Nice Weather January Averages, France
What's the Weather like in Nice in January
January is the coldest month in Nice, France, and is considered to be the depths of winter. Despite this, temperatures remain pretty mild and there is still a lot of sunshine to be enjoyed. At this time of year, the city is less crowded and the beaches are practically empty, making it the perfect time to visit to avoid the throngs of tourists.
Daily average temperatures sit at around 9°C, keeping any potential frosts at bay. During the hottest parts of the day, though, the mercury can rise to 13°C and above, providing a very pleasant winter climate. At night, temperatures can drop as low as 5°C, so be sure to pack warm layers to wrap up in when darkness falls. The temperatures remain pretty consistent throughout the month, rising maybe a degree or two towards the end of January.
January isn't the wettest month of the year in Nice, but it still sees a fair bit of rainfall. About 70mm falls throughout the month over an average of 8 days in regular short, sharp downpours. Don't forget to slip an umbrella into your luggage to protect yourself from any showers you might get caught in.
In the sunny summer months, Nice is a popular hotspot for beachgoers. But in the winter the sea temperatures drop dramatically to around 13°C, making the waters practically out of bounds to any tourists and potential casual swimmers. It's sometimes even too cold for watersports enthusiasts who get to don a wetsuit to keep warm, and the coastal winds make for choppy, unruly waves. Best avoided at this time of year.
With the beach out of the equation, there's still plenty of things to do in and around Nice, and there's still a considerable amount of sunlight every day for you to explore in. With around 8 hours of sunshine per day, there's enough time to do all the things on offer before the sun sets and the cooler evening temperatures roll in.
January in Nice is surprisingly sunny, but the low night time temperatures remind visitors that it is still winter. Crowds lessen as the temperatures drop and the beaches are practically deserted, making it a great time to visit if you're looking for a secluded winter break.
Nice Hotels in January
Hotel la Perouse
The Hotel la Perouse offers a mixture of luxury and cosy with magnificent views out over the Mediterranean Sea. Inside, the rooms are charming and modern, with colourful touches and each one has its own large terrace complete with sunbeds and outdoor dining table. In addition, rooms are equipped with WiFi and flat screen TVs and there is an on-site restaurant that serves up delicious Mediterranean dishes, as well as a fitness centre, sauna, Jacuzzi and solarium for guests. There's an outdoor pool that's heated from April to October, too, though that may not be of much use in January.
Villa les Cygnes
Those looking for budget-friendly accommodation should check out the Villa les Cygnes, a family-run hotel right next to the promenade des Anglais. There are only six rooms in the building, making for an intimate affair, but each one has been decorated immaculately and comes with WiFi, bathtubs and showers, and a terrace or balcony. Located on the Baumettes hill, the hotel is surrounded by lush greenery and colourful flowers, and on the ground floor there is a beautiful, well-maintained garden that guests can enjoy.
For a stylish five-star stay, check into the Hyatt Regency which majestically looks over the Bay of Angels and the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The grand exterior boasts traditional French details, including ornate columns and elegant archways, and the rooms are bursting with rich, regal colours like purples, reds, and blues. All rooms are decked out with WiFi, flat screen TVs, and their own balconies with spectacular views, plus there is an indoor and outdoor pool for guests, and a sauna and Turkish bath for the ultimate relaxing trip.
Nice Beach for January
For most of the year, Nice is a popular hotspot with beach lovers, but in January the colder temperatures scare away any potential sunbathers, leaving the pearly white sands pretty much empty. The sea is cold at this time of year, too, making for an unpleasant experience for any casual swimmers testing the waters. Coastal winds encourage choppy waves which are ideal for watersports enthusiasts who are the only people brave enough to step foot in the sea at this time of year. You can try your hand at kitesurfing, windsurfing, or normal surfing, and you'll get to wear a wetsuit to keep the cold at bay.
The lack of beach-going tourists in January means that a lot of the beaches shut down for the winter months simply because there is not enough custom. Nice's Blue Beach, however, remains open, providing numerous watersports opportunities and the chance to go for a wintery stroll along the shores.
Bars and Restaurants
Le Bistrot d'Antoine
Le Bistrot d'Antoine is a traditional French bistro serving up a selection of delicious regional wines alongside an expansive menu filled with traditionally French dishes like snails, moules, numerous different baked cheeses, filet mignon, and coq au vin, as well as international dishes like pasta. In addition, there is a set menu offering a choice selection from the main menu and, if you fancy something a little different, choose to have a classic cocktail with your meal.
Indulge your sweet tooth at Maison Auer, a chocolaterie that serves a delicious selection of warming hot drinks, from coffees to teas and rich hot chocolates, to a wide variety of sumptuous fruit confits in flavours like orange, ginger, and olive. Then there's the mouth-watering array of handcrafted chocolates that you can sample in store or buy a packet as a souvenir. Served up in well-designed boxes, you can choose from truffles, marrons, and other delectable flavours. The sweet smell of wonderful treats is enough to draw you in, and the combination of modern and rustic décor provides the perfect backdrop for a warming afternoon snack.
For a cosy evening meal, grab a table at Le Safari, a traditional French brasserie that serves a hearty menu of local dishes served up in a light, airy atmosphere where contemporary art adorns the walls. Specialities include a variety of pates, moules, and calamari, but for the less adventurous, there are a range of upmarket pizza and pasta dishes as well. Be sure to order dessert, too, of which you can choose from several classic flavours, including Tart Tatin, and Tiramisu.
Things to do in Nice in January
Museum of Modern and Contempary Art
Avoid the winter rain by taking a stroll around the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, a pivotal institution in the timeline of Nice's art history. Here, you can expect to see experimental pieces, as well as works of New European Realism, and the American backed Pop Art craze. Famous local artists hang their work on the white walls here, including Cesar, Klein, and Sosno, plus German Fauvist pieces and Italian Avant-Garde examples line the corridors.
The Villa Massena
The Villa Massena is beautiful at any time of year, so a trip in January will still leave you in awe. It combines a grand, French palace that harks back to the days of the aristocrats, and a lovely, colourful botanical garden. It has been turned into a museum that documents the history of Nice in chronological order from the reign of Napoleon right up until the 20th Century.
The Cathedrale Saint Nicolas
The Cathedrale Saint Nicolas is a stunning example of a tradition Russian Orthodox Church, and is one of Nice's most visited religious spots. The striking exterior boasts colourful domed turrets and, inside, there are a large number of etchings and engravings dating from the early 20th Century. If visiting, you'll need to cover your shoulders, legs, and feet not that this will be a problem in January.
Wander around the Old Town (Vieux Nice) which is a winding labyrinth of narrow alleyways and bustling squares. Here, you can dip in and out of small art galleries, local boutique stores, and sweet shops, and admire the rustic old architecture that characterises this area.