NICE

France

Nice is the fifth most populous city in France and the capital of the Alpes Maritimes département. The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2(278 sq mi). Located in the Côte d'Azur area on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azurregion after Marseille.

Info Nice

introduction

Nice is the fifth most populous city in France and the capital of the Alpes Maritimes département. The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2(278 sq mi). Located in the Côte d'Azur area on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azurregion after Marseille. Nice is about 13 kilometres (8 miles) from the principality of Monaco, and its airport is a gateway to the principality as well.

The city is nicknamed Nice la Belle (Nissa La Bella in Niçard), which means Nice the Beautiful, which is also the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912.

The area of today's Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a very early use of fire. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory. Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it was a dominion of Savoy, and was then part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to Piedmont-Sardinia until its reannexation by France in 1860.

The natural beauty of the Nice area and its mild Mediterranean climate came to the attention of the English upper classes in the second half of the 18th century, when an increasing number of aristocratic families took to spending their winter there. The city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais ("Walkway of the English') owes its name to visitors to the resort. For decades now, the picturesque Nicean surroundings have attracted not only those in search of relaxation, but also those seeking inspiration. The clear air and soft light have particularly appealed to some of Western culture's most outstanding painters, such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman. Their work is commemorated in many of the city's museums, including Musée Marc Chagall,Musée Matisse and Musée des Beaux-Arts. Nice has the second largest hotel capacity in the country and it is one of its most visited cities, receiving 4 million tourists every year. It also has the third busiest airport in France, after the two main Parisian ones. It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice (Comté de Nice).

info
POPULATION : 343,629
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE :• Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE : French
RELIGION :
AREA : 71.92 km2 (27.77 sq mi)
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES : 43°42′12″N 7°15′59″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 48.4%

 Female: 51.6%

ETHNIC :
AREA CODE : 4
POSTAL CODE : 06088
DIALING CODE : +33 4
WEBSITE : www.nice.fr

Tourism

Among tourists, Nice is the second most popular French city after Paris, a fact which, combined with the difficulties of land travel at long distance (partly because of the Alps), allows it to have the third busiest airport in France in terms of passenger numbers (close to 10,000,000 passengers in 2005). It is easily accessible, being less than 6 hours from Paris by train, and the airport is located just minutes away from the city.

Nice has one conference centre: the Palais des Congrès Acropolis. The city also has several business parks, including l'Arenas, Nice the Plain, Nice Méridia, Saint Isidore, and the Northern Forum.

In addition, the city features several shopping centres such as Nicetoile, Nice TNL, Nice Lingostière, Northern Forum, St-Isidore, the Trinity (around the Auchanhypermarket) and Cap3000 in Saint-Laurent-du-Var.

The Promenade des Anglais ("Promenade of the English") is a promenade along the Baie des Anges ("Bay of the Angels"), which is a bay of the Mediterranean, in Nice. Before Nice was urbanised, the coastline at Nice was just bordered by a deserted stretch of beach covered with large pebbles. The first houses were located on higher ground well away from the sea, as wealthy tourists visiting Nice in the 18th century did not come for the beach, but for the gentle winter weather. The areas close to the water were home to Nice's dockworkers and fishermen.

In the second half of the 18th century, many wealthy English people took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast. When a particularly harsh winter up north brought an influx of beggars to Nice, some of the rich Englishmen proposed a useful project for them: the construction of a walkway (chemin de promenade) along the sea.

The city of Nice, intrigued by the prospect of a pleasant promenade, greatly increased the scope of the work. The Promenade was first called the Camin dei Anglès (the English Way) by the Niçois in their native dialect, Nissart. After the annexation of Nice by France in 1860 it was rechristened La Promenade des Anglais, replacing the former Nissart name with its French translation.

The Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais was named after Henri Negresco (1868–1920) who had the palatial hotel constructed in 1912. In keeping with the conventions of the time, when the Negresco first opened in 1913 its front opened on the side opposite the Mediterranean.

Another place worth mentioning is the small street parallel to the Promenade des Anglais, leading from Nice's downtown, beginning at Place Masséna and running parallel to the promenade in the direction of the airport for a short distance of about 4 blocks. This section of the city is referred to as the "Zone Pietonne", or "Pedestrian Zone". Cars are not allowed (with exception to delivery trucks), making this avenue a popular walkway. Here, tourists can find a fine selection of restaurants, specializing in various types of cuisine, including Niçoise, French, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish and Italian. There is also a large selection of cafés where one can sit and enjoy an apéritif, as well as several bakeries with coffee, cake, and a terrace. There are also plenty of small shops selling clothing, shoes, and souvenirs.

Old Nice is also home to the Opéra de Nice. It was constructed at the end of the 19th century under the design of François Aune, to replace King Charles Félix's Maccarani Theater. Today, it is open to the public and provides a regular program of performances.

Other sights include:

  • Château
  • Monument aux morts
  • The port
  • Cours Saleya
  • Jardin botanique de la Ville de Nice (botanical garden)
  • Musee Massena
  • Marché aux fleurs
  • Old Nice
  • Grand Hôtel Impérial
  • Fort of Mont Alban

History

Foundation

The first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back about 400,000 years; the Terra Amata archeological site shows one of the earliest uses of fire, construction of houses, and flint findings dated to around 230,000 years ago. Nice (Nicaea) was probably founded around 350 BC by the Greeks of Massilia (Marseille), and was given the name ofNikaia (Νίκαια) in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians; Nike (Νίκη) was the Greek goddess of victory. The city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast; but it had an important rival in the Roman town of Cemenelum, which continued to exist as a separate city until the time of the Lombard invasions. The ruins of Cemenelum are in Cimiez, which is now a district of Nice.


Early development

In the 7th century, Nice joined the Genoese League formed by the towns of Liguria. In 729 the city repulsed the Saracens; but in 859 and again in 880 the Saracens pillaged and burned it, and for most of the 10th century remained masters of the surrounding country.

During the Middle Ages, Nice participated in the wars and history of Italy. As an ally of Pisa it was the enemy of Genoa, and both the King of Franceand the Holy Roman Emperor endeavoured to subjugate it; but in spite of this it maintained its municipal liberties. During the 13th and 14th centuries the city fell more than once into the hands of the Counts of Provence, but it regained its independence even though related to Genoa.


Defences

The medieval city walls surrounded the Old Town. The landward side was protected by the River Paillon, which was later covered over and is now the tram route towards the Acropolis.

The east side of the town was protected by fortifications on Castle Hill. Another river flowed into the port on the east side of Castle Hill. Engravings suggest that the port area was also defended by walls.

Under Monoprix in Place de Garibaldi are excavated remains of a well-defended city gate on the main road from Turin.


Nice and Savoy

In 1388 the commune placed itself under the protection of the Counts of Savoy. Nice participated – directly or indirectly – in the history of Savoy until 1860.

The maritime strength of Nice now rapidly increased until it was able to cope with the Barbary pirates; the fortifications were largely extended and the roads to the city improved. In 1561 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy abolished the use of Latin as an administrative language and established the Italian language as the official language of government affairs in Nice.

During the struggle between Francis I and Charles V great damage was caused by the passage of the armies invading Provence; pestilence and famine raged in the city for several years. In 1538, in the nearby town of Villeneuve-Loubet, through the mediation of Pope Paul III, the two monarchs concluded a ten years' truce.[11]

In 1543, Nice was attacked by the united Franco-Ottoman forces of Francis I and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, in the Siege of Nice; though the inhabitants repulsed the assault which followed the terrible bombardment, they were ultimately compelled to surrender, and Barbarossa was allowed to pillage the city and to carry off 2,500 captives. Pestilence appeared again in 1550 and 1580.

In 1600, Nice was briefly taken by the Duke of Guise. By opening the ports of the county to all nations, and proclaiming full freedom of trade (1626), the commerce of the city was given great stimulus, the noble families taking part in its mercantile enterprises.

