In Nice with kids..what to do?

Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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In Nice with kids..what to do?

Hello All
I will be in Nice with my family and two young boys. We will only be there for two days. We are staying at a hotel not far from the airport.
Can anyone recommend family friendly restaurants and as well what I could do with the family?
Is the Aquarium in Monaco worthwhile? Is it an easy trip by train? Also they want to eat pizza in Italy. I think we could easily go by train correct? Once there were could we go to eat Pizza that would be pretty easy to get to?
Thanks!
dan
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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I love the aquarium! There are other sections of the museum that are less exciting... but the aquariums are fantastic!

My family enjoyed walking by the Monaco harbor looking at the impressive boats.

Many years ago I went on a glass bottomed boat in Monaco. Does anyone know if it is still there?

It is a short trip to get from Nice to Italy or Nice to Monaco by train. Your only danger is the frequency of the train. Pop into the train station for an "horaire" (schedule).

I personally think the pizza is superb in all of France and wouldn't venture to Italy just for pizza. But... I can see the potential for bragging rights for your kids. Remind them of the difference and see if they will try something odd like an egg on the pizza! Also, will they be shocked to find that Europeans eat pizza with a knife and fork? I know I was when I was 10 years old.

We stayed at the Mercure on the Promenade des Anglais by the casino. In Nice, there are several pedestrian streets near our hotel in which you will find many restaurants. We had several meals in that area and were pleased by them all. I would say that they were all family friendly. Remember, by law the menu must be posted outside of the restaurant. That should make your selection a bit easier.

Be sure to save room for gelato! Actually, save LOTS of room!

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Old Jun 14th, 2006, 05:51 AM
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topping for newwave123
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Old Jun 14th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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My daughter and I spent three nights in Nice last month. We loved it there. So many options for day-trips, plus Nice itself is beautiful, especially Vieux Nice is charming. The beach there might entertain your boys for a half day, too. If you really must go to Italy for pizza, I suppose you could take the train and get off at the first Italian town. But Nice has just as much Italian food to offer, in case you can convince your kids. (Note our Italian train adventure, because sometimes it's not as easy as it should be.)
Here's my trip report, which includes some very nice restaurants in Vieux Nice, and details on day-trips to St. Jean Cap-Ferrat and Antibes (highly recommend Antibes):

"Nice, three nights in May, 2006

We arrived in Nice in the early afternoon on Friday, via train from Santa Margherita Ligure. The trip had been long enough, and was complicated when the Italian train quit one stop before our mid-point destination of Genoa. The conductor walked through and told everyone we’d have to get off the train and catch another one. No explanation given, simply 'get off and go catch another train'.

We had been seated relatively comfortably, with my huge bag safely stashed away, and we only needed to go one more stop to reach Genoa. But, instead, we dragged our luggage off that train and onto the next one, as directed. It was packed, standing room only.

We all stood there about fifteen minutes on that train, when another conductor came in and said yet another train would leave first, and we should get off and catch that one. So we again dutifully picked up all our stuff, and hauled it onto the next standing-room-only train.

Finally, it departed and we arrived in Genoa. Luckily for us, our train out of Genoa was late, too, so we were able to catch it. (It reminded me of Rick Steves’ saying that Italy is like a tangled plate of spaghetti: it’s a mess, but we love it anyway.)

Our Hotel le Grimaldi (http://www.le-grimaldi.com/) was a short cab ride from the train station, 10 EUR for myself, my daughter, my gargantuan bag, and her two small ones. We were greeted graciously at the hotel, which immediately struck us as a good find.

The hotel is actually two Belle Epoque buildings back-to-back. One side is much prettier to enter, as it faces a nice church. The other side is fine, too, but a bit boring. I think the side on rue Grimaldi is the plain one, and the other side on rue Maccarani is prettier.

The man at the front desk carried my bag to the room, and showed us around. There’s a business center on the ground floor, with free internet use on their two computers, and a free printer to use. (Also wi-fi in the lobby, I think for a fee.)

Our room was a ‘classic’, twin-bedded room, which was quite large (for Europe), had a little balcony, a sparkling yellow and white tile bath with fluffy bright yellow towels, and nice toiletries. It was 150 EUR plus tax, and 10 EUR per person if we opted for the hot/cold breakfast buffet. They suggested we check out the buffet served till 10:30a.m. the next morning, and if we were interested we could sign on for it. The deal is that you have to buy it everyday to get the 10 EUR rate. Otherwise, per day, it’s 15 EUR per person.

So the next morning, we were happy to find hot eggs, proscuitto, yoghurts, cereals, cappuccino, assorted croissants, juices, etc. We thought it a good deal and quite convenient, so we enjoyed it each morning.


It's an easy walk to the train station (w/o luggage) from Le Grimaldi, and a slightly longer walk to the bus station. Easy walk of a few blocks to the grand promenade at seaside, just past the pedestrian zone. Also not far walking to Vieux Nice. The neighborhood felt perfectly safe, and we walked back to the hotel late each night.

