garden, a café and juice bar owned by a lesbian couple. The atmosphere is peaceful and relaxing, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends or unwind after a busy day.
If you’re looking for a great dining experience, Hacienda Pura Vida is a must-visit. This pan-Latin American bar and restaurant is owned by lesbian couple Dorris Carabetta and Solene Canpion. The restaurant has a cool and trendy décor, and even has a hidden speakeasy in the basement. The chef, Marci Antonio, is a gay man from Argentina.
Overall, Nice is a great destination for LGBTQ+ travelers. With its diverse range of attractions and activities, there’s something for everyone.
Top Places to Eat
Nice is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide variety of dining options to choose from. Here are some top places to eat in Nice:
Sunset Restaurant: Located near the beach, Sunset Restaurant offers stunning views of the sea and a laid-back atmosphere. The restaurant serves a variety of Mediterranean dishes, including fresh seafood and salads, as well as cocktails and other drinks.
Socca: If you’re looking to try some iconic French street food, be sure to check out Socca. This savory crepe is made with chickpea flour and seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. It’s a must-try when in Nice and can be found at various markets and food carts around the city.
Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya: The Cours Saleya market is a must-visit for any food lover. The market is full of stalls selling fresh produce, flowers, and local specialties like olive oil, cheese, and honey. Be sure to try some of the local fruits and vegetables, which are always in season and bursting with flavor.
No matter what your taste buds crave, Nice has something to offer. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, traditional French cuisine, or street food, there’s a dining option for you.
Best Queer Nightlife
As for the best queer nightlife in Nice, La Chocolate Charlotte is known for its lesbian parties held every two months, while L’Omega is a popular gay men’s nightclub. Glam Bar is a gay men’s bar with a reputation for cruising, and Six Bar is a mixed crowd but with mostly men.
R for Diversity is an LGBT-owned beer company in Nice that celebrates diversity by creating unique and delicious craft beers. They are committed to inclusivity and have a range of beers. Their “R” comes from the first letter of “rainbow flag.”
Overall, these seem to be good options for those looking for LGBT-friendly places to go out in Nice.
Major LGBTQ+ Events
Nice is a vibrant and diverse city that hosts a range of LGBTQ+ events throughout the year. One of the most popular events is Queernaval, also known as the Queer Carnival. It takes place at the same time as the general Carnival celebrations in February or March, and it is a colorful and exciting event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. Queernaval features parades, performances, and parties that showcase the diversity and creativity of the LGBTQ+ community.
In addition to Queernaval, Nice also hosts the In & Out Queer Film Festival. This event showcases films that focus on LGBTQ+ themes and issues, and it attracts filmmakers and movie enthusiasts from all over the world. The festival screens a wide range of films, including feature-length movies, documentaries, and short films. In addition to the film screenings, the festival also features panel discussions and other special events. The festival is an excellent opportunity for queer people to come together and enjoy art that reflects their experiences and perspectives.
Another event that takes place in Nice is Ovni, an LGBTQ+ art festival that features installations and exhibitions from queer artists. This festival takes place in late November and early December, and it is a fantastic opportunity for people to explore the diverse and creative expressions of the LGBTQ+ community.
For those who love music and fashion, Punk Paillettes is a must-attend event. This glitter punk event features live music, fashion shows, and dance performances, and it attracts a diverse crowd of queer people and their allies. The event is a celebration of the punk rock spirit and the creativity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.
Before the pandemic, there were also two events in Nice that focused on LGBTQ+ people and left-wing politics. These events were an opportunity for queer people to come together and discuss issues that affect their lives and their communities. These events were aimed at promoting political awareness and activism within the LGBTQ+ community, as well as promoting intersectionality and solidarity with other marginalized groups. They provided a safe and supportive space for people to express their opinions and connect with others who share their values and experiences.
Overall, Nice is a city that is proud of its LGBTQ+ community and is committed to creating inclusive spaces and events. These events and festivals provide a platform for LGBTQ+ artists, performers, and activists to showcase their work and express their identities. They also offer an opportunity for members of the LGBTQ+ community to come together, celebrate their diversity, and build supportive and inclusive networks. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these events are a great way to experience the vibrant LGBTQ+ culture of Nice.
Nice is a great destination, full of beautiful architecture, culture, and nightlife. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for your next trip.