Nice on a budget
Favorite thing: At home among people who do not own any oil-wells we have a saying ‘to see Nice and die’. Try not to do anything like that. Saving for a long time and spending it in just one week is psychologically dangerous, the reality can never match your dream.
That said, relax, then concentrate - sounds a bit difficult, but it works. Good planning will take away at least half of your expenses, if not 2/3.
1) Accommodation – look up booking.com, and book the hotel for your trip next year NOW. This is how I got a hotel room in Stockholm for 50 euro/night – and Sweden is much. much more expensive, than France. This is risk-free, most hotels have free cancellation. By the way, do you need to stay at a hotel? Renting a flat may be less expensive and more interesting, especially if there will be 2 – 4 of you. Consider going in a company; sharing costs is very economy-wise.
2) Same about flights, though here you will be charged, if cancel. Consider www.skyscanner.com, or www.kayak.com.
3) Restaurants – do you actually need a restaurant? Buying you food at a supermarket and eating at home will save you a huge amount of money, while the time to cook the meal is negligible. Look for hotels with a microwave, or a hostel – Auberge de Jeunesse has a splendid location right in the centre of the city
4) Make up a list of free sightseeing - walking and looking around is good for your health and your purse. I personally like parks – see my tip ‘Sightseeing by category’. It’s always interesting to find something that has a connection to your country, too. Honestly, you can well skip museums – get the feel of the city instead.
5) Forget about stupid souvenirs, like T-shirts with the ‘Nice’ print – they are all made in other parts of the world anyway. Bring back tram / bus tickets, your hotel’s card, or the map of the place to show your friends where you have stayed
Good luck, hope it helps
- Budget Travel
Cost of living'
Favorite thing: Borrowed a great site from VT member Leics:
shows you 'cost of living' wherever you go
Looks up jeans in Nice, France - somehow mine made just 20 euro poorer, and I have been quite happy with them for 4 years already :)
- Budget Travel
Doing Laundry in Nice
Favorite thing: Definitely not my fave thing, but without a washing-machine, it's hard to wash heavy clothing/sheets.
Unfortunately my washing-machine broke (fixing it would be as expensive as a new one) and having no money to buy a new one, I had to use the nearest laundromat. Luckily, this one is clean enough. It's a small place with only 6 washing machines (one of 16 1/2 kg , three of 7 1/2 kg and two of 7 kg) and 4 dryers, so come early to avoid crowds.
You can use coins and/or bills to use the machines. The owner is usually in the afternoon, so he may change your money if he's there. Otherwise, your best bet is going to the nearest grocery store or La Poste (coin changer). For prices, check my main picture.
1) Load the drum with your clothes
2) Put the washing powder (if you didn't bring yours, you can buy there [see 2nd pic] and don't forget to use the cup for that)/softener in their respective compartiment (there are instructions on the wall in 3 languages: French, English and German). Close it.
3) Shut the washing machine door and choose the temperature program.
4) Check the number of your washing machine (number in green on the top right side)
5) Go to the payment machine (see main picture).
6) Insert coins slowly (always check the credit panel) and then click on the number of your washing machine (don't worry, this machine gives the change).
Washing at 40 °C usually takes about 30 mn.
The tricky part is using the dryer (only 10 mn). You'll need it more than once to get your clothes dried.
If you have a lot of clothes, it would be nice to have a basket (to remove your clothes from the washing machine to the dryer) or you will wet the whole place.
UPDATE: Bills are now accepted, but be careful to get your change. Insert your bill in the machine, choose the correct machine number (washing machine or dryer) and where you insert coins, push the button on the left side and you'll get your change in coins. When I went there to use a dryer, the payment machine wouldn't recognize my coins (whenever you insert coins/bills, the amount will be displayed on the credit panel on the top right), so when I pushed the coin button to have my money back, I had more than expected. Someone forgot to get his/her change and there was an extra 1€ among my coins...
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: Most hotels offer free wi-fi to their guests, however if you're outside and need to check an important e-mail or check something else, you may try restaurants/coffee shops providing this service for free.
If you're not allergic to McDonald's, the one on Promenadade des Anglais (near Meridien Hotel) closes at midnight and if you go upstairs, you also have a sea-view (also a great place to watch the Carnival Parade for free). I don't think the staff is so fussy about using their wi-fi without buying anything...
There are a lot of cybercafes in the train station area, such as:
25, Rue Paganini - Close to the train station (GARE SNCF)
Phone number: 04 97 11 01 37
On Carré D'Or area, there is one on Rue de la Buffa (near Rue Dalpozzo), but I forgot the name.
- Study Abroad
L'Eglise Russe' (Russian Church) - Closed 4 visits
Favorite thing: CLOSED FOR VISITS for at least 2 years (or when they finish its renovation)
Closed during the Divine Office.
Spring/Fall: Open from 9h15 AM to Midday and from 2h30 PM to 5h30 PM
Summer: Open from 9 AM to Midday and from 2h30 PM to 6 PM
Winter: Open from 9h30 AM to Midday and from 2h30 PM to 5 PM
Admission: 2, 50 Euros
NO cameras allowed inside.