For our first dinner, I had brought the name of a restaurant I’d found on Travel Talk, and the front desk agreed it was a good one, a local favorite in old Nice. It’s called Acchiardo, at 38 rue Droite in Vieux Nice. We headed over for their opening at 7 p.m., and were very happy with it. Really friendly and attentive service, very quaint and casual atmosphere, with a good menu. I had a steak dinner, which actually included vegetables on the side. My daughter had two different salads. We had bottled water and a half-liter of house red wine. When the bill arrived for 28.50EUR, I thought they’d made a mistake because it was so much less than I’d been accustomed to paying in Venice, Florence and Rome. But, no, it was correct. (We would have maybe eaten there another night, but found out it closes on weekend nights, believe it or not.)

We walked all over old Nice, then through the pedestian area to the promenade and took that way back to the hotel. It’s such a beautiful walk at night. The Chateau hillside is all lit up, the palm trees are lit, and the waves look so pleasant. It was how we ended each of our Nice nights, with that walk back to the hotel.

The next day we decided to take the short bus ride on the #81, to visit the Villa and Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild, near Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. (The bus is just 1.30EUR each direction, which you pay in exact change on the bus.) We didn't stop to see the Greek Villa, but it's also on that same bus route, near the Ephrussi. You can easily catch the #81 for your return trip to Nice, at any stop along the road.

It was a nice visit, especially to see the views of the sea down below on both sides of the hillside. I thought the price was a bit steep, at 9.50EUR for an adult, because the Villa isn’t really all that interesting (sorry!), but the gardens are pretty. There’s also a nice little café there, for a light snack or drink or meal, which was a welcome break from all our walking.

While we were there, a very strong wind came up, which caused quite a bit of white caps in the water below, and chased everyone in from the patio tables. The wind stayed with us for the rest of the day, but wasn’t terribly annoying.

From the Villa, we did the easy walk down to the port of St. Jean to walk around and check it out. There are nice boats in the little harbor, with cute restaurants and shops. It’s very tiny, so doesn’t take long to walk from end to end of St. Jean. We spent just about an hour and a half there, then caught the #81 back to Nice.

That evening, we returned to old Nice for dinner. We loved that neighborhood’s little streets, overall atmosphere, and cute shops. We found the Restaurant la Tapenada, 6 rue St. Reparate and had a very nice dinner. It was probably about 60EUR for the two of us, on their fixed price menu, with a bottle of house wine. Very nice little place, with friendly and attentive service. They even let my daughter trade her dessert for a salad. So she had two salads to start, one after the other, and they timed the arrival of our main courses perfectly. We were completely happy with our meal there.

The next day we decided we’d stick to the coast and see Antibes, which is a short 20-minute train ride from Nice. We were glad we’d chosen Antibes, as it’s beautiful. The sea wall makes a nice walk, and the Centre Ville is very charming.

We wandered its streets, shopped in a tiny clothing boutique, found a little place for omelettes (nothing special, but nice enough), then headed back to Nice by train after about four hours total. It was a good choice for a quick day-trip.

That evening we weren’t very hungry, so opted for the simple Pasta Basta, once again in old Nice. It was a nice meal, although not extraordinary. Good prices and decent service.

All in all, we were very impressed with Nice and the surrounding area. It’s a very pretty city, with a friendly attitude, sitting on a lovely shore. There are many options for things to do near Nice. We’d considered St. Paul de Vence and Digne, but with the beautiful clear weather, we were drawn to stay at the seaside, and were glad we did."

 
Old Jun 14th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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If your kids want pizza, go to L'Ecurie in Vieux Nice: 4, rue du Marché. This casual restaurant offers wonderful pizza in addition to Niçois, French, and Italian dishes.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 10:35 PM
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Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 12:19 AM
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I am sure that your kids will enjoy the trip to Monte-Carlo. The aquarium is an old-fashined museum, with a huge kraken hanging from the ceiling and lots of strange creatures in jars. And, of course, live fish in aquariums. Tell them that Jacques Cousteau - the inventor of scuba diving - used to be the aquarium's director for a long time.

http://www.oceano.mc

When in Monte-Carlo, think also about visiting the Prince's Palace. It might be interesting for kids to see how royalty lives.

http://www.palais.mc

The train from Nice St. Augustin (this is the train station near the airport) to Monaco-Monte Carlo takes 25 to 30 minutes and runs every 20 minutes or so.

From Monaco-Monte Carlo the train to Ventimiglia (Italy) takes 24 minutes. It runs every 30 minutes.

In Antibes, there is a large aquatic zoo with dolphin shows etc.: www.marineland.fr

There are many harbours where you can board a glass bottom boat to see the underwater world without getting wet, e.g. right in the Port of Nice (Quai Lunel, a yellow boat "Aqua Vision") or in Juan-les-Pins (Bd Guillaumont, close to the train station).
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Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 12:20 AM
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Aarrgh, I have just seen this is a four-year-old thread. Why has it been topped?
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