The city is nicknamed Nice la Belle
(Nissa La Bella
), which means Nice the Beautiful
, which is also the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly
in 1912. The area of today's Nice contains Terra Amata
, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a very early use of fire 380,000 years ago. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike
, the goddess of victory.
Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it was a dominion of Savoy
, and was then part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia
until its re-annexation by France in 1860.
The natural environment of the Nice area and its mild Mediterranean climate came to the attention of the English upper classes in the second half of the 18th century, when an increasing number of aristocratic families took to spending their winters there. In 1931 following its refurbishment the city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais
("Walkway of the English") was inaugurated by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught
, and owes its name to visitors to the resort.
These included Queen Victoria
along with her son Edward VII
who spent winters there, and Nice born Henry Cavendish
, who discovered hydrogen.
Those interred in Nice at the Cimetière du Château
, include celebrated jeweler Alfred Van Cleef
, Emil Jellinek-Mercedes
, founder of the Mercedes car company, film director Louis Feuillade
, poet Agathe-Sophie Sasserno
, dancer Carolina Otero
comics creator René Goscinny
, The Phantom of the Opera
author Gaston Leroux
, French prime minister Léon Gambetta
, and the first president of the International Court of Justice José Gustavo Guerrero
Nice has the second largest hotel capacity in the country
and it is one of its most visited cities, receiving 4 million tourists every year.
It also has the third busiest airport
in France, after the two main Parisian ones.
It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice
(Comté de Nice
The first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back about 400,000 years;
the Terra Amata
archeological site shows one of the earliest uses of fire, construction of houses, and flint findings dated to around 230,000 years ago.
Nice was probably founded around 350 BC by colonists from the Greek city of Phocaea
in western Anatolia
, and was given the name of Níkaia
(Νίκαια) in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians
in north west of Italy
, probably the Vediantii kingdom); Nike
(Νίκη) was the Greek goddess
of victory. The city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast; but it had an important rival in the Roman town of Cemenelum
, which continued to exist as a separate city until the time of the Lombard
The ruins of Cemenelum are in Cimiez
, now a district of Nice.
The Tower of St François
In the 7th century, Nice joined the Genoese
League formed by the towns of Liguria
. In 729 the city repulsed the Saracens
; but in 859 and again in 880 the Saracens pillaged and burned it, and for most of the 10th century remained masters of the surrounding country.
Duchy of Savoy (red) and other independent Italian states in 1494
The medieval city walls surrounded the Old Town. The landward side was protected by the River Paillon
, which was later covered over and is now the tram route towards the Acropolis. The east side of the town was protected by fortifications on Castle Hill
. Another river flowed into the port on the east side of Castle Hill. Engravings suggest that the port area was also defended by walls. Under Monoprix
in Place de Garibaldi are excavated remains of a well-defended city gate on the main road from Turin
Duchy of Savoy
Nice in 1575
Nice in 1624
The maritime strength of Nice now rapidly increased until it was able to cope with the Barbary pirates
; the fortifications were largely extended and the roads to the city improved.
In 1561 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
abolished the use of Latin as an administrative language and established the Italian language
as the official language of government affairs in Nice.
In 1543, Nice was attacked by the united Franco-Ottoman forces
of Francis I and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha
, in the Siege of Nice
; though the inhabitants repulsed the assault which followed the terrible bombardment, they were ultimately compelled to surrender, and Barbarossa was allowed to pillage the city and to carry off 2,500 captives. Pestilence appeared again in 1550 and 1580.
In 1600, Nice was briefly taken by the Duke of Guise
. By opening the ports of the county to all nations, and proclaiming full freedom of trade (1626), the commerce of the city was given great stimulus, the noble families taking part in its mercantile enterprises.
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Treaty of Utrecht (1713)
once more gave the city back to the Duke of Savoy, who was on that same occasion recognised as King of Sicily. In the peaceful years which followed, the "new town" was built. From 1744 until the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
the French and Spaniards were again in possession.
