At least, it was a Nice tourist trap.
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.
Nice Terminal 2
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.
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Dining out in the Cours
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.
- Budget Travel
A fruit juice at 30 euro?
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.
You came here to get away from this, no?
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.
Chuck your wallet in the sea
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.
- Luxury Travel
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
- Budget Travel
Confiserie Florian isn't a sweet factory
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.
Thinking of driving to Nice? - You'll pay LARGE
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!
Lifts to the Chateau
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.
Boscolo Park and Nice in general...Tres ***ty!
This hotel is an absolute dump. It faces the ocean, true, but it also abuts (word purposely chosen) a little park where assorted drunks and other deginerates congreagate. Last week, I woke early to take a walk on the promenade. Stepping out into the street from the lobby, I noticed what I thought was a new sculpture placed in the park, memorializing French Culture. Upon a clearer view, the 'sculpture' came to life as one of the drunks who was bent over, ass wide open for all to see, taking a *** in the park - real time - and wiping his ass with newspapers which he then let fall on the grass. Perhaps it was truly a testament to French culture after all - ***ty overall and marked by numerous assholes beginning with the petty pricks at immigration at Nice airport. What is it about small French males???
So unless you're an English tourist looking for a step up from what you'd find in the UK, I would never stay at this property again! Bonjour ,assholes of Boscolo Park!
A proud American
Unique Suggestions: If you absolutely must stay at either of the two Boscolo's do NOT use deodorant during your stay, do NOT brush or clean your teeth in any fashion, do NOT change your clothes including underwear, do NOT bathe, and especially, do not shave - applies to men and women - and pickpockets will leave you alone as they will think you are a native.
Fun Alternatives: Two words: stay home.
Avoid being ripped off
At the tourist locations, most meals and especially soft drinks are often double what they are elsewhere, so avoid ordering soft drinks and when possible get them in areas that are not frequented by tourists where prices are more reasonable. Also unlike Germany, wine is the local drink and is cheaper than beer.
Cours Saleya - not very serious
I found that avarage restaurant service level in Nice is not satisfactory. Cours Saleya is promoted as good place where to have a excellent dinner but I would like to expect more serious service level of restaurant staff. I got the impression that main goal of restaurants is to get maximum incomings during the evening and service is really poor (putting mildly).
I don't want to say that all restaurants in Nice have poor service quality because further away from beach there are nice small restaurants with good service.
Unique Suggestions: If you have dinner in Cours Saleya don't expect good service if you don't have a big order.
Fun Alternatives: If you have dinner in Cours Saleya don't take only a drink. Order something to eat and something expensive :)
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Tourist Scam in Nice,France
We visited Nice in May 2010 and were returning back from Gare SNCF Nice Ville(Main Train Station) to our hotel. We took the tram from the Gare Theirs(nearby tram station) and noticed some two 'grubby' looking guys following us at a distance.
After alighting from the tram we decided to stop at a bank branch to withdraw money.Unfortunately(or fortunately) the ATM did not accept our card.. Very soon
one of the guys came in and started shouting at us. I have heard about the scam and shoutd "police" and "thief".The bank staff came to our help. He was telling them we had picked his pocket! Of course, the bank security sent him in his way. We however waited a little
longer. Then, his colleague came, but had to beat a hasty retreat.
Unique Suggestions: Advice-
Use ATM inside banks, avoid free standing ones.
Look around and be aware of the surroundings.
Call for help - know words for "Thief," "police" "help" in French.
Avoid areas near station, especially at night.
Trams are very crowded in Nice and infested with pickpockets.
Use buses as they are cheap, frequent and not crowded.
If taking taxis to/from Nice airport tell the driver beforehand that you need a receipt with his taxi number, (the 4 digit number written on roof next to word "Taxi"). They are unlikely to overchage you with this precaution
Avoid giving Euro 50 currency notes in shops/taxis(Currency note scam) where they take the note as just say that it was a euro 10 note. If you want change the bigger notes, do so at your hotel ot bigger stores.
The website http://www.lignedazur.com/ gives the various transport options for cote d azur.
Click on the UK flag for English translation.
Not so nice bus & taxi in Nice
It's good to note that the fare for the bus is only 1euro. however, We forgot to check the bus schedules so we ended up cold and almost stranded in the sidewalk. a bus driver refused to take us to the destination, even though his route would actually go to our place, because we are english-speaking. even if the canadian girl i was with could converse in french, this remained unacceptable. the locals had no other choice but to say sorry and leave us where we were because the driver will not move the bus unless we get off it.
Unique Suggestions: pretend you don't have anymore money and go to the front desk or police for assistance. taxi drivers will always try to swindle you. one of the taxi drivers in nice blatantly toyed with the meter so that we will pay 10euros more than the usual.
Fun Alternatives: get on the bus!!!!!
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