At the time I visited it, there were explanatory sheets (rigid plastic) available in French, English (probably other languages as well). You can take one sheet and start your own tour inside the Church.
Before I leave the place, I lit a candle, put it near other candles and prayed. The candle is NOT free. You need to pay something.
You can buy postcards, books and souvenirs from the Russian Church at the exit (still inside the Church).
HOW TO GET THERE:
The Russian Church is close to the main train station in Nice. For directions, view the second photo.
Wanna hear the church bells? The bells toll every Sunday morning (around 10 AM) or all the week (almost every hour, I think) preceding Easter and Assumption Day.
- Religious Travel
Violette de Nice
Favorite thing: A fond memory of my time in Nice was of visiting a little fragrance shoppe in Vieux Nice. It's been a long time, and it may no longer be there. I just found the little bottle of Violette de Nice I purchased there - and after 24 years, it still smells nice. A fond memory - I wonder if it is still there? The label reads: **Souvenir de Nice**Violette de Nice**95º**Parfums**Poilpot**Fabricant A Nice**10 Rue St Gaetan
If I ever return to Nice, I would love to see if the shoppe is still there...
- Women's Travel
Accomodation areas choices
Favorite thing: First of all, do you have a car? If you do, choose a place that offers a parking space, otherwise you will spend a considerable time trying to find a parking spot. Things get almost impossible during Carnival, summer, school holidays...
Airport area: if you have an early flight, that's your best option. Otherwise, avoid staying here because it's a bit far from the city center (around 2,5 km) and public transportation at night is almost non-existent.
Train station area: Many budget hotels around and it's very dodgy looking. During the day, it's okay but solo female travellers should avoid this area at night.
Vieux-Nice (old town): If nightlife is important to you, that's the right place. Also if you like to stay close to shops, restaurants, bars, pubs, art galleries, etc... Forget staying here if you have a car, except if there's a parking space included with your accomodation. Also if you are a light sleeper, well, make extra sure windows are triple-glazed and that the place is far from pubs, bars...
Masséna area and Carré d'Or: In my opinion, they are best places to stay because it's the most central areas in Nice - close to everything (banks, shops, Vieux-Nice, beach, easy transportation access). Carré d'Or: It's the area from Le Negresco Hotel until Avenue Jean Médécin. You'll be surrounded by many hotels (all the 5-star hotels in Nice are in this area), restaurants (most real Japanese restaurants are here) and of course, shops/supermarkets and the sea.
Harbor area: Close to the sea, Vieux-Nice, boats, le Château and antiques shops.
Acropolis area: only if you are in Nice for a meeting/congress or exhibiton at Acropolis, but now with the tram, Place Massena (Massena Square) is only 5 minutes away.
Cimiez: It's a residential area. Only choose here if you want to stay in a quiet area and if you have a car because buses aren't that frequent here.
Youth hostels: So far there are three, one is located in Mont-Boron (close to Villefranche-sur-mer), one is in the city center and another in Cimiez (see my Nice intro page).
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: Large shops are usually open from Monday to Saturdays from 10 AM to about 7h30 PM and do not close at lunchtime (Galeries Lafayette opens from 9 AM to 8 PM , Virgin Megastore from 9h30 AM to 8 PM and Fnac from 10 AM to 8 PM. Nice Etoile mall from 10 AM to 7h30 PM) .
Supermarkets open around 8h30 - 9h00 AM, (smaller mini-markets closes between 1 PM-3 PM) and close around 8 PM.
Some small shops closes on Mondays.
Most shops and supermarkets close all day Sunday, but you might find a few around the "Zone Piétonne (Rue Masséna)" and Vieux-Nice (old town).
Best shopping streets:
- Avenue Jean Medécin: H& M, Etam, Levi's, Armand Thierry, Marionnaud Parfumerie, Monoprix, Shopping mall Nice Etoile, Zara, Virgin Megastore, Sephora Parfumerie, Galeries Lafayette, etc.
- "Zone Piétonne"(around Rue Masséna): Many shops, restaurants and cafés. Most open on Sunday as well.
- Avenue de Verdun: designer shops, such as Hermès, Cartier, etc.
- Rue de la Liberté: Ikks, Guess, Jacadi, Elena Miro
- Rue Longchamp / Rue Alphonse Karr: shoe shops and trendy clothing.
List of supermarkets/shops usually open on Sundays mornings (usually from 9 AM to 1 PM):
Intermarché (close to Negresco Hotel)
Address: 7-9 Boulevard Gambetta (Map)
(they also have another entrance on 8-10 Rue Saint Philipe)
Intermarché Express (close to Pedestrian area - Place Grimaldi)
Address: 8 Rue Grimaldi
Spar (near Pedestrian area - it's usually open on Sunday afternoons - I'm not sure if they also open in the mornings)
Address: 2 Rue Maccarani (Map)
- Women's Travel
- Luxury Travel
How to squeeze everything in one day
Favorite thing: With a decent guidebook in hand you can set out early in the morning and take bus 100 to Monaco - lots of picturesque villages to see on the way there, a real sightseeing. Costs 1 euro p.p.
