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This apartment is perfectly located to enjoy the vibrant city of Nice. It’s at the center of the “vieux nice” which means “old town”. The old town is connected to the beaches (5 minute walk). Unlike other villages, this old pedestrian is not a relic for tourists. Its actually an alive maze of artisanal shops, various daily markets and fantastic restaurants (be sure to get our recommendations). All you need to do is stumble outside and drift through the streets to be entertained. During the week there is a vegetable market and a fish market. A typical summer day for me consists of slowly putting together a local organic lunch. I usually get fresh seasonal produce at the market (place Massena), then to the spice shop, wine boutique (rose is a must for hot afternoons), then to the fish merchant. The fish merchants get their catch from the Nice bay, and you can see the fishermen out at night. Other days I’ll grab some hand made pasta and stop by the antique market. Everything is walking distance in this pedestrian zone. Summer afternoons can be spent lounging around with the windows open, letting the vibrant street sounds and frequent street musician music fill the apartment. You can smell when the fresh bread is ready at the boulangerie downstairs (amazingly open 7 days a week). You can see the end of the french Alps from the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom windows. Two blocks up is a mile long stretch of small art galleries. The same street turns into a mini LGBT neighborhood at night. There are at least a dozen nightclubs walking distance, and well as hundreds of café terraces to perch and people watch. Shopping is endless and there are many bargains. There are no chain stores in the “Vieux Nice” (Gap, Bennetton etc…) which I love. If you are feeling less lazy, you can catch a bus to Monte Carlo. We complete every stay with a visit to the Cousteau’s Oceaonographic museum in Monaco, as well as the Matisse museum up the hill. Italy is 3 freeway exits away. We go have dinner near the village of Andora, on the Italian Riviera, and have the best pasta dishes for cheap. The tram way that connects to the international train station is a 2 minute walk away, as is the bus stop that links you to the other sea side villages.
We love the crowd in Nice, they are very unpretentious and colorful. If you are looking for the Jet set this is not the city for you. Try our Cannes apartment (see other listing).
Downside/upside: It is a 4 floor walk up. This means you can have an extra croissant and a great backside, but it is a hike up the stairs! We spent months here –with a baby- but its not for everyone. Also, the beaches do not have sand, but thick flat rocks. The bay is amazing to swim in, but you need sandals to tolerate the rocks. I swim out 15 minutes and look back while floating on my back in the ultra salty Mediterranean and am always awe-struck. At night the beach turns into a massive 20 something hang out and pick up spot.
As you can tell we love this apartment. Its perfect for a couple. It’s a grand adventure with a baby. It sleeps 4 (2 couples) comfortably, except there is only a half wall separating the beds. Depending on how you see it, this is a good or bad thing!