Captured by Nicolas Catinat in 1691, Nice was restored to Savoy in 1696; but it was again besieged by the French in 1705, and in the following year its citadel and ramparts were demolished.

The Treaty of Utrecht (1713) once more gave the city back to the Duke of Savoy, who was on that same occasion recognised as King of Sicily. In the peaceful years which followed, the "new town" was built. From 1744 until the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) the French and Spaniards were again in possession. In 1775 the king, who in 1718 had swapped his sovereignty of Sicily for the Kingdom of Sardinia, destroyed all that remained of the ancient liberties of the commune. Conquered in 1792 by the armies of the First French Republic, the County of Nice continued to be part of France until 1814; but after that date it reverted to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.


French Nice

After the Treaty of Turin was signed in 1860 between the Sardinian king and Napoleon III, the County was again and definitively ceded to France as a territorial reward for French assistance in the Second Italian War of Independence againstAustria, which saw Lombardy united with Piedmont-Sardinia. The cession was ratified by a regional referendum: over 25,000 electors out of a total of 30,700 were in favour of the attachment to France. Savoy was also transferred to the French crown by similar means. Giuseppe Garibaldi, born in Nice, opposed the cession to France, arguing that the ballot was rigged by the French. Italian irredentists considered the acquisition of Nice to be one of their main nationalist goals, along with Istria, Dalmatia, Corsica and Trentino. In 1942–1943 the city was occupied and administered by Italy.

The 20th century saw the arrival of modern transportation. In 1900, the Tramway de Nice electrified its horse-drawn streetcars and spread its network to the entiredépartement from Menton to Cagnes-sur-Mer. By the 1930s more bus connections were added in the area. In the 1930s Nice hosted international car racing in the Formula Libre (predecessor to Formula One) on the so-called Circuit Nice. The circuit started along the waterfront just south of the Jardin Albert I, then headed westward along the Promenade des Anglais followed by a hairpin turn at the Hotel Negresco to come back eastward and around the Jardin Albert I before heading again east along the beach on the Quai des Etats-Unis.

As war broke out in September 1939, Nice became a city of refuge for many displaced foreigners, notably Jews fleeing the Nazi progression into Eastern Europe. From Nice many sought further shelter in the French colonies, Morocco and North and South America. After July 1940 and the establishment of the Vichy Regime, antisemitic aggressions accelerated the exodus, starting in July 1941 and continuing through 1942. On 26 August 1942, 655 Jews of foreign origin were rounded up by the Laval government and interned in the Auvare barracks. Of these, 560 were deported to Drancy internment camp on 31 August 1942. Due to the activity of the Jewish banker Angelo Donati and of the Capuchin friar Père Marie-Benoît the local authorities hindered the application of anti-Jewish Vichy laws.

The first résistants to the new regime were a group of High School seniors of the Lycée de Nice, now Lycée Masséna, in September 1940, later arrested and executed in 1944 near Castellane. The first public demonstrations occurred on 14 July 1942 when several hundred protesters took to the streets along the Avenue de la Victoire and in the Place Masséna. In November 1942 German troops moved into most of unoccupied France, but Italian troops moved into a smaller zone including Nice. A certain ambivalence remained among the population, many of whom were recent immigrants of Italian ancestry. However, the resistance gained momentum after the Italian surrender in 1943 when the German army occupied the former Italian zone. Reprisals intensified between December 1943 and July 1944, when many partisans were tortured and executed by the local Gestapo and the French Milice. Nice was also heavily bombarded by American aircraft in preparation for the Allied landing in Provence (1000 dead or wounded and more than 5600 people homeless) and famine ensued during summer 1944. American paratroopers entered the city on 30 August 1944 and Nice was finally liberated. The consequences of the war were heavy: the population decreased by 15% and economic life was totally disrupted.

In the second half of the 20th century, Nice enjoyed an economic boom primarily driven by tourism and construction. Two men dominated this period: Jean Médecin,mayor for 33 years from 1928 to 1943 and from 1947 to 1965, and his son Jacques, mayor for 24 years from 1966 to 1990. Under their leadership, there was extensive urban renewal, including many new constructions. These included the convention centre, theatres, new thoroughfares and expressways. The arrival of the Pieds-Noirs, refugees from Algeria after 1962 independence, also gave the city a boost and somewhat changed the make-up of its population and traditional views. By the late 1980s, rumors of political corruption in the city government surfaced; and eventually formal accusations against Jacques Médecin forced him to flee France in 1990. Later arrested in Uruguay in 1993, he was extradited back to France in 1994, convicted of several counts of corruption and associated crimes and sentenced to imprisonment.

On 16 October 1979, a landslide and an undersea slide caused two tsunamis that hit the western coast of Nice; these events killed between 8 and 23 people.

In February 2001, European leaders met in Nice to negotiate and sign what is now the Treaty of Nice, amending the institutions of the European Union.

In 2003, local Chief Prosecutor Éric de Montgolfier alleged that some judicial cases involving local personalities had been suspiciously derailed by the local judiciary, which he suspected of having unhealthy contacts through Masonic lodges with the defendants. A controversial official report stated later that Montgolfier had made unwarranted accusations.

On 14 July 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into a crowd of people by Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel on the Promenade des Anglais watching a fireworks display in celebration of Bastille Day. At least 84 people were killed, including the perpetrator who was shot dead by police. Another 202 were injured, with 52 in critical care and 25 in intensive care, according to the Paris prosecutor.

Climate

Nice has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, enjoying mild winters with moderate rainfall. It is one of the warmest Mediterranean climates for its latitude. Summers are warm to hot, dry, and sunny. Rainfall is rare in this season, and a typical July month only records one or two days with measurable rainfall. The temperature is typically above 20 °C (68 °F) and frequently reaches 30 °C (86 °F). The climate data is recorded from the airport, located just metres from the sea. Summer temperatures, therefore, are often higher in the city. The average maximum temperature in the warmest months of July and August is about 27 °C (81 °F). The highest recorded temperature was 37.7 °C (99.9 °F) on 1 August 2006. Autumn generally starts sunny in September and becomes more cloudy and rainy towards October, while temperatures usually remain above 20 °C (68 °F) until November where days start to cool down to around 17 °C (63 °F). Winters are characterised by mild days (11 to 17 °C (52 to 63 °F)), cool nights (4 to 9 °C (39 to 48 °F)) and variable weather. Days can be either sunny and dry or damp and rainy. Frost is unusual and snowfalls are so extremely rare that they are remembered by inhabitants as special events. The average minimum temperature in January is around 5 °C (41 °F). Spring starts mild and rainy in late March, and is increasingly warm and sunny towards June.

Climate data for Nice

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)22.5
(72.5)
25.8
(78.4)
26.1
(79)
26.0
(78.8)
30.3
(86.5)
36.8
(98.2)
36.3
(97.3)
37.7
(99.9)
33.9
(93)
29.9
(85.8)
25.4
(77.7)
22.0
(71.6)
37.7
(99.9)
Average high °C (°F)13.1
(55.6)
13.4
(56.1)
15.2
(59.4)
17
(63)
20.7
(69.3)
24.3
(75.7)
27.3
(81.1)
27.7
(81.9)
24.6
(76.3)
21.0
(69.8)
16.6
(61.9)
13.8
(56.8)
19.56
(67.24)
Average low °C (°F)5.3
(41.5)
5.9
(42.6)
7.9
(46.2)
10.2
(50.4)
14.1
(57.4)
17.5
(63.5)
20.3
(68.5)
20.5
(68.9)
17.3
(63.1)
13.7
(56.7)
9.2
(48.6)
6.3
(43.3)
12.35
(54.23)
Record low °C (°F)−7.2
(19)
−5.8
(21.6)
−5.0
(23)
2.9
(37.2)
3.7
(38.7)
8.1
(46.6)
11.7
(53.1)
11.4
(52.5)
7.6
(45.7)
4.2
(39.6)
0.1
(32.2)
−2.7
(27.1)
−7.2
(19)

Economy

Nice is the seat of the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie Nice Côte d'Azur. It manages the Nice - Côte d'Azur Airportand the Cannes - Mandelieu Airport, as well as the Port of Nice. Investors from France and abroad can benefit from the assistance of the Côte d'Azur Economic Development Agency Team Côte d'Azur.

