Nestled 'twixt Monaco and Cannes, OutUK's Adrian Gillan falls for the Brit- and
gay-dominated heart and soul of the French Riviera!
Gazing down from Castle Hill - on the luxury liner- and yacht-bobbing Old Port to the East,
and the vast, sun-drenched Baie des Anglais, Promenade and Old Town to the West - it's not hard to
understand why - along with Ancient Greeks, Romans, Savoyians, Piedmontese, Russians and hoards of Brits, to name
a few - so many lovers and artists have fallen for now-380,000-thronged Nice, France's fifth largest city.
Make a B-line for the wonderful, great-value hop-on-off open-top double-decker Le Grand Tour
bus circuit - with full commentary, taking in all the main sites.
Matisse and Chagall, Dufy and Klein: they've all been entranced by the Mediterranean clime,
plus amazingly luminous light, on this barmy, be-palmed stretch of the glorious Côte d'Azur.
Stroll the Promenade des Anglais, with its Belle Époque and Art Deco casinos and hotels, then meander the Baroque
labyrinthine, brightly-shuttered warren of Old Town cafes, churches and markets.
Rainbow Flag in front of the Nice Castle |
For a dose of culture peruse the Musée Matisse and
Musée Marc Chagall; climb Castle Hill, for its shady all-round vistas and cooling cascades;
dine al fresco around the Old Port; shop around Place Masséna; meditate at the spot where Isadora Duncan died,
strangled by her own flowing scarf, caught in the wheels of her oblivious Bugatti; even revel at Nice Carnival,
pulling in over a million celebrants, each Feb 'n March.
NICE BY NIGHT
Most of the queer action is found in and around the Old Town and seafront; mainly kicking off from midnight on.
Note: 7 euro (just over a fiver) is standard French base-rate for drinks in any bar-club!
You can down a few drinks at swish Le Six, dominated by an amazing multi-coloured
chandelier, and offering regular late drag, due East, in the shadow of the Opera House. You can have fun all
night long with some great music played by International DJs, and for dancing there are Go-Go Boys and even a late night shower show.
Nice really does have a good selection of nice gay bars and gay-popular hangouts. RED Kafe is certainly amongst them. It's a gay bar,
cafe and creperie which serves light meals, snacks, coffee, imported wine and cocktails and best of all it's only a 2-minute walk from the beach.
Le Bar Bitch is very much a concept gay bar in the heart of Old Town Nice. They have a range of cocktails, drinks, coffee and other beverages as well
regular theme nights, parties and DJ's.
To steam, check out the busy "Men's health complex", Sauna du Château - central and
just one road back from the front. It's a mixed gender venue geared towards couples.
To cruise, minus the steam, make tracks for Eagle which is a hardcore sex club, just back from the Old Port. It's especially for meeting men,
the drag and direct sex dates ! It is built around a large central counter where you can refuel you all night in soft drinks, beers, alcohol and above all in guys.
If you smoke, you can stay warm in their special room called The Smokehouse.
Le CODE bills itself as the most famous sex club in the french rivera. It features dark rooms, private cabins, slings, prison, maze, videos, internet
zone and much more. Le CODE is open 7 days a week, with themed nights including puppy nights, underwear and naked nights, fisting, open sex, cagouile and
smoke parties. There really is something for everyone!
Slightly less hardcore Malabar Station is also a popular gay cruise bar and meeting place in Nice. Malabar Station is like an underground train station dungeon, complete with bar
area, dark rooms, cabins and play zone. The bar hosts regular gay-themed events including sports and underwear parties.
Morgan Club also features various fetish-themed events in an uninhibited atmosphere. it's another gay cruise bar and sex club in the heart of Nice with
well-maintained facilities and all kinds of tools & toys, XX movies, private cabins, mazes, lounge area, go-go dancing and more.
Club Le7 was once one of Nice's first gay saunas. Club Le7 is now an extensive themed cruise bar, spread over three floors, that welcomes locals and tourists alike.
Facilities include a bar, dance floor, original art deco cinema, private cabins, dark room, lockers, steam room and showers. You'll find it located in the city centre within the
impressive Nicois building.
To "take airs", by day, try Castel Beach, the easternmost central "plage"; or, by night, try the Old
Port harbour wall, towards the red-lit lighthouse. Monsieur: en garde!
easyJet flies to Nice from Belfast, Bristol, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted and
Newcastle, with prices from £37.99 one-way (incl. taxes). I stayed at the Hotel Villa la Malouine a delightful,
gay-owned &and run villa situated close to the Old Town, mere minutes' walk away from beach and port. Rest under the juicy grapefruit tree
or enjoy the sunny terrace, with jaccuzzi! There's also a wide selection of other places to stay at low online
rates at our hotel partners Booking.com.
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Club Le7 (7 rue Foncet; T: +33 (0)4 93 62 25 02) Website
Eagle (18 bis, rue Emmanuel Philibert; T: +33 (0)4 93 26 35 30) Website
Le Bar Bitch (2 rue Rossetti; T: +33 (0)6 51 22 03 20) facebook
Le CODE (4 rue Papon; T: +33 (0)9 81 76 88 00) Website
Le Six (6 Rue Raoul Bosio; T: +33 (0)4 93 62 66 64) Website
Malabar Station (10 rue Bonaparte; T: +33 (0)9 51 18 53 52) Website
Morgan Club (3 rue Claudia; T: +33 6 08 77 39 87) Website
RED Kafe (9 rue Halevy; T: +33 (0)7 82 01 98 81) facebook
Sauna du Château (17 rue des Ponchettes; T: +33 (0)4 93 85 73 91) Website
Other useful gay links:
Revised October 2017.