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Where to Stay in Nice?

We will be spending 5 nights in Nice next April and will be traveling by train. The plan is to explore Nice and the surrounding area using the train or bus, whichever is best for the particular destination. Should I look for a place near the train station? Is the train station sufficiently close to old Nice that I should be looking there? Having never been there I don’t know one neighborhood from another. I would love to hear suggestions about neighborhoods and why you like them. Thanks for any help you can give.

Posted by
7006 posts

The train station is well-served by the tram, and buses to neighboring towns stop close to old Nice, so I would look either in old Nice or, better in my opinion (because I find old Nice a bit "cramped" to walk in, sometimes), just west of old Nice around rue de France or boulevard Victor Hugo.

The train station area is not that bad, but it is not great either and shops and restaurants are a bit tatty. I would not recommend to stay there.

Posted by
3984 posts

We’ve only stayed in Nice once for 3 nights but we split the difference between the train station and the old town (10 minute walk from the station and <10 minutes to the old town) with lots of restaurants and beautiful buildings in the immediate neighborhood. I think that’s one of only a handful of times we booked a hotel from RS book but I don’t remember the name. It was clean and had some charm. It was great to be so close to the train and pedestrian area. We didn’t spend much time at the hotel as we had several museums we wanted to see, all reached by public transportation.

Posted by
10335 posts

Thanks balso and Mona. I know that generally speaking the area around train stations is not the best. Thanks for confirming that. Mona, splitting the difference was what I was thinking. I’ve seen a few places midway, but different neighborhoods. I’m looking at apartments (would like a washer since the 5 nights following this stop won’t have one), but a hotel is not entirely out of the question.

Posted by
11355 posts

We have stayed in Nice several times, the last trip there was for two weeks. We like to be on the western side near Hotel Negresco. You can easily get all over the city but are in a nice neighborhood when you return “ home.”
We never want to stay in Old Town but go near there for dinner.

Posted by
4242 posts

This is the hotel we stayed at on our Rick Steves tour. https://all.accor.com/hotel/1291/index.en.shtml?utm_campaign=seo+maps&utm_medium=seo+maps&utm_source=google+Maps It's about halfway between the train station and Old Town. It's very nice, but we chose to move to a room with a balcony a sea view after the tour was over. Not as fancy as the other, but very nice, good views and on the edge of old town and the promendae. https://www.hotel-albert-1er.com/en/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=mybusiness

Posted by
7400 posts

I would not stay near the train station.

I stayed five nights at Hotel Regence on 21 Rue Massena, a pedestrian-only street close to the Promenade des Anglais. It was very handy for the places I wanted to walk, and the tram stop was just at the end of my street (about two blocks) to go back to the train station or over to the bus stop. Place Massena, the checkboard photos is very close to go in the evenings, and I ate in the Old Town several times.

I didn’t eat breakfast at the hotel - wanted to try some of the other options each day, but the room was fine and I slept well.

Posted by
33133 posts

I missed this thread earlier.

oops

Andrea, you have had good advice warning you off the station (Nice Ville). Probably reasonably safe but not in any sense gorgeous.

It has been a few years since I've stayed there (Monaco and Beaulieu-sur-Mer more recently) but I've been several times, usually mid-winter or early spring.

The tram links the station - maybe 4 or 5 minutes walk from the stop into the station - to Old Nice - 2 or 3 stops right at the old town - really well. Fast and frequent, and only takes a very few minutes.

The line along the coast from the airport to the old town is new since I last stayed in Nice and probably is just as good. One major reason we stopped going to Nice and moved down the coast was the difficulty of going out in the evening and getting back to the hotel because the buses ended for the evening at something like 8pm. The tram shouldn't have those early finishes.

It is so easy to get into Nice from Villefranche-sur-Mer (served by train but easier to get to Old Nice on foot or bus is better), Beaulieu-sur-Mer (train quicker than bus, but good bus) in just a few minutes, and those towns are walkable to Cap Ferrat which is a lovely walk - around the little point is good fun.

There is more choice in restaurants in Nice.

There are actually three train stations in Nice. Nice Ville in the centre, Nice Saint-Augustin which is the one at the airport in the west, and Nice Riquier in the east which is reasonably close to the Old Port and Old Nice. Both of those stations are commuter stations and only the all-stops trains stop at them.

Posted by
27360 posts

I stayed near the train station and would do it again. I found a budget (air conditioned) hotel that charged me 50 euros a night for the last two weeks of May in 2017, including a good continental breakfast. There were multiple interesting restaurant options nearby. I was a solo female traveler and 66 at the time, and I never felt unsafe. But I totally agree that some blocks close to the station (including the one my hotel was on) are scruffy and not attractive. So I would recommend that folks not pinching pennies move a bit away from that area.

