What to Do in February in and around Nice – 2024

Nice Carnaval Poster 2024

Nice Carnaval  February 17 – March 3, 2024

Follow Best of Nice’s Insider Carnaval Tips to make the most of your Carnaval experience… if you have the inside scoop, it can be easy, free, fun… and unforgettable!

Part of Carnaval is the Bataille de Fleurs, the famous Nice Flower Parade, on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Don’t miss the fabulous (and free) Nice Queenaval on Friday night, February 23, 2024; the only gay Carnaval in France, and open to everybody.

If you want to do Carnaval old-style (ie: homemade floats, getting pelted with flour-bombs, copious drinking, street music, merriment and mischief…) then join in the Carnaval Independant… if you dare! Sunday February 25th, 2024 from 1pm at Place Saint Roch, tramstop Saint Roch.  It starts with a pot-luck so bring something to share.

And if that doesn’t give you your fill of floats, flowers and fruit in Nice, head out of town for:

Apart from all the Carnaval-related craziness:

Free Parc Phoenix Weekend February 3&4 for local residents – Free – The first full weekend of each month Parc Phoenix nature park/arboretum is free to local residents (but you need to bring proof: a recent phone or electric bill, or tax notice).  Right after lunch is the busiest time with a line to get in so mornings or late afternoons are best.  Tram stop Parc Phoenix.

The Picasso Museum in Antibes offers a free week for everybody every February, and it’s February 6-11, 2024.

Attention Bargain Hunters!  February 6, 2024 is the last day of the Soldes, the massive Annual French Winter Sales, and this is the time for the deepest discounts!

For more bargains, the last weekend of Carnaval is the Braderie in Old Nice, where all the shopkeepers in the Old Town pull their sales racks out to the sidewalk for a blow-out clearance.

Blind Date?  Here’s an out-of-the-box idea, a Blind Dinner February 7, 2024 – Blindfolded before being lead to your table, you’ll experience your meal in a way you will never forget!  Tickets for the 3-course blind dinner are 60€, and you select your surprise 3-course menu based on meat, fish or vegetarian.  Starts at 8:30pm at Ornato Restaurant 54 blvd Jean Jaures, tram stop Massena.

Doorway to hidden barAfterwork Cabaret Concert at ‘secret bar’ Cave Bianchi – February 7 and 8, 2024, 7-8pm,  Part of the Nice Opera’s Afterwork series, this short 1-hour ‘Cabaret in the briefcase‘ concert is held in a historic ‘secret bar’ that is rarely open to the public.  The 20€ ticket covers your first drink, but honestly this surprising venue is so cool you won’t want to miss it.  7 rue Raoul Bosio, tram stop Opera or Massena.

Candlelight Saint Valentine’s Concert   Thursday February 8 2024, 7pm and 9pm. Kick off Valentine’s Day romance early with this classic piano concert lit by a thousand candles.  Set in the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen,  tickets 19-39€, tram stop CUM.

World AI Festival Expo in Cannes – Free day Saturday February 10, 2024 –  This AI expo showcases the latest developments, newest start ups, and cutting edge AI.  It’s a huge convention for business professionals, but they have a free day on Saturday with free unrestricted entry for everyone to explore all the exhibitors and booths. Open 8:30am – 6:30pm at the Palais des Festivals, home of the Cannes Film Festival.  As long as you’re there, here are more ideas for a day in Cannes.

For sporty types: the Monaco 10k is Saturday February 10, 2024

Stand up comedy showStand up Comedy in English – Sunday, February 11, and Sunday February 25 – The new Bobar Comedy Club in Old Nice does twice-monthly stand-up comedy shows in English  ‘Spill the Tea’, at 5:30pm and cover charge is just 8€ or 5€ students.  27 rue Benoit Bunico, tram stop Cathedrale.

For something really different, don’t miss The Vegilone: a Masked Ball on the stage of the Nice Opera – Friday, February 16, 2024 the eve of Carnaval – Free for the first part from 7pm-8:30pm with masked waltzing to the Nice Philharmonic, then ticketed for the second part, a disco show followed by DJ and dancing, 5€ for students, 15€ for everyone else.  Only rule: must be masked!

The Cannes Semi-Marathon is Sunday February 25, 2024.

L'atelier au mimosa, Pierre Bonnard, 1935

L’atelier au mimosa, Pierre Bonnard, 1935

 

Peak weeks to view the Mimosa Forest – Free

Just 24 km from Cannes lies The Tanneron, a Mimosa forest that suddenly turns bright yellow every February. It’s the largest mimosa forest in Europe, and it is  an amazing site to see in full bloom.

 

Jazz/Blues/Rock Concerts in Nice  Besides nightly concerts at local jazz clubs and rock bars, there is also a robust monthly concert schedule with Nice Music Live;  the concerts at Theatre de Verdure, Black Box, and Stockfish, all have easy tramway access.

Sunday Orchestra Concerts – FREE – Every Sunday at 3:30pm the Nice Orchestra d’Harmonie gives a free concert in the either the Church in the Port (tram stop Port) or the Basilica Notre Dame (tram stop Jean Medecin).  Click here for this week’s concert program.

Classical Concerts in Nice – There is a whole slate of at least 10 classical concerts every month by different Baroque and Classical ensembles performing in Nice’s fabulous Baroque Churches.

The Nice Opera has all kinds of events going on every week: Here is this month’s schedule

  • Insider Tip: The Nice Opera ticket office has a last-minute ticket line, where one hour before the performance, unsold tickets drop to half-price …and for students and under-30s tickets are just 5€! 

For Sporty Types

The Monaco Run is a fun 10k in an unforgettable setting, and is Saturday February 10, 2024

Nice Grand Bain de Carnaval  – free – Are you hearty enough to join the polar bear plunge into the sea on the day after Carnaval?  It’s a traditional purifying ritual after the Carnival King is burned the night before.  Dip into the waves, in costume or not, at 11:45am at Opera Plage beach, then take part in a buffet with festive music.

Ski liftGo to the Snow:  Take the bargain snow-bus for just 14€  round trip and in just 90-minutes, you can be up in the mountains for an easy day-trip with the feel of a mini-vacation. Here is a recent ranking of the best ski resorts and why, but know that Valberg is worth the day trip even if you don’t ski: you can still play in the snow, warm up with raclette for lunch,  soak up the alpine ambiance, hike or snowshoe the Planetary Trail in the afternoon (a multimedia GPS guide is available at the tourist office), and sip hot spiced wine in a warm chalet before napping on the bus ride back.

How to get there on the Ski Buses:  Besides the Valberg ski bus, there are three other Ski Express Buses to three different ski resorts, Isola 2000, La Colmiane and Auron… so really you can shuss in a different ski resort every weekend of the month and your transpo costs are only 7€ each way!

Ice Skating:  Nice has a full-sized indoor ice skating rink with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the rooftops, and it’s just 7€ including skate rental.  Easy access: the Patinoire Jean Bouin is right across from the Palais des Expositions tram stop.  And since Nice will be hosting the ice skating events for the 2030 Winter Olympics, this might be just the time to go ice skating in Nice!

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