Nice is the capital of the French Riviera and fifth largest city in France and is a bastion to the upper glasses where property values are high in comparison to other French cities and is very popular for international relocators especially retirement.
Nice enjoys a sub-tropical climate and richness and the virtues of being next to the Mediterranean Sea with green pines bordering the blue seas within the naturally beautiful environment of the Côte d'Azur which has influenced so many artists.
The old town with its rich, exuberant, fin-de-siècle residences made the city one of Europe's most fashionable winter retreats and is rich in a long history pre-dating the Romans.
Nice retains a lot of it's culture by protecting the frescos and the trompe l'oeil which ornament the façades of the houses of the old town with traditional fruit markets, Saint-François Square fish market and 300 hectares of garden, which home bay-trees, pine and palm trees which line many of Nice’s avenues. The fountains of the forum Masséna or the Acropolis esplanade are also lovely.
Nice offers numerous international events which are giving a rhythm to the life of the town, such as the Nice Jazz Festival.
September is a great season for sports, especially golf, sailing and tennis. The Côte d'Azur has almost twenty golf- clubs, a good number of tennis clubs plus hotels with courts, and, of course, a wide choice of harbours and marinas where you can hire both sail and motor boats.
The shadowy mountains curve down to the Mediterranean east of the port of Nice and can be broken into the old and new parts.
Vieux Nice is the old town, groups about the hill of Le Château, by boulevard Jean-Jaurès, built along the course of the River Paillon.
Along the seafront is the promenade des Anglais which runs 5km until finally meeting the airport.
The central square, place Masséna , is at the bottom of the modern city's main street, avenue Jean-Médecin, while off to the north is the exclusive hillside area of Cimiez.
Nice’s bus and train connections this the best base for visiting the rest of the French Riviera.
Food & Drink
In September, you'll probably find that you can still sit outside on pavement terraces, sampling 'Nicois', Italian and even world cuisine. In the Autumn, oysters, mussels, sea-urchins and other shellfish come back into favour, so head for the bistros and restos that line the ports in Nice, Cannes, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Saint-Laurent-du-Var. The most legendary address in Nice is the Grand Café de Turin on Place Garibaldi, which serves seafood in a cheerful atmosphere beneath the arcades. An excellent spot for fish is L'Ane Rouge on the port (7 quai des Deux- Emmanuel) or Charlot Ier (new in Nice, well-established in Cannes and Cagnes-sur-Mer). Two of the more expensive addresses for fish and seafood on the Côte d'Azur are possibly the two most modest when seen from outside! Tétou and Nounou are upmarket beach shacks at Golfe-Juan, proposing knock-out platters of shellfish, crab, lobster, crayfish and, of course, traditional 'bouillabaisse' all at London prices. Finally, restaurant addresses in countryside villages include the Clos Saint-Pierre (Place de l'Eglise, Le Rouret), Lou Cigalon (4 boulevard Carnot, Valbonne) and L'Auberge du Jarrier (20 passage Bourgade, Biot).
Things to do & see
If you're a dedicated follower of fashion, the summer sales are unfortunately over but the Autumn/Winter collections are on show in boutiques and stores in Nice, Cannes and Monaco. You'll find great French and Italian designer names, plus a host of middle-of-the-range brands, especially in the centre of Nice, around the Nice-Etoile Mall on Avenue Jean-Médecin and in the nearby pedestrian shopping precinct, or at the huge Cap 3000 Shopping Centre, west of Nice airport at Saint-Laurent-du-Var. Souvenir hunting is easy in hill-top villages like Eze and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Take home Provençal napkins, honey, olives, lavender, cheese and herbs for colourful and fragrant memories of your stay in the South of France. Or browse around street markets (in most towns along the coast, usually on Friday and Saturday mornings), with colourful arrays of fruit, vegetables, flowers, cheap T-shirts, leatherwear and even Italian shoes. Evenings should start and end with drinks in the Riviera's many cafés, pubs and bars. In Nice, recommended addresses include Le 70's (24 quai Lunel), Le Karr (10 rue Alphonse-Karr), La Civette or Les Ponchettes (both on the Cours Saleya). A good wine bar worth noting: La Part des Anges (17 rue Gubernatis).
Nice Côte D'Azur Airport
Nice International: 04 93 21 30 30
Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport ( www.nice.aeroport.fr ) lies a few miles west of the centre of Nice, right at the edge of the sea. easyJet flights arrive at, and depart from Terminal 2 with its smart, futuristic, recently-inaugurated extension. Free shuttle service between Terminals 1 and 2, with drop-offs at the various car-parks, including the car-hire area near Terminal 2.
Coach: From the airport 23 bus routes serve 100 destinations on the Côte d'Azur between Marseille and Genoa (St. Tropez via St. Raphaël). The centre of Nice is about 15 minutes away, whereas Cannes or Monaco take around 50 minutes.
Train: The 'ter' Nice St. Augustin is 500 metres from Terminal 1, SNCF is 10kms away in Nice centre (bus to station leaves from Terminal 2 - Stand 4) and Chemins de Fer de Provence 11kms away (bus from Terminal 1, stand 6).
Taxi: 400 taxis pick up passengers in front of both terminals. Fares should cost in the region of € 65 to Cannes, € 55 to Eze, € 25 to Nice centre, € 70 to Monte Carlo and € 250 to St. Tropez!
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