Paris or Nice – Which City Will You Visit?

Paris or Nice – Which city should you visit?

Choosing between Paris or Nice for your next French adventure can be a tough call. Both cities offer rich history, vibrant cultures, and mouth-watering cuisine, but each comes with its own unique charm. Paris, the ‘City of Light’, is famed for its architectural grandeur, iconic landmarks, and world-renowned museums. Nice, the jewel of the French Riviera, seduces with its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and glamorous Mediterranean lifestyle. So whether you’re drawn to the romantic boulevards of Paris or the shimmering coastline of Nice, both cities promise an amazing getaway.


Paris, it’s so much more than just a city; it’s a world in itself. Imagine this – you’re sitting in a sidewalk café, sipping your coffee as you watch the world stroll by. You can almost hear the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame whispering stories of love, art, and history.

And trust me, the charm of Paris extends far beyond these famous landmarks. Each neighbourhood, or ‘arrondissement’ as locals call it, is like a mini-city with its own personality. You could be hunting for vintage treasures in the bustling flea markets of Saint-Ouen one moment, and enjoying a peaceful picnic in the quiet parks of Montmartre the next.

Foodies, prepare to fall in love because Paris takes its food very, very seriously. Think fresh baguettes from local ‘boulangeries’, pastries that are too pretty to eat, and restaurants that turn every meal into a feast for the senses.

And let’s not even get started on the art. With a legacy that stretches from Da Vinci to Dali, Paris is a playground for art enthusiasts. Whether it’s classical masterpieces or edgy contemporary works, this city has it all.


Nice, the jewel of the French Riviera! If you’re the kind of person who loves to bask in the sun while enjoying breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, then Nice is your dream come true. It’s a vibrant, colourful city where the beach meets the streets, and there’s always something to see or do. Plus, the Old Town is just amazing – it’s like stepping back in time. And let’s not forget the food, which is a heavenly mix of French and Italian flavours.

While we’re comparing Paris and Nice in this post, we’ve also looked at how Paris stacks up against other cities like Marseille and Cannes. We’ve linked to those articles below if you want to take a look!

Paris or Marseille

Paris or Cannes

Pros and Cons of Paris and Nice

Paris Pros:

  • 🗼 Cultural Hub: Home to world-renowned museums like the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, and architectural landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
  • 🥐 Gourmet Capital: Offers a vast range of dining experiences, from local bakeries and charming cafes to Michelin-starred restaurants.
  • 🚝 Public Transportation: An efficient public transportation system makes it easy to get around the city.
  • 🛍 Shopping Paradise: From high-end designers to charming boutiques, Paris is a shopper’s paradise.

Paris Cons:

  • 💶 Expensive: Being a global city, Paris can be quite expensive, especially accommodations and dining.
  • 🤵‍♂️ Crowded: Popular tourist sites can get very crowded, especially during the peak tourist season.
  • 👮‍♀️ Safety: While generally safe, petty crime like pickpocketing can be a concern, especially in crowded tourist areas.

Nice Pros:

  • 🏖 Beautiful Beaches: Nice is famous for its pebbly beaches and stunning coastline along the Mediterranean.
  • ☀️ Sunny Weather: The city enjoys warm, sunny weather for most of the year.
  • 🌊 Proximity to Other Riviera Towns: Nice is a great base for exploring other towns on the French Riviera, like Cannes and Monaco.
  • 🍕 Food: Known for its distinct, flavorful cuisine influenced by both French and Italian cultures.

Nice Cons:

  • 🪨 Pebble Beaches: Unlike sandy beaches, the beaches in Nice are pebbly, which some visitors might find uncomfortable.
  • 👫 Summer Crowds: It can get quite crowded during the summer months, which is the peak tourist season.
  • 🍺 Less Vibrant Nightlife: While Nice has bars and clubs, its nightlife is less vibrant compared to Paris.

Which City Has Better Food? Paris or Nice?

Food can be a subjective matter as it often depends on personal preferences. However, both Paris and Nice both have amazing culinary experiences on offer.

Paris is known for its exquisite culinary scene that ranges from high-end Michelin-starred restaurants to quaint street-side cafes and bakeries. As the capital city, it represents the whole spectrum of French cuisine, offering everything from escargot and coq au vin to fresh croissants and decadent pastries. In addition, Paris has a diverse food culture, so you can find excellent international cuisines as well.

Nice, on the other hand, offers a flavorful blend of French and Italian influences known as the Niçoise cuisine. It’s famous for dishes like Salade Niçoise, Ratatouille, and Socca. The city’s seaside location means you’ll find plenty of fresh seafood options. Nice also enjoys a relaxed dining atmosphere where you can enjoy your meal at a leisurely pace, often paired with stunning sea views.

