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By Cours Saleya in Vieux Nice, there are several cafes and brasseries to choose from, all of them overpriced. I had lunch here for only one reason--this was one of the few spots where I could thaw under the winter sun.
Unique Suggestions: At 1 pm, when the market closes, so do most of the eateries. If you want to find some variety (in food and prices), come earlier.
Fun Alternatives: Have lunch outside of Vieux Nice, say Place Massena or the main avenue of Nice? Since only tourists go to Vieux Nice, everything is priced for tourists. Downtown, where the locals eat, is a safer bet.
Updated Jun 25, 2004
The restaurants in the Cours Saleya provide a attractive atmosphere and picturesque setting but for generally very average food thats a little on the pricey side. Do it once if you must.
Unique Suggestions: Make the most of that atmosphere, sit outside rather than in , enjoy the wonderful sight of the Chateau all lit up and the vibrant setting. You won't mind being a tourist here.
Fun Alternatives: Check out the retaurant tips of other VT members, explore, be adventurous.
Written Feb 6, 2004
Nice Terminal 2 is a glorious architectural project, and its handful of shops and luxury boutiques is mostly at odds with todays budget-conscious low-cost airline traveller's needs. Those used to airports as giant shopping malls with a small sideline in flying planes are in for an unwelcome suprise. The staple "duty-free" airport commodities like electrical goods and gagets, alcohol and tobacco are all hugely overpriced. Forget buying at the airport - buy anywhere but. Everything in the airport shops is dearer than you will pay at home, let alone the French High Street.
There is now a small Relay shop for newspapers and magazines after you have been through security, but after passport control there is actually very little to occupy your time. You can get a coffee in a paper cup from the horribly overpriced Bar du Monde, browse the Air France glossy magazine, and watch your fellow passengers fidget.
Unique Suggestions: Traveling to Nice ? In normal hours don't pay for a taxi to town unless you are on "recoverable expenses". At around 35 euro it is a regulated fare, but in no way value for money, it should be said largely down to the airports extortionate concession fee the taxi-drivers have to pay to work the airport. Instead, use the airport- town express bus services Route 98 or 99 instead. 99 goes to the Gare SNCF railway Station while its alternate 98 goes along the Promenade des Anglais past all the main hotels on the front and on to the Gare Routiere bus station. Its usually about 15 minutes wait between one or the other, costs only four euro, and the ticket doubles up as a free local bus and tram pass for the day (only local Lignes d'Azur, buses and not the TAM network which serves the main towns)
The airport-Nice Gare Routiere last bus is shortly before midnight, but if for any reason your flight is severely delayed and you find yourself arriving after midnight, don't panic but be prepared for some stark choices. They have introduced night buses from T1 - the N100 bound for Menton via Nice Villefranche and Monaco (23:30, 01:00 and 02:30) and N200 bound for Cannes (23:30, 01:00, 02:30 and 04:10). A few taxis hang about opportunistically and are expensive enough to Nice Centre, and a hell of a lot more if you are destined for Cannes or Monaco. But even the taxi drivers want a night's sleep
You may find yourself having to consider walking the six kilometres to town. If its a warm night, it's a safe if lengthy walk (hour and ten minutes) along the airport perimiter cycle route and then the curve of the Baie to town, however you might just regret bringing that heavy suitcase. You will also probably chance on more than a few scantily-clad young ladies, waiting at bus stops, the buses having finished for the night several hours previously. Still, do not be concerned: there's no shortage of kindly gentlemen pulling up in their cars to offer them a lift.
Fun Alternatives: On arriving at T2, wait patiently for the next bus 98 or 99 to Nice Centre, ticket buy on board 4.00 Euro one way.
On the way home, to get to the airport, board the bus to the airport from the Railway Station Gare SNCF or on the sea front at The Meridian/ Mercure Promenade des Anglais.The railway station is better as less traffic en route.
You can't take local alcohol through security due to the 100ml+ liquids ban, but for any smokers, cigarettes should be bought in nearby Italy, as the French have have vastly higher tax rates.
Updated Oct 18, 2009
Welcome to Nices first clip joint, Le Charlot Bar, a few doors from the Opera House near the Cours Saleya. The prestige champagnes are listed at between 2,000 and 4,500 euros a bottle. A modest cocktail will set you back 40 euro. Its not double vision. There are actually drinks on the menu here that cost more than a months salary.
Its always a good idea anywhere to take a look at the price list outside, which is required under French law.
