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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > France > Nice

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Local time Nice

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Travel to Nice

Flying to Nice

More than 30 airlines fly in and out of Nice, including British Airways, easyJet and Monarch direct from the UK. Delta operates direct flights from the USA. It’s possible to grab a bargain outside the school holidays, but during July and August you’ll pay considerably more. 

Flight times

From London - 2 hours; New York - 8 hours 10 minutes; Los Angeles - 13 hours 45 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 9 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Sydney  - 24 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).

Travel by road

Motorways bear the prefix 'A', national roads 'N' and minor roads are classed as 'D' roads. Traffic drives on the right and speed limits are 130kph (81mph) on motorways, 110kph (68mph) on dual carriageways separated by a central reservation, 90kph (56mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas. Visitors who have held a driving licence for less than three years face tighter speed restrictions. The French police fine motorists on the spot for driving offences such as speeding.

The minimum age for driving is 18 years. All passengers must wear seat belts and children under 11 years may not travel in the front seat. You must carry your national driving licence, the car's registration document, and a red warning triangle at all times or you may be fined. EU nationals taking their own cars to France are strongly advised to obtain a Green Card, without which insurance cover is limited to the minimum legal cover in France. The Green Card tops this up to the level of cover provided by your domestic policy.

Emergency breakdown services

Nice Dépannage (tel: +33 4 9700 0333).

Routes

The A8 heads westwards towards Marseille, and eastwards towards the Italian border. The M6098 takes a more scenic coastal route east, while the M6202 cuts north through the mountains.

Coaches

Eurolines (tel: 0892 899 091, in France only or +33 1 4186 2421; www.eurolines.fr) provides services to Nice from neighbouring countries and major French towns and cities. Eurolines buses stop at the Gare Routière Internationale de Lindbergh, the international bus station near the airport at 175 Boulevard René Cassin.

Time to city

From Paris - 9 hours; Toulouse - 5 hours 10 minutes; Monaco - 30 minutes; Milan - 3 hours 40 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

Gare Nice Ville (Avenue Thiers), on the edge of the city centre, is just over 1km (0.6 miles) from the Mediterranean. The station services destinations all along the French Mediterranean coastline, as well as further north into the rest of France and across the border into Italy.

Operators

SNCF (tel: 3635, in France only or +33 892 353 535; www.sncf.com) is France's national railway service provider.

If you're travelling from the UK, you can take a Eurostar train from London to Lille, from where there's a direct high-speed TGV service to Nice.

Chemins de Fer de Provence (tel: +33 4 9703 8080; www.trainprovence.com) also run trips to Digne-les-Bains in the mountains.

Journey times

From Paris - 6 hours; Lille - 7 hours; Geneva  - 7 hours 30 minutes; Monaco - 30 minutes; Milan - 5 hours 50 minutes.

Travel by boat

Nice is the perfect starting point if you’re planning on visiting the island of Corsica, with regular ferry services going between the city and various Corsican ports.

Ferry operators

Corsica Ferries (tel: +33 4 9532 9595; www.corsica-ferries.co.uk) connects Nice with Bastia, L'Ile Rousse, Calvi and Ajaccio.

Maritima Ferries (tel: 3260, in France only) runs crossings between Nice and L'Ile Rousse.

Transfer

It’s fairly easy to get from the port into the centre of town; you can walk for 15 minutes, take advantage of the Vélo Bleu bike hire scheme, or hop on one of the regular bus services.

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Featured Hotels

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Hotel Negresco

The most exclusive address in town is an old but not fusty place that has elegantly idled by the Promenade des Anglais since 1913. Recent major refurbishments have kept this grande dame ahead of the game, but the antiques and furniture collectables angle the atmosphere towards a bygone era.

Westminster Hotel & Spa

This good-value 4-star is one of the more affordable grand old waterfront hotels. All the usual perks including a private beach and wonderful belle époque architecture are covered at the Westminster with minimum fuss. Be sure to book a sea-view room for breakfast on the Promenade des Anglais terrace.

Spity Hotel

On the site of the former Hi Hotel, this chic accommodation maintains the former’s emphasis on elegant and ultra-modern design. Within one of the 38 sleek, industrial bedrooms, you’ll find lava stone tubs and neon walk-in showers. Amenities include an organic breakfast buffet, private beach, day spa, lounge bar, and a rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of Nice.

 

Hôtel Nice Beau Rivage

At only a two-minute walk from the seafront and a three-minute walk from Opéra de Nice, its little wonder this chic hotel was once frequented by a number of famous writers and artists. Today, the refurbished building offers a private beach, a whiskey bar, and a classy outdoor lounge for reclining during the summer months.

 

Hotel Villa St Hubert

Although it’s not in the city centre, this homely hotel is close to a tram that leads directly to Place Masséna, making it a great value for your money. Some of the traditionally furnished rooms have balconies with views across the rooftops, and breakfast is served in a charming tree-shaded courtyard.

Palais de la Méditerranée

This beautiful art deco hotel has some of the best views in town, which are best enjoyed from the swimming pool on the terrace above the Promenade des Anglais. Elegant rooms boast smooth contemporary decor and views out over the sea. A sauna, gym, and Turkish bath add to the 5-star allure.