Need tips for 5-day family stay in Nice

Old Sep 26th, 1999, 12:32 PM
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Need tips for 5-day family stay in Nice

Middle-income family taking advantage of friend's condo outside Nice, France, in early spring. We would appreciate packing/travel tips, shopping suggestions.
Old Sep 27th, 1999, 12:02 PM
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My favorite tip for Nice is actually about a side trip: be sure to visit the Picasso Museum at Antibes! Antibes is a very short (few minutes) train ride from Nice and a pretty little city. But the Picasso museum there is really something special. Even if you and your family are not huge art aficionados, the museum is a must. It is in one of the most spectacular settings I've ever seen, perched on the edge of a cliff above the Mediterranean. Absolutely gorgeous. And Antibes is (or was, when I was there) less crowded than Nice, so we enjoyed walking around the town and doing some shopping there.
It has been years since I was in Nice, so I don't know if this other recommendation will still be good, but my mother and I had a memorable and extremely inexpensive meal at a tiny restaurant in Nice called Chez Davia. It was recommended in one of the budget guidebooks we brought with us at the time. Check and see if it's still there. There was a prix fixe menu that included appetizer, main course, dessert and wine that was just outrageously cheap, so I would think for a family it would be a bargain.
We were there in August so I don't know what to tell you about weather there in early spring or whether it would be warm enough to enjoy the beach. But I thought the beach in Nice was disappointing -- crowded and rocky.
I don't know if you are staying put in Nice or plan to travel around, but the train ride to the east along the Cote d'Azur and into Italy is absolutely gorgeous and I would recommend that. Have a wonderful time.
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 09:55 AM
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Visit the flower market at the Cours Saleya in Nice. It's the best outdoor market I've been to. In addition to flowers, vendors sell spices and food. And the streets leading to it have a profusion of bargain shops. We bought Provencal napkins and tiles for a fraction of the cost elsewhere, but the most important thing is the fun atmosphere.
Old Sep 29th, 1999, 09:11 AM
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Took a family trip to Cote d'Azur last spring and had a great time. Some nice towns to visit are Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, Villefranche-Sur-Mer and St. Paul de Vence. I'd also recommend taking a day trip to Monaco (where we stayed). Have fun!
Old Sep 29th, 1999, 02:36 PM
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================================================== ==
MONEY MATTERS: Use your credit card for everything. It gives you a record later,
and offers the best exchange, based on the current bank rates.
Get your daily cash at the local ATM machine--they are everywhere.
Make sure your card has the CIRRUS or PLUS network, and use a 4
digit numeric PIN code. The menus will give you an English option.
Take a small amount in TRAVELERS CHECKS as back-up only.

CARS & DRIVERS: Try to get your rental car in Germany, France or Switzerland. The
prices in Italy are very high, but be aware of drop-off charges if you
do not return it to the same country. Best prices are for compact cars
with manual transmission. Do not assume your credit card will cover
the CDW insurance. It may, but check it out for the specific country.
Stay out of the left lane unless passing. The big boys may be driving
120 MPH behind you and will run you down. Use your turn blinkers.
Most of Europe has good signage on the highways. Learn to trust
the signs that say " TO SIENA", the road numbers may confuse you.

PACKING: The rule is; "you can only pack what YOU can tote for 2 blocks".
Plan to take only 2 bags. A major one with wheels that you will
check on the plane, and a carry-on that should hold the KEY items
that you MUST have with you. Assume you have to live from it for
two days---medicines, toiletries, travel documents, camera, etc.
Also pack a canvas tote bag to hold the goodies you buy in Europe.
Bring your own wash cloths, and some liquid soap.

HOW TO DRESS: Europeans dress less casually than most Americans. Do not dress
to stand out as a tourist. Plan your outfits around basic colors, and
do not be afraid to wear the same outfit for 3 days[not underwear].
Do not try to make a fashion statement---pack for practicality.
Pack like items[socks, underwear] in seperate plastic bags for easy
access. Carry a laundry bag----it will tend to grow as you travel.
Your most important items will be a GOOD pair of walking shoes,
a rain coat, a hat for bad hair days, and a secure fanny pack.

TRAVEL TOOLS: Your most valuable asset is a good map. I like the Michelin 400
series for the primary area of your trip. A good guide book is a must.
The Michelin Green book is great to carry as you travel, but you may
also want a more comprehensive one for background before the trip.
Be sure to take these basic travel tools---you will probably need them:
* swiss army knife/corkscrew * currency calculator
* adaptor plugs/round outlets * extra camera battery
* copies of travel documents * extra reading glasses

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