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Recommended hotels in Nice and the best way to get from Paris to Nice

Hello -

We will be travelling from Paris to Nice at the end of May and are looking for the best way to get to Nice from Paris (we'd prefer not to drive, if possible) and also any Nice hotel recommendations (we're looking for ones that permit free cancellation, just in case) that anyone may have. We are set with a hotel in Paris, but would be grateful for any suggestions for Nice. Finally, we're thinking of a full day bus tour with GetYourGuide that would pick us up in Nice and take us to Eze, Monaco, Antibes, and Cannes. Has anyone had experience with this company? Thank you!

Thank you very much!
Mari

Posted by
27409 posts

There are certainly flights from Paris to Nice, probably from both Orly and CDG airports. Check skyscanner.com for intra-European flights. Remember that carry-on baggage allowances may be very, very restrictive in terms of both size and weight. You'll probably pay extra to check bags, make seat reservations, etc., but it may still not be very costly.

The fastest trains take about 6 hours; that's what I'd prefer, because I hate trekking out to an airport in the middle of a trip, making sure I'm there at least 2 hours before departure for security procedures, etc. Check rail schedules on the SNCF website. Use your planned travel date and be sure to set the time of day. You'd be departing from the Gare de Lyon. I see a wide range of fares for the random May date I chose. You can probably save a lot of money on the train tickets if you buy them now, but there may be fees if you need to change the departure date or time. Click on the fare block for information about those policies.

Get Your Guide is a third-party company that connects travelers with tour guides (or tour companies, I assume) in many different places. I don't believe GWG actually conducts tours itself. Of the four destinations you mention, three (Antibes, Monaco and Cannes) are extremely easy to visit by train. The regional train running along the coast runs frequently and is inexpensive. Eze is a bus ride from Nice. I can't imagine enjoying a tour that rushed me through those four places on one day. It's just not enough time. Even if it were, what are the chances the way the tour company divvies up the time would match your preferences? Incidentally, some people enjoy Monaco (it does have quite a few visitable sights); others don't care for it at all. I haven't been there, so I don't have an opinion.

Rick has a guidebook focusing on southern France. I'd recommend getting a copy of it, reading about the area around Nice, and deciding what you most want to see. Except for St.-Tropez (which has no train station), nearly all the coastal spots are easy to visit independently by using the train. If I were going to take a bus tour, I'd prefer it cover places not so easy to reach on my own. Eze-le-Village is one example. St-Paul-de-Vence, Vence and Tourrettes-sur-Loup are others. Note that all those places do have bus service; it's just infrequent enough to make it hard to visit more than one or two of them on the same day.

Posted by
33305 posts

I take the train.

Regarding hotels - what price and amenity level? How many? Will you be there at the time of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix and if so are you willing to deal with the crowds and the sky high hotel prices?

Posted by
698 posts

I agree with the above -- the train is often better from the center of Paris. Set your return flight to depart from NCE and connect to your portal back.

If you are looking for smaller group tours, try directly with Friend in France. And I'd only use it for trips to the countryside if you are uncomfortable with driving. But really, any of the destinations you cited are easy with pubic transport. Only Eze requires a bus. As recommended, time your visit to Monaco carefully.

For Hotels, we do need a target price range to make a recommendation. Also what amenities you prefer.

Posted by
1505 posts

The speedy TGV trains can get you from Paris Gare de Lyon to Nice in less than 6 hours. One ticket can run as high as $140 but if you book your train tix in advance, you can get non-refundable morning tickets for the end of May for as little as $23-45 on Trainline.com.

Posted by
1505 posts

Nigel brought up a good point: The Monaco Grand Prix is putting the squeeze on Nice hotel prices for May 26-29 as Monaco is only 12 miles away.
You can get a sampling of hotel prices on Trivago.com

Posted by
32265 posts

Mari,

Absolutely, take the high speed TGV. The trip is as short as 5H:41M direct and I doubt that flying would be any faster, when all is considered. Note that you'll be departing from Paris Gare de Lyon and arriving at Nice Ville. Some of the trains on that route require one change and some are direct, so be sure to choose one of the direct versions.

I've stayed at the Hotel Suisse in Nice and would definitely recommend it.

Posted by
2588 posts

I just purchased two tickets on Air France from NCE to ORY for 125€, including the upcharge for two checked bags weighing up to 23 kg (50 lbs). The flight is 90 minutes. Orly is about a 20 minute cab ride from the Left Bank, costing 32€. If you really want to, you can take the tramway/métro for two tickets t+ between ORY and Paris.

Taking the TGV is my first choice for travel to Aix-en-Provence, Nîmes, Montpellier, and other southern destinations, but the high speed rail line ends somewhere around Aix-en-Provence, slowing the TGVs enormously and resulting in 6 hour travel times to Nice. Flying between Nice and Paris is cheaper, faster, and you can book travel much farther into the future.

And I did not even mention the SNCF strikes that cause complete chaos, which occur far more often than the annoying controller strikes which affect aviation.

Posted by
10347 posts

I'm with Tocard and would fly, but I've done this trip dozens of times, love watching the topography change from the plane window and have even spotted chateaux I've visited from up high, and consider the landing in Nice absolutely spectacular.

But if it's your first time, why not the train, but get a seat on the top deck, hopefully on the starboard side, facing forward (though that's often unknown until you have boarded).

Hotel: I recommend the Beau Rivage.

Posted by
98 posts

Thank you so much! I would like to keep the price to under $250 per night (understanding that may not be possible, because my biggest "must have" is being in a location that is reasonably walkable from the major sites and the train). We are going May 26 to May 29. We found and booked one place for May 27-29, but they have no availability on the 26th, and while we're willing to move hotels, it would be great if we didn't need to. The place we booked is actually an apartment, which requires a large security deposit, which is refundable, but it looks like all of these types of places do require one. Which is fine, as long as they do refund it. We'll leave the apartment as we find it, of course. But, if there are suggestions for hotels instead, we sure would appreciate them. Thank you!

Posted by
7067 posts

It will be difficult. It is both a major holiday weekend AND the Monaco Grand Prix...
I would consider staying in Antibes/Juan Les Pins if you do not find anything you like in Nice. Antibes is less likely to be as affected by the Grand Prix, as it is further from the action in Monaco.

Edit: Cannes film festival will be on as well, until 28th May. Tricky time to be in the area, really...

Posted by
1505 posts

Hi Mari, You might take a look at “Sunny and Modern Barquis Flat” on Booking.com’s website. It’s several blocks ( about 1/2 mile) from the train station toward the beach at 11 Avenue Baquis. While I personally have not stayed at the property- it looks like a winner. It’s a 1-bedroom apartment over 500 sq. feet
with everything you need- kitchenette and the building has an elevator. It’s in your price range and probably will not last long.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
698 posts

I checked on the meta search engines and the usual recommendations are all booked or the prices have been jacked up for the weekend. If you are considering an apartment, try looking directly at Nice Pebbles, Nestor & Jeeves, YNA, etc . Look for the units with flexible or relaxed policies. There are several available in the Carre d'Or or near Place Massena, which keeps you close to the water, Old Town and the train station. I'd avoid hotels too close to the train station in general -- food/service choices are not great and there has been quite a bit of construction (don't know in May) in the new complex going in next to the station.