What's your strategy for keeping your budget in check while frolicking in Nice? With tips and information about free and inexpensive events and sights, we'll help you get off to a great start in the Riviera's most darling little city.
Nice Budget Tips
We always recommend stopping by the local tourist office, and Nice is no exception to the rule. Make sure to visit the Nice Tourist Office for information detailing, among other things, special events, free concerts and art festivals.=”http:>
The largest tourist office is located on Avenue Thiers at the main train station. It is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays and holidays from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. From October through May the hours are shorter: 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The tourist office at 5 Promenade des Anglais is open from June through September from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. on Sundays. From October through April, it is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m Monday through Saturdays, and closed on Sundays.
The tourist office at the Nice airport's Terminal 1 is open Monday through Saturday from from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., year-round.
Always be sure to ask the staff at your hotel for information and tips about things to see and do in Nice.
Museum Prices and Passes
Few people come to Nice for the museums, and this is a shame. Several of the city's museums are world-class. Plus, they provide much needed shelter from the endless sun. Don't forget to ask about discounts for seniors and children.
Admission to popular spots in Nice:
Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall: €7.50 - €8.50 (adult); €5.50 - €6.50 (reduced)
Musee Matisse: €5 (adult); €2.50 (reduced)
Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St Nicholas: €3; €2 (groups)
Note: Many museums in Nice are free to the public on the first Sunday of each month.
The beach is where the action is. It abounds with all sorts of frugal amusements. People-watching and sun bathing offer free entertainment. You'll find cuties from around the globe here, tanning themselves.
Vieux Nice is a free must-see. Its streets are a maze of flower-filled balconies, hand-painted awnings, fountains and beautiful churches. Place St-Françle;ois is the place to find fresh fish, while Cours Salaya is gloriously full of fragrant flowers. Markets attract crowds of shoppers in the morning. By the end the day, nightlife takes over. Cafés and restaurants come alive with music, dancing and wine.
Jardin Albert I is the city's central park. Jazz concerts and plays held here augment summer nightlife, and the park's benches and fountains provide a break from the beach. Inquire about the entertainment schedule at the tourist office.
>At night, the promenade des Anglais fills up with street performers, musicians and other entertainers (some, it must be said, providing unintentional entertainment) along the beach and boardwalk.
The Musee d'Art Moderne et D'Art Contemporain is free to the public. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed some Mondays and holidays.
Senior travelers will find some discounts in Nice, but not as many as in many other cities across Europe. Members of the AARP get some discounts on hotels, airfares and car rentals. They can be reached in the United States at 1-800-424-3410 or online.
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the most widely accepted form of student ID and provides discounts on sights, accommodations, food and transportation. Many museums in France offer admission discounts of 20-50% to ISIC members. Applicants must be working toward a degree at a secondary or post-secondary school and must be at least 12 years of age.
The card costs US$22 and is valid until the end of the year issued. All cardholders have access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. In the United States call 1-800-223-7986 for more information, or click onto ISIC Web site.
For non-students 25 years and younger, the International Youth Travel Card, IYTC, also offers many of the same benefits as the ISIC. The card costs US$22 and is valid for one year from the date of issue.
About the author: Tom Meyers is the Editor in Chief of EuroCheapo.com.
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