Nice Weather May Averages, France
What's the Weather like in Nice in May
May marks the beginning of the busy summer season in Nice, France, as the temperatures rise considerably from the previous months and the crowds start pouring in. The warm weather draws in beach-goers from all over the world who are looking to soak up the sun and enjoy the vast amount of activities on offer in the city.
During the day, temperatures in May can rise to 20°C and higher, especially over lunchtime and in the early afternoon. This is much warmer than most of Europe at this time of year, and even the evenings are very mild with average low temperatures rarely dipping below 13°C. Usually, you can expect clear sunny days with average temperatures of around 17°C in May. Layers are a good idea t-shirts and cooler clothing for the day time and a warmer jumper or cardigan for the evenings.
May might be the start of the high-season in Nice, but there is still a bit of rain throughout the month with around 50mm falling across 9 days. On the off chance that you do get caught in a shower it's likely to pass quickly, but remember to pack an umbrella to stay dry.
Apart from the rain, May is a slightly milder version of the hot summer in Nice, and beach-goers start flocking to the shores and dipping in the Mediterranean Sea. At around 18°C, the water is much more pleasant than in previous months, but it is still a bit nippy. If you're a fair-weather swimming it might be worth staying out of the sea, but watersports enthusiasts and keen swimmers might want to dip their toes in.
As the crowds start rolling in, the days begin to get longer, too, averaging around 12 hours of sunshine a day. These long sunshine-filled days are the epitome of the Mediterranean summer and provide plenty of time to hit the beaches as well as explore the rest of what the city has to offer.
May in Nice is marvellous, with quickly climbing temperatures, clear blue skies, and lots of sunshine. The throngs of holidaymakers have started to arrive, but it's nowhere near as busy as in the high summer months, so it's a great time to enjoy the Mediterranean climate without the heavy crowds.
Nice Hotels in May
Splendid Hotel & Spa
For a relaxing four-star experience, check into the Splendid Hotel & Spa, which first and foremost offers exceptional views across the city and bay. Inside, guests are greeted with stylish, modern décor, including low-lighting and marble details. Rooms are fresh and simple with bursts of bright colour and contemporary artwork adorning the walls, and all have their own balcony, WiFi, and widescreen television. The hotel also boasts expansive spa and fitness facilities, as well as a rooftop pool, bar, and restaurant. For sun seekers, there is a private beach perfect for soaking up some early summer rays.
Villa Kilauea is an intimate bed and breakfast perched on a hill overlooking the city, providing spectacular views of the surroundings. Sitting pretty in sloping manicured gardens complete with secluded nooks and crannies for relaxing in, the Villa boasts just four guest rooms, making it feel like an exclusive experience. All rooms are beautifully decorated in pastel shades, and feature light, French details and swirly designs, plus they all have their own terrace, access to free WiFi, and widescreen televisions. There is an on-site pool for guests to enjoy, as well as a breakfast café and bar for any refreshment requirements.
The Hotel Windsor
The Hotel Windsor is a quirky accommodation choice with oodles of character. Set amongst sprawling, exotic gardens, it's in a picture perfect location filled with great art and unusual design. There's a selection of permanent works throughout the hotel, as well as regularly rotating exhibitions by local and international artists. Three varieties of rooms are on offer to guests: the Artist's Rooms, the Fresco Rooms, and the Poster Rooms, and there's on-site spa facilities as well as a restaurant serving traditional French cuisine.
Nice Beach for May
Nice has entered the summer peak-season in May, and holidaymakers flock to the numerous beaches that stud the coastline in search of sun, sea, and sand. It's still early in the year, so the crowds aren't at their busiest, but you'll notice there are a fair few swimmers hitting the water and an abundance of watersports taking place along the coast. Nice has a number of public beaches as well as a selection of private beaches either owned by hotels or that are available to enter at a cost to guests.
Opera Plage is one of these beaches, providing a secluded, exclusive spot for sunbathing and swimming. It's a wide shingle beach flanked by grand, art nouveau buildings, offering the atmosphere of days-gone-by. There are numerous sunbeds for guests to rent out and relax on throughout the day, as well as an on-site restaurant complete with picturesque terrace for you to enjoy a bite to eat or a cocktail. The whole beach partakes in waitress service, so you don't ever have to leave the comfort of your sunbed if you don't want to!
Plage Publique de Beau Rivage
In between the selection of private beaches, there are public beaches that are free of charge for anyone to enjoy. Plage Publique de Beau Rivage is one such beach, again offering a shingle shoreline with views out across the cobalt blue bay to the horizon. The public beaches are often busier than the private ones, but at this time of year there should be plenty of space for everyone. There are also numerous bars and restaurants that edge the shoreline, so you'll never be far from refreshment.
Bars and Restaurants
For a great selection of tender meat, grab a table at La Rossettisserie, a beautifully rustic restaurant in the centre of Nice. Inside, the décor is all deep reds, greens, and terracottas amidst a cavernous interior with swirly details that provide a typical French atmosphere. The menu is equally as pretty, serving up a selection of succulent roast meat, including chicken, lamb, beef, veal, and pork, which come accompanied with creamy homemade mash, sautéed potatoes, traditional ratatouille, or a crisp and crunchy salad.
Restaurant Jan is an upmarket, gourmet French dining experience that plays on traditional local food with a South African twist derived from Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen's heritage. Dishes are exquisitely presented on wooden and slate boards, and include homemade pork terrine, Mediterranean sardines, foie gras, veal cheeks, guinea fowl, and lamb shanks. The stylish interior complements the food perfectly, and the dark, monochromatic colour scheme provides a quirky atmosphere.
Things to do in Nice in May
Parc du Chateau
Enjoy the early summer sun at the Parc du Chateau, which sits above the picturesque old part of Nice. As well as enjoying spectacular views across the city and beyond, there is also the Tour Bellanda, the only remaining part of the 12th Century castle that once occupied the space. Families can enjoy picnics throughout the beautifully manicured gardens, and there's the Cascade Donjon, an artificial waterfall, and a kid's playground for the younger members of the family. It's a great place to take a walk in Nice, away from the bustling crowds of the city centre.
Train des Pignes
Take a ride on the Train des Pignes, which takes a scenic route through Provence, taking in the glorious landscapes and rural scenery. Beginning in Nice and travelling over 151km to Digne-les-Baines, it passes through secluded hotspots that not many people get to see, and rises to over 1000m high, which offers amazing views of the surroundings. The train runs five times a day and there's plenty of opportunities to hop off and on and explore the little villages that sit on the route.
Roller blading is a great alternative way to get around the city, and Roller Station provides the opportunity for all the family to hire out skates and explore the promenade in a different way. You can whizz along the Promenade des Anglais, taking in all the sights along the way and enjoy great views out across the bay.
Cours Saleya Market
The Cours Saleya Market is beautiful at this time of year because the spring flowers are in full bloom in anticipation of summer. It's a colourful flower market lined with stalls selling hundreds of different varieties of plants, from mauve fuchsias to vibrant dahlias. Not only is it a wonderful sight, but the smells are amazing too, combining floral scents of the region with hot food from the street side stalls. The vendors are experienced horticulturists, too, so feel free to ask for their advice on any number of flora related questions you may have!