How much does it cost to stay in Nice?

We’ve just returned from holiday in Nice and it was STUNNING. I’ve never been on holiday to anywhere hot in the middle of summer, apart from my honeymoon in Thailand in 2000. I can totally understand why Nice is such a popular destination – with its endless bay with beautiful blue sea, surrounded by mountains. The sky is blue, the temperature is hot and the sun shines all the time.

But it’s very expensive.

When we go on holiday, we take the view that we’re on holiday, we’re not going to worry about money, we’re going to enjoy ourselves. We don’t go crazy, but we don’t spend the whole time thinking about money. Because it’s only once a year, right? My eldest is very conscious of money and the cost of things and will always be saying ‘Are you sure you want to go there/ eat there, it’s expensive’ etc etc. And we will just tell him it’s our money, we’re on holiday and we’re going to enjoy ourselves.

But Nice was a whole different level. Remember the good old days when the Euro was worth about £1.60? Or even £1.20? Now it’s worth £1.05. So basically you can just convert Euros directly to pounds when you look at prices. And it’s depressing.

It started as soon as we stepped off the plane.

We’d chosen not to get an airport transfer as the airport wasn’t far from the city centre. My husband had read that a taxi would be €32 or an Uber €20. We’ve never got an Uber before, they don’t operate where we live. My husband downloaded the app, but we wondered whether we could get one big enough for five of us, plus suitcases. So we just got a taxi outside the airport. It was €55. Apparently if there had been four of us and therefore a smaller car, it would have been €45. Not 32.

A basic pizza and drink for lunch for us all on the first day was €72. That’s similar to we would pay for dinner at Pizza Express at home, including pudding and pizzas which aren’t basic.

I know it’s not exactly getting into the culture, but we always go to McDonalds on holiday. My daughter is quite fussy, so it’s a meal we don’t have to worry about. We know what we’re getting. And we know it will be good value.

€52 for the whole family to eat!

Our hotel had a bar on the roof with the most stunning panoramic views of Nice – the sea, the mountains, the buildings, the fountains where all the children play… We wanted to go up there one evening for a drink and to watch the sunset (Nice also has the most incredible sunsets). We sat down and looked at the menu – it was €8 for a beer and €6 fo water. WATER! I didn’t look at the prices for Coke and Sprite, but no doubt they would have been similar to the water, so four soft drinks and a beer would have cost €32. We might have been on holiday, but we could never justify €32 for five drinks. So we saved our cash and went for a walk to see the sunset instead.

Sunset, Nice, France, Silent Sunday, How much does it cost to stay in Nice

To keep the initial cost of our holiday down, we’d opted not to have breakfast at the hotel. It would be easy enough to nip out and get something. We found a bakery where croissants were €1 each or you could get 12 small assorted croissants, pain au chocolat etc for €5. We also discovered a Monoprix supermarket close to the hotel where you could get a 5 litre bottle of water for €1. So we bought those and poured them into our own water bottles to take out every day. In Copenhagen, we discovered the joy of Lidl (and have since shopped there a bit at home – my greatest purchase being 58p worth of seeds that transformed my garden). If we went to Lidl, we could buy the croissants the day before and have them ready for when we woke up. We trekked about a mile and a half to Lidl in the heat and it was rammed with locals who obviously couldn’t afford the crazy Nice prices 24/7. The queues went to the back of the shop and the bakery had been decimated, so we tramped back to the hotel empty handed.

The good

Once we’d got used to it, it wasn’t all bad. We discovered that an evening meal for us all seemed to cost between €70 and €72 wherever we went. Not cheap, but not the end of the world on holiday.

Public transport was really good. We got buses a couple of buses and took a tram back to the airport, rather than a €55 taxi. Every journey we took, whether by bus or tram, was €1.50 per person.

Ice creams in Nice came in an incredible range of flavours and cost €2.50 each – about what we would expect to pay in Padstow.

Musee Matisse is a good sized art gallery (and also very nice and cool when the heat gets too much). It costs €10 for adults and accompanied children free. Even better, they let my eldest go in as a child, even though we’d told them he was 18.

So in short, a holiday in Nice isn’t cheap. We burned our way through over £1,000 in just five days. But there are five of us, so it was never going to be cheap.

I can see why people would go on all-inclusive holidays though. Next year we will go somewhere a little bit more economical. Although who knows what Brexit might do to the prices and exchange rate!

Things to do in Nice, Pasta, Eating out, Restaurant, France, Holiday, How much does it cost to stay in Nice


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Holy moley that’s really pricey.. 52 euros for McDonalds!! Dubai can be a bit like that and we have to almost just suspend reality for a little bit and keep saying “it’s like london prices”

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    • The McDonalds price was a shocker! You think you can rely on McDonalds to be affordable wherever you are in the world. I can imagine that Dubai is really bad too. This was definitely way more than ‘London prices’!

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  2. Ouch, that is seriously expensive, especially for the McDonald’s – odd how inexpensive an ice-cream cost though, I would have expected that to be more expensive!
    My parents live in France and my mum always complains about how expensive it seems to be in the UK, though after just spending a week over there (and getting Euro’s earlier in the year when the exchange was much better), I couldn’t believe how expensive it was, even for the most basic items (like strawberries and cauliflower) and that was in Lidl!!!! :/
    I’m the same as you, when you go on holiday it’s nice to treat yourself, but there comes a time when it’s easier and cheaper to simply buy a sandwich from the local patisserie!! Sim x
    PS. Buffalo Grill seems to be a national chain in France – a little better than our Frankie & Benny’s – it has some ace offers and we always walk out full, it’s our go to now!

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    • It’s interesting that your mum finds the UK expensive. Nice made home seem very reasonably priced! The ice creams were pretty good value though and the flavours were amazing – no complaints at all about €2.50 for those!
      Thanks for the tip re Buffalo Grill, will look out for it next time we go to France! I’m not sure if I saw any of those in Nice, but we certainly didn’t go into one.

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  3. Nodding along to this as it cost us just under 50 euros in McDonalds at Amsterdam airport, and there were four of us. Nice sounds very similar to Amsterdam in terms of pricing, and we went through £700 in three days. I just kept thinking it was the only time we were going away in the summer, but I must admit much as I love city breaks with the kids, you know where you are with all inclusive x

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    • Eek! That’s a lot of money to spend in three days. I don’t actually remember Amsterdam being expensive, but the exchange rate was probably better when we went! After this I could definitely see the appeal of all inclusive, but realistically I can’t see is ever doing an all inclusive holiday.

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