Nice is located in south east of France in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, on the French Riviera. Nissa La Bella is ranked as the 5th largest city in France. There's "about" 500 000 people living here and in Nice and it's surrounding cities.
It's a sunny place, with beaches, mountains and landscapes all around. The best time to come is definitely spring and fall, since it won't be as overcrowded as it is in summer. But for people who don't care about summer and warm weather, don't hesitate to come in winter (it rarely gets below 8°C/45°F) and you'll see how quiet, pretty, pleasant and nice it is to live here. Plus you're only about an hour away from the snowy southern Alps!
There's a lot of surfers here but not a lot of hosts, so if you plan to come during summer when hosts get a LOT of couch requests, be sure to have enough money to spend a night in hotel / hostel just in case.
- 1 HISTORY OF NICE
- 2 WHAT TO VISIT ?
- 3 COUCHSURFERS
- 4 TIPS FOR FINDING A COUCH
- 5 Nightlife
- 6 TRANSPORTATIONS
- 7 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
- 8 Enjoy your stay in Nice!
HISTORY OF NICE
Prehistoric period and ancient history
The history of the Beautiful Nice goes back to around 350 BC, when the Greeks founded a settlement on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. However, in order to make a proper image of the historical background of Nice, one should also learn the site on which nowadays Nice stretches has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Certain archeological findings prove the place was populated even 400,000 years ago. The traces of a rudimentary prehistoric civilization> have also been discovered, which is explainable by force of the fact the region features wholesome geographical and climatic conditions.
The center of the Roman dominion in the region was the former Cemenelum, the present Cimiez, which back then was a settlement distinct from Nice, but currently part of the city of Nice.
Middle Ages and modernity
For several centuries, Nice swung between the French and the Italian dominion. It was only in 1861 that Nice ultimately became part of France once and for all, but until then, Nice grew as military force under the rule of Provence, of the Counts of Savoy and of Napoleon III. However, during all these centuries, Nice also underwent periods of famine and plague, pillage and destruction owed to either natural calamities or enemies’ attacks.
The Saracens and the Ottomans were the main non-European forces who attempted to enforce their rule in Nice. In fact, one of the most picturesque and anecdotal accounts in relation to the Ottoman episode refers to a story about the salutary “contribution” of a local laundress who displayed her generous and ill-favored behind to the invading forces that, repulsed by the sight, decided to retreat. In honoring the valuable input of the laundress (Catherine Segurane), Nice made her the patron saint of the city.
The French and the Italians were not the only ones who, one way or another, shaped the historical trajectory of Nice. The Englishmen too have left their mark on Nice. Their contribution to the landscape architecture of nowadays Nice is summarized by the famed Promenade des Anglais, built with financial sponsorship from the part of the English aristocracy. Indeed, the rich Englishmen discovered, somewhere around the mid 18th century, that Nice was an ideal winter retreat. They suggested and initiated the construction of the promenade on the former derelict stretch of sand which delineated the seashore. The project was rapidly embraced by the city of Nice.
Until the second half of the 20th century, Nice earned the reputation of an exclusive vacation destination affordable only to the rich. Subsequently to World War Two, however, the tourist profile of Nice changed dramatically, the resort becoming accessible to a miscellaneous flow of visitors, budget travelers included. However, the concessions made in this respect did not affect the high quality standards of the tourist scene of Nice, the city being one of the top-of-the-range vacation destinations at international level.
For more information about the History of Nice check out it's Wikipedia page!
WHAT TO VISIT ?
Check out the site of the Nice tourism office To see a list of all of the museums in Nice. A lot of them are free and most close on Tuesday but look at the site to have up to date info. Don't forget that they are other greats museums outside of Nice such as the Picasso Museum in Antibes, the Renoir museum in Cagnes sur Mer or the Cocteau museum in Menton.
Monuments and churches
so many monuments and churches, yet so little time! Over the centuries of it's somewhat turbulent history, Nice has retained the imprint of each age... What we now refer to as the Old City represented until the 18th century the entire urban area. With its Baroque-style palaces and churches, colorful facades and narrow streets, the old city is now a big playground full of a preserved heritage.