In 1775 the king, who in 1718 had swapped his sovereignty of Sicily for the Kingdom of Sardinia, destroyed all that remained of the ancient liberties of the commune
. Conquered in 1792 by the armies of the First French Republic
, the County of Nice continued to be part of France until 1814; but after that date it reverted to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia
Nice in 1833
A map of the County of Nice
showing the area of the Kingdom of Sardinia annexed in 1860 to France (light brown). The red area was already part of France before 1860.
Nice in 1914
After the Treaty of Turin
was signed in 1860 between the Sardinian king
and Napoleon III
as a consequence of the Plombières Agreement
, the county was again and definitively ceded to France as a territorial reward for French assistance in the Second Italian War of Independence
, which saw Lombardy
united with Piedmont-Sardinia
. The cession was ratified by a regional referendum
: over 25,000 electors out of a total of 30,700 were in favour of the attachment to France
This event caused the Niçard exodus
, that was the emigration of a quarter of the Niçard Italians
Savoy was also transferred to the French crown by similar means. Giuseppe Garibaldi
, born in Nice, opposed the cession to France, arguing that the ballot was rigged by the French. Many Italians from Nizza then moved to the Ligurian towns of Ventimiglia
giving rise to a local branch of the movement of the Italian irredentists
which considered the re-acquisition of Nice to be one of their nationalist goals.
In 1900, the Tramway de Nice
electrified its horse-drawn streetcars and spread its network to the entire département
. By the 1930s more bus connections were added in the area.
In the 1930s, Nice hosted international car racing in the Formula Libre
(predecessor to Formula One
) on the so-called Circuit Nice. The circuit started along the waterfront just south of the Jardin Albert I, then headed westward along the Promenade des Anglais
followed by a hairpin turn at the Hotel Negresco
to come back eastward and around the Jardin Albert I before heading again east along the beach on the Quai des Etats-Unis.
As war broke out in September 1939, Nice became a city of refuge for many displaced foreigners, notably Jews fleeing the Nazi progression into Eastern Europe. From Nice many sought further shelter in the French colonies
, Morocco and North and South America. After July 1940 and the establishment of the Vichy Regime
aggressions accelerated the exodus, starting in July 1941 and continuing through 1942. On 26 August 1942, 655 Jews of foreign origin were rounded up by the Laval government and interned in the Auvare barracks. Of these, 560 were deported to Drancy internment camp
on 31 August 1942. Due to the activity of the Jewish banker Angelo Donati
and of the Capuchin friar Père Marie-Benoît
the local authorities hindered the application of anti-Jewish Vichy laws.
The first résistants
to the new regime were a group of High School seniors of the Lycée de Nice, now Lycée Masséna [fr]
, in September 1940, later arrested and executed in 1944 near Castellane
. The first public demonstrations occurred on 14 July 1942 when several hundred protesters took to the streets along the Avenue de la Victoire and in the Place Masséna. In November 1942 German troops moved into most of unoccupied France, but Italian troops moved into a smaller zone including Nice. A certain ambivalence remained among the population, many of whom were recent immigrants of Italian ancestry. However, the resistance gained momentum after the Italian surrender in 1943 when the German army occupied the former Italian zone. Reprisals intensified between December 1943 and July 1944, when many partisans were tortured and executed by the local Gestapo
and the French Milice
. Nice was also heavily bombarded by American aircraft in preparation for the Allied landing in Provence
(1000 dead or wounded and more than 5600 people homeless) and famine ensued during summer 1944. American paratroopers entered the city on 30 August 1944 and Nice was finally liberated. The consequences of the war were heavy: the population decreased by 15%
and economic life was totally disrupted.
In the second half of the 20th century, Nice enjoyed an economic boom primarily driven by tourism and construction. Two men dominated this period: Jean Médecin
for 33 years from 1928 to 1943 and from 1947 to 1965, and his son Jacques
, mayor for 24 years from 1966 to 1990. Under their leadership, there was extensive urban renewal, including many new constructions. These included the convention centre, theatres, new thoroughfares and expressways. The arrival of the Pieds-Noirs
, refugees from Algeria after 1962 independence, also gave the city a boost and somewhat changed the make-up of its population and traditional views.
