“Nice” City of France
Nice is a truly gorgeous city on the extreme south-east of France near both Monaco and the border of Italy.
This coastal city is the top resort on the French Riviera and is an intriguing convergence of cultures between France and Italy, the Alps and the Mediterranean.
This ancient city was founded by the Greeks who named it after Nike, goddess of victory and it has been a centre of trade and commerce ever since.
The city has always been a multicultural centre with strong Italian ties and there are also strong ties with Spain and Portugal but in recent times the city has truly opened up to all the cultures of the world.
One of the largest cities in France and second only to Paris as a tourist destination, in this city enjoys a remarkable micro-climate.
Though the city is exposed to the sea, it is nestled in a hollow between wooded hills on either side and the Alps are only 30 km to the north.
The sea breeze serves to cool the city in summer and warm the city during the winter.
Nice’s best bits:
Nice is one of the top resorts on the French Riviera and it’s no wonder with its stunning beaches and charming city.
Walk around the city’s old town and soak up the atmosphere on the narrow winding streets – they’re fun to explore and really come alive at night.
Visit the famous Cours Saleya Flower Market, Place Rossetti with its baroque cathedral Saint Réparate, Palais Lascaris, and the Plasse Massena with its colourful 19th-century neoclassical facades.
Don’t forget to check out some fascinating museums in this city like the Matisse Museum, the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain and the Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall.
For an unforgettable experience take the trek up Le Parc du Château to see some breathtaking vistas of the Old town and the bay.
Stroll down the city’s Promenade des Anglais and relax on those famous blue deckchairs. This is where the popular city Carnival takes place every Spring.
The promenade stretches along part of the seafront and there are up to 15 beaches along the Nice Bay (private and public) so you’re sure to find you that you’ll like!
You might also like to hire a car and tour the beautiful French Riviera and discover the cities of Cannes, Marseille and Genoa.
Getting around Nice:
Nice is a large city; however, it is not difficult to restrict your tour to the old city where you will find that a lot of its main attractions are within walking distance.
However should you choose to explore further, the Nice bus service is quite good and can make a quick journey to almost anywhere in the city, but best of all is that you don’t miss out on your sightseeing en route.
The Tramway de Nice is expected to complete construction during 2007 and will serve a large area of Nice. The taxis in this city can be used for point to point transportation throughout the city if necessary.
Nice – know before you go:
Most major credit cards are widely accepted but always ask beforehand to make sure. And most, of the numerous, ATM’s will accept credit cards along with bank passcards containing the Cirrus logo.
There is a compulsory service charge of 15% included in restaurant bills but not in a bar where it is customary to tip a euro or two or by rounding up the bill.
Business hours –
General shopping hours are from 9 am to 5-6 pm Monday to Saturday, this can be longer for larger stores and smaller stores tend to close for lunch. Government buildings, banks and post offices usually close at 4.30 pm.
When’s a good time to go –
Nice is great for a weekend trip at any time of year. However June is an especially good time of year to go, obviously, this city can be a very hot place during the summer, so it is recommended that you always carry some bottled water.
How to get to Nice:
As one of the top destinations in France, Nice is served by Cote d’Azur International Airport. The airport is second only to the Parisian airports in importance and is no more than 6 km from Nice.
It is also served by train, including the high-speed TGV, into Gare de Nice station. The station was built over a century ago in the style of Louis XIII.
The station has retained this distinctive look throughout its history and is well worth a visit even if you are not travelling by train. Journey time from Paris is just over 6 hours on the TGV!
As a seaside resort and port, it is also possible to arrive by sea. There are frequent trips to the island of Corsica from the Port of this city.
For travel around the city, the bus system is extensive and is the best way to see the city as you travel. The main bus station is in Place Massena.