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Nice is the perfect place to explore the Côte d’Azur

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A spectacular overhead view of Nice.

Nice is France’s fifth-largest city, and is the Côte d’Azur’s tourist centre located in the Southeast corner of France on her Mediterranean coast.

For years Nice was an Italian dominion becoming part of France in 1860. Nestled in the Bay of Angels, Nice has long been a popular destination for the British tourist. This was a trend started by the English upper class in the second half of the 18th century with many wealthy family’s spending the winter in Nice due to its favourable climate.

Promenade des Anglais

The city’s famous seaside Promenade des Anglais owes its construction to the wealthy English who spent the winter in the resort, and helped to finance the walkway along the seafront. The five-mile Promenade is now used by cyclists, roller-bladers, runners, and also by people who are just out for a stroll.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Nice is June, and July when the weather is perfect August is very hot with many of the businesses shutting up shop for the month while the owners take their vacation.

Nice travel options

Nice is also the perfect spot for exploring the whole of the French Riviera with trains running constantly along the coast from the main train station Gare Nice Ville (av Thiers) with a one way fare to Monaco 3.10€ taking only 20 minutes and home of the famous film festival Cannes a 40 minute journey for 5.50€

With many low-cost airlines now flying into Nice there has never been a better time to visit the south of France.  All International flights arrive at terminal 1 except for Easyjet, which lands at the domestic flights terminal 2. From the airport you can take a taxi into town which will cost you around 30€ and more at night when the rates go up. Alternatively if you want to travel with your own wheels you could hire a car, there are a number of car rental firms at the airport or you could visit a car hire site before you leave home for Nice.

The best way to get into town is on the Express Buses, 98 and 99 both buses stop at the two terminals and will take you to the city centre for 4€ your bus ticket is also valid on any other bus for the entire day.

Accommodation options

There are endless choices when it comes to deciding where you want to stay, and a vast price rage as well from the recommended Hotel Nice Garden in the towns centre only 200 metres from the sea, and one block to the pedestrian zone with prices starting from 56€ a night.  All the way up to the Belle Époque Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais, where you can pay anywhere from 200€ on up for a night’s stay.

The internal luxury of the Hotel Negresco, Nice.

 Things to do in Nice

Nice is the perfect holiday destination for everyone with so many things to see and do from the culture of its museums, and the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum to the beauty of its parks, and public places. It is also famed for its fabulous food and nightlife.

A must do while in Nice is to go early in the morning to the Cours Saleya which is a flower, and vegetable market located in the old town with all its vibrant colours and perfume scented air you will feel like a native out for your mornings shopping. The market is held every day except for Mondays when it is replaced by a flea market with many stalls selling antiques.

Also while in Nice be sure to have their world famous “Salad Nicoise” at least once this way the next time you hear someone describing the ingredients you can put them straight now that you are an expert.

Flickr Image Credits: Britrob and experienceLA.

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