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bineba Nice - A travel report by Sabine
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Nice,  France - flag France -  Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
15348 readers

bineba's travel reports

Nice is nice!

  20 votes
Page: 1 2
When you think of the French Riviera you think of glamour and wealth, but I found that the Cote d'Azur has a lot to offer even to a traveller who is neither glamorous or rich. report of the month contest
Jul 2004

The Baie des Anges, Nice
The Baie des Anges, Nice
We went to Nice for four days in the middle of June, taking advantage of one of the many budget flights now available from London. I had never been to the South of France and I really loved it! Nice is a beautiful city, very walkable, with a lovely old town. It is very close to the Italian border and therefore there is a charming mixture of both French and Italian architecture, food and atmosphere.

Favourite spots:
Vieux Nice as seen from Parc le Chateau
Vieux Nice as seen from Parc le Chateau
From the Parc du Chateau, a public park atop a 92 m high hill, you have fantastic views of the whole of Nice, on one side you have views of the Mediterreanean, the beach, the Promenade des Anglais and Vieux Nice, the old quarter, on the other side you look down on the harbour of Nice. The park is full of surprises, like mosaics, colourful flowers, cafes, an artificial waterfall (very refreshing when it's hot!) and the ruins of the castle the park was named after. There are plenty of benches to have picnics on and enjoy the views. You can either climb up the hill via staircases or take the cheap lift from the Tour Bellanda on rue des Ponchettes. In the northwestern part of the park is a cemetary where Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was born in Nice, is buried.

What's really great:
Not enough palm trees!
Not enough palm trees!
The old town, or Vieux Nice, is full of narrow, winding streets and very colourful. From the colour-washed houses in all shades of yellow and orange to the flower-laden balconies, from artfully painted shop shutters to the fantastic market on Cours Saleya ( a fruit and vegetable market on Tuesday to Sunday mornings, a flower and craft market on Mondays). There are loads of cafes and restaurants and around every corner there is a surprise, be it a fountain, a church or a quirky shop.

Cathedral St-Nicholas
Cathedral St-Nicholas
An unusual sight in the South of France is the beautiful onion-domed turn-of the-century Russian Orthodox church Cathedrale St-Nicolas. There is an entrance fee to visit the inside, but I found it well worth it.

There are several art museums in Nice including a Matisse and a Chagall museum.

Hotel Windsor
Hotel Windsor
We stayed at the 3* Hotel Windsor (11, rue Dalpozzo) about 5 minutes walk from the Promenade des Anglais and 10 minutes walk from the main train station. Room rates start from 105 euros (75 euros off season). This hotel is probably not the place if you are on a very tight budget, but for a special occasion (it was my birthday!) it was perfect. The hotel has a wonderful exotic garden (breakfast is served here, but costs extra)complete with swimming pool; there is South-East Asian art in the lobby, prints of Tintin covers in the stairwell, and on the top floor a hammam, gym and meditation room. There is also a bar and restaurant. Rooms are spacious and comfortable and come with a safe and minibar. For a few more euros you can also book rooms which have been individually designed by contemporary aritists. The staff are wonderful.

Market on cours Saleya
Market on cours Saleya
There are restaurants absolutely everywhere and the menus tend to be more Italian than French. But I suggest you go to the market in the morning, buy some French bread, cheeses and olives and have a picnic on the beach. The beach is a pebble beach, so no problems with sand in your sandwich!
If you love ice cream you are in for a treat: Fennocchio on pl Rossetti in Vieux Nice has won several awards and there are so many flavours to chose from: from several different chocolate flavours to blood orange sorbet to the more unusual ones like basil ice cream!

Other recommendations:
Miles Davis outside Hotel Negresco
Miles Davis outside Hotel Negresco
The Promenade des Anglais, Nice's famous seafront esplanade, is a fantastic place to take a stroll any time of day. Or you could hire a bicycle or rollerblade up and down it. But whatever your mode of transport is, take time to people watch. It's fun! Or sit down on one of the many benches and watch people hanging from parachutes attached to powerful motorboats. You can walk all the way round to the harbour and the Quai Rauba Capeu is a great place to watch the sunset from. The beach itself is not very spectacular, it's pebbly and there are also a lot of private beaches which charge an arm and a leg for the use of a parasol and sun lounger. Better head out to Villefranche-sur-Mer, only 8 minutes by train from Nice!

Published on Tuesday July 13th, 2004

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Sun, Aug 08 2004 - 07:26 AM rating by spaceout

Great article!! Keep up the good work! Makes me want to be in Nice asap. :-)

Wed, Aug 04 2004 - 10:56 AM rating by whereisliz

A pleasure to read, lots of observations and tips, including geography, history and food. I enjoy that you write about details like prices and distance from train station to hotel, things I like to know.

Tue, Jul 13 2004 - 11:54 PM rating by traveling_gal

Fabulous report. A great read. :)

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