Nice nightlife is some of the liveliest on the Riviera, although it does have an elegant and refined side to it as well. Whether you seek a rowdy night out at a trendy bar or a refined experience at the opera, Nice can cater to your nightlife whims.
A fixture in the cultural life of the city is the Nice Opera House, located to the west of the Cours Saleya on the Quai des Etats-Unis (the far eastern end of the Promenade des Anglais). The opulent Opera House takes up the entire block, and its entrance is actually on the next block inland. The lovely Belle Epoque structure was built in 1885 by the architect of the celebrated Paris Opera during the height of the fashionable Victorian period, and puts on a full season of large-scale operas, concerts, and recitals. Predictably there are several bars and lounges in the neighborhood where the elegant opera-goers have their pre-performance cocktails (dinner is after the opera). Although you can buy tickets a day or two before a performance, it's best to purchase them well in advance for the major performances.
However, it is the bars and nightclubs in Nice France catering to the average nightlife seeker that dominate the Nice nightlife scene. In the tradition of most European countries along the Mediterranean, the best nightlife in Nice France begins late, and is usually concentrated in the Cours Saleya open-air market area and the other parts of Old Nice (Vieux Nice). After the shopping stalls close up for the day, the bars in the Cours Saleya area come to life, and this is where people come for their pre-dinner cocktails.
The dinner hour often doesn't come around until late at night, by which time the nightclubs in Nice France have begun to stir. In fact, those hostels in the city that do have curfews usually lock their doors around this time and don't open them again until the wee hours of the morning when the revelers are coming home. Look for famous discotheques and clubs such as Chez Wayne, L'Escalier, and L'Odace. This area definitely boasts the best nightlife in Nice France for all visitors. Unlike the anything goes party clubs in places like Ibiza that cater mainly to young people looking to hook up and drink a lot, there are establishments here that offer the full spectrum of nightlife—from refined to raucous.
If you want a taste of nightclubs in Nice France with all the glitz and glamor found in the casinos of Monte Carlo, you might try the Cabaret du Casino Ruhl on the Promeande des Anglais, which offers cabaret and old fashioned burlesque type shows and a small casino. There is a casual casino area with only slot machines and a slightly more formal (jacket required for gentlemen) game room with table games such as baccarat, blackjack, and chemin de fer.
In addition to Vieux Nice, you will also find some of the best nightlife in Nice France along the Promenade des Angalis. Some of these nightspots are found in the luxury hotels that line the Promenade. The famous Hotel Negresco boasts a wonderful brassiere as well as an elegant and beautiful bar with tapestries and Oriental carpets, rich wood paneling, and polished waiters in white jackets. Other Nice nightlife along the famous Promenade includes sports bars, clubs that cater mainly to tourists and those that cater to the French, soft music dance clubs, and a number of gay clubs.