Nice Events and Festivals

(Nice, Provence-Alpes Côte d'Azur, France)

Picture of the beachfront in the summerNice has a lively festival scene, with plenty of things to do all year round. The city's biggest event of the year - and indeed the biggest on the whole of the French Riviera - is the Mardi Gras Carnival, a festival that is held every February in Nice. The carnival's colourful parades draw large crowds of tourists and participants. Other significant events within Nice include seasonal markets and fairs, sporting events and music concerts.

A useful source of information about events taking place in Nice is the publication, 'Cotê d'Azur den Fêtes', available from the tourist office.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day (Jour de l'an)
  • Easter Holiday - Easter Monday (late March or early April)
  • 1st May - Labour Day (Fête du premier mai)
  • 8th May - Victory in Europe Day (Fête de la Victoire 1945; Fête du huitième mai)
  • May (40th day after Easter) - Ascension Thursday
  • 14th July - Bastille Day (Fête nationale)
  • 15th August - Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Assomption)
  • 1st November - All Saints Day (La Toussaint)
  • 11th November - Remembrance Day, Armistice Day (Jour d'armistice)
  • 25th December - Christmas Day (Noel)
  • 26th December - Second Day of Christmas (In Alsace Lorraine only)

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • New Year's Concert - held on New Year's Eve at Nice's Acropolis, this concert is a great way to celebrate the arrival of a new year
  • Salon du Mariage - held in the Acropolis. Find out how French brides and grooms celebrate in style at this popular wedding fair


  • Mardi Gras Carnival - every year, Nice comes alive with street processions, flower parades, concerts and fireworks. Each year has a special theme, prompting the creation of huge papier mâché figures


  • Printemps des Poetes - for two weeks, Nice celebrates poetry in its many forms through events held in theatres, schools and cafes
  • Gourd Festival - Nice's gourd festival is held in the Cimiez gardens. The event traditionally symbolises the end of winter. As well as gourd-painting events, gourd-based dishes are also served


  • Nice Half Marathon - held end-April along the Promenade des Anglais. Some 4,000 runners compete in this annual sporting event
  • Printemps des Musées - every year, the city's many museums waive their entry fees for just one day, giving everyone the opportunity to discover for themselves the city's rich cultural and artistic heritage


  • La Fête de Mai - every Sunday in May, held in the Arènes de Jardins de Cimiez. Nice celebrates is history through a series of free events, refreshments featuring locally produced food and children's entertainment


  • Festival de Musique Sacrée - held in various churches and chapels in Nice. This festival is dedicated entirely to Baroque and religious music
  • Nice en roller - the Promenade des Anglais is taken over once a year by rollerbladers. As well as fun and games for all the family, there are also demonstrations and the staging of the French national cup race


  • Nice Jazz Festival - held at end of July in the Parc de Cimiez. Staged since the 1940s, this long-standing festival attracts jazz aficionados from all over the world
  • La Castellada - held from the start of July in the Parc du Château, this event runs through to end of September. Actors in costume recount the story of Nice's past in a three-hour guided tour
  • Musicalia - held on the promenade des Anglais, this series of concerts features a range of music from all over the world. The programme also offers dance performances and short film screenings


  • Nice Musical Nights - a series of classical concerts held at the Opéra de Nice and the Clôitre du Monastère de Cimiez during the summer


  • Catherine Segurane ceremony - held in the Sainte Réparate Cathedral. Nice's patron saint is commemorated with a special mass and wreath-laying ceremony at the Catherine Segurane memorial


  • Festival Internationale de Musique Militaire - a biennial military tattoo that takes place over the course of a weekend. This popular festival of military music also includes a grand parade
  • Fête Patronale de la Ville de Nice Sainte Réparate - a colourful traditional Niçois festival that takes place in the streets of Vieux Nice


  • Festival Manca - This international festival features contemporary music performed by world renowned musicians
  • Challenge de Lutte Henri Deglane - international wrestling contest, with some of the world's Olympic champions competing for this prestigious prize


  • International Rowing Regatta - held in the Baie des Anges, this regatta brings together the world's best rowers to compete in pairs, eights and fours events
  • Christmas Day Swim - every year, swimmers take to the rather chilly waters of the Mediterranean from Nice's Ruhl Plage
  • Nice Christmas Village - this traditional festive market is held at the Place Masséna. Forty wooden chalets are set up in the square, selling typical Provençal gifts. There is also an ice-skating rink and children's entertainment