By the late 1980s, rumors of political corruption in the city government surfaced; and eventually formal accusations against Jacques Médecin forced him to flee France in 1990. Later arrested in Uruguay
in 1993, he was extradited back to France in 1994, convicted of several counts of corruption and associated crimes and sentenced to imprisonment.
On 16 October 1979, a landslide
and an undersea slide caused two tsunamis
that hit the western coast of Nice; these events
killed between 8 and 23 people.
In February 2001, European leaders met in Nice to negotiate and sign what is now the Treaty of Nice
, amending the institutions of the European Union.
In 2003, local Chief Prosecutor Éric de Montgolfier
alleged that some judicial cases involving local personalities had been suspiciously derailed by the local judiciary, which he suspected of having unhealthy contacts through Masonic
lodges with the defendants. A controversial official report stated later that Montgolfier had made unwarranted accusations.
On 14 July 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into a crowd of people
by Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel
on the Promenade des Anglais
. The crowd was watching a fireworks display in celebration of Bastille Day
A total of 87 people were killed, including the perpetrator, who was shot dead by police.
Another 434 were injured, with 52 in critical care and 25 in intensive care, according to the Paris prosecutor.
On 29 October 2020, a stabbing attack
killed three people at the local Notre-Dame de Nice
. One of the victims, a woman, was beheaded by the attacker.
Several additional victims were injured. The attacker, who was shot by the police, was taken into custody. The Islamic state
claimed responsibility for both attacks.
Panorama of Nice from Colline du Château
View of the old town
The Promenade des Anglais
("Promenade of the English") is a promenade along the Baie des Anges ("Bay of the Angels"), which is a bay of the Mediterranean
in Nice. Before Nice was urbanised, the coastline at Nice was just bordered by a deserted stretch of shingle beach
(covered with large pebbles). The first houses were located on higher ground well away from the sea, as wealthy tourists visiting Nice in the 18th century did not come for the beach, but for the gentle winter weather.
The areas close to the water were home to Nice's dockworkers and fishermen.
In the second half of the 18th century, many wealthy English people took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast. This early aristocratic English colony conceived the building of a promenade with the leadership and financial support of Rev. Lewis Way
With the initial promenade completed, the city of Nice, intrigued by the prospect, greatly increased the scope of the work. The Promenade was first called the Camin dei Anglès
(the English Way) by the Niçois in their native dialect Nissart
. In 1823, the promenade was named La Promenade des Anglais
by the French, a name that would stick after the annexation of Nice by France in 1860.
The Hotel Negresco
on the Promenade des Anglais was named after Henri Negresco
(1868–1920) who had the palatial hotel constructed in 1912. In keeping with the conventions of the time, when the Negresco first opened in 1913 its front opened on the side opposite the Mediterranean.
Another place worth mentioning is the small street parallel to the Promenade des Anglais, leading from Nice's downtown, beginning at Place Masséna and running parallel to the promenade in the direction of the airport for a short distance of about 4 blocks. This section of the city is referred to as the "Zone Pietonne", or "Pedestrian Zone". Cars are not allowed (with exception to delivery trucks), making this avenue a popular walkway.
Old Nice is also home to the Opéra de Nice
. It was constructed at the end of the 19th century under the design of François Aune, to replace King Charles Félix's Maccarani Theater. Today, it is open to the public and provides a regular program of performances.
View of the Place Masséna
Place Masséna by night, 2012
The Place Masséna
is the main square of the city. Before the Paillon
River was covered over, the Pont-Neuf was the only practicable way between the old town and the modern one. The square was thus divided into two parts (North and South) in 1824. With the demolition of the Masséna Casino in 1979, the Place Masséna became more spacious and less dense and is now bordered by red ochre buildings of Italian architecture
The recent rebuilding of the tramline gave the square back to the pedestrians, restoring its status as a real Mediterranean square. It is lined with palm trees and stone pines, instead of being the rectangular roundabout of sorts it had become over the years. Since its construction, the Place Masséna has always been the spot for great public events. It is used for concerts, and particularly during the summer festivals, the Corso carnavalesque
(carnival parade) in February, the military procession of 14 July (Bastille Day) or other traditional celebrations and banquets.