P.S. Watch out, they have destroyed the bus station! You need to go to Station J.C.Bermond now, it's pretty central, but folks do not know how to make a decent queue.
Then train from Monaco (your luck if it is operated by a monegasque crew, they are very civil, and the carriages are new) to Cannes with a hop-off in Antib. About 10 euro, I think - consult SNCF site or http://www.bahn.com/i/view/index.shtml, they are good for planning, as I got to know from another VT member.
Then back to Nice on train.
You may even take the same train further to Grasse - that's for mountain villages, because you really have a very slim chance to get to St.Paul, or Vence, unless you use a helicopter. They have one in Monaco for hire, by the way.
Fondest memory: Honestly, I would stay in Nice instead. But you decide for yourself.
- Adventure Travel
- Budget Travel
Promenades des Anglais (2005) Olivier Monge
Favorite thing: Published in Black and White, architecture and history of buildings along the Promenade from the Rauba Capeu to no 93 - panoramic format over 20 pages.
Published on the ocassion of Nice Carnival 2005 10 euro
Photographer Olivier Monge, text Annes Monges
Palace of Justice
Favorite thing: This stately building is the Palace of Justice, which sits on a picturesque plaza of the same name, surrounded by other historical structures.
This building was constructed in the neo-classical style and is where the law courts are located. The clocher de la tour Rusca, an enchanting little bell tower sits opposite from it.
After taking numerous photos of this sunny square, Jim and I were off to explore Rue Messina, the Promenade des Anglais and catch a peek at the stretch of beach forming the famed French Riviera.
The Cathedrale St. Nicolas
Favorite thing: The Cathedrale St. Nicolas is an architecturally beautiful Orthodox Russian cathedral located in the city. As we traveled through Nice we viewed it through the trees, so my pictures weren't the best. Happily, this postcard shows its true magnificence.
Here's some history of this structure: Russian nobility, as well as, visitors from the Imperial Court began arriving in the mid-19th century. When visiting Nice in 1864, Tsar Nicolas II was introduced to this large Russian community. Through this contact, he was moved to generously fund the construction of the Cathedrale St. Nicolas, the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral outside of Russia. It was inaugurated in December, 1912.
It's sad to read that a dispute has arisen concerning this beautiful structure. The first Russians settling in Nice say this cathedral belongs to the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, but more recent Russian transplants consider it to be under the authority of the Russian state.
There is a tug of war regarding who owns the property. The old Russian class of nobility regard the later arrivals as interlopers lacking in Christian values, not dressing modestly and more concerned about their newfound wealth.
There is also a concern that these new Russians may be involved in the mafia. Many believe that a religious building should NOT be under the control of a corrupt government. I hope a just decision is made regarding the overseeing of this cathedral, beloved by so many.
The cathedral is located off Blvd. Gambetta in Av. Nicolas II. Visitors are welcome.
- Historical Travel
So you think you're a real Nissart?
Favorite thing: Do you think you've spent enough time in Nice? Then all those sentences should apply to you.
If not, please come back (or create new questions as a pretext to come back)
Fondest memory: THE TOWN ITSELF
- You know what the Paillon is and where it flows
- You know what the Jetee Promenade was and where it was situated
- You've been to a Fete des Mai in Cimiez
- You know the colours of the traditional costume
- You've had a barbecue on the beach (yes, I know, it's probably illegal, now)
- You've tasted: socca, gnocchi, farcis, tourta de blea, pissaladiere and a few other specialities
- You know that Monaco is a town but also a drink. What colour?
- You've been to Fenocchio and tasted weird ice-cream flavours (basil, smurf,...)
THE WAY YOU SAY IT
- You say "La Prom'" and not "La Promenade des Anglais"
- You say "le cours" and not "le cours Saleya"
- You say "le Vieux" and not "le vieux Nice"
- You say "Jean Med'" and not "L'avenue Jean Medecin"
- You can walk barefoot on hot pebbles
- But you'd rather go to Villefranche or Antibes for sandy beaches
- You know the meaning of the phrase "Que cagnard"
- You know who Catherine Segurane is
- You know who Mado la Nicoise is
- You've seen Leon (the mad guy with a guitar asking for cigarettes), punk, the dancer dressed like Michael Jackson, and the Vietnamese guy who sings in two voices
Favorite thing: Le Pitchoun is a free guide about the shops, bars, hairdressing salons, restaurants,...on the Riviera and more particularly in Nice.
You'll usually find it in public places, sometimes you'll see the volunteer students who create it distribute it in the streets, and if you can't find any (and you speak French), you'll find most of the infos online.
I think it is very useful and honest (the volunteers act as mystery shoppers to test the places) and if you've got the paper version, you also get a card that can get you some deductions or bonuses.
Fondest memory: http://www.pitchoun.com/
- Budget Travel
Listening to the news in English
Favorite thing: Tune in to Riviera Radio. FM 106.3 in Monaco and around FM 106.5 closer to Cannes.
They play normal pop or rock music and hold programs and both foreign and French news in English.
You'll find a lot of info about clubs and events for non-French (speaking) residents on their website.
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