Among tourists, Nice is the second most popular French city after Paris, a fact which, combined with the difficulties of land travel at long distance (partly because of the Alps), allows it to have the third busiest airport in France in terms of passenger numbers (close to 10,000,000 passengers in 2005). It is easily accessible, being less than 6 hours from Paris by train, and the airport is located just minutes away from the city.

Nice has one conference centre: the Palais des Congrès Acropolis. The city also has several business parks, including l'Arenas, Nice the Plain, Nice Méridia, Saint Isidore, and the Northern Forum.

In addition, the city features several shopping centres such as Nicetoile, Nice TNL, Nice Lingostière, Northern Forum, St-Isidore, the Trinity (around the Auchanhypermarket) and Cap3000 in Saint-Laurent-du-Var.

Sophia Antipolis is a technology park northwest of Antibes. Much of the park is within the commune of Valbonne. Established between 1970 and 1984, it primarily houses companies in the fields of computing, electronics, pharmacology and biotechnology. Several institutions of higher learning are also located here, along with the European headquarters of W3C. The park is named after Sophie Glikman-Toumarkine, the wife of French Senator Pierre Laffitte, founder of the park, and incidentally, Sophia, the goddess of wisdom. The second half of the park's name is derived from Antipolis, the ancient Greek name of Antibes.

The Nice metropolitan area had a GDP amounting to $47.7 billion, and $34,480 per capita,  slightly lower than the French average.

Prices in Nice

PRICES LIST - USD

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€0.89
Tomatoes1 kg€3.10
Cheese0.5 kg€7.00
Apples1 kg€2.50
Oranges1 kg€2.10
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.50
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€5.00
Coca-Cola2 liters€2.25
Bread1 piece€1.00
Water1.5 l€0.67

PRICES LIST - USD

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€32.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€48.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2€60.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€7.80
Water0.33 l€1.75
Cappuccino1 cup€2.95
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€5.00
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€5.00
Coca-Cola0.33 l€2.85
Coctail drink1 drink€10.00

PRICES LIST - USD

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€20.00
Gym1 month€50.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€18.00
Theatar2 tickets€64.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.30
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€7.00

PRICES LIST - USD

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack€11.00
Tampons32 pieces€3.90
Deodorant50 ml.€3.20
Shampoo400 ml.€4.50
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.55
Toothpaste1 tube€2.40

PRICES LIST - USD

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€75.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€46.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€88.00
Leather shoes1€110.00

PRICES LIST - USD

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.29
TaxiStart€5.00
Taxi1 km€1.50
Local Transport1 ticket€1.50

Tourist (Backpacker)  

63 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

245 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Nice Airport (IATA: NCE) is one of the busiest in France and has frequent daily flights to Paris, and direct to most major cities in Europe, including Moscow, as well as New York and Canada (seasonal), and a number of destinations in North Africa and the Middle East. The airport is located at the western end of Nice on a landfill. Arrival and departure in good weather often provides beautiful views of the French Riviera.

Most airlines use Terminal 1 (the older terminal) while Terminal 2 is used primarily by Air France (and partners) and Easyjet. There is a free shuttle bus between the terminals.


Airport to Nice

  • City shuttles - The best and most reliable way to get from the Airport to central Nice or the Nice Ville train station is the airport express buses. Take the98 stopping along sea front, old town, and ending Place Blanqui/Nice Riquier) or take the 99 to the Nice main railway station (Gare Nice Ville SNCF). Routes 98 and 99 cost €6 and are accessible from both T1 and T2. Bus 98 is often packed with passengers. As the bus serves both terminals there are passengers getting on and off at the same time at the T1 and T2 stops. They run every 30 minutes during the following hours: the 98 from 06:00 to 23:50, and the 99 from 08:00 to 21:00. Pay the driver on boarding and the ticket also valid for 74-minute one-way journey travel on local buses and the tram.
  • Regular bus 23 - The cheapest connection with Nice is the local bus service 23, costing €1.50, and running between 05:30 and 21:00. The bus stop, which is not located any more on the side of the Terminal 1, is now called "Aéroport / Promenade" and is located on the large road in front of the airport, 100 meters from the T1. When coming from Nice, take the stairs and pass under the road to reach the airport. To go to the major train station (Gare Nice Ville), it takes about 30 minutes by bus and then 500 meters by foot from the bus-stop "Thiers / Gambetta".
  • Regional shuttles - to Monaco, Menton, Cannes, Antibes and Saint-Raphaël. If departing from the airport, you can buy a ticket on the bus or at the booth outside the terminal next to the platforms, but choose the latter if possible because the driver may refuse to sell tickets if he is is late.
  • Trains - Convenient for some destinations, there is also a small train station close to the airport (Nice St Augustin) where you can pick up a TER train one stop eastward to Nice, Monaco and all stations to the Italian border at Ventimiglia, or west back to Antibes and Cannes. The station can be reached by foot (approx. 1km from T1) via underpasses and road-crossings, on the other side of the Arenas office complex. NB: Be sure to take out some euro (€) coins as the ticket vending machine there does not accept notes. There are note-to-coin changer machines in the airport. €10 change per person should be sufficient for any journey.
  • Taxis - approx. € 23 - 31 to the centre of the city.
  • Blacklane - offers airport transfer service approx. € 40 to the city center.

Some hotels offer shuttle buses from the airport, enquire with your hotel before or upon arrival.

If there is no transportation running, it's reassuring to know that it is quite possible to walk the six km to town or vice versa to airport, in a little over an hour, though the area around the airport is Nice's red light district, and the walkway's first kilometre is a cycleway. This may be a useful in the current social discontent in France, where manifestations (demonstrations) and grèves (strikes) frequently affect public transport. It is prudent to check the local newspaper (Nice Matin), where you will usually receive advance warning of potential problems.

Transportation - Get In

By Train


Domestic

  • Nice is connected to the rest of France via the SNCF train network. A direct TGV train from Paris to Nice takes about 5½ hours, the part between Marseille and Nice (2:40) not being on high-speed tracks. The fares for an adult in second class ranges from about €19 to €180, depending on how far in advance you bought your ticket, on the period of the year and on the operator (the service "IdTGV", on-line only and not refundable, being cheaper than the SNCF service). On TGVs a reservation is obligatory. The train arrives in Nice at the Nice-Ville station.
  • Nice is also connected via rail to other cities and towns in the French Riviera, including Cannes, Monaco and Menton.
  • A narrow-gauge railway (known as Train des Pignes) through the mountains and valleys of the hinterland connects Digne-les-Bains to Nice. A very scenic but less comfortable ride than the SNCF main lines. Terminates at Nice-CP station a few blocks behind Nice-Ville main station.

International

  • 3 daily direct Thello trains to Milan (4h45) (via Genoa).
  • Other Italian destinations include Pisa, Florence, Rome and Venice. Regional trains in both France and Italy terminate at Ventimiglia, a transfer at Ventimiglia station is needed to cross the border. Intercity/Eurocity trains continue across the border and follow to Nice-Ville (central station).
  • A weekly long-distance night train from Moscow, making stop-overs in Minsk,Warsaw and Vienna among others, leaves the Moscow Belorussky station at 17:21 each Thursday and arrives in Nice almost at the same time two nights later.

