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What's On in Nice During Xmas & New Year

Our guide to this festive season in & around Nice

Pam Williamson | Nice Editor | Published: 1 Dec 2016


What's On in Nice During Xmas & New Year

If you are in the midst of packing your suitcases to get away on your first winter holiday to the Cote d'Azur, or are simply visiting family or friends in the area for the holidays, and are wondering what's going on locally - then look no further! 

In addition to the traditional christmas carol celebrations, Christmas markets, and ice skating rinks that are popular in all of the towns along the French Riviera - there is a plethora of other activities and things to do and see that is bound to get even the worst Christmas grinch into the festive spirit!

For theme park enthusiasts, Luna Park returns to the Esplanade de Lattre de Tassigny as it does each year with its stalls and a variety of rides to guarantee family fun for both adults and children alike. 

Christmas is not complete without a visit to a Christmas Market and the Village de Noel in Nice is second to none! The perfect place to meet friends and catch up over a vin chaud, or for those last minute Christmas purchases, or just to indulge in some "churros" - a seasonal treat which people queue up for. You'll understand why, once you've sunk your teeth into these fried choux pastry sticks sprinkled with sugar and served with chocolate sauce. You could even indulge in an oyster plate and some mulled wine whilst doing some people watching and your Christmas shopping.

Attention all visiting bookworms and art lovers! The Place du Palais du Justice hosts a second-hand book market on the first and third Saturday of every month, where you can browse a large collection of pre-loved novels, as well as a paintings/arts & crafts market every second Saturday of the month. Meanwhile, a real treat awaits classical dance fans with performances of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker at the Nice Acropolis on Thursday 29th December 2016.

Looking to check out the pretty little villages in the surrounding areas? Mouans Sartoux might be a good place to spend the day in as they are presently hosting its 32nd annual Figurine Fair ("Foire aux santons") with hundreds of figurines in all sizes and styles on display, including accessories for crèches, books on the history and art of figurines, and ready-to-paint figurines. On December 3rd, you could even join the inhabitants of the village after sunset in la place des Anciens Combattants for the Fête de la Lumière, where lanterns will be distributed free of charge and you can join the parade and march along the winding streets to the sounds of the fanfare from a marching band. A festive atmosphere assured! There will be hot chocolate distributed at the end of the parade to warm you up, with the festival ending in a fireworks display and the lighting up of the town's Christmas lights.

Head on over to St Paul de Vence if you fancy a traditional Christmas and enjoy the Creches d'Artistes. But if its classical music that floats your boat, drop in to the magnificent Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, to listen to some opera and celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas on 17th December 2016.

And no, we are not off our Christmas rockers - but if you fancy a wintery dip in the freezing waters of the med - you may indulge in that as well at the "Bain de Noel" in Cagnes Sur Mer on Sunday 4th December 2016.

If you fancy bringing in the New Year whilst discovering all of Nice's little hidden gems in the mother of all bar crawls, rendezvous at the Check Point Pub on 31 December for a night of fun & madness.

We may not have the snow for a magical winter wonderland but we sure know how to make do without! Check out our events calendar for more events on this Christmas and New Year.