Hostelworld Guide for Nice

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Capital of France's illustrious Côte d'Azur, Nice is, if you'll pardon the expression, nice. The city's best known strip, Promenade des Anglais, boasts amazing views of the city and overlooks Nice's rocky beaches, making it a haven for sun worshippers. But don't worry if lying motionless on your back isn't your thing. Nice has fascinating museums, one of Europe's most charming old towns, while it is also the gateway to the rest of the Côte d'Azur, meaning both Cannes and Monaco are right on your doorstep.

 

 

In this Guide...      

Useful Information
After Dark
Places to Eat
Top Attractions
Budget Tips
Where to Shop






 The Essentials


 Climate


Getting There

By plane: Airlines flying to Nice land in Aéroport International Nice-Côte d'Azur which is just 7km west of the city centre. Bus #98 from the airport goes to Promenade des Anglais while #99 goes to the train station. The journey costs €4 but this is for a ticket which is valid for the whole day.

By train: Nice's Gare du Nice is 1,200m north of the beach. It has good connections with the rest of France and the Côte d'Azur.

By bus: Nice's bus station is on Boulevard de Jean Jaurès on the east side of the city.

Getting Around

On foot: Nice is divided into three main areas - the beach, the train station and Vieux Nice (old town). If you don't mind moderate walks, you shouldn't need to use public transport during your stay.

By bus: Nice's main mode of public transport is bus. Number 12 connects the train station with Promenade des Anglais. Buses #2, 5 and 17 connect the train station to the bus station and Vieux Nice.

By taxi: Taxis are easy to pick up around Nice and there are ranks at Place Messana, Promenade des Anglais and outside the train station.

 Useful phrases

Hello: Bonjour
Goodbye: Au revoir
Please: S'il vous plait
Thank you: Merci
You're welcome: De rien
Yes: Oui
No: Non
Of course: Bien sur
Excuse me: Excusez moi
How are you?: Ca va?
Open: Ouvrir
Closed: Fermé
What is your name?: Comment tu t'appelles?
My name is...: Je m'appelle...
How much?: Combien?
May I have the bill?: L'addition s'il vous plait.


Thanks to Nice's location in the south of France, and the fact that it stretches over a coastal plain open southward into the Mediterranean, it enjoys mild winters and famously warm, sunny summers. It boasts approximately 2,725 hours of sunshine yearly in comparison to 1,650 in Paris. Between December and March are its coldest months when temperatures can drop to 10°C. The rest of time though it is mild, with highs reaching 35°C+.

temps

 Useful Information

Language: French
Currency: Euro
Electricity: 220 Volts AC, 50 Hz
Area Codes: +33 (France), 04 (Nice)
Emergency Numbers: Ambulance 15 / Fire 18 / Police 17
Time Zone: Central European Time (GMT+1)
Central Post Office: 23 ave Thiers (acoss from the train station)
Main Tourist Office: Gare du Nice (Nice train station)

Embassies / Consulates

US: +33 (0)4 9388 8955
UK: +33 (0)4 04 9382 3204
Canada: +33 (0)4 9392 9322
Australia: +33 (0)1 4059 3301 (Embassy in Paris)
South Africa: +377 9325 2426 (Consulate in Monaco)
Ireland: +33 (0)4 9361 5063 (in Antibes)
Germany: +33 (0)4 9383 5525
Spain: +377 9330 2498 (Consulate in Monaco)
Italy: +33 (0)4 9388 7986
New Zealand: +33 (0)1 4501 4343 (Embassy in Paris)

 
Hostelworld Guide for Nice www.hostelworld.com

 Cheap Eats


 After Dark


Restaurant du Gesú, 1, Place du Jésus With its plentiful outdoor seating, friendly staff, and menu full of main courses costing under €10, it will come as no surprise that locating a seat in this restaurant can prove to be very challenging. It also enjoys a privileged location under Eglise du Gesú, one of the Old Town's numerous churches. Open Mon-Sat 7pm-11.30pm.

Boulangerie Multari, 2 rue Alphonse Karr If the wisping aromas from this busy boulangerie don't lure you in, the rock-bottom prices will. Here you can choose from pastries, cakes and pizzas from as little as €1.30. Something for both those in search of a snack and those in search of something sweeter. Open Mon-Sat from 6am-8pm.