Stations

  • Central Railway station Nice-Ville (Gare de Nice-Ville). Central (city) station, not to be confused with the stations at the city limits, Nice Riquier and Nice St Augustin. Nice-Ville is the station for visits to most sights such as the old town and promenade.
  • Railway station Nice CP (Gare des Chemins de Fer de Provence).Terminal for the narrow-gauge line: Nice – Digne-les-Bains in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (Upper Provence). A few blocks behind the main SNCF Nice-Ville station
  • Gare Nice-St-AugustinAvenue Edouard Grinda. Mon-Fri: 06h00-13h10, 13h40 - 20h40; Sat, Sun, holidays: 09h15-12h30, 13h30-17h20. It's a closest train station to the airport

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

Long distance buses connect Nice with other major European cities. Eurolines, and the French LER "Lignes Express Regionaux" connect Nice with Marseille, Toulon and Aix-en-Provence at a reasonable price and acceptable three hour journey time via the motorways.

Transportation - Get In

By Car

The A8 autoroute is the easiest way to access Nice either from the west (Cannes,Aix-en-Provence) or from Italy. From the West take exit 50 and follow the signs for the Promenade des Anglais which takes you into Nice and is a lovely drive along the coast. Coming from the east take exit 55 and follow the signs for 'Nice centre'.

Approaching the city from the East, the three 'Corniches' ('Basse', 'Moyenne' and 'Grande') offer a wonderful panoramic route from Menton to Nice. The 'Grande Corniche' is the highest one; it goes up to more than 500 metres on the sea level in La Turbie.

Transportation - Get In

By boat

Nice is right along the coast, so you should be able to find your way easily no matter if you run on diesel or let the wind help you. However, remember to contact the local port before arrival to reserve a place for your boat. Otherwise there will most likely not be room for you.

Gare Maritime de Nice (ferry terminal), Port de Commerce, Terminal 1(Quai Amiral Infernet), +33 4 95 55 03 93. Direct ferry routes to: Bastia, Ajaccio, Calvi and L'Île-Rousse in Corsica. Advance booking is advised in all cases.

Nearby Monaco is a major cruise port.


Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

By bus and tram

Each main town on the French Riviera has its own local bus network, for Nice it is Lignes d'Azur (Antibes has Envibus, Cannes has Bus Azur, and so on), and the 100 or more Lignes d'Azur routes are the main form of urban transport for locals going to work or school. Of more interest to tourists, an inter-urban network, the TAM (Transport Alpes-Maritimes) connects all the Eastern Riviera towns between Cannes and Menton and all the main villages like Èze and Vence. Its routes radiate from various bus stops near Vieille Ville (until the new bus station is completed in 2016). Bus fares are only €1.50, with a change to a non-return connecting service also permitted within 74 min, so it is worth mastering the bus system to get around.

The Lignes d'Azur and TAM routes overlap in and around Nice, so the ticket and tariff system is integrated to a common ticket zone, in which the local Lignes d'Azur tickets and passes are accepted on the longer distance TAM buses (only between Cagnes-sur-Mer to the west and Cap d'Ail short of Monaco to the east). The fare is identical on both networks - €1.50 for any distance - but with TAM, you must always tell the driver your intended destination, so he can judge whether you should purchase a TAM ticket or a Ligne d'Azur. Outside the common zone, Ligne d'Azur passes are not valid and you need to pay the €1.50 fare in cash.

The one exception to the €1.50 fare is the Airport Express bus, which has a €6 flat fare. This buys you a Lignes d'Azur all day pass into the bargain - handy if you're arriving, maybe not as beneficial if you're leaving.

The long awaited tram line opened in November 2007 and forms a U-shaped route from Las Planas to the northeast to Pont St Michel to the northwest. It links the main train station, bus station, downtown and the university, but it is basically a mass transit system designed to get workers and shoppers to the centre of Nice from the suburbs and is not of any particular value to tourists. It uses the same tickets as the buses, but you buy these from the machines at tram stops (unlike buses, where it is usual to pay the driver or show your pass on entering the bus). Another innovation is the hourly "commuter express" bus service direct to Monaco via the Autoroute, the 100 Express, though visitors may still prefer the slower and more scenic 100 route along the coast.

The SNCF rail service also links all the main coastal towns, so which is the best way to get around - bus or train? The journey from Nice to say Cannes by the 200 bus at €1.50 is considerably cheaper than the train, which is currently over €5. The buses are liable to dreadful overcrowding and have the prospect of standing for nearly 2h as it is slow with frequent stops and many traffic lights along the route. If you're short on cash and don't mind discomfort, take the bus. If you're short on time and prefer to sit, take the train.

When taking the bus, you must be aware of the somewhat odd way the bus schedules are laid out. They list the departure time at the first bus station, not the one you are currently at. At the right hand side of the bus schedule, you have a list of stations, and, next to some, you will find the time listed it will take the bus to get there (+20', for example). This means that you will have to do a lot of guessing. It is best to ask a native and leave some extra padding time if you plan to take a bus to any scheduled event that you really do not want to miss (airport, train, concerts, etc.).

You can find local bus and tram route maps and timetables on-line. Route maps are listed under 'Maps' and timetables as 'Timetables' in PDF format. Also, a new service ('Stop timetables') purports to display the times at your stop. From previous experience with the bus company, those should stand somewhere between educated guesses and outright fiction, due to unpredictable road traffic conditions (like one hour traffic jams around Villeneuve Loubet).

Apart from the airport express routes 98 and 99, buses rarely run after 20:00. The tram however operates from around 04:30 to after midnight. Five nightly bus routes (called Noctambus) serve the main parts of city, from 21:10 to 01:10, and TAM has also now introduced infrequent buses throughout the night on the 100 line. The night buses leave from the Station J.C. Bermond, near the bus station, and the day fares apply on these night routes. If you are planning a visit involving a late evening return, consider train services, which provide the most reliable form of late travel.

Note: The main city bus terminal was demolished in early 2011. A replacement is planned by 2015 or so, but for the present time, bus stops, starting points and routes have been relocated around the town centre (though little change to airport service). Visitors wanting to use the bus service in and around Nice should consult local sources and pdf (November 2012) for the latest routes, stations, stops and times.

The starting point for buses inthe direction Villefranche, Eze Village, Cap Ferrat, Monaco and Menton is Segurane/Garribaldi; westward buses towards the airport, Antibes and Cannes start at Albert 1er/Verdun close to the Meridien Hotel.

Transportation - Get Around

By train

Nice has no metro and little need for one. The main train service is the national French railway SNCF, which boasts the high speed TGV (slow to Marseilles and then extremely fast on to Paris and the local TER stopping trains, which serve the main Riviera towns between Cannes and Ventimiglia across the border in Italy, including the daily commute to Monaco.

Less well-known is the little narrow-gauge railway Chemin de Fer de Provence, which runs from Nice through the Var valley and along the Route Napoleon, three hours to Digne in Upper Provence. In the summer months, the latter part of the journey switches to a real steam train, the Train des Pignes.

Transportation - Get Around

By Car

You don't need a car to explore Nice itself, and if you do bring or hire one expect some frustration. The town centre is congested is covered by a complicated one-way system. Parking is very limited - all on-street parking anywhere central is on meters during the day, and even in spite of this it's very difficult to find a spot; you'll notice the Nicoise happily double-parking to nip to the shops. If you need a reliable parking place, your best bet is to buy a fixed-length ticket (abonnement) at one of the underground car parks, several of which offer 24-hour access. You can expect to pay €8-10 Euros a day for this kind of parking.

The best access is by car from the A8 autoroute. The airport is well-signed from the A8 and the A8 is well signed from the airport. Just make sure that you know which way you need to go when getting on the A8 and which terminal when leaving. Especially in the morning and evening rush hour, allow extra time to deal with accidents and traffic jams. The A8 has a ferocious bend right near the airport and accidents are frequent.

Even if it is going better, driving a car on the Riviera is for the brave: the region has one of the worst accident records in France and every local has a favourite story about a mad driver. However, all major car rental firms, as well as some less well known ones, are present. Most are located by terminal 2. If you have a choice, try to pick a car that is already well dinged so that no one notices the new dings and scratches that you will add. Never forget to lock the doors of the car at all times, so as not to tempt carjackers.

