View Full Version : Nice, France

01-22-2008, 11:17 PM
For a week in Feb any suggestions? My DH will be at a conference and I hopefully will be just enjoying some R&R.

01-23-2008, 10:37 AM
My family lives in Nice, so I have some suggestions:

In February, I'd compare the weather to something like the Carolinas - not hot like Florida, but not as cold as the Northeast. So, don't expect to go swimming, but you probably won't need your parka -- just a relatively warm jacket.

1) There is a little train that stops along the Promenade Des Anglais and takes you up to the Chateau - very cute ride, and nice views once you get there -- the whole thing will take a couple of hours.

2) The ruins at Cimiez - there is also a really nice art museum up there. I am sure there are buses that go up there, but no train.

3) For Shopping: Nice Etoile and Galeries Lafayettes, as well as the shops in the Vieux Nice.

4) Speaking of Vieux Nice, be sure to stop for some socca and pissaladiere, the local specialties, at one of the small restaurants there. There was a great local neighborhood restaurant called the Safari near the courtyard at one time, but I don't know if it is still there - it has been a few years since my last trip.

5) For day trips, you can hop on the train and walk around Monaco/Monte Carlo for the day - visit the Palace, the museum, and check out the main casino just to see it even if you don't gamble. It isn't that much further into Italy - Ventimiglia has a big flea market -- I think it is usually on Fridays. In the other direction, you can take the train to Cannes, which is a fun place to walk around when the film festival isn't going on.

6) The modern art museum in Nice is nice, and they have a good cafe/restaurant there. There is also a theater in that building.

7) If you venture a little further West (but you will probably need a car), the artist village of Vallauris has great pottery and other artisan stuff, as well as Juan Les Pins and Antibes - The Picasso museum in Antibes is interesting, but by far, my favorite museum is the Renoir House in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

8) Eze, Villefranche and Beaulieu are also charming, beautiful villages not far from Nice. Eze has beautiful art galleries tucked into the side of craggy mountains.


01-23-2008, 11:41 AM
We stayed at the Hotel Windsor, and really enjoyed our evenings in their garden. There are a ton of great galleries and small museums, and I think that's what we liked best to do there.

We rented a car from the airport and ran around Southeast France. Avignon, Chateau-Neuf-de-Pape, and the Verdon Gorge are just a few hours away, and really worth the drive.

One thing that really helped us was stopping at a local bookstore and buying Michelin and Hachette Vacances guide books, and then talking through the books with locals at the Hotel Windsor bar. We learned a lot and had a great time.

And, Bean606, WOW! Having family in Nice sounds awesome.

01-23-2008, 11:53 AM
I second the Michelin Guide - I think you can even get it in English online these days so you have it before you go.

Having family in Nice is great -- the only downside is that I never really get to visit other parts of France when we go, because we are so tied up visiting all our relatives. For example, I've only been to Paris once when I was in high school! We keep meaning to go, and we never make the time when we go to Europe.

01-25-2008, 09:16 AM
I am so excited to make this trip. My DH always has fun "conferences" to attend but I usually never get to go. This time my wonderful wonderful mother has offered to watch our two DDs so that I can go! Never been to Nice so I am thrilled. I will be by myself for most of the days so I will probably just spend some time relaxing but I am also completely capable of doing some touring on my own. The Chateau trip sounds doable by myself. Do you have any recommendations for places to stay? Unfortuantely almost everything we have tried seems already full. The Carnivale starts on the Sat before we leave (on Sun) so I am sure that has something to do with it. Also, any suggestions on restaurants? We are holding a room at the Le Meridian which I believe is right on the Promenade des Aneglais. My husband's conference is at the big convention center (Acropolis???). Anyhow, thanks again for the great suggestions and help. I can't wait!

01-25-2008, 11:32 AM
I can't really comment on hotels, because I always stay with relatives, but the Meridien is in a great location, and I am sure it will be fine, since it is a big chain. I have also heard good things about the Sofitel. When I was a kid, my cousin worked at La Perouse, and I used the pool there, but that was so long ago that it could be a totally different place now. Have you checked tripadvisor.com for some suggestions? Also the Michelin guide could probably help you out with that as well. If you are willing to go a little off the beaten path, there is a Best Western within walking distance of the The Acropolis, but a bit of a hike to the Promenade and the main tourist areas. By the way, the Acropolis is where the Museum of Modern Art and Theater are, so you can probably head over there with him one morning and check out the museum and have a nice lunch. You can definitely do the Chateau by yourself, as well as Cimiez, if you get a bus map (which you can get at the main train station). I also forgot to mention the Zone Pietonne, which is behind the Meridien - it is a pedestrian shopping/dining area - very nice. Have a great trip - I wish I was going again. We are waiting until my son is a little older to take him over to introduce him to the relatives.