Restaurant guide

A guide to eating out and all the best restaurants.

Nissa la Bella – a Quick Guide to C

Posted on | July 9, 2011 | Comments Off on Nissa la Bella – a Quick Guide to C

Accommodation options

Hotel Mercure Nice Promenade des Anglais

In the heart of the city, located in the Casino Ruhl building on the Promenade des Anglais, this waterfront property was renovated a couple of years ago and has a nice Mediterranean feel to it. It also features a rooftop pool, the rooms are spacious for European standards and nicely appointed. This hotel would be my  primary choice! Rates: from 2.

Exclusive Hotel Suisse

Just two steps away from the Old Town and the flower market, the majority of rooms have terraces or balconies and sea view, really good value for money, if you want to stay at a real French hotel, not a multinational chain, this is the place. Little touches such as no charge for breakfast are a nice incentive as well. Rates: from 5.

Hotel Paradis Nice

Located on the most elegant street in Nice, approximately 100 meters from the Mediterranean and the beaches and in the heart of everything (great shopping nearby! Armani, Louis Vuitton, Mont Blanc, etc.). The rooms, however, are pretty basic, the hotel as a whole is nothing fancy, and the reception closes at 8 pm. Rates are respectable though: starting from about 0 per room per night.

Hotel Lafayette Nice

Close to Place Masséna and the Galeries Lafayette, the rooms nice and very clean, less than 20 rooms, public parking nearby. Rates from: 3.

Regence Hotel

Very clean, comfortable, and reasonably priced hotel, two minutes from the Promenade des Anglais in the pedestrian area (might be a little noisy in the summer), rooms are rather basic. Parking might be a problem. Rates from 9. There are more hotels in Nice, of course, many of them with prices lower than those I mentioned, but these are the ones I have no problems signing my name under. Many of the less expensive properties are ran down and located in rather unattractive places.  

Sightseeing

Promenade des Anglais beautiful boardwalk, over 6 km long, overlooking the Bay of Angels (Baie des Anges), great for evening walks, all the major hotels and casinos are located on this very street.  

Colline du Château – situated on the hill between the old town and the harbour, this park is surrounded by a typically Mediterranean backdrop of pine trees, carobs, figs and aloes, impressive waterfall. Views over the city, medieval ruins and Maritime Museum are and breathtaking.

Place Massena is the center of Nice. The pedestrian shopping street Rue de France runs from the end of the Place Massena, parallel to the sea. Many shops, restaurants and cafés with outdoor terraces are located in this area. 

Floral Parc Phoenix is basically a hybrid of botanical gardens, a bird and insect zoo and a theme park with automated dinosaurs and mock Mayan temples along with alpine streams, ginkgo trees, butterflies and cockatoos. The best reason to make the trip out to the park is Nice’s newest museum, the Musée Départemental des Artes Asiatiques.

Other places I’d recommend visiting are Matise and Chagall museums.   

Shopping

The Avenue Jean Médecin, running from the

Place Massena up through the center of the city has many of the city’s main shopping and department stores. The Nouvelles Galleries is the largest, on the corner of the Place Massena, in one of the lovely ochre-red buildings with surrounding arcade. Nouvelle Galleries has several floors with the typical large department store shops. Half way up the Ave. Jean Médecin, on the right, is Nice’s most modern mall – the Nice Etoile which offers several floors of boutiques and shops. 

The Rue de France 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 cafés with outdoor terraces.

Vieille Ville (Old Town) – you’ll find small shops here, including gift shops, artisan crafts, regional items, and clothing shops a bit more down-market from those in the Rue de France area.

Flea Market – The Marché a la Brocante et Antiquités is on the Cours Saleya, in the heart of the Ville Ville, every Monday.

Flower Market – open every Monday in the old town, there are many different stands with things ranging from flowers, to vegetables and fruits, spices, and small crafts.

Dining

Le Café de Turin, one of the cult places in Nice, mostly for the locals but it seems it’s been recently discovered by the tourists as well, sells fresh sea food, and everyday French cuisine. Lunch and a “quick bite” for and up.

Boccacio  – great for seafood. Dinner from $ 40 per person and up (that’s a respectable price in Nice). These restaurants are my personal favourites. But basically, wherever you’ll go there’s going to be somewhere nice to eat. The prices are usually high, but comparable. Make sure to try salade niçoise, a salad made of fresh tomatoes, mixed leaves, anchovies, tuna, beans and olive oil, as well as la socca – a delicious savoury pancake made from chick peas. And of course lots of sea food if you like it (people who claim sea food in Nova Scotia is the best in the world have clearly never been to the Cote d’Azur.

As for breakfasts, eating at the hotel (usually for a small surcharge) is the easiest and relatively inexpensive option.  And of course you’ll find Mc Donald’s Pizza Hut, and whatnot on every corner ;)

Entertainment

As you would expect in such a lively city there is a pub to suit everyone’s taste, particularly in the Vieux Nice and Masséna areas. Whether its dance music, rock or whatnot, just explore the streets around these areas and you won’t be looking long. I don’t have any specific places to recommend as for nightlife purposed I always preferred Monaco (more on the Principality coming soon).

Read more about the French Riviera and Monaco in some of my previous Bukisa articles:

French Riviera Day Trip Ideas and Monaco for Everyone! All photos in this article (c) Megi

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