The Place Masséna is a two-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais
, old town, town centre, and Albert I Garden (Jardin Albert Ier
). It is also a large crossroads between several of the main streets of the city: avenue Jean Médecin
, avenue Félix Faure
, boulevard Jean Jaurès
, avenue de Verdun
and rue Gioffredo
Garibaldi's monument, Place Garibaldi
The Place Garibaldi
also stands out for its architecture and history. It is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi
, hero of the Italian unification
(born in Nice in 1807 when Nice was part of the Napoleonic Empire, before reverting to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia). The square was built at the end of the 18th century and served as the entry gate to the city and end of the road from Turin. It took several names between 1780 and 1870 (Plaça Pairoulièra, Place de la République, Place Napoléon, Place d'Armes, Place Saint-Augustin, Piazza Vittorio) and finally Place Garibaldi in September 1870.
A statue of Garibaldi, who was fiercely in favour of the union of Nice with Italy, stands in the centre of the square. The recent rebuilding of the area to accommodate the new tramway line gave mostly the entire square to pedestrians. The architecture is in line with the Turin model, which was the norm of urban renewal throughout the entire realm of the House of Savoy.
Place Garibaldi, pedestrian since the introduction of the Nice tramway.
It is a crossroads between the Vieux Nice (old town) and the town centre. Place Garibaldi is close to the eastern districts of Nice, Port Lympia (Lympia Harbour), and the TNL commercial centre. This square is also a junction of several important streets: the boulevard Jean-Jaurès, the avenue de la République, the rue Cassini and the rue Catherine-Ségurane.
Entirely enclosed and pedestrianised, this square is located in the heart of the old town. With typical buildings in red and yellow ochres surrounding the square, the cathédrale Sainte-Réparate and the fountain in the centre, place Rossetti is a must-see spot in the old town. By day, the place is invaded by the terraces of traditional restaurants and the finest ice-cream makers. By night, the environment changes radically, with tourists and youths flocking to the square, where music reverberates on the walls of the small square. The square's lighting at night gives it a magical aspect.
Place Rossetti is in the centre of the old town, streets Jesus, Rossetti, Mascoïnat and the Pont-vieux (old bridge)
Saleya Course (2007)
The Cours Saleya is situated parallel to the Quai des États-Unis. In the past, it belonged to the upper classes. It is probably the most traditional square of the town, with its daily flower market. The Cours Saleya also opens on the Palais des Rois Sardes (Palace of the Kings of Sardinia). In the present, the court is mostly a place of entertainment.
Place du Palais
Place du Palais view of the Rusca palace
As its name indicates, the Place du Palais is where the Palais de la Justice (Law courts) of Nice is located. On this square, there also is the Palais Rusca, which also belongs to the justice department (home of the tribunal de grande instance).
The square is also notable due to the presence of the city clock. Today, the Place du Palais is alive day and night. Often, groups of youths will hangout on the steps leading to the Palais de la Justice. Concerts, films, and other major public events frequently occur in this space.
It is situated halfway between the Cours Saleya and Place Masséna.
The Palais de Justice
Coat of arms
Arms of the County of Nice
The Coat of Arms of Nice appeared for the first time in a copy of the Regulations
of Amadeus VIII
, probably written around 1430.
The Nice is symbolised by a red eagle on silver background, placed on three mountains, which can be described in French heraldic
language as "d'argent à une aigle de gueule posée sur trois coupeaux".
("Upon silver a red eagle is displayed, posed upon three mounds.") The arms have only undergone minor changes: the eagle has become more and more stylised, it now "wears" a coronet for the County of Nice
, and the three mountains are now surrounded by a stylised sea.
The presence of the eagle, an imperial emblem, shows that these arms are related to the power of the House of Savoy
. The eagle standing over the three hills is a depiction of Savoy, referring to its domination over the country around Nice.
The combination of silver and red (argent and gules) is a reference to the colours of the flag of Savoy
The three mountains symbolise a territorial honour, without concern for geographic realism.
