Nice in a nutshell

We had a very short time in Nice, but managed to get some of its flavor (bouillabaisse!) and a bit of its culture (Chagall).


Nice in a nutshell

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Bobbi on October 27, 2000

The Chagall Museum is wonderful, and worth a detour to Nice if you're in the area (like, anywhere in Europe...)${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay} We walked everywhere in Nice; it was a pretty long walk up to the old town where the Chagall Museum is located, but not TOO far, and it was pleasant looking at all the shops on the way.

Hotel Gounod

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Bobbi on October 27, 2000

We used www.placestostay.com to find our accommodations on this trip, and selected the Hotel Gounod as a decent-sounding mid-priced hotel. It is a 3-star hotel in the French rating system, and has access to the facilities (pool, restaurant) of the Hotel Splendid just down the street.

As it happens, when we went to check in, we learned that they had moved us to the Splendid, which is owned by the same folks. The Gounod staff was very helpful and moved our baggage for us and escorted us to the lobby of the Splendid.

The Gounod lobby was quite attractive, and although we were never in the bedrooms, I expect that they are more than adequate; the location is pretty central yet quiet; and the hotel is clean and appealing.
Gounod Hotel
3 RUE GOUNOD
Nice, France
4-93164200

Hotel Splendid

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Bobbi on October 27, 2000

We used www.placestostay.com to make our reservations for this trip, and although we reserved at the Hotel Gounod, upon our arrival we were moved to the Hotel Splendid, which is practically next door and is owned by the same folks. The Splendid advertises a higher price, hence the $75-100 above, but we paid only what we had reserved our original rooms for, which was in the $50 range. (Changes every day, with the currency fluctuations these days! :) The Splendid is actually the fancier of the two hotels, and has more amenities, such as a restaurant and pool. (But, my guys won't swim in French pools because Speedo-type bathing suits are usually required--honest! There are even signs at some pools with a picture of bathing trunks and a line through them...) Our room at the Splendid was a suite, with a bedroom for my husband and me and a separate bed in the sitting room for the kids. The suite was quite spacious, clean, and attractive, and we were very pleased (especially in terms of bang for the buck). We also liked the location--center city, close enough to walk anywhere, though not right on the beach.
Splendid Hotel and Spa
50 Blvd Victor Hugo
Nice, France, 06048
+33 4 93164100

Michel's Le Grand Pavois

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bobbi on October 27, 2000

We had a lovely meal at this restaurant near our hotel in Nice. We just wandered in off the street, but it might have been harder to get a table if we weren't such early eaters.

Their specialty is bouillabaisse, and Michel came over to explain to us that the recipe was his grandfather's, and it is a classic one, with five kinds of white fish and NO SHELLFISH (except lobster, if you order the Royale). Who knew that was what made a bouillabaisse classic??

In any case, the bouillabaisse was delicious and filling--they had a whole pot of the stuff to refill our huge bowls, had we ever been able to finish what we started with. They were also very friendly and kind (they really catered to our teenage sons), and spoke English well.

This is a finer restaurant than we usually frequent on our family travels, but we were very pleased with our experience.
Michel's Le Grand Pavois
11 rue Meyerbeer
Nice, France

Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bobbi on October 27, 2000

Wow. That's what it is like. If you like Marc Chagall, this is heaven; if you don't, then you should stay away, because that's all that's here!

The main rooms of the museum hold spectacular paintings of various biblical subjects. The instensity of the colors can almost make you dizzy! This is a small museum, and one to be savored slowly.

In addition to the incredible paintings, there is also a mosaic in the garden, a tapestry, a stained glass window in the chapel...and many drawings as well. There is a gift shop, which sells a lot of books on Chagall.

You can also join 'les amis du Musee...,' which might seem silly at first (I'm not likely to drop in on one of their member nights), but membership also entitles you to a copy of 'Les Lithographes.' This book retails for $150 here ($125 on amazon.com) and is a complete catalogue of Chagall's lithographs. Membership in les amis costs 500 francs (plus a small supplement--I think it was 50 francs--for mailing internationally), and they accept checks in dollars. So, if you're a big fan...
Musée Marc Chagall du message biblique
Avenue du Docteur-Ménard
Nice, France, 06000
+33 4 93 53 87 20

Promenade des Anglais

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Bobbi on October 27, 2000

The Boulevard des Anglais is the main drag that runs along the water in Nice. It is the logical equivalent of the boardwalk at many seaside resorts, and is used to promenade. You will find many people strolling along at all hours of the night and day, and many of the city's activities are centered here as well.

On our promenade, in addition to the usual sights (you know, beachy kind of stuff), we came across a parking lot full of souped-up road cars that were on display in preparation for the 'Ville de Nice' road race. We weren't able to stay and enjoy the race, but I was horrified when we figured out what some of the stuff written on the cars was for. Each of the front doors, driver's and passenger's side, had a name on it (presumably the name of the driver and the navigator); the horrifying part was that their blood types were also painted on the door, beneath their names! Hopefully, an unnecessary precaution...

Anyway, if you are in Nice, you must got for a stroll down the Promenade des Anglais--it is, after all, the thing to do!
Promenade des Anglais
Ave de Bellet east to Jean Jaurès Blvd
Nice, France, 06000
+33 4 92 14 48 00

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