Nice, France - Stein Travel
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Nice

With an international airport and the fast train from Paris, Nice is the first experience of the renowned Côte d'Azur for many tourists. The city was established by the Greeks and named for Nike, goddess of victory, but the Romans started the tourism industry here when they popularised their mineral baths on Cimiez. British and Russian aristocrats favoured Nice in the 19th century, but today it is more of a commercial centre and is not as fashionable as its smaller neighbouring resorts, such as Cannes or St Tropez. Nice still has excellent connections, but these are in the mode of transport options rather than the pedigree of its visitors.

In spite of modernization, the city retains its medieval heritage in the atmospheric Vieille Ville (old town), with its closely packed red-tiled roofs and narrow winding streets packed with shops, bars and fabulous restaurants. Next door, the famous Cours Saleya flower and food market has scores of stands, from large, professionally displayed wares to folding tables set up by family farmers with their produce directly from the farm.

Separating the Cours Saleya from the sea is a strip of low buildings. Once the repository for the fishermen's catch, they have given way largely to popular seafood restaurants, while the other side of the Cours Saleya is lined by terrace cafés in lovely old buildings.

Nice's shingle beaches occasionally disappoint visitors anticipating a classic, white sand beach holiday, but this does not mean the beaches stay empty; during summer the bright blue sea, sunshine and beautiful surroundings draw thousands of holidaymakers to this French Riviera city. The Promenade des Anglais lines the shingle beaches for about five miles (8 km) and has been a favourite for leisurely strollers since Victorian times.

Information & Facts

Climate

Nice has a typically Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. During the hottest summer months, particularly in August, temperatures often reach excesses of 86°F (30°C), while maximum temperatures in winter are usually between 50-59°F (10-15°C). October is usually the wettest month.

Getting Around

Nice city centre is small enough to get around on foot. Buses form the main form of public transport and cover most of the city until midnight. The Sunbus is a popular tourist service, running daily to popular tourist destinations within Nice. Tickets can be purchased from a local café or tabac. Nice by Bus passes are also available for one, five or seven days including a trip to the airport. Taxis are not a popular means of transport, as they are known to overcharge tourists and are difficult to flag down. The central train station takes commuters to other towns along the Riviera such as Antibes, Cannes, Monaco and more.

Language

French is the official language.

Money

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.

Time

Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

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