 The Healthier Option

Fruits et Legumes, cnr rue Paganini Want to stay as trim as most of the bodies adorning the famed Côte d'Azur? Then you're better off steering clear of Nice's pizzerias and boulangeries and heading to this colourful fruit market where you can pick up all types of fruits and vegetables. If your will power gives in though, you can pick up baguettes too. Open Tues-Sun from 7am-7pm.

Le Circuit, 2, Place Saetone If you're staying near the train station and you're looking for somewhere to go for breakfast before slapping on your sunscreen, look no further. For €5.80 you'll get yourself a croissant, coffee, orange juice, baguette, butter and jam. It's a great place for people watching. Open Mon-Fri 7.30am-8pm, Sat & Sun 8am-1pm.

Tart'in, 22, reu Benoit Bunico This no-frills pizzeria in Vieux Nice is where you'll find the cheapest pizza in town. For just €6.80 you can enjoy a margherita as you watch people zoom by from the outside seating area. Open from 1pm-12.30am.


Wayne's, 15, rue de la Préfecture Attracting backpackers from all across the globe, Wayne's is the craziest bar in Nice and a night here isn't to be missed. There's something different going on every night - Sunday is live karaoke night, Monday is 'Bingo Monday' while Thursday is 'Lady's Night'. Lots of dancing on the tables also. Open daily from 12 noon-1am.

O'Neill's, 40, rue Droite Nice's token 'Oirish' bar is actually one of a handful of Irish bars. This one attracts the most customers though and is good fun. Each Thursday is 'Crazy Thursday' when beers are €3.30 and shooters are €1.50 while students dislodge their noses from their books on Wednesdays for student night. Open Mon-Thurs & Sun from 5pm-2am, Fri-Sat 1pm-2am.

Blue Whales, 1, rue Mascoïnat After a couple of nights out in Nice you'll begin to notice it gets surprisingly timid after 2am. Thankfully, Blue Whales keeps things ticking in the Old Town until 4.30am. It attracts a slightly grungy crowd due to its blend of live bands and rock music. Between 6pm and 9pm is happy hour. Open daily from 6pm-4.30am.

 Gay / Lesbian Nice

Nice's gay scene isn't as vibrant as in other French cities but it still has its fair share of gay venues. Its best known is Le Klub (6, rue Halévy) just 5 minutes from from Promenade des Anglaise which is the city's premier gay venue and is prone to pump dance music from its speakers. Le New Rusca (2, rue Rusca) attracts big crowds while Blue Boy (2, rue Jean Baptiste Spinetta) is another popular bar on the gay circuit.

Place Magenta Slightly touristy and a tad more expensive than the rest of the city, Place Magenta is a nice square to sip on a few cold ones nonetheless. Bordered by bars such as Brasserie le Mirador, La Fontaine and a Häagen-Dazs bar, there's always a nice atmosphere here. During summer months street performers keep bored onlookers entertained.

Subway, 19, rue Droite People have been getting more and more nostalgic as we progress into the 'naughties' and as a result there are more and more 80s-themed bars. Playing hits from the aforementioned decade as well as ska and new wave music, this is one of those bars. Open Tues-Sat from 11.30pm-late.


 Don't Miss


 Mark Your Calendar


Vieux Nice Nice's Old Town is full of quaint, narrow lanes to explore where locals come and go about their daily lives and waves of tourists meander their way past each other. There are numerous attractions to discover, while Vieux Nice is also where you will find the city's most popular bars and restaurants.

 Innovative Works of Art

Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Promenade des Arts Housed in an imposing building on the outskirts of the city and home to collections by Yves Klein and Andy Warhol, Nice's modern art museum is a must for those with a passion for New Realism and Pop Art. This enthralling museum has 4 floors - 2 with permanent exhibitions and 2 with temporary ones. Open Tues-Sun from 10am-6pm; guided visits €5.

Palais Lascaris, 15, rue Droite Formerly the residence the Lascaris-Vintimiglia family, this Genoese-style palace dates back to the mid-17th century. After being sold in 1802, the building severely deteriorated but, after being acquired by the City of Nice in 1942, has been restored to its former glory. Open daily from 10am-6pm (closed Tuesdays); admission free.

