Advice on car rental for French Riviera

Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:12 PM
  #1  
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Advice on car rental for French Riviera

I've received such helpful advice so far, so I thought I'd get feedback on this specific question. I'll be staying in Cannes and then Nice for the first five days of my trip (Tuesday to Sunday) and will then be heading further up into Provence. My friend and I will definitely be renting a car for the second half of our trip, but we are debating the first half. I know it's not a must, but a car would be convenient because we can be on our own schedule. However, I'm concerned about parking. So:

1. How easy (and regularly available) is public transportation between Nice/Cannes and Eze, Cap D'Antibes, Cap Ferrat, St Paul de Vence, Monaco etc etc. Also do I lose out on those coastal drives?
2. Parking at both hotels i'm staying at is ridiculously expensive, 1st hotel on the Croisette, 2nd on Promenade de Anglais. Are there any other options for parking around there?

Any advice on the best options is much appreciated. Thanks!
Daniella
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:41 PM
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We spent 5 days in Nice and used trains and buses easily and with great success. We rented a car on the morning we left for our 2 weeks in The Luberon. Worked really well for us.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 01:15 AM
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Although I know that public transport on the Cote d'Azur is convenient, we always drive while there. Eze, Cap d'Antibes, St Paul de Vence are not served by trains, easier to drive.
You can't drive around Cap d'Antibes, but park your car by the plage de la Garoupe (free), and take the walk along the Cap - then lunch on the beach.

Parking in Cannes and Nice is expensive - there are not many options for free parking - look at the costs of the car parks nearby to see if they are cheaper than the hotel. The one on Croisette near Port Canto charges 17 euros for 24 hours.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 04:49 AM
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Don't worry about the cost of parking in Nice... pick up your car when you leave town for the second part of your trip. You won't need one while in Nice and Cannes. All the car rental agencies are located just off the Promenade des Anglais beside the Meridien Hotel so they will be handy to you when it's time to leave the city.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 08:00 AM
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Thank you! That was helpful advice. Tulips, fit the towns not accessible by train can I take a bus?
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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You can, but other people can better advice - I much prefer a car to a bus! I always find somewhere to park. St Paul de Vence has a multi storey car park - but if you are there in high season, best go early (and visit the Fondation Maeght as well).
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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We've always had a car in Nice (one 3-day exception) & we've stayed there for around 4-5 weeks - at the Hotel Windsor which is just a tad inland from the Negresco. I would take trains or buses to Cannes, Antibes, Menton, Villefranche - but car to St Paul, Vence, Biot, Old Cagnes, Tourrettes sur Loup, the "Loup loop" (Gordon, etc), and to the wonderful gorges, mountain passes, remote villages in the Nice Hinterland.

Next year we've reserved an apartment in Nice for 2 weeks and I plan to go sans car for about the first 4-5 days and then rent a car for the remainder of the trip - which includes an additional 2 weeks in Provence.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 12:53 PM
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Sounds good stu, where did you park in Nice, do you recall? Also, how was it there without the car for those few days? Thanks!
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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We just found spaces around the hotel. Usually north of Ave Victor Hugo. We have parked at an underground parking lot on Rue Rossini a few times.

Our visit without a car was only for 3 nights - after a train trip from Italy & before a couple of days in St Tropez with a car, then 2 weeks in the Auvergne. We had already visited Nice for about 4 weeks on previous trips by that time, and we've also stayed just outside of Nice in St Jennette for 4 weeks over 2 visits - so we just "hung out" for our 3 nights in Nice & really didn't try to do or see much. Worked out fine for our situation.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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A friend just returned from the Côte d'Azur area around Nice. This time around she used public transportation and swore "never again!" She thought she had to waste much too much time waiting for a bus.

However, you definitely do not need (or want) a car in Cannes or Nice. It's when you get out side those cities that having a car is very useful.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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Thanks for the parking tips stu. Underhill, thanks for letting me know about public transpo, as far as cannes/nice, i don't want a car but those are my base locations, so if i'm exploring those areas outside of these cities I need either a car or trains/buses. I definitely feel more informed, thanks guys!
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