Nice Like a Local
Rent an Apartment and Settle In
|The Nice Flower and Produce Market at the Cours Saleya.
||Shopping in the Old Town in Nice.
Nice has an endless supply of hotels but to truly be Niçois consider apartment vacation rentals. You will live in a residential neighborhood, have your own kitchen to prepare meals, and pay less for a bigger room. You won't get the hand-holding a hotel staff provides, but you can turn the Nice Tourist Office into your personal concierge. The office (www.nicetourism.com) publishes a brochure listing several vacation rentals in the city.
To eat like a local, take side streets to find neighborhood cafés and bistros. Better yet, visit the Nice Flower and Produce Market at the Cours Saleya to find the freshest and highest quality ingredients for preparing your own meals. Many locals visit bakeries for tasty €3 sandwiches. After lunch, spend a couple of leisurely, unrushed hours at a centrally-located café, sipping coffee and watching the world go by. For a big meal out, be sure to look on the chalkboards outside restaurants for that day's formule or prix fixe menu. Have this big meal at lunchtime and you will pay less for essentially the same food served at dinner.
Open-air tourist buses that circulate Nice cost a whopping €19 per adult. Taxis are notoriously overpriced. An affordable alternative is Nice's local bus system. A ticket for a single ride costs a measly €3, and there are several multi-ride options. Ask for the Sunbus map and the route guide at the tourist office, or visit the main Sunbus station at Place Massena. Buy your own ticket for nearby destinations like Cannes and Monte Carlo.
To find goodies to take home, visit a local grocer for inexpensive cooking items that are impossible to find back home. (Just keep in mind that it is illegal to bring back unsealed fresh food items such as produce or meats.) For good values in clothing and food visit the Gallaries Lafayette department store. Hit the Monday flea market at the Cours Saleya to find antiques or old posters. The summertime arts and crafts market there is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. Used and rare books, art, and old postcards are sold at monthly markets in front of the Palais de Justice.
Old Nice is the most popular night spot. The port area has a few hip bars that few tourists happen upon. Even near the tourist-haven pedestrian zone are some great spots. Amazone on the rue Massena features great food and gets quite busy after dark. Just a short walk outside the zone, Karr Bar on rue Alphonse Karr features live jazz. Opt for carafes of wine.