Category Archives: top tips

Breakfast on the beach

So many beach bars and restaurants to choose from for a hedonistic breakfast on the beach! Of course the easiest solution could be to pick up a croissant or baguette from your boulangerie on your way down and sit on the pebbles as near to the waves and sound of the sea as possible.

However for comfort and a touch of luxury my favourite place recently has to be Hi Beach, found just west of Boulevard Gambetta. With the stylish loungers and parasols matching the turquoise of the sea this is a beautiful place to relax.

What to do if it’s wet…

Yes, it sometimes rains in Nice…

One of my favourite places for a wet afternoon is the Rialto cinema on Rue de Rivoli

And I have to admit that the reason I prefer this cinema to all the other brilliant cinemas in Nice is because it’s nearest to our apartment so I don’t get so wet going there…and because they have films in the orignal language –  Version Originale or VO. These are latest releases not some ancient old dusty ones! It’s a very comfortable popular cinema with several screens.

Find a list here of all Nice’s cinemas with up-to-date information of the films currently being shown:

http://www.cote.azur.fr/cinema

Nice Airport

One of the great things about Nice is how close the airport is to the city – just a 15 – 20 minute bus ride direct into the centre along the palm-tree-lined Promenade des Anglais.

On your flight out of Nice the airport is a pleasant place to await your flight.  If you have time before going through security go along to the upper level by the KLM desk and go up the very long escalator (or in the lift) to the top floor where you’ll find several cafes and a bar – with a wonderful view of the arriving and departing planes.

 

pétanque

What a great game! I love pétanque and Nice is a brilliant place to watch groups of players in parks – among the olive trees in Cimiez for example – where you’ll find games in progress most afternoons.

You’ll also find clubs and open pistes dotted around the town, on the sea-front near the airport, on the slopes of the Colline du Chateau and in the Vieille Ville. You can see some of the clubs in Nice here http://www.rivierapetanqueshow.com/articles/ou-jouer-a-la-petanque-a-nice.php

Check out  http://www.rivierapetanqueshow.com to see photos from the recent massive petanque competition held in Nice.

Who loves pétanque?

beaches

There’s no getting away from it…Nice beaches are pebbly.

However with flipflops – or jelly shoes for the unfashion-conscious (after all you’re on holiday) – the beautiful grey/blue pebbles need not be a problem. In fact for trouble-free walking over the pebbles and a comfy foot-related entrance and exit from the waves look out for the black rubber beach shoes which most of the little beach shops sell. These are the best solution and look good too.

Getting in and out of the sea can be tricky because of the slope and swell! I do best to surf in on my tummy and reach for the shore this way. Of course you’re taking advice here from probably the least agile bather around so it’s very likely that you will experience no difficulty at all in nimbly nipping in and out of the waves.

Please share your tips with me!

maps

I love maps and always like to carry one with me to spot new routes and short-cuts which often turn out to be long-cuts because of the interesting places I come across!

You can get free maps of Nice from the tourist information offices next to the Gare SNCF and on the Promenade des Anglais next to the Casino Ruhl.

If you want to download a map in advance (giving you the fun of planning your days and doing some virtual exploring) go here for a straightforward map of the town centre including the Old Town – you can enlarge it so that you can really get to see all the little streets!

For a google map click here and print a copy to have handy on the plane so you can spot places along the coast as you fly into Nice!

from the airport to the centre

Getting from the airport into Nice couldn’t be easier! As you leave the arrivals building you can see the bus stops lined up on the other side of the roadway. Buses 98 and 99 are the dedicated airport buses and for 4 euros take you swiftly into Nice in about 20 minutes. (See below for advice about tickets.)

On leaving the airport you immediately feel part of Nice as you drive right next to the blue and turquoise sea, the palm trees and the sweep of the bay…

Which bus?Bus 98 takes you to the Gare Routière (bus station) and 99 to the Gare SNCF (main train station on Ave Thiers).

Both buses go along the Promenade des Anglais until reaching Boulevard Gambetta where the 99 turns left and continues along Gambetta with a request stop just before the Jardins Alsace-Lorraine, for which you need to ring the bell, before arriving at the train station.

Bus 98 continues along the Promenade forking left by the Jardin Albert Premier with its landmark Big Wheel and a handy stop for the beginning of the Old Town at Rue St François de Paule. Continuing to the terminus at the Gare Routière gives you easy access to the rest of the Old Town.

Tickets: You can buy your ticket from the driver on the bus but it’s very handy to get “un pass sept jours” from the kiosk outside the terminal building along to the right before crossing the roadway to the bus. A single ticket is 4 euros and a 7-day pass is 15 euros and gives you unlimited travel on buses and the tram. We always go for the 7 jours as we’ll be returning to the airport by bus and plan to use the bus or tram while in Nice – it’s very convenient to have a ticket in advance as you can bypass the queue of people waiting to pay the driver. (You have to validate your pass in the ticket reader each time you get on the bus or tram.)