Nice consists of two large bays. Villefranche-sur-Mer
sits on an enclosed bay, while the main expanse of the city lies between the old port city and the Aeroport de Côte d'Azur, across a gently curving bay. The city rises from the flat beach into gentle rising hills, then is bounded by surrounding mountains that represent the Southern and nearly the Western extent of the Ligurian Alps
The natural vegetation of Nice is typical for a Mediterranean landscape, with a heavy representation of broadleaf evergreen shrubs. Trees tend to be scattered but form dense forests in some areas. Large native tree species include evergreens such as holm oak
, stone pine
. Many introduced species grow in parks and gardens. Palms
and citrus fruits
are among the trees which give Nice a subtropical appearance. But there are also species familiar to temperate areas around the world; examples include horse chestnut
and even Norway spruce
Nice has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate
), enjoying mild winters with moderate rainfall. It is one of the warmest Mediterranean climates for its latitude. Summers are warm to hot, dry, and sunny. Rainfall is rare in this season, and a typical July month only records one or two days with measurable rainfall. The temperature is typically above 26 °C (79 °F) but rarely above 32 °C (90 °F). The climate data is recorded from the airport, located just metres from the sea. Summer temperatures, therefore, are often higher in the city. The average maximum temperature in the warmest months of July and August is about 27 °C (81 °F). The highest recorded temperature was 37.7 °C (99.9 °F) on 1 August 2006. Autumn generally starts sunny in September and becomes more cloudy and rainy towards October, while temperatures usually remain above 20 °C (68 °F) until November where days start to cool down to around 17 °C (63 °F).
Winters are characterised by mild days (11 to 17 °C (52 to 63 °F)), cool nights (4 to 9 °C (39 to 48 °F)), and variable weather. Days can be either sunny and dry or damp and rainy. The average minimum temperature in January is around 5 °C (41 °F). Frost is unusual and snowfalls are rare. The most recent snowfall in Nice was on 26 February 2018.
Nice also received a dusting of snow in 2005, 2009 and 2010. Spring starts cool and rainy in late March, and Nice becomes increasingly warm and sunny around June.
Nice seen from Spot Satellite
Economy and tourism
is a technology park northwest of Antibes
. Much of the park is within the commune of Valbonne
. Established between 1970 and 1984, it primarily houses companies in the fields of computing, electronics, pharmacology and biotechnology. Several institutions of higher learning are also located here, along with the European headquarters of W3C.
Port of Nice
The main port of Nice is also known as Lympia port. This name comes from the Lympia spring which fed a small lake in a marshy zone where work on the port was started in 1745.
Today this is the principal harbour installation of Nice – there is also a small port in the Carras district. The port is the first port cement manufacturer in France, linked to the treatment plants of the rollers of the valley of Paillon. Fishing activities remain but the number of professional fishermen is now less than 10.
Nice, being the point of continental France nearest to Corsica
, has ferry connections with the island developed with the arrival of NGV (navires à grande vitesse
) or high-speed craft
. The connections are provided by Corsica Ferries - Sardinia Ferries
. Located in front of the port, the Place Cassini has been renamed Place of Corsica.
The main railway station is Nice-Ville
, served both by high speed TGV
trains connecting Paris and Nice in less than 6 hours and by local commuter TER
is reached in 2.5 hours. Nice also has international connections to Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, and Russia.
Nice is also served by several suburban stations including Nice St-Augustin
, Nice St-Roch and Nice Riquier
Nice is also the southern terminus of the independently run Chemins de Fer de Provence
railway line which connects the city with Digne
in approximatively 4 hours. A metro-like suburban service is also provided on the southern part of the line.
Tramway de Nice
began operating horse-drawn trams in 1879. Electrified in 1900, the combined length of the network reached 144 km (891
mi) by 1930. The replacement of trams with trolleybuses
began in 1948 and was completed in 1953.
In 2007, the new Tramway de Nice
linked the northern and eastern suburbs via the city centre. Two other lines are currently under construction and partly operating. The second line runs east–west from Jean Médecin
to the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport
(and will reach the Port at the end of 2019), while the third line will provide a connection to the future TGV Nice Saint-Augustin and to Lingostière railway station.