In conclusion, if you’re a foodie, you’re in for a treat regardless of whether you choose Paris or Nice. The best choice depends on whether you prefer a more cosmopolitan variety of food options in Paris or the regional and seafood specialities of Nice.

Which City is Better For Couples? Paris or Nice?

Paris and Nice, both make for incredibly romantic getaways, each with their own charm.

Paris, often called ‘The City of Love’, is world famous for being romantic! Its iconic landmarks have probably provided the backdrop for thousands of marriage proposals. Its cosy side street cafes and cute bistros are perfect for romantic dinners. Let’s not forget strolls down the river Seine and along the city’s many boulevards.

Nice, on the other hand, offers romance with a Riviera twist. Sunbathing on the beautiful pebble beaches, strolling along the famous Promenade des Anglais, or sharing a bottle of local Rosé as you watch the sunset over the Mediterranean. The Old Town, with its narrow winding alleys filled with quaint shops and cafes, also offers a romantic setting.

Both cities are great for couples. Paris might be the choice if you enjoy classical romance with a cosmopolitan feel. Nice would be perfect if you’re looking for a laid-back, beachside romantic getaway.

Which City is Better For Families? Paris or Nice?

Both Paris and Nice have plenty to offer for families, but they provide completely different types of experiences.

Paris has plenty to do for kids. World-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame will have them fascinated. There’s also the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, one of the biggest science museums in Europe. That’s without even mentioning Disneyland Paris, what child wouldn’t want to go there? There are also plenty of parks to relax and play when the weather is good.

Nice, with its relaxed pace and ample outdoor spaces, can often be a more laid-back family vacation spot. The beaches are great for swimming and sunbathing, and the city itself is more walkable and easy to navigate. Kids will love the Parc de la Colline du Château for its playgrounds, waterfalls, and stunning views over Nice.

If your family enjoys busy city exploration with lots of educational opportunities, Paris might be the right choice. If you prefer a beach vacation with a more relaxed vibe, Nice would be a fantastic option.

Which City is Better For Partying? Paris or Nice?

Both Paris and Nice have great nightlife, but they’re pretty different scenes.

Paris is well known for its nightlife. You’ve got everything from thumping techno clubs like Rex Club, right through to chilled-out jazz joints in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. Not to mention numerous bars. From swanky rooftop spots where you can sip cocktails, to your down-to-earth neighbourhood pub, Paris is buzzing pretty much every night of the week.

Nice isn’t as wild, but it still knows how to have fun. The Old Town is filled with bars and clubs, and everything’s got that chilled-out Mediterranean vibe. And when summer hits, the beach clubs along the Promenade des Anglais are where it’s at – dancing by the sea, under the stars…what’s not to love?

If you’re all about hitting as many clubs as you can, Paris might be your scene. But if you’re dreaming of beachside parties and a laid-back vibe, then pack your bags for Nice!

Which City is Safer? Paris or Nice?

Paris, as a larger city, can have higher crime rates in certain areas, especially pickpocketing in tourist-heavy locations and petty crimes like scams.

Nice, being smaller, tend to have lower crime rates and is generally very safe. The city is walkable and family-friendly.

Overall, both cities are safe. Just make sure you keep your belongings close and don’t go wandering into unknown areas when it’s dark!

How long to stay in Paris

Paris is an expansive city, not just in terms of geographical size but also in its cultural, historical, and artistic breadth. It is often said that every street corner in Paris tells a story, every neighbourhood exudes a unique vibe, and every building holds a piece of history. This multitude of offerings can make the city feel vast and overwhelming to the first-time visitor.

If you’re hoping to fully experience the city’s iconic landmarks – from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, from the Champs-Élysées to Montmartre – you will need a few days just to scratch the surface. Each of these sights isn’t merely a quick photo opportunity, but rather they each offer a deep dive into the city’s history, architecture, and way of life.

Furthermore, Paris is a city of neighbourhoods, each with its own distinct character. Exploring these diverse areas, such as the bohemian Latin Quarter, the bustling Marais, or the trendy Canal Saint-Martin, can easily fill several days.

And let’s not forget the world-class museums and galleries that dot the city. Art lovers could spend an entire week in Paris and still not see everything the city has to offer in this regard. The Louvre alone, the world’s largest art museum, can take a full day to explore – and that’s if you’re moving quickly.

Paris is also renowned for its culinary scene, and foodies will want to allow plenty of time to explore the city’s bistros, patisseries, markets, and wine bars.