Cathédreale Orthodoxe Russe-St Nicolas, Avenue Nicolas II This Russian church was the first Russian church to be given the title of cathedral outside of Russia before the revolution in 1917. It is home to some amazing woodwork and frescos. Open daily from 9am-noon & 2.30pm-6pm; admission €3.

Monaco, Cannes and Antibes Nice is the gateway to the rest of the Côte d'Azur, meaning you can visit both cities, which are home to those more fortunate than backpackers, within 30 minutes. Antibes, an old walled town, is worth a visit also.


January - Luna Park Every January at Nice's Acropolis Exhibitions Centre, Luna Park, a huge amusement park, is staged. Attracting people of all ages, some of the rides aren't for the faint-hearted!

February - Nice Carnival Nice's annual carnival is the biggest winter event in the city. Over two weeks bonfires are lit, fireworks go off while huge parades entertain the thousands who visit the city.

March - Festin des Cougourdons This festival, which dates back to the Middle Ages, concentrates on local folklore and decorated gourds. The shapes of the gourds which are grown locally attract a lot of attention!

May - La Fete des Mai Nice's oldest annual festival, which take place every Sunday for the entire month, brings folk traditions in dancing, music and more. All this takes place in the Cimiez Gardens and Amphitheater.

June - Fête de la Musique Free concerts are staged all over the city for this annual music festival which entertains thousands every summer.

July - Nice Jazz Festival Both French and international jazz artists jet into Nice for its annual jazz festival which also takes place in the city's Cimiez Gardens and Amphitheater.

July - Bastille Day As Nice is France's fifth largest city, huge celebrations take place on the country's national holiday. Fireworks displays light up the skies and parades march through the city.

August - Libération of Nice A ball and other celebrations are held in Nice's Place Masséna for this festival which celebrates the liberation of Nice.

September - Fête de la San Bertoumieu Vieux Nice is the place for Fête de la San Bertoumieu. For the duration of this festival a grand market selling traditional arts and crafts is set up.

December - Christmas Village For the festive season a traditional Christmas village can be found in Place Massena. Along with an ice-rink, stands sell all sorts of Christmas gifts and, of course, mulled wine to keep you warm!

December - International Star Regatta Nice's Baie des Anges hosts a rowing regatta where teams from all over the world battle it out for the top prize.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Nice www.hostelworld.com

 Get Connected


 Retail Therapy


Sencom, 8, rue de Belgique This internet café is very popular and hot and cold are drinks available. According to the management, 'the world is yours with cheaper prices'. They have a point as their rates, while aren't the cheapest, are definitely competitive. Open daily from 9am-10pm; €1 for 15 mins, €4 per hour.

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Panini @nd Web, 25, Promenade des Anglais Have you ever thought to yourself 'I'm hungry', while also thinking 'I need to mail home?' No? Well if you do, this place is just for you as they specialise in web access and paninis, hence the inventive name. Open daily from 9am-10pm; €4.50 per hour, €5.50 for panini, drink & 15 mins access.

Call Box, 10, rue de Belgique Just two minutes from Nice's train station, Call Box is a no-frills internet café. Here you'll find nothing other than computers, telephone boxes for international calls and cold drinks. Web access is cheap though. Open daily from 8am-11pm; €3 per hour.

Internet Allo Mama, 19, rue d’Angleterre As signs have a tendency to influence certain people to do certain things, this sign may influence you to send an email home to Mom. If you drop in you'll be glad it has thanks to nice surroundings and low prices. Open daily from 9am-midnight; €2 per hour.

M@il Service.Nice, 6, rue Meyerbeer This cybershop's rates are a bit expensive, but it is immaculately clean and right beside the beach. Open daily from 9.30am-11pm; €5 per hour.

 www.

www.nicetourism.com
www.waynes.fr
www.oldnice.com
www.mamac-nice.org


Galeries Lafayette, 6, avenue Jean-Medecin Galeries Lafayette is one of France's best-known chain of department stores so no surprise there is one in the capital of the Côte d'Azur. Here you can pick up everything from leather goods to food. It has five floors and is worth checking out even if you're not shopping. Open Mon-Sat from 9am-7pm.

