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Know Before You Go
- Nice is full of free things to do and see. Visit Jardin Albert I, Vieux Nice, the beach and the Promenade des Anglais which has live music and street performers in the evening.
- Beer in Nice can cost EUR 10 a glass. If you are on a budget, stick to drinking the house wine when eating out and rather buy beers from the local supermarkets.
- Eat out at restaurants during lunchtime and order the prix-fixe menu. It usually costs between EUR 10 to EUR 20, and it's a better deal than a standard meal.
- Join the free Nice walking tour. It starts at Massena Square Fountain in the old city and lasts for about two hours. It's a great way to learn about the city from a local and get your bearings.
- Beware of the gold ring scam. If someone comes up to you and tries to give you a ring, it's not free. They will start to hassle you for money, and their "family" might also appear to pressure you into paying.
Getting Around Nice
One of the best ways to explore Nice's city centre is on foot. But if you want to venture further afield, the city has a reliable and extensive public transport system.
- The city buses connect passengers to all the major tourist attractions as well as the train station and airport. Tickets can be bought on board and cost EUR 1.30 for a single trip.
- The tram is an easy way to get from the northern and eastern suburbs into the city centre. A single trip costs EUR 1.30 and tickets are available at all the tram stations.
- If you want more freedom getting around, rather rent a moped than a car. The moped's smaller size means you'll be able to get around the city's traffic problems and have an easier time finding parking. Rentals start at EUR 15 a day with a security deposit of EUR 55.
- The city's metered taxis are notorious for taking advantage of tourists. If you don't feel like negotiating a fare with the driver beforehand, ridesharing app Uber is also available in the city.
When is The Best Time to Visit Nice?
The best time to visit Nice if you are on a budget is during its shoulder seasons. From September to October and mid-March to April, you can find lower room rates and thinner crowds. Plus temperatures are pleasant, making sightseeing bearable and in September, it's still warm enough to spend the day at the beach sunbathing.
May to August is the city's peak tourist season. The weather is hot; room rates are expensive and European tourists flock to Nice for the holidays. But if you don't mind the crowds and want to spend your break exploring the French Riviera in the summer, make sure you book your hotel room at least three months in advance to ensure availability.
Nice's winter months (November to early March) are perfect for sightseeing. Temperatures hover around 10°C, hotel rates are low, and you'll have the city to yourself. Except from late February to the beginning of March when crowds descend on the city for its infamous Carnival festival.
No matter what time of year you visit Nice, pack some extra layers. Despite the city seeing on average 300 days of sunshine a year, the winds coming off the Mediterranean Sea are chilly even on the hottest of days.
Airports in Nice
Nice has an international airport located 7 km from the city centre. It's the third busiest airport in France and is a focus city for the national carrier, Air France as well as budget airline easyJet.
Getting To and From Nice Airport
There are various bus options to get from the airport into the city centre:
The Nice Airport Express Bus will cost you EUR 6 one way and leaves from terminal 1 and 2.
If you want to go to Old Nice, you can take public bus #98. It leaves every 20 minutes from the airport and terminates above Place Garibaldi. Or you can hop on board #99 if you need to go to the city's central train station. Buses leave every 30 minutes, and fares are EUR 6 one way.
If you are on a budget, you can get a local bus for EUR 1.50 by walking out to the Promenade des Anglais bus stop. Catch bus 52, 59, or 70 to go from the airport to Place Massena or Old Town.
To avoid the hassle of dealing with Nice taxi drivers, rather order an Uber to fetch you from the airport. A ride will cost you EUR 16 to EUR 20 compared to the inflated EUR 35 to EUR 40 taxi prices and will take about 20 minutes.
Other options include hiring a car from the airport or booking a private car service for EUR 35.