Festivals & events in Nice

Music, arts and food festivals, plus plenty of messing about in boats

Festivals & events in Nice Carnaval de Nice - © Ville de Nice
By Sam Le Quesne

Spring

Mars aux Musées

Where: various venues
When: Mar 1-31
Web: www.nicetourism.com
Special deals and coordinated exhibitions around the city's museums.

Nice Côte d'Azur Boat Show

Where: Port of Nice
When: early-mid Mar
Web: www.nicecotedazurboatshow.com
Messing about in boats.

Foire Internationale de Nice

Where: Acropolis
When: Mar 8-17
Web: www.nice-acropolis.com
International trade fair.

Festival C'est Trop Court

Where: Cinéma Rialto; Théâtre de la Photographie et de l'Image
When: early-mid Apr
Web: www.nice-filmfest.com
Annual short-film festival.

Baie des Anges Regatta Baie des Anges

Where: Promenade & Beaches
When: early Apr
Web: www.nicetourism.com
More messing about in boats.

Festin des Cougourdons

Where: Jardins de Cimiez, Cimiez
When: Early-mid Apr
Web: www.nicetourism.com
Eccentric, much-loved annual gathering to compare strangely mutated, locally grown gourds.

Nice Half Marathon

Where: Promenade des Anglais
When: mid Apr
Web: www.nicesemimarathon.com

Easter Sunday Easter Egg Hunt

Where: Parc Floral Phoenix
Web: www.nicetourism.com

May Day

Where: various locations
When: May 1
Singing, eating, drinking and dancing round the May Pole.

TriMed Regattas

Where: Baie des Anges, Promenade & Beaches; Port
When: mid May
Even more boat-related fun.

La Nuit des Musées

Where: various venues
When: mid May
Web: www.nuitdesmusees.culture.fr
The fourth year of a Europe-wide festival that sees participating museums opening their doors free of charge from 9pm to 1am.

L'Italie à Table

Where: Promenade des Anglais
When: mid-end May
Web: www.italieatable.fr
Italian food growers and producers exhibit their wares on the promenade.

Summer

Fête de la Musique

Where: various locations
When: June 21
Web: www.fetedelamusique.culture.fr
Free national music festival.

Nice en Roller

Where: Promenade des Anglais
When: mid June
Two-day rollerblading meeting that takes over the promenade with skaters of all ages and abilities.

Ironman France Nice Triathlon

Where: Promenade des Anglais
When: mid-end June
Web: www.ironmanfrance.com
Known as the 'cradle of the European triathlon', Nice drops everything when the time comes to host this annual swim, bike and run fest.

Festival du Livre de Nice

Where: Jardin Albert 1er
When: mid-late June
Web: www.nice-livre.com
Annual round of debates, talks, readings and events as authors and readers descend on the city.

Fête de la Mer

Where: L'Eglise du Jésus
When: late June
Traditional fishermen's procession from the church to the beach culminating in the ceremonial burning of a boat.

Fête du Château

Where: parc du Château
When: late June
Web: www.feteduchateau.com
Lively modern music festival featuring funk, jazz, trip hop, Latin and rock acts over two evenings (starts at 7pm).

Festival de Musique Sacrée

Where: various churches in Vieux Nice
When: mid-late June
Web: www.nice.fr
Sublime choral and instrumental religious masterpieces performed by international artists.

Bastille Day

Where: Various locations
When: July 14
Expect fireworks on Nice's promenade des Anglais and Cannes' Croisette.

Nice Jazz Festival

Where: Jardins de Cimiez, Cimiez
When: mid-late July
Web: www.nicejazzfestival.fr
One of the biggest international jazz festivals in Europe, which is set among the picturesque gardens abutting L'Eglise et Le Monastère Notre Dame de Cimiez.

La Castellada

Where: Parc du Château
When: mid-late Aug
Web: www.nice.fr
Series of musical concerts and period theatrical pieces set in the grounds of the ruined chateau.

Fête du Malonat

Where: locations around Vieux Nice
When: late July
Web: www.nice.fr
Time-honoured celebrations in honour of the Vierge de Malonat (who banished the plague from what was then the quartier of Malonat).

Les Nuits Musicales de Nice

Where: L'Eglise et Le Monastère Notre Dame de Cimiez
When: early-mid Aug
Web: www.nice.fr
A large programme of chamber music concerts.

Feast of the Port

Where: Port de Nice
When: Aug 15
Traditional quayside food festival.

Autumn

Septembre de la Photo

Where: Théâtre de la Photographie et de l'Image; various venues
When: mid Sept-early Nov
Web: www.tpi-nice.org
Coordinated photography exhibitions.

Journées du Patrimoine

Where: various locations
When: 3rd week Sept
Web: www.culture.gouv.fr
A chance to poke your nose in where it doesn't belong. Historic and government buildings open their doors to the public, before slamming them again.

Blues Festival

Where: Palais Nikaïa
When: early Oct
Web: www.nikaia.fr
Get your mojo working at Nice's premier blues festival.

Festival MANCA

Where: various locations
When: early/mid Nov
Web: www.cirm-manca.org
Workshops, concerts and other events from budding music students.

Nice-Cannes Marathon

Where: Promenade des Angais
When: early Nov
Web: www.marathon06.com
The course starts at Nice and goes winding up the coast road.

Winter

Le Village de Noël

Where: Place Masséna
When: Dec-early Jan
Web: www.nicetourism.com
A lively Christmas fair that includes an ice rink as well as stalls and entertainment for all the family.

Baie des Anges Rowing Race

Where: Baie des Anges, Promenade & Beaches
When: mid Dec
Web: www.nicetourism.com
More boats.

Luna Park

Where: Acropolis
When: late Dec-early Jan
Web: www.azurpark.com
Indoor amusement park with the all-new Vortex ride, among many others.

New Year Concert

Where: Acropolis; Opéra de Nice
When: Jan 1
Web: www.opera-nice.org
See in the new year with music courtesy of the Philharmonique de Nice.

Prom Classic

Where: Promenade des Anglais
When: early Jan
Web: www.promclassic.com
This is a keenly contested and much discussed ten-kilometre (six-mile) foot race along the length of the promenade des Anglais.

Salon du Marriage

Where: Acropolis
When: early/mid Jan
Web: www.lunedemiel.com
From flower arrangements to honeymoons, plus bridal dresses to make a princess envious displayed on the catwalk, this vast wedding show has it all.

Carnaval de Nice

Where: various locations
When: Feb/Mar
Web: www.niceccarnaval.com
This famous Mardi Gras carnival sees flower-strewn floats battling it out, ending with the burial of the Carnival King on the promenade des Anglais.

Paris-Nice International Cycling Race

When: Feb/Mar
Punishing race whose finish line is on the promenade des Anglais.

Our listings

The following are the pick of the annual events that take place in Nice. Further information can be found nearer the time from flyers and the seasonal guides that are produced by the respective tourist offices. For gay and lesbian events, look out for Le Klub (www.leklub.net) magazine.

While every effort and care has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this guide, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors it may contain. Before you go out of your way, we strongly advise you to phone ahead and check the particulars.