Updated Nov 11, 2004
Waynes Bar, Rue de la Prefecture, British "pub entertainment". What's it to be - Quiz Night, or Bingo Madness?. (You can just see me at Bingo. "Excuse me love, could I borrow your card? Mine seems to be full")
I could not imagine anything as awful as Pimps 'n' Ho's night ("Well, which is it to be tonight then? Right. Pimp. OK. What's in the bag, b i t c h?!")
Well someone must like it.
If you have come to the Cote d'Azur by mistake, or you're in Nice on a mate's stag night because the flights to Prague were fully booked, then there is always Waynes. A place in which you can while away a few hours and forget you are in the South of France.
Unique Suggestions: On arrival, sink several large tumblers of Absinthe.
Then at least you won't remember how the "Pimps 'n' Ho's" evening ended with you taking the wrong woman back to your hotel. And why you've inexplicably run out of Euros.
Fun Alternatives: Choose from any of the hundreds of French bars around Vieux Nice.
Updated Mar 20, 2005
THE PRIVATE BEACHES
The private beaches in Nice are the most appalling value and 2004 has shown this to perfection with rows of empty sunloungers.
The beaches are so expensive that only the rich or foolish can afford to use them and there is no reduction when they are empty.
First a large sum of money is charged for the loungers and the parasol is extra! The next charge for the unwary is for the thin well worn scraps of material that the call towels, at 3 or 4 euros a go pretty poor value even if they were new.
The loos are primitive and the changing facilities prehistoric rather like the campsites of 20 years ago.
The restaurants serve pleasant but expensive food and this is usually in unbearable heat.
Why don't the beaches adopt the easyJet system, cheap for the first-comers and getting more expensive as the loungers fill up? This year must have been terrible for the concessionaires who pay the city a lot for the space on the beach. There were occasions, even in the afternoon when there appeared to be about 20 people on the Castel Plage.
Unique Suggestions: If you must go to a private beach, take your own towel and eat at your lounger as the sandwiches are better value than the meals at the table.
Take a tube of ibuprofen gel for massaging into the neck muscles which will be soon aching from craning round trying to catch the attention of a waiter.
Fun Alternatives: Scarborough has beautiful golden sands, and on a baking hot day there is no better place with cheap beer, fish and chips and donkeys.
Keep an eye on the English weather and if it is good, get a flight from Nice and nip home for a few days of heaven in Scarborough.
Written Nov 5, 2004
Old town Nice.....you will loose money just by going through those narrow lovely gorgeos streets of the old town.
In the summer time (july) there are sales all over, especially the leather (cuir) departments.
Handle the prices......you might get them even better then they already are. The problem is that it's so hot that to try leather clothes, could be a little bit problematic...but it's worth.
Unique Suggestions: What to do not to fall into this trap.....just simply avoid going there.
Fun Alternatives: Here I spent some EURO.....but it was 50% off.
TEXAS CITY, specialist in leather clothes (super dooper)
9, rue de la Boucherie - Vieux Nice
Tel. 04 93 62 55 10
Written Jul 26, 2003
They say they are a sweet factory but they actually only sell their gourmandises which are made somewhere else.
ADDRESS: Confiserie Florian du Vieux Nice,
14, Quai Papacino (just across the harbor)
06 300 Nice
Tél : 00 33 (0)4 93 55 43 50
Unique Suggestions: Drool!!!!!!
Fun Alternatives: I'm not a big fan of sweet, so I'd rather recommend you to go eat some Socca.
Written Jan 22, 2003
There are several parking garages or parking areas in Nice. BUT.. be prepared to pay quite a bit!!
We stayed just over an 1 hr and payed just over 4 Euros at the under ground garage at Cours Saleya!!
Fun Alternatives: If you are tight for cash, try to use the public transportation instead of spending a good portion of the time searching for parking!
Written Apr 26, 2004
People in a wheelchair, disregard this warning.
But others...do you really have to spend good money and miss all the view you would have had over the Baie des Anges, and the stroll in the park, and the sights and smells of this maze of trees?
Fun Alternatives: Please, if you can, go up the stairs to the Chateau. You'll actually find several entrances, some less steep than others.
The best one is the one starting on the Promenade, after les Ponchettes, that leads you on top of the Tour Bellanda.
But there is another one in the Vieux-Nice, that you can catch from the Place Rossetti, and yet another one at the edge of Place Garibaldi.
Updated Feb 20, 2009
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