Transportation - Get Around

By taxi

If you can, avoid the notoriously expensive taxis, though sometimes you do not have a choice. It is not always easy to find a taxi when you need one. Most will not respond to being hailed, and only ply from a taxi rank, from where cabs take passengers in turn. Taxi-drivers have great solidarity with their fellow taxi-drivers and will not accept offers to jump a line of waiting passengers. Taxi ranks will be found outside the train station and deluxe hotels (for example outside Le Meridien at 1 Promenade des Anglais).

Taxis are registered and licensed but like anywhere, it's not unknown for one to take advantage of tourists. If possible, agree on the rate BEFORE entering the cab. If running on the meter, insist on the meter being on the whole time. Try to sit where you can see it so that you can immediately query the driver when/if it goes off "accidentally." Taxi fares within Nice should be less than €20, to Antibes €50, Monaco or Cannes approximately €70 and St Tropez €250. The airport run to Nice is a fixed tariff around €35, depending on time of day, but you may be hit for surcharges on luggage or the presence of a 4th passenger (designed to discourage cab-sharing).

Transportation - Get Around

By foot

Even though Nice is the 5th largest city in France, a high proportion of the tourist attractions are close together in the town centre, at most half an hour's walk from each other.

The main exception is the historical site and museum at Cimiez, which is more of a hike, but readily accessible by bus.

The only downside of "by foot" is in some places the lack of attention to the needs of those with reduced mobility - wheelchairs - as the dropping of kerbstones is entirely haphazard.

Transportation - Get Around

By bicycle

Nice has installed a public bicycle rental system called "Vélo Bleu". Subscriptions rank from one euro per day to €25/year. The first 30 minutes are free and you will not need any more time to get around in the city. Vélo Bleu stations can be found all over the city. Their website provides a map of stations.

If you have your own bike, you will never have to go far to find a place where to park it, as there are a lot of ground anchors in the city. Just be sure to have a good lock (avoid the cable-locks which can be cut within seconds), to lock the frame (and not only the wheel) and that your wheels cannot be removed without a tool.

Hotels

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Hotels

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Beaches

If you go to Nice for bathing or general lounging on the beach, you may wish to think again. The beaches of Nice consist entirely of large flat stones (gallets). A few private beaches have added a layer of sand, but the free public beaches are a stony experience. Besides towels or mats, you should definitely bring sandals, since walking on the stones can be painful, and a cushion if you want to sit. Free showers are provided on all public beaches and there is a beach volleyball area that is netted off with white sand.

Although the beaches are mainly pebbles it is important to note that many visitors enjoy the beautiful light blue sea for a swim. If you can bear to walk for a few steps on the pebbles it is definitely an opportunity for swimming rather than playing in the water as the beach drops quickly and the tidal pull can be very strong, and not for beginners. Lying on the beach for a sun tan or relaxation is also manageable as long as you rearrange the rocks/pebbles to a comfy surface for sitting and lying. Private beaches offer various services from restaurants/bars to the rental of lounge chairs and towels.

Much nicer beaches exist in other towns close by, such as Villefranche-sur-Mer, Antibes and Cannes, which are far more sandy. Villefranche is a particularly preferred beach choice, especially if travelling with children, only twenty minutes away by the TAM 100 bus.

However, for walks by the seaside with great views, the Promenade des Anglais is arguably unparalleled.

Shopping

Most stores and restaurants in Nice will accept the major credit cards, as well as debit cards from major banks (anything carrying the EC or Maestro or VISA logos). If this fails you can always get money from any of the numerous ATMs.

All shops are now allowed to open every Sunday and, as of November 2010, at least the following had started to open every Sunday: H&M, Zara, Fnac, Bershka, Celio, Virgin Megastore, and Spar. Some locations of Galleries Lafayette are now open several Sundays each month but not all of them, the same goes for Nice Etoile Shopping Centre.

Postcards (as many other things) vary greatly in price. Do some comparison shopping as the price range is between 20 cents and €1 for a normal postcard. Typically they will set you back 25 cents each (correct at June-2009).

Nice's main shopping street av. Jean Medecin is home to two giant music/entertainment stores, Virgin Megastore and the French FNAC. FNAC definitely has the edge as their many listening stations allow you to 'try before you buy' almost every CD in the house, whilst Virgin push only a few promotional selections. Both run near identical pricing policy on new albums. FNAC is closer to HMV, offering most forms of entertainment including books, games, CDs, DVDs and much more - the 4 floor store on Av. Jean Medecin is well worth exploring!

Designer label garments are, as everywhere, notoriously expensive but general fashion goods are really cheap compared to most other European countries, and Galleries Lafayette offers a lot under one roof. If that's not enough for you, they also have a huge superstore at Cap 3000 just next to St Laurent de Var past the airport (Lignes d Azur 52 and TAM bus 200, 400 and 500, stop La Passerelle). This is also home to Galleries Lafayette Gourmand, a food superstore to rival London'sHarrods and Selfridges. The wine selection is brilliant, especially aisles full of Rose de Provence, and there are a half dozen in-store lunch-time places.

Cheap bargain fashions are best sought at Ventimiglia's huge open street market each Friday, accessible by train from Nice Gare Ville to Ventimiglia a few kilometres over the Italian border. Just avoid the tempting fake luxury brands sold by the many street sellers. The war against counterfeiting is taken very seriously by the French border police and big fines are targeted at "innocent" tourists.

The central Nice Etoiles is available for anyone pining for a visit to a shopping mall, including three floors of a Dutch brand not seen by British people for twenty years that is still big in France - C&A. More nostalgia can also be found in av Jean Medecins' "Damart" - yes, the people that gave you "Thermolactyl underwear" to keep you warm in winter are also big here. About as sensible as the local "Bronzage" tanning parlours.

A cautionary note: The "duty free" shops at Nice airport terminals are the absolute worst value you will ever find and should be avoided at all costs: prices are way over those of even the high street. Food, drink and cigarettes dreadfully overpriced, and there are no bargains "before you fly". If you haven't yet kicked the habit, cigarettes in particular are best bought in Italy over the border, where taxes on smoking have not reached health promoting punitive levels.

  • Flower market (Marché aux Fleurs), Cours Saleya. The market is held every day, from 6 am to 5.30 pm except Mondays, Sunday afternoons and public holidays.
  • Marché aux Fruits et Legumes. Tu-Su 06:00-13:00. Food market.
  • Antique market. M 07:30-18:00.
  • Confisserie Florian14, Quai Papacino,  +33 493 554 350. M-Sa 09:00-12:00, 14:00-18:30. This gourmet shop has specific jams, sweet fruits and petals, which are traditional from that area. The candied clementine and the rose jam are their fine specialities.

Restaurants

A food called socca, a chickpea flat bread, is a local specialty, as is a tuna fish sandwich called pan bagnat. Other specialities include soupe de poisson (fish soup, made with chili aioli, croutons, and grated cheese), salade niçoise (made with tuna),tourtes aux blettes (sweet tartes made with Savoy cabbage, raisins, nuts, and powdered sugar) and pissaladiere (a type of pizza topped with sauteed onion, olives, garlic and anchovies; it includes no tomatoes or cheese). As may be expected, seafood features prominently in Niçoise cuisine, and several restaurants specialise in sea urchin and oysters.

Check out the daily market in the Vieux Nice for fresh, local produce. You can save a lot of money if you are willing to cook at least some of your meals yourself and if you also eat leftovers, cooking can actually save you time as well since eating at a restaurant will easily cost you one to two hours per meal. There are several decent size 'supermarchés' around the city as well as numerous boucheries, boulangeries and fruit and veg shops which are often competitive on price and superior on quality.

No visit to Nice would be complete without a trip to Fennochio's in the Place Rosetti to sample their (rightly) world famous ice cream.