Parks and gardens
There's more parks than you could imagine! While Nice might be know for it's beaches and closed by mountains, it is filled with all kind of different parks and gardens. So if you're looking to spend a nice afternoon or stay in the shade under a palm tree or olive tree, check out the site. (Don't forget Nice most's favorite park, "le parc de la colline du chateau", you'll love the view!)
and of course, the beach!! :)
There are about 1.100 Couchsurfers in Nice and it's surroundings. You can check the CS Group of Nice or simply do a couchsearch to find and contact them.
There are a lot of meetings organized in Nice and it's surrounding area, just check the CS Group of Nice to see what is happening or other cities such as Antibes, Cannes and the Regional CS Group of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
Pictures of some former meetings :
- The First Monthly CS Meeting, August 6th 2008
- Pic Nic on the Beach, August 7th 2008
Coffee or a drink
If you are not able to host anyone (for example if parents or flatmates feel uncomfortable with the concept), but would still like to meet up with people traveling through the city put your couch status as coffee or a drink! People who's host are busy will probably then send you a message (don't forget to fill in your profile completely!!) to sightseeing or have a drink.
You can of course send a message yourself to people you think you would get along with! And feel free to ask the ambassadors or moderators of Nice, or "contact us" (in the help & about tab on the upper right of your screen) if you have any questions.
Nice Ambassadors and Moderators
TIPS FOR FINDING A COUCH
Nice and the French Riviera is a very popular place all year long but especially during summer. Nice has the 2nd busiest airport of France after Paris, so during summer it would be a good idea to expend your couch search for nearby towns such as Antibes and Cannes. You can also use the old way of looking for a couch and "Expand your search to include CouchSurfers within 5 to 50km) since a lot of CouchSurfers live outsides cities. There's a lot of cheap trains and bus between cities so don't worry about moving around.
Considering the large number of tourists (and CouchSurfers) who visit the city, it is likely that you might not get a couch and you might have to look for a hostel/hotel instead. In that case, remember what the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy says: "Don't Panic!"
If you are arriving in Nice within the next 72 hours (we love spontaneous decisions too!), you may try the Emergency Couchsearch group. Of course, just posting in this group at the last minute does not guarantee you'll find a couch!
Here's some website with a list of hostels in Nice (links goes straight to Nice, in English!);
and of course you'll find plenty more with a quick google.
The hostel Villa St. Exupery 'beach' is a rather well know hostel 6 Rue Sacha Guitry Nice tel: +33 (0)4 93 16 13 45 and so is the one above Nice in a large villa the Villa st. Exupery 22 Avenue Gravier, 06100 Nice. tel: +33 (0)4 93 84 42 83
Free Internet/Wifi Access
Here is a list of places where you can get some Internet / Wifi Access:
- Cyber Coeur de Ville - Adress: 6, rue d'Italie 06000 Nice - Tel: 04 97 13 42 80
- Point Cyb Association La Semeuse - Centre Social La Ruche - Adress: 5 rue Trachel 06000 Nice - Tel: 04 93 82 40 42
- Nice - Adress: 5 rue de l'Hôtel de Ville 06364 Nice Cedex 4 - Tel: 04 97 13 49 60
- CRIJ-CIJ - Adress: 19 rue Gioffredo - Tel: 04 93 80 93 93
- GAADE - Adress: 7 Rue Saussure 06000 Nice - Tel: 0493979600
- Espace Magnan - Adress: 31 rue Louis de Coppet - Tel: 04 97 11 41 38
- Cyber-emploi - Adress: Place Yves Klein - Tel: 04 97 13 42 80
- QUALIMEDIA PLUS - Adress: 1 rue Parmentier 06100 NICE - Tel: 04 92 09 13 73
- axiome multimedia - Adress: 39 chemin terron sud bureaux - Tel: 04 93 97 10 10
- Cyber-Espace La Madeleine - Adress: 150, boulevard de la Madeleine 06200 Nice - Tel: 04 97 13 42 80
- Infa mediterranée - Adress: 62 boulevard paul montel - Tel: 04 93 71 16 08
- Le Hublot - Adress: Le Hublot 16 rue de roquebilière 06300 Nice - Tel: 04 93 31 33 72
- Cyber Rives du Paillon - Adress: 157, route de Turin 06300 Nice - Tel: 04 97 08 22 81
- D'CLIC - Adress: Fondation PSP Actes Service D'CLIC 71, rue Barbéris 06300 Nice - Tel: 04 93 56 09 99
- source001 - Adress: 2, Rue Georges Ville 06300 NICE - Tel: 04 93 26 75 20
- Cyber café l Arobas - Adress: 22 rue Benoît Bunico - Tel: 04 93 62 64 59
- Ds Délices - Cours Saleya
- Manolan's' - 2 rue Saint François de Paule, 4 quai des deux emmanuel
- Mc Donalds
- 47 bis Avenue Jean Médecin 06000 Nice
- 20 Avenue Jean Médecin 06000 NICE
- 1 Promenade des Anglais 06000 NICE
- Centre commercial Carrefour TNL 06300 NICE
- Anywhere really, you can get internet access in MOST OF THE BARS IN THE OLD TOWN....