A fourth line is set to run from the future TGV Nice Saint-Augustin to Cagnes-sur-Mer
Sports and entertainment
As of 2017, the metropolitan area (unité urbaine
) of Nice, defined by INSEE, is home to 942,886 inhabitants (sixth most populous in France) and its urban area (aire urbaine
) totals 1,006,201 inhabitants, which makes it the seventh largest in France.
Since the 1970s, the number of inhabitants has not changed significantly; the relatively high migration to Nice is balanced by a natural negative growth of the population.
The 76-cm (30-inch) refractor telescope
that became operational in 1888 was at that time the world's largest telescope.
Terra-Amata, an archaeological site dating from the Lower Palaeolithic
age, is situated near Nice. Nice itself was established by the ancient Greeks
. There was also an independent Roman
city, Cemenelum, near Nice, where the hill of Cimiez is located. It is an archaeological site with treasures, of which only a small part has been excavated. The excavated site includes thermal baths, arenas and Roman road.
Nice has a distinct culture due to its unique history. The local language Niçard (Nissart)
is an Occitan
dialect (but some Italian scholars argue that it is a Ligurian
It is still spoken by a substantial minority
. Strong Italian
and (to a lesser extent) Corsican
influences make it more intelligible to speakers of Italian than to other extant Provençal dialects.
In the past, Nice welcomed many immigrants from Italy
(who continue to make up a large proportion of the population), as well as Spanish and Portuguese
immigrants. However, in the past few decades immigration has been opened to include immigrants from all over the world, particularly those from former Northern and Western African colonies, as well as southeast Asia
. Traditions are still alive, especially in folk music
and dances, including the farandole
– an open-chain community dance.
Since 1860 a cannon (based at the Château east of Old Nice) is shot at twelve o'clock sharp. The detonation can be heard almost all over the city. This tradition goes back to Sir Thomas Coventry, who intended to remind the citizens of having lunch on time.
The cuisine of Nice is especially close to those of Provence
but also Liguria
and uses local ingredients (olive oil
, fruit and vegetables) but also those from more remote regions, in particular from Northern Europe, because ships which came to pick up olive oil arrived full of food products, such as dried haddock
Nice has a few local dishes. There is a local tart made with onions and anchovies
(or anchovy paste), named "Pissaladière
is a type of pancake made from chickpea
flour. Farcis niçois
is a dish made from vegetables stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, meat (generally sausage and ground beef), and herbs; and salade niçoise
is a tomato salad with green peppers of the "Corne" variety, baked eggs, tuna or anchovies, and olives.
Local meat comes from neighbouring valleys, such as the sheep of Sisteron
. Local fish, such as mullets, bream, sea urchins, and anchovies (alevins) are used to a great extent, so much so that it has given birth to a proverb: "fish are born in the sea and die in oil".
Examples of Niçois specialties include:
- Alicante, Spain
- Antananarivo, Madagascar
- Can Tho, Vietnam
- Cartagena, Colombia
- Cuneo, Italy
- Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
- Gdańsk, Poland
- Hangzhou, China
- Houston, Texas, United States
- Kamakura, Japan
- Laval, Quebec, Canada
- Libreville, Gabon
- Locarno, Switzerland
- Louisiana (state), United States
- Manila, Philippines
- Miami, Florida, United States
- Netanya, Israel
- Nouméa, New Caledonia
- Nuremberg, Germany
- Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
- Phuket, Thailand
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Saint-Denis, France
- Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
- Sorrento, Italy
- Szeged, Hungary
- Thessaloniki, Greece
- Xiamen, China
- Yalta, Ukraine or Russia (disputed)
- Yerevan, Armenia
- Nicholas Alexandrovich – tsesarevich, the heir apparent, of Imperial Russia died in Nice and was patron of the Russian Orthodox Cemetery, Nice
- Louis Aragon – Poet and novelist and his wife, the Russian-born writer Elsa Triolet, lived clandestinely in Nice during World War II
- Richard Aurili, sculptor, lived here
- Jean Behra (1921–1959) – racing driver, born in Nice
- Elliot Benchetrit (born 1998) – tennis player
- Freda Betti (1924–1979) – opera singer
- Henri Betti (1917–2005) – composer and pianist
- Priscilla Betti (born 1989) – singer and actress
- Jules Bianchi (1989–2015) – Formula 1 Driver
- Surya Bonaly – figure skater
- Alexy Bosetti (born 1993) – footballer
- Véronique Bracco (born 1976) – classical pianist
- Albert Calmette – physician, bacteriologist and immunologist
- René Cassin – jurist, law professor and judge, former student of Nice's Lycée Massena, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968
- Henry Cavendish – British scientist noted for his discovery of hydrogen
- Eric Ciotti – born in Nice in 1965
- Alfred Van Cleef – jeweler buried in Nice at Cimetière du Château
- Alizé Cornet – tennis player
- Marc Duret (born 1957, Nice) – French-American actor and director, starring in The Big Blue, La Femme Nikita, La haine, Borgia, Outlander, etc.