Budget

Cheap & cheerful food in Nice is hard to come by if you don't take your time to look for it, though a baguette with different fillings range from €4-6, which is very reasonable by Nice standards.

The best deals in the center can be found in the port area.

Old Nice and all along the sea front the prices cannot be described as budget.

However, lunch-time set menus are certainly good value, if not 'cheap' per se. €10-12 should get you two courses, often with coffee and wine, and like much of continental Europe lunches can drift happily into the afternoon.

  • Restaurant Le Lodge, 14 Rue Halévy, If you're watching your budget but want to have a gourmet, healthy meal, this is the place to go for lunch. For €11 you get a main course, a drink such as wine, beer or soda and after the meal, a coffee. Try the trio of fish. For €13, add the dessert of the day. Hopefully it's cinnamon crème brûlée. Don't be put off by the one waitress to a full restaurant ratio, the chefs get the food to you quickly. The meal deals are more expensive during the night, starting at €19.
  • Lou Pilha Leva, place Centrale, Old Nice. Local dishes including the best tasting Socca, which only costs €2.50. Locals (and the lots of French tourists) seem to love this place and it is often quite busy. Order your food at the counter and take it with you to sit at the benches outside. Try Daube pasta/polenta and soupe au pistou, and socca. Very nice atmosphere and very decent price. For example, big plate of daube pasta costs €7 as well as chicken and fries and a side salad. Worth a try, even though the baked food can be somewhat soaked in oil. Avoid red wine at this place, though, as they serve it chilled rather than warm.
  • Sixte Pizza, 15 Rue Jean-Pierre Papon. Pizzas for €6; taking them away to the beach makes for a nice dinner.

Mid-range

  • Casa Mia, Rue Pontin, Old Nice. Does amazing Italian in a very homely environment. The menus around €20-25 offer excellent value for the service and quality.
  • le Delhi Belhi22 Rue de la Barillerie,  +33-4-93925187fax: +33-4-93925187. 7:00PM to 11:30PM daily. Delhi Belhi is a family-owned and -operated restaurant specializing in Indian cuisine. Open daily for dinner, a-la-carte or prix-fixe menu. Great curries and tandoori specialties. Delhi Belhi is the only Indian restaurant on the entire French riviera that has been included in the prestigious Gault-Millau guides since 2005. Fluent English also spoken here. Behind the popular cours Saleya flower market. This is a very popular restaurant so reservations are highly recommended (at least a few hours ahead). €15 to 20 per person (alcoholic drinks and wine are extra).
  • Le Shalimar, 11 Rue Biscarra, +33-4-93139578. Has tasty Indian food. The lunch menus are a good deal.
  • L'Occitanie, 54, bd Gambetta, +33-44-9382114111. In the Musician's Quarter, about 5 blocks from the Promenade des Anglais. A delightful, authentic brasserie/bistrot with delicious food. Reasonable prices, €15-30 per person. Gambetta is a main North/South Street. The area is quiet at night, and safe.
  • Restaurant du Gésu, 1, Place Jésus, +33 4 9362 2646. In the heart of Vieux Nice, this is a friendly, vibrant, old-fashioned restaurant with as much Italian influence as Provencale. The beignets, and daube with gnocchi are particularly good. €15-€30.
  • les hussards bleus, 68, Rue de France, at the corner of Rue St. Philippe, behind Neptune plage.
    Guided by two brothers, originally from Paris. Guests: locals, lots of inside information, less traffic after 7PM.
    Fish, meat, pizza, tagliatelle, omelettes, delicious salads
  • Mad'In Viet2 Place Saétone,  +33 493 874 755. Vietnamese restaurant. Serves good Vietnamese food at affordable prices. Note that rice is not included in the dishes but ordered separately. Chopsticks are provided but you have to ask for a fork and a knife. The staff are very friendly but speak next to no English, so be prepared to order in French. Main courses 12 € - 20 €.

Splurge

  • Le Safari,  +33 4 93 80 18 44fax: +33 4 93 62 62 14. 1, cours Saleya. Long established in the old quarter, now caters more for tourists than the locals. This reflects in the price and language spoken by those dining next to you. Overpriced compared to other local similar establishments. For a 3 course meal with wine, expect to pay more than €60/head.
  • Le Tire BouchonRue de la Préfecture/Rue de l'Abbaye 19,  +33 04 93 92 63 64. Located in the center of Nice, Le Tire Bouchon is an attractive, desirable restaurant to enjoy a gourmet meal. The restaurant has a picturesque atmosphere which everyone is sure to enjoy.

Sights & Landmarks

The greatest thing to see in Nice is the views along the Promenade des Anglais, which skirts the seacoast for over 5 km, then ends at Nice Airport. These are the views you will have seen in dozens of postcards and in paintings by the 20th-century artist, Henri Matisse, who spent so many years living in Nice, but whether you've seen pictures or not, you owe it to yourself to walk along some of this stretch if you have made it to Nice.

  • Colline du Château. The castle hill overlooking the Baie des Anges and harbour offers a spectacular vantage point overlooking the city. Not much is left of its ruined castle besides crumbling walls. Still, climbing up the stairs to reach the platforms 90 metres above Nice is well worth the view. There is also a lift (ascenseur) which will take you three quarters of the way up. Be aware that the castle hill park closes at around sunset. Expect to be escorted outside if you stay longer.

Nice is also known for several museums. Some of the most famous are in Cimiez, the older, upper part of the city which in a previous century was a favourite of Queen Victoria, including:

  • Musée des Arts asiatiques405, Promenade des Anglais (Just across the street from the airport),  +33 492 293700. 2 May to 15 October: 10:00-18:00; 16 October to 30 April: 10:00-17:00. Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian, and world art in great architecture on a lake. Free visit, conference, Qi Gong and Tai Chi Chuan.
  • Parc Phoenix405 Promenade des Anglais,  +33 4 92 29 77 00fax: +33 492 29 7701, e-mail: . daily, Apr-Sep, 09:30-19:30, Oct-Mar: 09:30-18:30. 2500 different plants in botanical garden and tropical glass house. Also various animals. €2.
  • Musée Chagall. Closed for renovation until March 2016. Includes stained glass windows by the artist. €9.00.
  • Musée Matisse164, Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez (Buses 15, 22, 17, 20),  +33 4 9381 0808fax: +33 4 9353 0022, e-mail: .daily except Tu, 10:00-16:00. Charming collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures in 17th century Genoese villa €10.
  • Musée d'Archeologie de Nice (Next to the Matisse museum),  +33 4 9381 5957fax: +33 4 9381 0800, e-mail: .daily except Tu, 10:00-18:00. The ruins of the Gallo-Roman settlement in Cimiez, plus a museum with nice documentation on Gallo-Roman life (but mostly not in English). Activities for children. Free entry; €3 guided tours.

The old town (Vieux Nice) beneath the hill is a maze of streets and alleys, with many picturesque houses, boutiques and home to the daily flower and fruit market of the Cours Saleya. In addition, the local cathedral, the Baroque Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, in the heart of Vieux Nice, is pretty. You'll want to walk through the Place Sainte-Réparate, anyway, while you're in the old city. If the doors are open, go in and look at the interior and paintings.

Near the central bus terminal, there is also the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC) with four connected towers featuring modern and contemporary artists and their sculptures, paintings, and conceptual installations. Its open-air roof terraces offer one of the best panoramas of the city.

To the west, there is the Musee des Beaux-Arts housing an excellent collection of pastels and other works by Jules Cheret, among other artists.


Squares

Place Masséna

The Place Masséna is the main square of the city. Before the Paillon River was covered over, the Pont-Neuf was the only practicable way between the old town and the modern one. The square was thus divided into two parts (North and South) in 1824. With the demolition of the Masséna Casino in 1979, the Place Masséna became more spacious and less dense and is now bordered by red ochre buildings of Italian architecture.

