Nice Weather December Averages, France
What's the weather like in Nice in December
December is the start of winter in Nice, France, but the climate is still very pleasant for this time of year. Days are still long and are, more often than not, filled with sunshine, though there is a crisp chill in the air. It's a great time to visit for a warm winter break and to avoid the crowds that descend on the city during other months of the year.
Despite the average low temperatures hanging around 6°C, the daily averages in December are a mild 10°C, which can rise to 14°C and higher during the hottest parts of the day. It's a good idea to pack lots of layers if you're visiting at this time of year, because there is a considerable difference between the daytime temperatures and the night time ones. Whilst t-shirts and thin jumpers will probably suffice for the day, you'll need warmer layers for the cooler evenings.
December may be the start of winter in Nice, but the amount of rainfall drops considerably from the previous two months, with only around 70mm falling over a period of 9 days throughout the month. There's still a chance you could get caught in some showers though, so remember to slip an umbrella into your suitcase. The good thing about Mediterranean rain is that it usually passes quickly and clears the sky afterwards, leaving bright sunshine in its wake.
Whilst Nice may be a popular beach destination in the summer months, it's not advisable to venture into the waters at this time of year because the sea temperature is a chilly 15°C. It's best avoided for casual swimmers, though watersports enthusiasts may want to make the most of the coastal breeze which brings choppy waves with it and you'll get to wear a wetsuit to keep warm.
There's so much to do in Nice, from cultural attractions to shopping and great dining experiences, so it's just as well there's still plenty of sunshine in December for you to get to enjoy it all. With around 9 hours of sunshine a day, it's unusually sunny for somewhere in Europe at this time of year.
If you're looking for a relatively warm winter break with oodles of things to do and pretty much guaranteed blue skies, then Nice in December is a very good bet!
Nice Hotels for December
The Hotel Cronstadt is a small, intimate hotel in the centre of Nice just off the Promenade des Anglais. There are only 10 rooms in the entire building and each are simply decorated with dark-wood furniture, comfortable, colourful furnishings, and ambient lighting. The atmosphere is incredibly cosy and reminiscent of a typical, old French townhouse. Elsewhere in the hotel, there is a plush lounge area with gold-framed portraits adorning the walls, chaise lounges, elaborate silk curtains, and patterned carpets. In addition, the outside terrace is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre, whilst the small breakfast room is the perfect place to start the day.
La Malmaison offers a series of quality, stylish suites in the heart of Nice at affordable prices. It's a stone's throw from the popular Promenade des Anglais, placing it right at the centre of all the action. Rooms are modern and sleek with pops of colour bringing the white-washed walls to life, and there are private balconies for each room offering spectacular views across the seafront and the rest of the city. Every room has access to free WiFi, satellite TV, and a minibar, and guests are invited to a delicious buffet-style breakfast in the mornings, where they can fill up on local pastries, cheeses, hams, and fruits. If you're looking to go somewhere with your dog, it's handy to know that La Malmaison welcomes small, well-behaved pooches, too.
Hotel Belle Mueniere
Budget travellers should check into the Hotel Belle Mueniere, which is a cute little accommodation just minutes from Nice's city centre. It's situated in an ornate, pastel building surrounded by greenery, and is decorated in a simple, traditional way with white walls, exposed stone frescoes, and marble staircases. Rooms have their own balconies which overlook the lovely tree-filled scenery. There are also hostel-style dorms for lone travellers or groups of three or more, and the outside patio offers a great space to enjoy a drink in the peace and quiet.
Nice Beaches in December
December may not be the best time for beach sunbathing in Nice, thanks to the cooler weather, but that doesn't mean that you should avoid the coast at all costs. The stretch of shingle surrounding the city is quiet in the winter months, offering a great place for winter strolls and to sit and enjoy a book in the sunshine, or to look out at the spectacular views. Swimming at this time of year is unadvisable due to the low sea temperatures, but if you fancy trying some watersports then there are plenty of opportunities dotted along the coast. The winter brings with it a chilly coastal breeze which whips up the sea a bit, so be mindful that there might be some strong currents underneath the surface.
There are two kinds of beach in Nice public and private. Private beaches offer exclusive facilities to paying guests, and they are usually attached to hotels or restaurants. Public beaches, on the other hand, are open to anyone and everyone. They are often surrounded by lots of places to eat and drink and usually have their own toilet and shower facilities. In December you won't have to worry about finding a spot on the beach, but many of the private stretches shut down at this time of year, so it's worth checking this out beforehand.
Centenaire beach is a public portion of the coast which is open all year round. It's split in two by the Peillon River, though this flows forcefully and can get muddy at this time of year. It's the perfect place to kick back and enjoy the winter sunshine, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby for refreshment or shelter if you need it.
Bars and Restaurants
The French love their fusion cuisine and you're likely to see a lot of French-Japanese style restaurants dotted throughout Nice. Ma Yucca is one of these, offering a menu filled with delicious combinations of the East and the West. Set inside a stylish interior, it's perfect for getting to grips with the new-age cuisine in France, and you can try delicious dishes like sesame chicken and salmon chirashi, as well as traditional cuisine like beef tartare and fillet of pork. As well as the quirky a la carte menu, there is a set menu to be enjoyed, too.
Le Traiteur du Port
For a stylish spin on traditional French cuisine, pop into Le Traiteur du Port, an elegant restaurant located in the picturesque port of Nice. The décor is fresh and bright with bursts of bright colours, and the food is immaculately presented. Le Traiteur features a classic menu, including firm favourites like ratatouille, vegetable quiche, crème caramel, and a selection of tiny, tasty amuse-bouches.
L'Hydropathe is a classy brasserie in the heart of Nice, boasting leather furnishings, wood panelling, and huge, gilded mirrors. There is a sheltered outdoor area for soaking up the winter sun in, and the vast menu has everything from guinea fowl fillet and veal medallions, to sautéed prawns and beef carpaccio.
Things to do in Nice in December
Palais Nikaia is an all-purpose concert hall in the centre of Nice. Throughout the year there is a full schedule of music acts, plays, operas, and musicals for all the family, providing a great evening out and the perfect way to warm up in the winter weather. Acts that have been featured in the past include Lenny Kravitz, Holiday on Ice and Dirty Dancing, though the schedule varies drastically from month to month. In December there is usually a pantomime or Christmas related plays - perfect for getting you into the festive spirit.
Cimetiere du Chateau
The graveyard at Cimetiere du Chateau is a surprisingly picturesque burial ground popular in Nice for is famous inhabitants. Elaborate headstones rise up eerily from the ground, surrounded by plants and flowers. Founded in 1783, it holds over 2,000 graves, many of which were famous faces around Nice, including novelist Gaston Leroux, opera singer Fredi Betti, and actress Renee Saint-Cyr. The graveyard itself lies in the grounds of the Cimetiere du Chateau, an imposing, well-preserved 16th Century fortification that was a vital stronghold in the city's past.
December is the perfect time to take a stroll around the city's Old Town, as the crowds have all but disappeared at this point and the atmosphere is extremely festive with cosy Christmas lights. Wander down the twisting, turning streets and admire the rustic architecture that looms up, and dip in and out of the numerous coffee shops and boutique stores to keep warm. It's a great place to pick up some last minute Christmas presents, or to simply grab and hot drink and watch the world go by.
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