Given all this, a trip of 3 to 5 days allows for a good overview of Paris, but to truly appreciate all that the City of Light has to offer, a stay of a week or longer allows you to explore at a more leisurely pace, delve deeper into the areas that interest you most, and even make a few day trips to the surrounding regions. Remember, Paris is a city that rewards those who take the time to wander its streets and absorb its charm.

How long to stay in Nice

Deciding the perfect duration for a trip to Nice can be a bit difficult, given the city’s stunning beaches, rich history, and flourishing art scene. Ultimately, the length of your stay will hinge on your personal preferences and how leisurely you plan to explore.

If you’re all about soaking up the sunshine, meandering through the charming Old Town, and indulging in the Riviera’s culinary delights, a stay of 2 to 3 days should suffice. This provides enough time to bask on the beautiful beaches, get lost in the winding alleyways of Vieux Nice, and savour mouth-watering local dishes like ‘Socca’ or ‘Salade Niçoise’.

However, if you’re intent on immersing yourself in Nice’s rich cultural tapestry and history, think about extending your visit to 4 to 5 days. This way, you can explore the exquisite art at the Musée Matisse and Musée Marc Chagall, soak in the views from the Colline du Château, and visit the iconic Cours Saleya market, all without feeling rushed.

For those desiring a deeper dive into the Côte d’Azur lifestyle, spending a week in Nice can be a fantastic choice. This period will not only provide time to thoroughly explore the city’s attractions but also offer opportunities for leisurely strolls along the Promenade des Anglais, indulging in the café culture, and embarking on day trips to nearby gems like the glamorous Cannes or the independent microstate of Monaco. A week in Nice allows you to truly immerse yourself in the relaxed yet vibrant Riviera lifestyle.

Which City is More Budget-Friendly? Paris or Nice?

Both Paris and Nice can accommodate a range of budgets, but overall, you might find that your money goes a bit further in Nice.

Paris is world famous for being expensive! Especially when it comes to accommodation and food. Most tourist attractions come with entry fees. Although some do have set days when they offer free entry so keep an eye out for those. There are plenty of beautiful parks to explore which won’t cost you anything plus a walk down the Seine is always nice!

Although Nice isn’t renowned for being cheap, it is still cheaper than Paris when it comes to food and accommodation. With its location and the better weather, you’ll probably spend a lot more time outdoors too which doesn’t cost a thing.

I you’re watching your budget closely, Nice might be a bit more wallet-friendly. But with a bit of planning, both cities can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.

How much is food and drink in Paris and Nice?

Paris Nice
Beer €5 to €8 €5 to €7
Glass of wine €5 to €15 €3 to €10
Coffee €2 to €4 €1.50 to €3
Meal €25 to €50 €20 to €40

How much is it to stay in Paris or Nice?

Paris Nice
Luxury hotel €300 to €800 (or higher) per night €150 to €500 (or higher) per night
Midrange hotel €100 to €200 per night €70 to €150 per night
Budget hotel €50 to €100 per night €40 to €70 per night
Hostel €20 to €40 per night €20 to €40 per night

When is the best time to visit Paris?

Deciding when to visit Paris can make all the difference in your experience, from crowd sizes to weather conditions. Paris enjoys a temperate climate that allows for relatively comfortable conditions throughout the year, though each season offers its own charm.

From March to May, Paris experiences Spring – a season known for its blooming beauty and refreshing temperatures. As trees and flowers throughout the city burst into bloom, the City of Love turns into a picturesque wonderland. This is also a perfect time for open-air picnics in parks like the Champ de Mars or the Tuileries Garden.

June through August mark the summer season in Paris, offering long, sunny days and a lively atmosphere. This is the peak tourist season when you can enjoy alfresco dining, boat cruises on the Seine, and the famous Fête de la Musique, a city-wide celebration of music. Just be prepared for the crowds at major tourist sites!

Autumn graces Paris from September to November with mild weather and beautiful changing foliage in city parks. It’s also a fantastic time to experience the cultural life of Paris, with plenty of exhibitions, concerts, and theatre performances going on. The grape harvest in nearby wine regions, like Champagne and Burgundy, might be of interest to wine lovers!

December through February, winter in Paris is marked by chilly temperatures and festive cheer. Tourist crowds thin out significantly during this time, making it easier to explore the city’s landmarks. Don’t miss out on charming Christmas markets and the city’s grand holiday decorations. If you don’t mind the cold, winter in Paris can be quite magical.

