Keep your valuables close and be alert for pickpockets.
Be aware of any person who is bumping into you, coming up too close, wants to stop and talk to you. But although you should be alert, don't be alarmed because there are also lots of nice people out there who just want to say hello and nothing more.
My experience - Whilst on the train from Nice to Monaco, in a matter of just seconds I was being constantly pushed in the back, after the third push I turned around and found that this 'sweet, little old lady' had her hand in my bag and was trying to pull my purse out. I gave her a shove and yelled pickpocket - she was gone in a flash....thankfully she didn't get my purse but it did make me very aware of anyone who came near me on the trains.
Like every major touristical city, Nice also has pickpockets. They love big crowds, so be extra vigilant when walking on Avenue Jean Médecin, going to shops and/or taking the tram/bus. I have never been a victim (*knocks on wood*), but one of my friends was. We were inside the shop "Petit Bateau" in the pedestrian zone, when it happened. They must have been watching/following us because they knew exactly where to look and they only snatched her wallet. The only weird thing I've noticed while in the shop is that a suntanned guy (he was with a woman) was too close whenever I was browsing around. I suppose he was either trying to steal me or getting me distracted so his complice could steal my friend. The nearest police station was the Police Municale one near Hotel Meridien, but once there we were told (and given a map) we had to go to Police Nationale to file a complaint...
- Police Nationale (the place you have to go to file a complaint) is on 1 Avenue Maréchal Foch (on the corner of Boulevard Dubouchage) - open 24h/24.
USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS:
SAMU (ambulance, paramedics): 15
POMPIERS (firemen): 18
- 24h Pharmacies (24h chemist's, pharmacy): 7, rue Masséna, Nice - PHONE: 04 93 87 78 94. Another address: Aéroport, Terminal 1, Nice - PHONE: 04 93 21 39 92
I like to think I'm a pretty savvy traveller, so it came as a bit of a shock to find my wallet lifted while on a crowded 100 TAM bus returning from Villefranche Sunday. I've read the warnings, I've seen the posters, what I didn't feel is the hand expertly dip my pocket. They were very good and, with hindsight, I was quite unprepared. All Sunday night on the phone finding emergency phone numbers, cancelling credit cards, and changing locks.
The national police station is where you need to go, at No 1 av Marechal Foch, 200 metres east from Nice Etoile. The police station has a row of five multi-language computer terminals to allow you to report crime in your own language, an automated process. That tells you how often this happens. They print five copies in two languages, which the police sign. These are what you will need to produce to support any insurance claim.
There's an old saying: "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me". I won't be an easy mark again. Be warned that the Riviera is a hunting ground for thieves, as the bus driver, policeman, bank clerk, and everyone else confirmed. It makes sense to them targetting tourists - off-guard and wads of euros in their pockets. No good stealing from poor people is it?
My advice - learned the hard way - is to invest in a proper money belt to carry money under clothing. Carry no more money than you need for the day. Carry one credit card, not all of them. Keep wallet and keys separately - not linked together. Of course dont have pin numbers written down with the cards (You knew that already didn't you?). Have nothing with your address on it in the same wallet as your credit cards or keys.
Before you leave home take a precautionary record of all credit cards and their respective contact numbers - easiest way is to lay the cards all out face down on a photocopier and Bob's your auntie, you have a record which you can take with you whilst abroad. Another wise saying: "wish for the best, plan for the worst".
3 days is really not enough time for Nice. 3 weeks, using Nice as a base for the riviera, is not enough time. But 3 days is a start. I would stay at one of the following hotels, Windsor, Villa Victoria, Le Cigales and there are many more....these three are very nice 3 star hotels, all in the same area, great location...easy to walk to the beachfront, the train station and the old town. It is a very nice, safe area generally called the composers district. As for safety, we walk all over Nice, never take a bus or a taxi. Just don't, if your a woman, wear a shoulder-strap purse and in fact try to avoid a purse that doesn't fit into a pocket. Also, don't carry more than 50-75 eu in your daily travels. Purse snatchers are the only real threat
Alright i'm only 16, but I thought I would advise you on this specific guy. Whilst in Paris with my parents and younger sister, on La Fourche underground station we witnessed a pickpocket rob from a man who was with his younger son. They both had suitcases, presumably the man had had his wallet taken. The robber had bleached blonde hair. About a week later we were on La Fourche station on our way to our hotel and we were all carrying suitcases, my dad carrying two. Just as the doors slid shut I saw a boy with bleached blonde hair slip out of the train, and then my dad shouted after him 'Voleur' or something like that, the French for thief. My dad had his wallet, credit cards, driving liscence etc. stolen, and that really was an anti-climax to the trip. The bleached blonde hair boy seems to be a local around La Fourche station, so look out if you are travelling as a family with suitcases then be on your guard, as heavily laden families seem to be the usual target for this boy. Hope this is a help to anybody using the Paris underground service.
I've been told that there are some super skilled thefts in Nice.
Now what you should do is:
-keep your bag in front of you and covered with your arm
-never leave the money or anything valiable in your back pocket
-do not leave the camera on the table
-take care of your luggage...
He rides the Menton/Monaco/Italy morning trains from Gare Nice-Ville, which are usually full with travellers and tourists, in season. He is French, slim, about 5' 9" tall, has a dark baseball cap and wears the small framed reading glasses. He will have targeted you on the platform and followed you onto the train. He travels one stop from Nice-Ville. He was in the pocket of my shorts in September, 2003, but came away empty handed when I gripped him. I saw him one week later, entering the station upon my return to Nice.
do you have a proclivity to commit crimes and will not be able to resist while in nice? if you do get caught, this is where you'll end up: in court.
just thought i'd let you know where you'll go to await your fate...
As is the case in any area heavily populated with tourists, Antibes has it's young ruffians who prove successful in purse-snatching, however, there is a new twist to an old crime - they ride by two's on mopeds and I've heard that they are quite willing to hold on to the goods until straps break or owners let go. We witnessed none of this foolishness, thank goodness.
Like in most tourist destinations and big cities, THEFT is quite commonplace. It's quite easy to let your guard down when you're enjoying yourself and feeling relaxed and this is when the pick-pockets tend to move in. This happened to me whilst sitting outside a bar in Cours Saleya one night. My bag was somehow stolen from our table whilst we were all sitting there and not one of us noticed. Luckily it only had my camera and a little bit of money in it and not my passport and bank cards, but it goes to show how careful you have to be. The manager of the bar was very upset that it had happened and was very helpful, asking me if I wanted him to call the police, but as there was nothing absolutely essential in it I decided to avoid involving them as the likelyhood of my camera already being sold on to someone else was probably far higher than actually getting it back! So, the moral of the story is....TAKE CARE!!!
Take care of your belongings.
Do not photograph whores in the old city of Nice.
Beware of pickpockets in the busy parts of the city.
Take good notice of police instructions.
Otherwise take care and be civilized. It is not a specially dangerous region in daily life.