The recent rebuilding of the tramline gave the square back to the pedestrians, restoring its status as a real Mediterranean square. It is lined with palm trees and stone pines, instead of being the rectangular roundabout of sorts it had become over the years. Since its construction, the Place Masséna has always been the spot for great public events. It is used for concerts, and particularly during the summer festivals, the Corso carnavalesque (carnival parade) in February, the military procession of 14 July (Bastille Day) or other traditional celebrations and banquets.

The Place Masséna is a two-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais, old town, town centre, and Albert I Garden (Jardin Albert Ier). It is also a large crossroads between several of the main streets of the city: avenue Jean Médecin, avenue Félix Faure, boulevard Jean Jaurès, avenue de Verdun and rue Gioffredo.

Place Garibaldi

The Place Garibaldi also stands out for its architecture and history. It is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, hero of the Italian unification (born in Nice in 1807 when Nice was part of the Napoleonic Empire, before reverting to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia). The square was built at the end of the 18th century and served as the entry gate to the city and end of the road to Turin. It took several names between 1780 and 1870 (Plaça Pairoulièra, Place de la République, Place Napoléon, Place d'Armes, Place Saint-Augustin, Piazza Vittorio) and finally Place Garibaldi in September 1870.

A statue of Garibaldi, who was fiercely in favour of the union of Nice with Italy, stands in the centre of the square. The recent rebuilding of the area to accommodate the new tramway line gave mostly the entire square to pedestrians. The architecture is in line with the Turin model, which was the norm of urban renewal throughout the entire realm of the House of Savoy.

It is a crossroads between the Vieux Nice (old town) and the town centre. Place Garibaldi is close to the eastern districts of Nice, Port Lympia (Lympia Harbour), and the TNL commercial centre. This square is also a junction of several important streets: theboulevard Jean-Jaurès, the avenue de la République, the rue Cassini and the rue Catherine-Ségurane.

Place Rossetti

Entirely enclosed and pedestrianised, this square is located in the heart of the old town. With typical buildings in red and yellow ochres surrounding the square, the cathédrale Sainte-Réparate and the fountain in the centre, place Rossetti is a must-see spot in the old town. By day, the place is invaded by the terraces of traditional restaurants and the finest ice-cream makers. By night, the environment changes radically, with tourists and youths flocking to the square, where music reverberates on the walls of the small square. The square's lighting at night gives it a magical aspect.

Place Rossetti is in the centre of the old town, streets Jesus, Rossetti, Mascoïnat and the Pont-vieux (old bridge)

Cours Saleya

The Cours Saleya is situated parallel to theQuai des États-Unis. In the past, it belonged to the upper classes. It is probably the most traditional square of the town, with its daily flower market. The Cours Saleya also opens on the Palais des Rois Sardes (Palace of the Kings of Sardinia). In the present, the court is mostly a place of entertainment. There are good restaurants serving typical Nicois cuisine, markets and many pubs. It is no doubt one of the most active spots in Nice.

Place du Palais

As its name indicates, the Place du Palais is where the Palais de la Justice (Law courts) of Nice is located. On this square, there also is the Palais Rusca, which also belongs to the justice department (home of the tribunal de grande instance).

The square is also notable due to the presence of the city clock. Today, the Place du Palais is alive day and night. Often, groups of youths will hangout on the steps leading to the Palais de la Justice. Concerts, films, and other major public events frequently occur in this space.

It is situated halfway between the Cours Saleya and Place Masséna.

Things to do


Beautiful landscapes

For views of Nice the best vantage point is the heights of Mont Boron (bus 14). From the derelict old Fort and the nearby villa of Sir Elton John there are fine views over the city to the mountains and east over Villefranche and Cap Ferat.

Go to Eze. It is a small village on the way to Monaco. The village is situated on a small mountain and there is a beautiful cactus garden with a spectacular view (a must see, €5 entrance fee). There is also Fragonard perfume factory which you can visit for free. To reach Eze by bus, take the 112 to Eze Village (not the 100 which stops at Eze Gare, a 90 minute steep walk away from Eze Village). If you missed an infrequent (up to 3 hours) 115 bus in Eze Village, there is a path that goes down the mountain from Eze Village to Eze Sur Mer (also Eze Gare). This is the Path of Nietzsche (named after the famous German philosopher Friedrich W. Nietzsche), with some fantastic views and a waterfall (if you know where to look). Walking downhill through this path takes about 40 minutes. Buses run from Menton-Monaco through Eze Gare back to Nice every 15 minutes or so and vice versa, making treking back up the hill unnecessary.

Also close by is the magnificent Villa ile de France, of the Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild, straddling the magnificent peninsula of St Jean Cap Ferrat in the so-called Golden Triangle of Villefranche, Beaulieu and Cap Ferrat.

Hiking trails emanate from La Turbie high above Monaco and the Grande Corniche, which are double the height above sea level of Eze and offer the hardened walker truly spectacular vantage points over the Riviera.

  • Cliff Walk (Sentier Littoral) (Go past the old port (probably 15 minute walk) heading east toward Monaco, there is a little pathway that leads from Coco Beach along the side of the cliff,). You can follow the path around Cap de Nice half way to Villefranche, but be prepared for several hundred steps up to rejoin the road. It’s a very beautiful walk and you will find mostly local people using it.

Live performances

  • Opéra Nice Cote d'Azur4 & 6 rue Saint-François de Paule (In Vieux Nice near the Cours Saleya. Free parking at Palais de Justice and Cours Saleya),  +55 04 92 17 40 00, e-mail: . This opera house hosts not only opera performances but also many concerts of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice and chamber music recitals, and some ballet performances. The house's website is in French only, but even if you don't read French well, you should be able to make out the information on their calendar (calendrier).

Nightlife

With the hot Niçois summers, carrying a bottle of water is almost a must. Bear in mind the largest single complaint to the municipal authority tourist department is the offering in restaurants of branded water bottles whose seal has been broken - i.e. refilled with tap water - and charged as Perrier or Evian.

You can save a lot of money by buying alcoholic drinks and such in a normal supermarket instead of the vendors geared towards tourists. Carrefour has a huge selection and unlike the other supermarkets has a policy of buying in wine show "prize winners" distinguished by their gold, silver or bronze medal stickers.

Some popular places to go out for a drink include:

  • Ma Nolan's. — Right in the heart of the 'Old Town' and next to the opera, Ma Nolan's has everything you would expect from an Irish pub and more. Live music every night, major sporting events on four screens, really good food and very friendly staff. This place is a must.
  • Mc Mahon's. — Cool Irish Pub with pool table and fun theme nights. Just by the Tram stop 'Vieux Nice'.
  • Thor Pub. — Big Scandinavian/Irish Pub with live music every night. On two floors with a large terrace this place is expensive but chill. Many of the larger hotels (such as the Holiday Inn) have 2-for-1 drink coupons which can be easily obtained even if you are not a guest.
  • Blue Whales — Stays open until the wee hours of the morning.
  • Wayne's. — An old school bar with live music and theme nights, a bit coyote ugly meets cheers. When the place is crowded, people dance on the tables. It's somewhat expensive to drink here (but Wayne's isn't alone with this characteristic), but definitely one of the most fun/party places in Nice. English-speaking tourists also seem to gravitate to this bar, but you'll also meet lots of French people or locals here.
  • Checkpoint — A cozy bar on the ground level, and a great dance floor underground. Ladies night on Monday offers 0.50€ champagne (as of Feb 2013).
  • Le Marches — Lounge style bar on two floors with cocktails and tapas.
  • Master Home — A pub by Wayne's and King's Pub. More "French" than Wayne's and King's pubs and a little more classy. When you order alcoholic drinks, they bring you two or three dishes of nibbles. Even though the price is a little more expensive than the "English" pubs next door, it's still worth a visit and a fraction cheaper that the touristy bars/pubs. Try the rose (€3.20), the cheapest on the menu but delicious!
  • Pompeï — Stays open late, live music most nights (usually rock), good dancing on the weekends, indoor smoking room, next to Wayne's and the other Irish pubs - everyone flocks here after they close.
  • Jonathan's — If you're looking to meet locals, go to Jonathan's. Small hole-in-the-wall place full of younger people (mostly students) with great drink specials most nights. Not very well known by tourists.