Weather: Paris has a relatively mild climate. Summers can get warm, but not usually excessively hot, while winters are chilly but rarely below freezing. For the most comfortable weather, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of Spring and early Autumn.

When is the best time to visit Nice?

Spring: From April to June, Nice enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate with temperatures ranging from 15-20°C (59-68°F). The city sparkles with the vibrant colours of blooming flowers, making it an ideal time to visit parks like the Colline du Château. Outdoor events and festivals also start popping up, creating an energetic atmosphere.

Summer: July to August in Nice is truly summertime. The temperatures can go up to 30°C (86°F), offering perfect weather for beach activities and enjoying the stunning coastline. However, be prepared for the crowd as these are the peak tourist months, and prices for accommodation and other services may also be higher.

Autumn: In the months of September and October, the temperature stays around 20-25°C (68-77°F). The city is less crowded during this period, and the changing colours of foliage give the city a beautiful look, ideal for walks and bike rides along the Promenade des Anglais.

Winter: From November to March, temperatures in Nice can drop to around 10-15°C (50-59°F). While it’s not the ideal time for beach activities, it’s a good opportunity to explore Nice’s museums, like the Matisse Museum, and enjoy indoor events without the tourist rush.

Average Monthly Temperatures

Month Paris High / Low (°C) Paris Rainy Days Nice High / Low (°C) Nice Rainy Days
January 8° / 3° 9 days 12° / 8° 5 days
February 9° / 3° 8 days 12° / 7° 4 days
March 13° / 5° 9 days 14° / 9° 4 days
April 17° / 8° 8 days 16° / 11° 5 days
May 20° / 11° 9 days 20° / 14° 4 days
June 24° / 14° 8 days 24° / 18° 3 days
July 26° / 16° 7 days 27° / 21° 1 day
August 25° / 16° 6 days 27° / 21° 2 days
September 22° / 13° 7 days 24° / 19° 3 days
October 17° / 10° 8 days 20° / 15° 6 days
November 11° / 6° 9 days 16° / 11° 6 days
December 8° / 4° 9 days 13° / 9° 5 days

Please note that these are average temperatures and rainfall data, and actual weather conditions can vary. The number of rainy days is also provided for each month.

Getting around Paris:

Paris boasts an extensive public transportation network that includes the Métro (subway), buses, trams, and a bike-sharing service called Vélib’. The Métro is particularly convenient as it connects all major tourist attractions and extends well into the suburbs. It’s fast, efficient, and a great way to avoid the city’s notorious traffic congestion.

The buses and trams are also reliable options to get around Paris, offering the added benefit of sightseeing as you travel. The tickets you purchase are valid across buses, trams, and the Métro for a certain period of time, typically an hour and a half. This means you could take a bus and a metro ride on a single ticket as long as your journey falls within the valid period.

For those looking to add a bit of exercise to their exploration, the Vélib’ bike-sharing scheme is a fun option. Paris is becoming increasingly bike-friendly, with many dedicated cycle lanes across the city.

Walking is also a fantastic way to explore Paris. Many of the city’s iconic landmarks are conveniently close together, and strolling along the Seine River or through charming neighbourhoods like Montmartre and Le Marais is a pleasure in itself.

Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also widely available throughout Paris. However, in high-traffic areas and pedestrian-only zones, they might not be the most efficient choice. Do keep in mind that Parisian traffic can be heavy, particularly during rush hour.

Getting around Nice:

Nice has a well-connected public transportation system, with trams and buses covering the city comprehensively. Tickets are interchangeable between buses and trams, making transfers easy. For those preferring a more active exploration, the city offers a bike-sharing scheme, Vélo Bleu, and plenty of bike lanes.

Walking is another great way to explore, especially in the Old Town and along the Promenade des Anglais. Taxis and Uber are also available, but keep an eye on fares during peak tourist seasons.

Top things to do in Paris

  1. Eiffel Tower: No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to this iconic landmark. For an unforgettable experience, take the elevator up to the viewing deck for panoramic views of the city, or enjoy a picnic in the park below.
  2. Louvre Museum: Home to the Mona Lisa and countless other art treasures, the Louvre is one of the world’s most famous museums. Be sure to explore its grand architecture, including the striking glass pyramid at the entrance.
  3. Montmartre: This historic and artistic neighbourhood is a must-visit. Climb the steps to the stunning Sacré-Cœur Basilica for a fantastic view of Paris, and wander the cobblestone streets to discover charming cafés, boutiques, and the bustling Place du Tertre, where artists sell their work.
  4. Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe: Stroll down the world’s most famous avenue, lined with shops, theatres, and cafés. At the end, you’ll find the Arc de Triomphe, another iconic Parisian monument, offering beautiful city views from its top.
  5. Notre Dame Cathedral: Although currently under reconstruction after the fire in 2019, Notre Dame’s grandeur can still be admired from the outside. It’s also a great starting point for a leisurely walk along the banks of the Seine River, which are lined with bookstalls, artists, and charming views.

