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Newcomers to Paris & Nice in early August

Newcomers to Paris & Nice in early August

May 21st, 2003, 06:32 AM
  #1  
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Newcomers to Paris & Nice in early August

Newcomers (Canadian) to Europe looking at a honeymoon from Paris to Nice and back.

Time: Early August (+/-2 weeks long)
Age: Early 30's/ late 20's (active)
Interests: varies (not much into wine)
like doing the "touristy" things, but also would like to relax (beaches in Nice?).

Transportation: ??? I'm assuming the TGV would be the best choice. Is it really necessary to have a vehicle within either city? or should we just rely on our feet & public tranportation? should we rent a car to head out of either town for a day or two to anywhere special (must-sees)?

Bed & Breakfasts some nights vs. hotels?

More questions to follow, but any general / broad suggestions would be appreciated.

Thx!
James is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 06:44 AM
  #2  
 
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It is traditional for most French people to take the entire month of August as vacation. Consequently many things (like restaurants)in Paris will be closed. Conversely, in Nice things are very busy & crowded. I have never been in August. Some people who post here like being in Paris during this time. I believe the museums & some shops are open.

The beaches in Nice are pebbly vs sandy. For sand go to Cap D'Antibes, Cannes, St Tropez. Have a look at the website provencebeyond.com for more details on the various Riviera towns. It is not desirable to have a car in Paris. Public transport on the Riviera is good so a car there is not necessary either. In August parking will be difficult. You can fly from Paris to Nice as well as train but again, in August it will be expensive.
mclaurie is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 07:01 AM
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Mclaurie is absolutely right. August in Nice is quite crowded. Is there any way you can push your trip up by two weeks and go late July? You'll probably enjoy it more, but if not...
No, you don't need a car in either Paris or Nice. Public transportation in both places is excellent. In Nice, you can easily go by train or bus to Cannes, St. Paul de Vence, Grasse, St. Jean Cap de Ferrat, and Monaco.
As far as beaches go, Nice has a pebbly beach. You can either take your towel to the public beach or pay about $20 a day for a chaise longue, umbrella, and towel at one of the many private "sporting clubs" along the Promenade des Anglais. These clubs all have restaurants, some of which are really good for a light lunch.
You asked about getting from Paris to Nice. I would definitely check into some of the cheap airlines and see what they're offering. It's about an hour and a half flight from Paris. If this proves too costly, take the TGV and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way down.
Just so you know, we have often gone to Paris in August, and if you ask ahead, you will find that some hotels discount their rooms at that time, since the city pretty much empties out at the end of July. You will find that many galleries, shops, and restaurants are closed for the annual French vacation, but others remain open. Also, Paris can be extremely HOT in August, so make sure your hotel offers AC!
Have a wonderful trip, whatever you decide!
Weadles is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 11:25 AM
  #4  
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Thx! for the replys.
So, when you say France (or the french) go on holiday for the month of August, does this mean they mostly travel abroad or outside of the country at this time? Or like most other places and they travel within their own country, as well as outside? Thus, do most of the residents Paris tend to head for Nice? I don't think we would do much in Nice anyway. Probably just hit the beaches most of the time there.
And what percentage of Paris (restaruants, etc.) "hypothetically" is closed during this time? 10%, 50%?

Is the TGV worth the ride (views, comfort, etc.)?
Maybe we should fly one way & take the TGV the other? $$$???
James is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 12:26 PM
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James, the French go everywhere in August including Nice/Cote D'Azure. That's why it's so crowded. Don't know the % of places closed in Paris but you can count on all the "top" restaurants being closed.

If you're going to the south of France mostly for beach, I would choose Cap D'Antibes or Cap Ferrat rather than Nice. The beaches are nicer, the areas a bit more quiet & they're close enough to Nice for sightseeing/dining.

As to the train/plane question, I've never taken the train so can't advise about the sights. I think the train is 5 hrs vs the plane at 1-1 1/2 hrs. Unlike other destinations where there's a benefit to train because you're going city center to city center, the Nice airport is very close to town. My instinct would be unless you're going to stop somewhere inbetween (or if the plane fares are outrageous) I'd opt for the speed of the plane. See what others think. I'd also suggest you do a text search for Paris AND August. Make sure you get a hotel with A/C!
mclaurie is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Hi.I am also going to Paris and Nice at the same time. I found a bargain at Easyjet from Paris to Nice, one way for 27 euros. You can check them out at www.easyjet.com. Their fares change very frequently, with the cheapest fares being early in the morning or late at night, midweek. It is much cheaper than the train, although not as much fun.
It is too bad about restaurants in Paris, isn't it, but still better to go there rather than not to.
sirod is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 12:37 PM
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Hi James. I've taken the TGV and also flown between Paris and Nice. Taking the TGV is worth it just for the experience, and for some of the views you'll get, but there's no need to take it both directions. I'd recommend flying one direction, especially if you can find airfare comparable to, or less than, what the TGV costs.
capo is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 12:47 PM
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James,

I can't really add much to McLaurie's excellent response,except to say that we've taken the TGV many times and found it to be extremely convenient and comfortable. However, the trip to Nice from Paris is rather long, and if you can grab a cheap plane fare, I'd do that.
I agree with McLaurie that there are better beaches than the one at Nice, but it depends, too, what kind of overall ambience you're looking for. If you're looking for quiet relaxation in the sun, Nice is probably not for you. But if you crave more activity than that, and prefer the options a city has to offer, you'll fall in love with Nice just the way we did.
Good luck in your planning!
Weadles is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 03:22 PM
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James,
I've been in Paris for a week or so for the past 2 Augusts and would say that every year fewer establishments are closed, and certainly not for the entire month...nothing like the good old days.

Many shops are open as usual, especially the department stores, most art galleries are closed, most museums are open. Many of the top restaurants may be closed (tho often for 2 weeks not the entire month), but there is no shortage of good restuarants open.

coco is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 11:19 AM
  #10  
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Thanks for your advice mclaurie & weadles.

A further question to the drive from London up to Edinburgh: Are you saying that it's not really worth the drive? Visually, etc.? We kind of want to "wing-it" for the trip up but I am starting to think the booking "yesterday" might be a better idea. If we "wing-it", I thought the car would serve a better purpose.

mclaurie,
Is the millenium bridge you speak of, the one that rotates up twice a day to allow ships through? Or am I thinking of some other city's "Millennium Bridge"?
James is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 11:21 AM
  #11  
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OOPS!!!!

I somehow replied to the wrong post.

Sorry about the above!!!!
James is offline  

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