Christmas in Nice, France?
Hello, we would like to go to Nice, France for xmas and was wondering what sort of activities are available from 24th till 30th Dec?
I take it most restaurants are closed on xmas day? but do they open on boxing day etc...? please help.
- WISE OWLLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
The town and shops are decorated and the ferris wheel and streets have illuminations.On the 24th there is the tail end of Christmas markets and there also is a "live" nativity play enacted on the Place Rosetti in old Nice with real donkey, lambs etc....
Christmas is very much a family occasion and a quiet day of celebration. Practising Christians go to Midnight mass , which is a very special experience, and there is the ceremony of bringing in the effigy of the Christmas infant to the traditional crib in the church . Some people have a meal beforehand called the "réveillon" or "gros souper", and some afterwards when they get back home, after which many families open presents. Others have a special lunch at mid day after present opening , and, by the way, restaurants are open on Christmas day but tables have to be booked well in advance. Shops are closed.
Boxing day does not exist in France: it is an English tradition, so it is a normal day.
Life, on other days than Christmas day itself, runs as usual: people go to their normal occupations unless they have booked a week's holiday bridging between Christmas and New Year, and shops are open except on Sunday. Cinemas, clubs, art galleries and cultural places function as normal. There are concerts , theatre or ballet performances, casinos, indoor swimming pool, etc...Restaurants are open as normal too, bearing in mind that some choose their day of closure, which often tends to be Monday evening for fine dining, but may exceptionally be open because of the time of the year.
Generally speaking it is a quiet time of the year, with much fewer tourists, and it can be quite cold as the air sweeps down from the near by mountains. You can hop to other Provencal towns close by if you have exhausted the pleasures of Nice as transport in between is good.
New Year's day is when people let their hair down, with parties, dances, Champagne, another gastronomic marathon and every restaurant is filled to the gunnels, but it is outside your dates.