Virgin Megastore, 15 avenue Jean Médecin When you really want to buy yourself something new, but your budget is as tight as your jeans after one too many baguettes, you should at least be able to stretch things to a new CD. Nice's Virgin Megastore is well stocked with the latest CDs, DVDs and everything else you'd expect from a music store. Open daily from 9am-7pm.

Nice Etoile, 30, avenue Jean Médecin This huge shopping complex between the train station and the beach has 4 floors making it a great place to inflict damage on your flexible friend. Here you'll find an Adidas store, a Quiksilver store, a Swatch store (what time is it?!) plus lots, lots more. Open Mon-Sat from 10am-7.30pm.

 Quirky Objects and Bargains Galore

Vieux Nice Nice's Old Town is fully of quirky shops selling everything from U2 portraits to candles. If you find yourself down there at night make sure to check out Place Centrale where various shops sell cheap clothes and more.

Casino supermarkets, various locations If you fancy cooking for yourself for a change, or you're sick of paying expensive prices for wine when you go out, find one of these supermarkets where you'll pick up any groceries you may need and bottles of red wine for €2.50. Nice has a total of nine branches, the most central behind the Nice Etoile Centre on rue Deudon.


 Budget Tips


 A Day in Nice...


Relax on the beach! Make no mistake about it - Nice's biggest attraction is its beach. You have to rent sunbeds at certain parts along the beach but half the beach is free for the public to use. Keep in mind that it is a stony beach so if you don't have an inflatable bed, invest in one.

Visit the Old Town's churches Europe's churches and cathedrals are some of the most fascinating in the world and Vieux Nice is home to many Baroque examples. Cathédrale Ste-Réparate is a beautiful cathedral overlooking the beautiful Place Rosetti while Eglise de Gésu is the oldest Baroque church in the city. Others you should keep an eye out for are Église Saint Marting Saint-Augustin, one of the oldest parish churches and L'Église Saint-Giaume which was rebuilt in the 17th century. Admission to all is free.

 A Leisurely Stroll

Stroll along Promenade des Anglais In 1822 a group of people from Nice's English colony pooled together to make a shoreside path to stroll along. As a result, Promenade des Anglais was born. Today, Nice's famous path is the perfect place to weave in and out of joggers, rollerbladers, tourists and sunworshippers either coming or going to the beach.

Save money at the MAMAC If you visit Nice on the first or third weekend of the month and plan on visiting the modern art museum, leave your visit until Sunday. The museum is free on the first and third Sunday of every month.

Visit Colline de Château Located at the west end of Nice's beach, Colline de Château (Castle Hill), which is considered to be the cradle of the town of Nice, is an old fortified site that was occupied by the Celtic Liguarians. You can get there from the Old Town and it boasts breathtaking views over the city.


Begin the day with a continental breakfast. 'Le Circuit' at Place Saetone near the train station does good ones for €5.80 complete with croissant, baguette and coffee.

Check out Nice's modern art museum. Located ten minutes from Promenade des Anglais, it houses some excellent examples of Pop Art.

Make your way down to Promenade des Anglais, Nice's infamous strip. People watch, gaze out over the sea and watch out for rollerbladers!

Grab a bite to eat. Most places along the promenade are quite tacky but just five minutes from the beach on Place Massena is a good boulangerie.

Pick a spot on Nice's beach for some serious tan-management! Remember to bring a ground cover or inflatable bed if you can - no sand here!

Explore Vieux Nice, Nice's beautiful Old Town. Visit its churches, explore its narrow lanes and check out Palais Lascaris.

Take the hike up Colline de Château to enjoy the best view in Nice (below). You can look out over Nice's port from up here also.

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Grab a bite to eat in the Old Town. It is full of restaurants. Do your best to locate a vacant seat outside Restaurant du Gesú at Place du Jésus. It does great, reasonable food.

Go for a couple of beers in O'Neill's, Vieux Nice's best Irish bar before ending the night dancing on the tables with hundreds of other backpackers in Wayne's!

 
Hostelworld Guide for Nice www.hostelworld.com