- Christian Estrosi – born in Nice in 1955 and the city's mayor from 2008 until 2016 and since 2017
- Jacqueline Eymar (1922–2008) – classical pianist
- Léon Gambetta (1838–1881) – buried in Nice
- Giuseppe Garibaldi – Italian general, politician and patriot
- René Goscinny – Asterix creator buried in Nice
- James C Harris – 19th century British consul at Nice; painted many scenes in and around the city
- José Gustavo Guerrero – first president of the International Court of Justice buried in Nice at Cimetière du Château
- Dominic Howard – drummer for Muse currently lives in Nice
- Dominique Jean-Zéphirin – footballer
- Emil Jellinek-Mercedes – General Counsel for Austria-Hungary, and founder of Mercedes car company buried in Nice at Cimetière du Château
- Elton John – singer, owned a house in Mont Boron on the hills of Nice
- David Kadouch (born 1985), pianist and chamber musician
- Alexis Kossenko – classical flautist and conductor
- Georges Lautner – director born in Nice, buried in the cemetery of the Castle
- J. M. G. Le Clézio – author and professor, was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature
- Hugo Lloris – footballer
- Heinrich Mann – German novelist (and brother of Thomas Mann) lived in Nice
- André Masséna – 1st Duc de Rivoli, 1st Prince d'Essling, one of the original 18 Marshals of the Empire, French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, his nickname was l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire ("the Dear Child of Victory")
- Jean-Pierre Mocky – film director, actor, screenwriter and producer
- Amedeo Modigliani lived for a few months in Nice with his companion Jeanne Hébuterne; she gave birth to their daughter Giovanna in 1918.
- Mohammed VI, king of Morocco, obtained the title of Doctor of Law at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
- Jacques Ochs (1883–1971) – artist and Olympic fencing champion
- Clairemarie Osta – ballet dancer, étoile at Paris Opera Ballet
- Pino Presti – Italian bassist, arranger, composer, conductor and record producer, has lived in Nice since 2004 
- Fabio Quartararo – French MotoGP Rider
- Auguste Renoir – had his studio in Nice from 1911 to 1919 at the corner of the Rue Alfred Mortier and the Quai St Jean Baptiste. A commemorative plaque is affixed to it.
- Dick Rivers – born Hervé Forneri, rock singer, born in Nice in 1945
- Robert W. Service – poet and writer of the Klondike Gold Rush lived in Nice during the summers from 1916 to 1940
- Joann Sfar – comics artist, comic book creator and film director
- Michel Siffre – adventurer and scientist
- Gilles Simon – tennis player
- Michael Sinterniklaas (born 1972) – American voice actor
- Aimé Teisseire (1914–2008) – French Army officer, lived in Nice after his retirement from the military until his death at the age of 93
- Simone Veil – lawyer and politician who served as Minister of Health, President of the European Parliament and member of the Constitutional Council of France; survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
- Queen Victoria – Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Empress of India, stayed many winters in Nice.
- Valérie Zenatti (born 1970) – writer
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Last edited on 17 June 2021, at 22:54
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