We flew from London to Nice using Easyjet as we wanted to save on time. It’s not much different in term of cost between flying low cost airlines Vs TGV train. Our flight from Gatwick airport was 9.15am so we took Southern train from Victoria station to Gatwick. There is direct train to Gawick airport named Gatwick express leaving from Victoria which is more expensive, but it was only 15 minutes faster than the ordinary Southern train. The cons of using normal train Vs Gatwick express is normal train doesn’t have a dedicated area to store our luggage, So we just had to keep an eye on our luggage whenever the train make its stopping.
We landed in Nice on time at 12.15 pm and went straight to Terminal 1 to catch a bus to the town. We bought daily pass for EUR 5 and board bus no.23, stopped at Tram station Liberation (around 40 minutes ride). The stop was a short walk to our hotel Comte de Nice. Our hotel was also close to the tram stop.
Nice, capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera, sits on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. Founded by the Greeks and later a retreat for 19th-century European elite, the city has also long attracted artists. Former resident Henri Matisse is honored with a career-spanning collection of paintings at Musée Matisse. Musée Marc Chagall features some of its namesake’s major religious works.
Weather in Nice was much nicer than gloomy London. It was sunny the whole time we were there.
Our itinerary today was to stroll around Nice, walked up to castle hill, down to the old Nice and had seafood dinner in the old town.
Nice Promenade d’Anglais
Curving five miles round the bay, the Promenade des Anglais is a hyphen between sea, city and the vast sky, and said to be the most seductive seafront in France. We had a nice stroll beside palms, pergolas and joggers. We could also see people already sunbathe even though the sea water is still icy cold.
The other side of the Beach is the area where all the yachts dock.
From Promenade d’anglais we walked to Nice old town seeing the market and sit down for coffee
We walked up to see the hill as well before walking down to have seafood dinner
Place Massena and The Paillon Promenade
Place Massena in Nice is Nice’s main square and a great place to start your walking tour. It is not to be missed firstly because of its characteristic checkerboard, made of pavement tiles across its entire surface. And the second reason is the main shopping street in Nice that leads to it, and the route from the railway station, Avenue Jean Médecin, where the trams go.
Cimiez Covent and around the area
We spent our last day in Nice going to the Cimiez covent (Monastery), see the roman ruins, archaelogy museum next door and Matisse museum. We took bus no.17 from Garibaldi (every 1 hour). Here we found that here even the bus driver is so good looking lol.
Originally founded in the 11th century by Benedictine monks, it was later turned into a Franciscan convent. The monastery is still home to Franciscan monks and is the location of a museum containing artwork, 17th century frescoes and documents, as well as a replica monk’s cell. The church houses three important paintings by the Bréa brothers, while the lovely gardens are home to a cemetery where Matisse and Dufy are buried.
Back in Nice, we strolled some more at the beach and did our shopping in the main square. Sari thought we may as well do our shopping in Nice since we had time to spare rather than in Paris so we could concentrate on the sightseeing only in Paris. Little that we knew that we would suffer the next day hauling our luggage thru the stairs at the train station
Only in Nice I saw customers walking with their dogs inside Chanel store!!!!
Our Accommodation in Nice: Hotel Comte de Nice
When we arrived, we were offered to choose between 2 rooms. Apparently the size of each room can be different. We picked the room on first floor as it is bigger. The room is spotless clean and the bathroom is of decent size and it is cleaned daily. I’m suprise we actually has a bath instead just a shower.
The receptionists are friendly and helpful. They gave us a brief info on Nice and speak fluent english. Location was also good, very close to tram stop (Liberation), only 1 tram stop to the train station (Gare Thier). You can take local bus no.23 from airport Terminal 1. The hotel is walking distance from bus stop Liberation.
If you spend more than 3 days it is worth buying 7 days daily pass at €15 or the 10 tickets for €10. Each ticket cost €1.5 dan daily pass €5. But for Bus going outside Nice such as Cannes, Monaco and St Paul you need to pay separately €1.5 to the driver.
The hotel also has a decent size of elevator, convenient for people with heavy suitcases. The only drawback is the bath could use a shower curtain. I was afraid I would be splashing water when taking a shower.