Top things to do in Nice

  1. Promenade des Anglais: Stroll along this famous seafront walkway, taking in the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and Nice’s elegant architecture. Don’t miss the iconic Hotel Negresco, an architectural marvel.
  2. Vieux Nice (Old Town): Lose yourself in the narrow, winding streets of Nice’s old town, filled with vibrant markets, charming shops, and delightful eateries. Check out the Cours Saleya Market for fresh produce and local specialities.
  3. Colline du Château (Castle Hill): While the castle itself no longer stands, this hill offers panoramic views of Nice and the surrounding coastline. It’s also home to a beautiful park, ideal for a picnic.
  4. Matisse Museum: Art enthusiasts must visit this museum, housing an extensive collection of works by the French painter Henri Matisse, who lived and worked in Nice for many years.
  5. Nice Cathedral: A stunning example of Baroque architecture, the Nice Cathedral is located in the heart of the Old Town and features a richly decorated interior.

How to spend three days in Paris

Day 1: The Heart of Paris

Begin your Paris adventure in the heart of the city. Start your morning with a visit to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Take the elevator up for an amazing view of the city, or simply admire it from the ground. From there, make your way to the Musée d’Orsay, which boasts an extensive collection of Impressionist masterpieces. After lunch, head to the Notre Dame Cathedral. Even though it’s currently under reconstruction, its facade is still worth seeing. Walk along the banks of the Seine River to the famous Louvre Museum, and spend the rest of your afternoon exploring its vast collections. Finish your day with a delicious dinner in the Latin Quarter, a vibrant area known for its bustling bistros and cafés.

Day 2: Arts and Bohemian Flair

Start your second day in Montmartre, the historic arts district known for its bohemian past. Visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and enjoy a panoramic view of Paris from its steps. Explore the area’s charming streets, and check out the Place du Tertre, where local artists sell their work. For lunch, grab a crepe from one of the street vendors. In the afternoon, head to the Centre Pompidou, a modern art museum with a unique architectural design. End your day in the Marais district, where you can enjoy dinner and explore the area’s diverse boutiques and galleries.

Day 3: Chic and Glamour

Begin your final day on the famous Champs-Élysées. Start at the Place de la Concorde and make your way up the avenue, window shopping and enjoy a coffee at a streetside café. At the end, you’ll find the impressive Arc de Triomphe. Afterwards, take a metro to the stylish Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, where you can enjoy a relaxed lunch and explore its chic boutiques. Spend your afternoon at the Musée Rodin to admire the sculptor’s masterpieces, including The Thinker. As the sun begins to set, take a scenic cruise on the Seine River, a perfect and romantic end to your three days in Paris. Enjoy your final dinner at one of the cosy bistros along the river.

How to spend three days in Nice

Day 1: Discovering the Charms of Nice

Start your day with a stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais, enjoying the stunning views of the Mediterranean. Follow this with a visit to the iconic Hotel Negresco, an architectural gem with a fascinating history.

Head to the Old Town, Vieux Nice, for lunch. Lose yourself in the narrow, winding streets filled with vibrant markets and charming shops. Don’t miss the Cours Saleya Market for some local produce.

In the afternoon, visit the stunning Nice Cathedral with its richly decorated Baroque interior. Then, make your way up to Colline du Château, or Castle Hill. Even though the castle is no longer there, the hill offers breathtaking panoramic views of Nice and the coastline.

Day 2: Artistic Endeavors and a Monaco Adventure

Kick off your second day with a visit to the Matisse Museum, showcasing a vast collection of works by the famous artist Henri Matisse who lived in Nice.

In the afternoon, take a short train ride for a day trip to glamorous Monaco. Explore the Royal Prince’s Palace, the luxurious casinos, and the yacht-filled harbour. Back in Nice, enjoy dinner at a chic restaurant on the beach.

Day 3: Riviera Relaxation

Your last day in Nice is all about leisure. Spend the day on one of Nice’s beautiful pebble beaches, soaking up the sun and swimming in the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. For lunch, try a beachside café for some fresh seafood.

In the evening, enjoy some shopping in the city’s chic boutiques and souvenir shops. End your Nice adventure with a delicious farewell dinner in one of the city’s gourmet restaurants, reminiscing about the highlights of your visit.

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