Posted by
2349 posts

We spent a week at Hotel Grimaldi. Hotel Grimaldi It was 10 minutes or a bit more to the Old Town, and about the same to the main train station. I will say that I repeatedly took wrong turns getting to the station and never made the trip the same way twice. Those angle roads!

The hotel was very nice, clean, and staff were helpful and professional. We found some good restaurants nearby.

There's a hotel Garibaldi nearby, but pictures showed giant clowns painted above the beds. We went with Grimaldi.

Posted by
698 posts

I echo the recommendation to not stay near the train station. It will be more convenient to actually stay a bit further away, and the restaurant choices simply aren't as good close by (although the big new Libeskind designed comple may be open by then). The ability to take a stroll on the Promende before dinner or take an apero on the beach is really ideal, as well as not having to travel too far.

You can pick a place in the Old Town or in the Carre d'Or (bordered by the sea, the Promenade du Paillon, Blvd Victor Hugo and Blvd Gambetta -- the sea to the train station is just over 1 km, so any place is actually quite walkable, though you could take the tram), or the few blocks around Place Massena. Some people also like the Port area as it is now trendy for the locals but you'll have to keep tramming over (and the closest rail station gets fewer trains). Apartments in the Old Town tend not to have elevators, so read the descriptions carefully. Check your proximity to the tram line for a quick connection to the main Gare (e.g, the far corner near La Perouse hotel is beautiful but the transit links are lacking). The Old Town has a better variety of restaurants and bars than close to the train station, but so do the Carre d'Or, the Port/Place du Pin, and the area northeast of Jean Medecin.

Besides the usual suspects, there are local specialists rental agencies with a higher level of services (like local concierge offices). Line 2 does run directly from the airport, and it could not be easier (though it is very popular).

Posted by
10335 posts

Thanks everyone. We will be arriving and departing by train, so no need for the airport. I’m looking at hotels and apartments, but leaning towards an apartment. On booking.com the apartments don’t have registration numbers. That concerns me. I’m also looking on Airbnb and VRBO. There are a few on VRBO that I’ve bookmarked that are offered by a company called Nestor & Jeeves. Has anyone rented through them before that can tell me about their experience? The reviews all look good. Is there an advantage to renting through an agency? I’ve never done that before.

Posted by
93 posts

For our last trip, which was in 2018, we stayed 1 week at the Aston La Scala, which overlooks a park, and is a 5 minute walk to Old Town and the Sea. We were happy with the hotel, except the rooftop pool was very small, and we didn't use it. And, breakfast was pricey, so we walked to a nearby shop.

Your last post mentioned an apartment, which is a great idea. Once, we stayed 1 week in Villefranche, with a 2bdroom, terrace overlooking the sea. Loved it. I don't remember if it was part of a package though.
But....I have looked at Nice Pebbles agency many times online. Haven't used them, but they offer nice looking rentals.

Have fun planning.

Posted by
10335 posts

jadamowi, thanks for your advice. I appreciate the information about Nice Pebbles. I just looked at their website and their listings are very nice. I am looking for something fully refundable for up to no more than two weeks before arrival at the minimum considering no one knows what the future will bring. Although some of their apartments have decent cancellation policies, the 25% deposit is not refundable.

Posted by
10298 posts

Andrea, You could make a cancelable hotel reservation but look at Nice Pebbles two weeks before arrival. I have heard good things about Nice Pebbles.

Posted by
698 posts

The main benefit with an agency is there is often a local team to provide customer service and generally professional cleaned. Nestor & Jeeves (aka Ashley Parker Real Estate) has a concierge office in the Carre d'Or, with things like luggage storage and local assistance. I've not used them but have interviewed them as rental managers. They tier their properties, as some are more basically furnished and others are in better location. Pebbles (Chez Bleu) has one as well, but over towards Wilson. Pebbles only accepts certain properties in the main areas, has consistent linens, and furnishing standards the owners must maintain.

Posted by
227 posts

We stayed at the Welcome Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer and loved it. The staff was wonderful and there were several restaurants nearby as well as a great breakfast. The area was a bevy of activity and we enjoyed sitting outside at the hotel bar right by the water. The train station that goes either to Nice or Monaco was a 10-15 minutes walk max. We used the train everyday to go to Nice, Monaco, Beaulieu, and eventually to Nice Ville to take train to Avignon, rent a car to explore the Provence area. We are thinking about going back next year and starting our trip there but going to Lyon, Annecy, Chamonix, instead.

Posted by
10335 posts

Gooster, thanks for your explanation about the agencies. The apartment I am most interested in is only a block or two from their office. Apparently we would have to go to their office to pick up keys no matter where the apartment is located. If it wasn’t so close that might be a deal breaker for me.