Basic know-how on Nice and Monaco and an itinerary of my trip along with the complete guide to exploring the two cities in 2 days.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE
NICE, FRANCE, OCTOBER 2016
By the time I had made it to Nice, I was almost two weeks into my vacation. Which means my over enthusiastic-energetic-mediocre travel characteristics had begun to fade away and were replaced with composure, laziness and growing ignorance of my own itineraries. To my surprise and delight, Nice turned out to be the perfect place for that. Not only did I find it to be one of the most expensive cities in France, but it also had a variety of opportunities of staring into the ocean speculating the next beer that was to be consumed, a city of convenience in nothingness. The act of balancing the lack of desire to blow money & participate in activities with a good pair of walking shoes can lead to
Nothings are amazing.
Additionally, Nice has one of the second highest number of museums in France, after Paris, so art enthusiasts might find more to explore in this pastel-beloved city.
- Summary & Basic Information
- Transit Information
- Things to do
- On Nice and Monaco beaches
- You should also know
SUMMARY & BASIC INFORMATION
Nice is a beautiful town with historic relevance that extends back to ancient Roman times. A gateway to French Rivera, the city feels like it glistens in gold. It has a radiance of richness, striking architecture, an aura of preserved and well designed beauty cropping up at every corner. The charms of Nice come from strolling along the seaside and old town, taking walks with fresh sandwiches and drinking wine even if you’re not a fan. The city almost challenges you to take it easy and soak yourself with a place that holds time still, that is if time were a rich lord who only liked nice things (if you get the pun there, pat your back as you are an amazing human/genius).
I stayed a little over a day in Nice and spent the
Monaco is a town designed to make people feel irrelevant. We could go about our lives accomplishing so much, great value to us and people around, yet the shiny cars, extremely hot people and the visibly rich yachts of Monaco ensure all personal accomplishments are set aside and one true goal of every individual is to spot the brands that could be seen around the city. I saw my life’s hottest traffic police officer there, and it did not help when I came back to India.
Note: Add a few more kilometres to each day for strolling and detours.
Day 1 – [Walk] Promenade des Anglais > Ruhl Plage > Nice Cathedral > Old Town
:: Seaside walk to enjoy the city views and the rising sea-line. The Promenade is about 7kms long and can be enjoyed in parts by stopping and resting at any of its beaches.
:: After a walk along the beaches, you can take the route into the city to get to the cathedral (which lies in Old Town) to explore the architectural charms.
Day 2 – [Walk] Garibaldi Square > [Bus] To Monaco > [Walk] Monte Carlo/Casino Square > Larvotto Beach > [Bus to] Garibaldi Square
:: Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk, stare at the clean empty roads and just walk till your legs give in.
:: Spend time at a cafe in Garibaldi Square on returning towards the evening.
The bus ticket to Monaco costs €1.50 (crosschecked at the time of writing this article). You can board the bus from Garibaldi Square and take a scenic ride to Monaco that lasts for 30-45 minutes. Get down at the stop for Monte Carlo/Casino Square.
There is also a daily pass for €5, but it doesn’t work on all modes of transport, and as Nice and Monaco are
Drink cheese and say wine
THINGS TO DO
– Buy a drink at a beach in front of Promenade des Anglais (I did at Ruhl Plage) and enjoy the complimentary use of lounge chairs on purchase of that drink. Ruhl Plage has cool nautical themes, which is a nicer way to say loads of stripes. I am not complaining, I like stripes.
– Eat a sandwich at an outdoor cafe
– Walk around in the tiniest and most petite dress
– Have an evening coffee or wine at Garibaldi Square
– Collect pictures of buildings in Nice. The colours are luxuriously pastel
– Bathe in the Monaco sea
– Drink only French beer even if you have to suffer through it
– Touch (only finger) mind-numbingly expensive cars in Monaco
– Try to enter the Monte Carlo casino without raising suspicion
– Visit luxury brand stores and think of the many vacations you can take instead of purchasing items they sell
– Buy a souvenir poker chip from in shops near the Monte Carlo Casino.
– Wear a bikini in Monaco, cos if you can’t there, then where else? For mental note, everyone is most probably fancier, prettier and fitter than you, so no eyes will fall on you in your last minute bikini wear.
– Try goat cheese and know for yourself that if goat cheese sucks for you in France, it will suck everywhere else
ON BEACHES IN NICE AND MONACO
I think I should have been failed at geography. I did not even know that there are beaches in the world that do not have sand, but have pebbles. They are called shingle beaches, and they are fantastic! No sand in the body and weirdly therapeutic heated stones! You should know before you go beaches will be rocky. Better to carry a sheet if you plan to sit on the beach, as rocks might be harsher on the bum than sand. But fear not when you go bathing. Sand gets everywhere, literally EVERYWHERE. Rocks? Not so much.
Calculated for one person, cos everyone comes and goes alone in this world.
STAY = €86
Hotel (Hôtel Amaryllis) = €43 for a room with double occupancy
Total €86 (for 2 nights)
Bus to and from Airport = 62 = €12 Bus to and from Monaco = 1.52 = €3
Total = €15
Pork, tomato and cheese sandwich at Brasserie Le Mozart (11 Bis Avenue Baquis) = €6.5
Breakfast regrettable goat cheese sandwich = €4
Pretending you have a
Dinner at the place I am forgetting due to just the right amount of wine = €15
Beer and groceries purchased from grocery stores (don’t wanna say which was more) = €8
Total = €33.5
Grand total = €91.5 for 2 nights in Nice (including Monaco)
YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW
– Try and stay near the train station (Are de Nice Ville) cos you will spend two days of travel and the station is a walkable distance to many of the sites on this itinerary. It also has a straight walk to the beach that covers enough pastel buildings to get all the feel in the world and say “aha” on arriving at the beach.
– Carry towels or sheets to beaches in Monaco so you can spend more time at the beach and wipe off the sea water after a dip
– Save on breakfasts by eating fresh bread and store-bought cheese and indulge in classically French items for dinners
– The French do not like people who control to hold their sneeze. They would rather keep the snot out and only keep hopes and dreams up their noses.
– When in doubt, eat a sandwich. Just don’t eat a goat cheese sandwich.
Some lessons leart during my visit to Nice & Monaco
- Always wear perfume.
- Undergarments should be fashionable for emergency bikini also.
- Always check if skirt is not stuck to underwear.
- Practise faking a cold for duping hotel receptionist.
- Drink questionably close to hotel.
- Don’t over order paella even after the host warned you would not finish it. The guilt is just not worth it and after a while, all the seafood and rice taste the same, that of over-eating without regrets.
S A V E F O R L A T E R
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