Nice is the largest city on France's Mediterranean coast known as the French Riviera and also the Cote d'Azur. It's known as a summer resort, but with almost a million inhabitants in the area Nice has plenty to offer year round as a city destination. It's also far more affordable than the nearby city of Cannes to the south and the posh principality of Monaco to the north. This makes it an ideal place to stay for the budget traveler seeking to sample some of the finer things in life on day trips without spending their entire budget in one day.
What To Do
As mentioned above, it's very easy to base yourself in Nice and make a day trip to glamorous Cannes, which is just a 30-minute train ride away. If you'd like to spend the day on the sand this is a good option because the beaches in Nice are made up of gravel and stones. Trains leave about twice an hour or more when they aren't on strike so it's possible to just walk into the Nice station and be on your way a few minutes later. Monaco is a similar distance in the other direction and the same trains trundle up and down the coast just as frequently so you never have to wait too long.
Aside from the aforementioned gravel on the beaches, they are beautiful to look at and walk along. There is a long boardwalk that stretches from one end of the main part of town to the other so strolling in good weather can be a glorious feeling, and it's free. There are several parks through the middle of town giving the city a very open feel. There are ruins of a castle up on the hill overlooking town and a novelty miniature train on wheels includes it on their frequent laps around the city's most popular attractions.
If you are looking to explore Nice, learn more about French food, or get off the beaten path, than France Travel Guide is a perfect place to do everything from book your plane ticket to find out the most exciting attractions Nice has to offer.
Eurail Pass holders and other rail riders can reach Nice from Barcelona in the south, Bologna in the east and Paris in the north, but Nice has large airport with many daily international flights. If you are coming from far away you may want to fly into Paris and then take the train to Nice, but coming from Europe there are often good deals from some of the new lost cost carriers. There are buses from the airport into the city, but some hotels offer their own shuttle service.
Where To Stay
This is the French Riviera so it's hard to find rock bottom prices for beds, but there are quite a few hostels in Nice to choose from, although finding a cheap room can be a bit more challenging than in Paris hostels. There are even more hotels in Nice and while many are outrageously expensive there are some good deals just a few blocks from the beach, particularly if you are coming outside of high season.