Nice Area Information
Information about Nice and why its an ideal French Riviera Holiday
Nice, the fifth largest city in France, acts as a magnet attracting people from all over the world, for a multitude of reasons, Not only renowned for its grace, Nice has become a hub for research in industry, science and advanced technology since the creation of Sophia Antipolis. (25km from Nice).
Both elegant and simple, Nice's charm comes from its exceptional climate as well as its beauty. Even in the winter the caf� terraces are filled with people happily drinking and contemplating the ultra famous Promenade des Anglais. Always in flower this wonderful walk follows along the bay, looking out onto the Baie des Anges and the beaches on one side, and on the other such luxury hotels as the Negresco.
The architecture of Nice can be astonishing with the wild exaggerations of the Belle Epoque style or the Baroque influenced houses and mansions on the hills of Mont Boron.The only way to get to know the real Nice is by strolling through the ochre colored streets listening to the "Ni�ois" speaking their own language (Nissart) and by tasting their savory cooking, One musn't miss the onion, anchovy and olive tarts called Pissaladi�res, the vegetable and tuna sandwiches known as Pan Bagnat, the Salade Ni�oise or the famous Ratatouille (tomatoes eggplant and zucchini squash stew). The main cooking ingredient is olive oil of course, and many of the dishes are garnished with the succulent little black Nice olives called Caillettes.
Nice is also a city of art and culture and after Paris, has the most museums in France. The city is animated at night as well as in the day especially in the summer with the Nice Jazz Festival held in the arena, the gardens of Cimiez, and the flower "war" (Battle des Fleurs) on the Promenade des Anglais.
Each day on the Cours Seleya there is the great flower market where one can also find fruit and vegetables in the mornings. Each quarter in Nice is alive with markets, boutiques and restaurants making the whole city a lively place to visit.
Nice is ancient, inhabited for 400,000 years, the "modern" city of Nikaia was established by the Greeks. The Romans may have started the tourism with their extensive baths on Cimiez. In spite of modernization, the city retains its medieval heritage in the vieux ville (old town), with its narrow winding streets and closely-packed red-tiled roofs.
The center of Nice is from the big fountain, Fountaine du Soleil, across the Place Massena, ringed by bright pastel buildings, and up the Avenue Jean M�decin. Continuing beneath the railway overpass beside the train station, Ave Jean M�decin becomes Ave Malaussena.
The Rue de France
A pedestrian shopping street runs from the end of the Place Massena, roughly parallel to the seaside. This area is full of shops, including some exclusive clothing boutiques, and restaurants and caf�s with outdoor terraces - a great place to sit and watch the world go by, while you eat or drink.
"Le Chateau" isn't a chateau -- the castle on top of this high rock hill overlooking Nice old town and the port has been gone since 1706, but it's a great place to visit. There are cool walks in the shade of the trees, great views out over Nice and the Mediterranean, a large grassy park, playground, Roman ruins and a waterfall. Access. You can walk up the stairs at the front, from the Quai des Etats Unis, and have a great view as you climb; there are 213 steps from the bottom to the observation platform on top of the Naval Museum, and then more steps and various walkways on to the top. An elevator is available from the same starting point if your legs aren't up to it. In the old town, go up the Rue Rossetti from the Cathedral Ste. R�parate to find steps and walkways that go up past the cemeteries to the top. There's also roads that you can drive, or walk, up: the Mont�e; Montfort goes up from the "point" between the Baie des Anges and the port, and from near the Place Garibaldi.
Promenade des Anglais
The promenade stretches about 7 km around the Baie des Anges, a favorite for leisurely "promenades" since the Belle Epoque at the turn of the last century. Activities include sitting and watching the sea - and the sunbathers on the beach, jogging and roller skating. Summer nights the activity actually increases.
The beaches of Nice, and along the coast to Antibes, are shingle (smooth stones). From Antibes-Juan-les-Pins to Cannes, the beaches are sand. It's obvious which you need for building sand castles, but many people actually prefere the grit-free shingle beaches.
Vieux Ville (Old Town)
With narrow streets curving in irregular fashion between old buildings with red-tile roofs, this could be almost any medieval village of the region. The streets are packed with shops and shoppers. Small restaurants, food, meat, produce, pasta, clothes, gifts, anything and everything. You can buy wine by the bottle or the barrel (bring your own container) and an amazing variety of fresh-made ravioli and other pasta.
The Cours Saleya
The Cours Saleya has a daily flower market and a food market in the mornings. There are scores of stands, from large, professionally displayed wares to folding tables set up by family farmers with their produce and live fowl directly from the farm. The length of the Cours Saleya is sided by the low buildings separating the "Cours" from the seaside. Once housing the fishermen's catch, they have given way largely to seafood restaurants. The other side of the Cours Saleya is lined by terrace caf�s, lovely old buildings and the grand Prefecture.
There is a large selection of nightlife for all styles and tastes in Nice, mainly centered around the bars and restaurants of Vieux Nice (old Nice) and the pedestrian zone (off place Massena). The general ambiance is a relaxed informal environment with many Pubs and clubs catering for an international clientel, bars such as .....
Waynes: Young, student English/American crowd, live band, dancing on tables etc
McMahons: Irish themed, casual style, pool tables, open till 2.30am
O'Neills: Irish themed, casual style, Satellite TV, Monday night football, darts, occasional live bands
Deklomp: More French style bar, relaxed environment, live band, open late, english Russell behind bar
Thor: Scandinavian themed, casual, live band everynight, small dance floor.