Wine in restaurants is often ferociously expensive, so do as the locals and order it by the "pichet" - usually a 50 centilitre jug. However, if you fancy quality appellation French wine to drink back home, Les Caves Caprioglio at 16 Rue de la Prefecture in Vieux Nice has a fabulous cellar of the wines you usually only read about in the fine wines books but rarely see. To see French wine making, the Chateau's Bellet and Cremat in the Var are nearest to Nice and will do tours by arrangement (reachable via the tiny narrow-gauge train from the Chemin de Fer de Provence).

  • L’EssencielBoulevard Victor Hugo 50 (On top of the Splendid hotel), +33 04 93164157. 07:00-00:30 but depending on the season. Lounge bar at the pool on top of the hotel. Relaxed atmosphere and great views over the city. €10 cocktails.

Things to know


Culture

Nice is one of the oldest human settlements in the world. Terra-Amata, an archaeological site dating from the Lower Palaeolithic age, is situated near Nice. Nice itself was established by the ancient Greeks. There was also an independent Romancity, Cemenelum, near Nice, where the hill of Cimiez is located. It is an archaeological site with treasures, of which only a small part has been excavated. The excavated site includes thermal baths, arenas and Roman road.

Since the 2nd century AD, the light of the city has attracted many famous painters and sculptors such as Chagall, Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle, Klein, Arman and Sosno. Nice inspired many composers and intellectuals in different countries e.g. Berlioz,Rossini, Nietzsche etc.

Nice also has numerous museums of all kinds: Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse(arenas of Cimiez containing Roman ruins), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée international d'Art naïf Anatole Jakovsky, Musée Terra-Amata, Museum of Asian Art,Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain which devotes much space to the well-known École of Nice ”), Museum of Natural History, Musée Masséna, Naval Museum and Galerie des Ponchettes.

Being a vacation resort, Nice hosts many festivals throughout the year, such as the Carnaval de Nice and the Nice Jazz Festival.

Nice has a distinct culture due to its unique history. The local language Niçard(Nissart) is an Occitan dialect (but some Italian scholars argue that it is a Liguriandialect). It is still spoken by a substantial minority. Strong Italian and (to a lesser extent) Corsican influences make it more intelligible than other extant Provençal dialects.

In the past, Nice welcomed many immigrants from Italy (who continue to make up a large proportion of the population), as well as Spanish and Portuguese immigrants. However, in the past few decades immigration has been opened to include immigrants from all over the world, particularly those from former Northern and Western African colonies, as well as southeast Asia. Traditions are still alive, especially in folk music and dances. The most famous dance is the farandole.

Since 1860 a cannon (based at the Château east of Old Nice) is shot at twelve o'clock sharp. The detonation can be heard almost all over the city. This tradition goes back to Sir Thomas Coventry, who intended to remind the citizens of having lunch on time.


Work

Generally the Riviera is a place people come to spend money rather than earn it. Unemployment levels are high, casual work hard to come by, and as everywhere, service industry jobs tend to go to those with low wage expectations.

Sophia Antipolis is a huge office/science/tech park 20 minutes outside of Nice, which is the base for many French and multinational companies.

For those with the right qualifications and experience the luxury, super yachts of Antibes International Yacht Club have spawned a major industry in crew and boat services which attracts many young English speakers. Connections are equally important as the boats often post signs to deter casual enquiries - "no day-workers required"

Financial service companies abound in Monaco which is readily commutable from Nice.

If you are seeking a career aboard one of the many superyachts in Nice a good place to register and start looking is Crew Central


Religious services

Holy mass in Catholic churches in the vicinity of the convention centre Acropolis (Palais des Congrès et des Expositions):

  • Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice, 36, Place Don Bosco. Sa 18:30, Su 08:30 and 10:00, M-F 16:15 and 18:30.
  • St. Joseph, 21, Rue Smolett. Sa 18:30, Su 09:00, Th 18:00.
  • Saint Jean-Baptiste, Place du Voeu/Rue Alfrede Mortier. Sa 18:00, Su 11:00, M-W 18:45, Th-F 08:30.
  • St. Martin-St. Augustin, Place Saint-Augustin. Sa 16:00 and 17:30, Su 09:30 and 11:00, Tu-F 16:00.

Some other Catholic churches in downtown Nice:

  • Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, Place Rossetti. Sa 6:30PM, Su 10AM and noon, M-F 10AM.
  • Notre Dame du Port, 8, Place Ile de Beaute. Sun 10AM, M-F 6PM.
  • Basilique Notre Dame, 2, Rue d’Italie. Sa 11AM and 5:40PM, Su 8:30AM, 10AM, 11:15AM, 6PM, M-F 11AM, 6PM.

Protestant churches

  • Reformed temple, 21, blvd Victor Hugo. Su 10:15.
  • Lutheran church, 4, Rue Melchior de Vogüé. Su 10:30.
  • Baptist church, 32 rue de l'hôtel des postes. Su 10:30.
  • Evangelical church, 51bis, avenue de Pessicart. Su 10:00.
  • Anglican church Holy Trinity, 11, rue de la Buffa. Su 11:00, M&Th 12:15, Tu 18:15, W&F 10:30, Sa 09:00.

Orthodox churches

  • Greek orthodox church Saint Spyridon, 2, Avenue Desambrois. Su 10:30, M-Sa 10:15.
  • Russian orthodox cathedral Saint Nicolas, Avenue Nicolas II. Su-Sa 10:00.
  • Apostolic Armenian church, 281 Boulevard de la Madeleine. Su 10:00.

Mosques

  • (Sunni) Mosque in Rue de Suisse (in the city centre, near the cathedral - open at prayer times only)

Orthodox Synagogues

  • (Sephardic) Beit Yossef 16 rue Alexis Mossa

Safety in Nice

Stay Safe

Safety ( overall) - High /7.8

Safety ( day) - Very High /9.1

Safety ( night ) - Mid./5.5


Nice is no more dangerous than other cities in western countries - indeed in many cases it's a lot safer - however, you can stay more safe still following a few pieces of advice:

  • Don't even think about getting into an unlicensed "taxi" under any circumstances! That applies doubly so at times like the Film Festival, especially if you are female and have been drinking and partying late.
  • Take precautions against pickpockets, who are a constant and serious problem on the Côte d'Azur. They operate usually in teams in any crowded areas like buses, train stations, and tourist sites. Be vigilant at the tram station, Gare Thiers, where pickpockets prey on travel-weary tourists. They may well look like harmless fellow passengers, but they are extremely skilled and will lift your wallet from either your front or back pants pocket without your noticing. You are strongly advised not to carry anything valuable or annoying to replace in your pockets. Use pouches underneath your clothing for anything valuable, including cash. In restaurants and cafés, opportunist theft of handbags is a constant risk - keep them close at hand.
  • If you are travelling by car, take particular care not to leave anything of value in the car when parking. Theft from car boots is a particular issue in underground parking beneath the Nice old town. Leaving the parcel shelf off so that it's clear the boot is empty is a good way to avoid problems.
  • Judging from local newspaper reports, personal safety concerns are most likely to arise after 02:30, and visitors should stick to well lit streets with people still around.

If you do fall foul of Nice's criminal practitioners, the National Police Station is where you need to go to report problems such as being pickpocketed. It's at the junction of Ave Marechal Foch and Dubouchage, a couple of hundred metres east of the Nice Etoiles shopping centre. They will supply you with the necessary statements to support insurance claims, but don't expect them to recover your property. You will find the police station very busy with other victims towards the end of the evening.

Very High / 9.1

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Mid. / 5.5

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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