Favorite thing: You can feel the atmosphere that fills picturesquely narrow streets during the day or night. The streets are packed with shops and shoppers. Small restaurants, food, meat, produce, pasta, clothes, gifts, anything and everything. You can buy wine by the bottle or the barrel (bring your own container) and an amazing variety of fresh-made ravioli and other pasta.
Favorite thing: The center of Nice is from the big fountain, Fountaine du Soleil, across the Place Massena, ringed by bright pastel buildings, and up the Avenue Jean Médecin. Continuing beneath the railway overpass beside the train station, Ave Jean Médecin becomes Ave Malaussena.
The Rue de France pedestrian shopping street runs from the end of the Place Massena, roughly parallel to the seaside. This area is full of shops, including some exclusive clothing boutiques, and restaurants and cafés with outdoor terraces - a great place to sit and watch the world go by, while you eat or drink.
Favorite thing: This is probably the most famous part of Nice. For more than a century, people have been flocking here to walk along the famous boardwalk des Anglais.
The seashore is also lined with an impressive selection of luxury hotels, the most prestigious of which is the Négresco.
Favorite thing: "Le Chateau" isn't a chateau -- the castle on top of this high rock hill overlooking Nice old town and the port has been gone since 1706, but it's a great place to visit. There are cool walks in the shade of the trees, great views out over Nice and the Mediterranean, a large grassy park, playground, Roman ruins and a waterfall.
Twelve noon - its "boom" time!
Favorite thing: On the dot of twelve noon each day, a canon shot sounds over central Nice. Look up to the sky and you will catch the puff of smoke from the explosive arial charge.
It is the canon of Sir Thomas Coventry, a colonel of the British army , who in 1860 asked the municipality of Nice to fire a cannonball everyday at noon, to remind his forgetful wife that it was time to serve his lunch. He committed to supplying all the ammunition and the canon, which was installed in the castle, at 92 meters in height, so that it could be heard by all the citizens of the city.
Hear the sound of the canon at twelve sharp and note, along with 300,000 Nicois, that it is time to go find a little restaurant to sit, eat and chat for the next two hours.
Live from Nice! Check the Baie des Anges from home
Favorite thing: The ever helpful Nice Office de Tourisme at 5 Promenade des Anglais has a webcam mounted on its roof, overlooking the Baie.
Anytime you want, you can peek through a thousand mile window looking out over Nice. Watch in real time the azure blue sky, the turquoise blue waters of the Med and the radiant curve of the bay all the way out to the tip of the airport. Tiny people totter along the promenade and disappear under the white arches, while the traffic zips by as the image refreshes.
Though its not always the case, this morning it was looking just perfect. Makes you just want to jump on a plane..... or at least go click on Webcam
There. Now your living room has a sea view.
Pricy Meals in Restaurants.... make your own lunch
Favorite thing: If you are trying to save some money and avoid some of the over priced restaurants in this region... stop off at any Patisserie, buy some excellent french bread, get some cheese maybe a wonderful Olive spread.. a plastic knife.. a blanket and you are set!!!
Many people (locals and tourists) head to the sea shore line at lunch where they enjoy their packed lunches.
It's a beautiful setting for a tiny picnic, it saves some money.. and if you are with the right person, it can be so romantic!!!
Favorite thing: JL Martinetti is THE photographer of Nice. His awe-inspiring photo's really capture the colours of the Mediterranean and the style that makes Nice so uplifting. Framed or unframed, small and large, they come no better than this. His shop is in the centre of Vieux Nice, and stocks a huge selection in poster or postcard form.
Rue de la prefecture, off Vieux Nice and the Palais de Justice
Favorite thing: The Negresco is the unique landmark of Nice and the Promenade. Designed in the best Belle Epoche style by architect Edouard Niermans it opened in 1912, and remains Nice's most luxurious address.
Inside it boasts a chandelier that is twin to one in Moscow.. and its restaurant, Chanteclair is almost certainly the most expensive in Nice.
Photographed countless times by every visitor, it still raises the spirits every time you see it. Pictured here a little unusually, when its night time illumination bulbs were briefly changed over to mimic the tricolor of the Italian flag.
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Favorite thing: In France, you can buy stamps at post offices and Tabacs (a shop displaying the red diamond shaped "tabac" sign).
The main post office in Nice is located on Avenue Thiers (just across main train station).
One individual stamp costs 0,55 €
The cost of sending a letter depends on its weight and destination.
If you want to buy stamps (less than 10), you will have to queue (beforehand grab a ticket and wait for your number to be displayed). Otherwise, you can buy a 10-stamp book (carnet de timbre) or frank your letter at the postage vending machines, which are located on the right. Only coins accepted as far as I know. If you read a sign which says "Hors Service", it means the machine is out of service.
Favorite thing: Nice plays host to a great variety of street entertainers anywhere that tourists gather. These range from the half dozen Pan Pipes South American musicians every twenty yards along the Prom to wannabe Django Reinharts who hop from cafe to cafe repeating their little repertoire. Its all very good-humoured and not unexpected
My favourite is the "Catman" who is a regular on the Zone Pietone. The crowd is truly enthralled how he has trained two lovely cats to climb and sit on his raised arms, and then catch a ball of cotton wool thrown from the crowd. Its just a little party piece, but I would guess enough to earn the masked man a living.
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Nice's E R - Hospital St Roch
Favorite thing: In the event of medical emergency, The Hospital St Roch offers the city's central Accident and Emergency Department, a few hundred metres from the Acropolis and Museum of Modern Art.
The Service des Urgences will allow you to sample Frances excellent public health system, fully equiped with a George Clooney lookalike with an "'ow you say, Franche accente". No doubt also puffing on a Gaulloise blond during surgery. Whilst contemplating the meaningless of existence.
EU citizens can present their form E111, and after treatment embark on the bureaucratic nightmare of obtaining reimbursement.. Obtain the "feuille de soins" (statement of treatment) and send it with your E111 to the nearest CPAM office (Sickness Insurance office) whilst still in France. It takes two months to receive a statement of your refund. For inpatient care the insurance office will pay 75% and the balance is down to you , along with the fixed daily "hotel" charge.
Favorite thing: As the season warms up expect the hen-count to rise. Nice is very female-friendly and generally very safe - and a magnet for those hen-weekends of six to eight girls out together for a a good weekend - away from the pressures of work and the men back home.
The men back home can now all have their mates around, drink beer and watch football, with a clear conscience.
Variations on the colour blue
Favorite thing: Not without reason called "the Cote d'Azur", feast your eyes on the colour blue and its variations.
Missing right now are the famous blue chairs. Too many disappeared as a souvenir into the back of a visiting camper van.
They have been promised to return, but right now, very un-Nicelike white benches have taken their place.
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)
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