Nice & Cheap Places to Eat
You can find local specialities like "socca", "pissaladière" and "petits farcies" in the old town in places like the very touristic "rené socca" ou encore "lu pilha leva", but for the socca, you'll definitely prefer to go to "Chez Pipo" mentioned below, and pissaladière might be much better from a bakery. "Chez Thérésa" is also a famous place for socca and pissaladère, you can find this lady on the market place (Cours Saleya)
You will find one of the best Pan Bagnat and salade niçoise at "Le Spuntino", a little snack bar on Rue de la Prefecture, and very cheap too, i've never finished the "normal" size salad yet! The small one costs about 6€ and it's definitely enough for one! The owner has another snack bar right next to the cathedral and it's the same quality, pretty much everything is home-made.
The classical ice creams home made: fenocchio with nearly 100 flavours !
(compiled thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread)
- l'Univers: Website Ph: +33 126.96.36.199.22.
- l'Authentic : 18bis rue Biscarra (just behind Nice Etoile).
- Le Petit Gari : Place Garibladi
- Chez Pipo : rue Bavastro (the best Socca place in Nice) Website
- la Pierre Bise : 5 rue de la Barillerie
- Lu Fran Calin : 5 rue Francis Gallo Ph: +3188.8.131.52.81 Website
- Union Restaurant : Website
- La maison de marie: Website
- Chez Palmyr: (~For 14 euros for a 3-course menu)
- Pourquoi Pas
- Cafe Bianco
- La Gargamelle : 47 Rue Gioffredo, 06000 Nice. Ph: +33 4 93 62 24 38
There are some clubs but Nice is most known for its bars and pubs. Most of them open around 6 or 7pm (except Manolan's and Wayne's, open all day long 7/7 )and mostly close at 2 or 2.30pm.
The "Wayne's", an australian pub located in the old town ( as maaaany other pubs) is certainly one the most popular but definitely the less local. There's mostly foreigners in there, from 18 to 30, girls love it because they can dance on tables and honestly its usually great fun in waynes. No french staff . Beverage and food.
The "Manolan's", the most popular Irish pub in Nice(the biggest too) is also definitely not filled local people, but I'd say kinda close of what a typical Irish bar can be. Beverage and food. Pub quiz on Monday night at 8pm.
After 2-2.30pm, 2 situations :
1. If you want to keep partying in the old town
the most popular is the "Pompeï", closing time 4am, (also called "Bull dog") - its basically the same than in Waynes, but later in Pompei :) - fun!
Another very popular is the "Blue Whales" (the one I like less), closing time 5am
and the only one you'll find mostly locals in, actually almost only locals, and of course my favorite, the "Oxford", closing time 4.30, same street than "Blue Whales" (rue Mascoïnat), Caution!! Be ready, its a very small pub and it's very very packed from 1am, lots of fun though if you're in the mood for it, forget about dancing on tables, you can't and they'll make you stop, but honestly, had some fu****g crazy parties there, and bottles are very very cheap, live music almost every night.
