Nice is an affluent town of the French Riviera, located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It attracts both tourists and wealthy retirees because the climate is pleasant. It is close to the famous St Tropez, Cannes, Avignon, and the French Provence. Nice Ville is the main train station located downtown. This station has both regional trains and high-speed trains (TGV). Nearby train stations accessible by car and tramway are Nice Riquier in the old Nice (Vieux Nice) and Nice St Augustin near the airport.
The new Nice with its famous Massena Square is modernized and has beach-front hotels, big shopping malls, and restaurants catering to tourists. The old Nice, located near the port, has its own charm, where the local residents go for good restaurants and small shops. Nice is a fairly small city. A fit person can probably walk on foot from the main train station to Massena Square and Promenade des Anglais by the beach. However, the buses and tramways are a convenient way for moving around. The tramways start at 4:25 am, running one every 4 minutes until 9:00 pm when the night buses begin. The buses stop running at 1:30 am. There is a bus going to and from the airport waiting outside Nice train stations regularly. Nice beach is not a sandy beach but is built with small round rocks and is narrow. However, this does not seem to bother the vacationers as the French Riviera waters are warm and the ocean is a beautiful deep blue. The coastal side walk is named Promenade des Anglais, site of a terrorist attack on innocent people watching the fireworks on the French national holiday, Bastille day (July 14, 2016).
You can take the ferry to Corsica from Nice port or take the train to visit nearby cities. Provence, Avignon, and Cannes are popular. Provence is famous for its fields of lavender and its high quality lavender oil. The Nice tourism office website will give you more details about site attractions.
USEFUL WEBSITES (click on links)
Tourism office: At the Nice airport inside Terminals 1 & 2 and near Place Massena, the town center. Tel +33(0)4 92 14 46 14
Central Taxi Riviera: +33 (0)4 93 13 78 78; to book one day in advance dial+33 (0) 899 70 08 78
Independent Taxi: +33 (0)4 93 88 25 82
Trains Touristiques de Nice: This little train goes around Nice, offering a 45 minute-self-guided audio in 8 languages. Departing from the Promenade Des Anglais, by the Casino Ruhl Barriere; starting at 10 am and ending at 5 pm in the fall and winter; 6pm in the spring and 7 pm in the summer.
Travel to Avignon
Avignon is a small town where you can walk from the train station to downtown easily and will pass by the tourism office. If you are in town for one day, the Palace of the Popes (the biggest gothic palace and home to the Sovereign Pontiffs in the 14th century) and Pont Saint Benezet (a major witness of Avignon in 13th century and is famous from the song Sur le pont d’Avignon) are registered Unesco World Heritage sites, well worth seeing. They are walking distance from the train station.
If you stay longer, you can book a tour through the Avignon tourism office website in advance to visit the famous bridge Pont du Gard, dated from the first century (a UNESCO world heritage site as well), the Provence, and Chateauneuf du Pape vineyard.