We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Getting to know the locals??

Which Nice hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Espoo, Finland
12 posts
Save Topic
Getting to know the locals??

Bonjour!

I have visited Nice and French Riviera several times, but just for shorter trips. My dream would be to stay in Nice or surroundings for 2-3 months.

Would it be hard to make friends with the locals, especially if not speaking French??

In general I think people in southern France are quite nice and polite, but of course it would be appreciated being able to communicate in French...

Grateful for a piece of good advice!

Kind regards,

Minna-Maria

UK
Level Contributor
3,265 posts
154 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Getting to know the locals??

As you quite rightly say, the Niçois are open and friendly people and love making conversation - in French.

The obvious thing would be to learn to speak French if you are hoping to live there for an extended period.

Great Neck, New York
Level Contributor
487 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Getting to know the locals??

Hi Minna-Maria,

Just don't try getting into a Petanque game with the locals. I've been a Petanque league player for years, and for as many years as I've been going to Nice, I'm never welcomed to join. Very cliquish, and never inviting. Other Nicoise folks are the best!!

Have fun!!

Provence Alpes Cote...
Level Contributor
634 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Getting to know the locals??

Bonjour,

If you make an effort at speaking French, they'll love you for it - many people don't bother.

When you visit for a few months, I'd recommend you join a club for your favorite activities: walking, pottery, sailing, whatever it may be. You can get info on this from the tourism office.

PS. regarding the previous post on pétanque - many people take their pétanque game very seriously; plus folks usually play among long-time friends, so it isn't something you can just drop into at the park and easily join in.

Bon séjour.

AzurAlive.com

UK
Level Contributor
3,955 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Getting to know the locals??

Yeah, I think with petanque the people who play together have been playing together 40 odd years and come from the same village/street/block of flats. Best way to make contact with real French people would in my opinion to be to do some kind of course locally, not a touristy one (eg cooking or wine appreciation) but computers or something mundane. And I don't know about the law on this, but to get a job in a local cafe so you are in contact with real people, not tourists.

Great Neck, New York
Level Contributor
487 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Getting to know the locals??

Response to the two previous posts,

I appreciate your comments trying to rationalize the bad manners of the Petanque players, but I can communicate in French, have had until this year an apartment in Cimiez, two minutes from Matisse Park, where the afternoon Petanque games are played. I carry my own balls, and yet they keep to their own selection of players.

I play in a serious Petanque League in New York, and when a new comer asks if he could join a game, they are welcomed with open arms, whatever language they speak. So please don't make excuses for them.

Nice, France
Destination Expert
for Nice, Eze, Monaco
Level Contributor
1,777 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Getting to know the locals??

Hi minna-maria,

just contact me when you will be in Nice and I will show you around

and we will speak english or french

yes, french people and nicois are nice and happy ::)) and everybody can play petanque

but that's depend where because sometimes in a square in Nice, you will find some good and old players and they don't like new and bad player.

in all case, everytime, you can find another small group to play with them, depending the level

Lyon, France
Destination Expert
for Lyon
Level Contributor
3,762 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Getting to know the locals??

"Would it be hard to make friends with the locals, especially if not speaking French??"

Minna-Maria, if you don't speak French you are going to know only english speaking guys, like the one who answer on this forum (originally from UK or the USA), nice but definitively not locals. If you plan to stay 2/3 months in France, you should learn French.

Espoo, Finland
12 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Getting to know the locals??

Many thanks to all of you for your informative and kind replies!!!

Best regards,

Minna-Maria

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer
Level Contributor
3,143 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Getting to know the locals??

"english speaking guys, like the one who answer on this forum (originally from UK or the USA), nice but definitively not locals.

Which "locals"? - the retired Parisians?

Nice, France
Destination Expert
for Nice, Eze, Monaco
Level Contributor
1,777 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Getting to know the locals??

I'm a young (27) and local people ::))

thanks for me