2. You want to go to a club
you have got some discos in Nice on the Promenade des Anglais or on the port, but in summer you'll definitely prefer to go to Cannes and Juan Les Pins or Monaco where theres many clubs. The only thing, is that you need a ride back, and as you gonna be safe you not gonna drink and drive, you'll have to wait for the morning train ;) around 6 I guess, maybe a bit earlier. A good one in summer would be "La Siesta", in Villenueve Loubet, which is open air.
How to get to Nice
Nice airport is the second biggest one in France, with daily international and national flights. There's a few low cost company like Easyjet or Ryanair. It takes about 1 hour 20 minutes from/to Paris. There's buses and shuttles or cabs of course to reach the town. Nice Côte d'Azur Airport
the train station is located in the center of Nice on "Avenue Thiers", it's simply called "Gare SNCF (Nice Ville)", and there's many international and national trains from and to Nice. Here's the local time schedules which goes from vintimiglia (Italy) To Cannes or Grasse.
There's luggage lockers in the train station :
- Automatic ones from Monday to Sunday from 7am to 9.45pm
- Manual ones from Monday to Saturday from 8.45am to 12am and from 2pm to 3.45pm
The tramway is less than 5 minutes by foot when you exit and turn left and the main road.
Most bus quite easy to use and only cost one Euro (you can pay directly at the driver). There's many local bus and bus going to other towns like Monaco, Cannes, Antibes, Grasse and most other touristic place.
- here is 'touristic' map
- here's a regular map the whole city of Nice
- here's the few bus running at night (keep in mind the bus going to Cannes N200, Grasse N600 and Monaco/Menton N100 ONLY run on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and holiday's eve!!!)
- and of course the schedules for all bus lines
The Tramway is a nice and comfortable way (when it's not over crowded) to reach the center of town if your host or hotel is far away. During the day there is one every 5 minutes and less as the night approach You'll have to pay 1 Euro at the machines at each stop before boarding and validating your ticket once inside. here's the plan and the time schedule
One of the most convenient way to get around is by car. If you need to rent a car then there are many companies where you can hire a car. Nice airport has desks where all the major car hire companies are based such as Avis, Europcar and Enterprise. You can also pickup rent a car in Nice city centre or train station by companies such as babaCar.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
17 or 112 from a cellphone
18 or 112 from a cellphone
15 or 112 from a cellphone
- Emergency Doctor: (SOS medecin, they will come to your house/hostel if you're very sick)
Tel: +33 (0)4 93 83 01 01
- Main Police Station Commissariat central de police:
1 Avenue Maréchal Foch, Tel: +33 (0)4 92 17 22 22
- Central Hospital Hopital St Roch, 5 rue Pierre Dévoluy 06006 Nice
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 03 33 33
- Permanent pharmacy:
Pharmacie de l'Aéroport open from 9 h 00 to 19 h 00
Aéroport (Terminal 2) - 06200 Tel: +33 (0)4 93 21 39 92
Pharmacie Santamaria Ouverte 24 h / 24 - 7 j / 7
7 rue Masséna - 06000 Tel: +33 (0)4 93 87 78 94
Pharmacie Riviera Ouverte 24 h / 24 - 7 j / 7
66 avenue Jean Médecin - 06000 Tel: +33 (0)4 93 62 54 44
Allemagne - 34, av. H. Matisse - tél.: 04 93 83 55 25
Angleterre - 8, rue A Karr - tél.: 04 93 62 13 56
Autriche - 6, av. de Verdun - tél.: 04 93 87 01 31
Belgique - 5, rue G. Fauré -tél.: 04 93 87 79 56
Canada - 10, rue Lamartine - tél.: 04 93 92 93 22
Danemark - 30, av. J. Médecin - tél.: 04 93 85 35 49
Etats-Unis - 7, avenue Gustave V - tél.: 04 93 88 89 55
Italie - 72, bd Gambetta -tél.: 04 92 14 40 90
Pays Bas - 14, rue Rossini - tél.: 04 93 87 52 94
Suède - 7, avenue Gustave V - tél.: 04 97 03 06 15
Enjoy your stay in Nice!
Here's some nice panoramas of the whole city and of course the king of the carnival!!!