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    Car rental in Nice at the best rates

    Nice is situated at the foot of the Alps in what is known as the French Riviera. The city is the seventh most populous city in France, with around a million inhabitants. The city is 13 km from Monaco and 20 km from the French Italian border – this makes the city a great place to start exploring from with your car rental from Nice. Being located on the Mediterranean Sea gives Nice mild winters and warm summers, which throughout its existence has attracted numerous aristocrats and in turn helped to develop much of its splendid architecture.

    With a long established history in the car hire industry, Auto Europe is the ideal broker to obtain a car rental quotation from. Partnering with numerous local, national and international car rental suppliers means that we cannot only provide amazing deals, but also a large fleet of vehicles to choose from. Along with our many special offers, we also provide luxury car hire and a motorhome rental service. Contact one of our reservation agents to discuss your car hire needs for your next holiday in Nice.

    How is the traffic in Nice?

    Nice like other major cities sees a lot of traffic congestion during rush hour. If you plan to visit during the summer months, then expect to encounter greater traffic compared to the calmer winter periods. Monaco and St. Tropez have the highest congestion on the French Riviera, so you should take this into consideration if planning a visit.

    Central Nice is mostly a one-way system of narrow streets, making for greater congestion at main interchanges and around central transport hubs. Speed cameras are in operation throughout the city, so look out for drivers that will break last minute. In particular pay attention to speed cameras on the A8, known as one of the top spots for speeding fines in the country - whilst the tunnel under the Promenade du Paillon is also a hotspot.

    It is also important to note, that unfortunately Nice is renowned for vehicle belongings theft, especially whilst waiting at red lights. Normally, a scooter approaches, one of the scooter passengers opens the car door and grabs what they can before making off at speed on the scooter. We therefore advise keeping you doors locked whilst driving. This practice is known locally as “vol à la Portière" tourists and foreign plated cars being the main targets.

    Where can I park my car rental in Nice?

    Parking in Nice like with other major cities can often be problematic. The situation isn’t eased by the fact that many vehicles park on bicycle lanes, causing bicycles to weave in and out of traffic. Parking on these lanes isn’t recommended as you might be subjected to a fine or tow. Also respect the local street signage. Metered on-street parking is in operation from Monday to Saturday, 09:00 until 20:00. Meters only accept coins, so make sure you have plenty of change available.

    In addition to on-street parking, there are numerous multi-storey car parks throughout the city. These are secure and most of the time centrally located – often being a cheaper alternative if planning on staying for longer periods. A free Park & Ride system exists along some of the city’s tram routes. This allows for you to leave your car and board a tram into town - a perfect solution for a stress free day in central Nice.

    Nice Airport

    Situated only 5 km from the city centre, Nice Airport is officially the third busiest in the country and the main gateway for the region. The airport handles international and domestic flights on a daily basis, and is a major hub for the national carrier Air France and EasyJet. This airport is also the only major airport servicing Monaco.

    Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport (NCE)
    Address: Rue Costes et Bellonte, 06206 Nice, France
    Website: Nice Airport
    Telephone: +33 820 42 33 33

    What to do in Nice

    Nice is an extremely popular French city to visit and as such has plenty to see and do. From monuments to museums, art galleries and other tourist attractions, seeing what you want to see whilst in Nice can sometimes seem a daunting task. To help you narrow down your search, we have put together the following list of recommended places to visit and things to do whilst in Nice.

    • Massena Museum: Located on the Promenade des Anglais, this wonderful period belle epoch villa and its gardens are simply breath-taking. The villa was originally constructed by the wealthy Massena family, who were known to have connections with Napoleon Bonaparte. This villa come museum is now dedicated to portraying the history of Nice and Napoleon. Parts of its displays include artefacts from Napoleon and Josephine.

    • Promenade des Anglais: Once extremely popular amongst English aristocrats, the promenade was built with much of the remains from the dismantled fortress and city walls. It is located along the sea shore and offers up an array of entertainment. From street performers and artists to the annual events such as the Battle of the Flowers during Nice Carnival. The promenade is also frequented by many skaters and roller-bladders.

    • Chagall Museum: This museum was designed by its exhibitor Marc Chagall, which unlike many other museums, allowed for the artist to plan and display his work exactly as he intended. Choosing exactly where certain pieces should be displayed, and what pieces to display, means that you’ll get a great insight into the artist’s views and thoughts. Chagall even went on to design the garden grounds around the museum.

    • Nice Old Town: Known locally as Vieux Nice, this part of town, although newer than Castle Hill, is also referred to as the old town. Due to lake of space on the hill, the city started to grow at the base into what is nowadays a beautiful array of charismatic streets, picturesque alleyways and period architecture. Streets are aligned with numerous coffee houses, restaurants and boutique shops, including the wonderful Cours Saleya Street Market.

    • Castle Hill: From way up high and overlooking the city and Mediterranean Sea, Castle Hill was the original stronghold of the city. Fending off numerous invaders, this strategic spot provides an idyllic green oasis right in the centre of the city. Often referred to as Nice Chateau, it offers up splendid views, amongst its plentiful ancient ruins to visitors who dare to venture up the steep slopes. If planning to walk up, then you may do so from Place Garibaldi or the Nice old town. If you’re feeling less adventurous, then the free lift will take you from the seafront to the top of the hill.

    Best day trips with my car hire in Nice

    Nice is perfectly located within the French Riviera. This makes a day trip an excellent option, especially for those with a car rental from Nice. In a short space of time you can be in the French city of Marseille, or crossing over the border into Italy. Monaco is also extremely close, making it a great day trip option. Here are our recommended day trips whilst in Nice:

    Cannes: From its humble beginnings as a fishing village, Cannes is now considered a world renowned global film destination. The Cannes International Film Festival is held here annually and is by far the best time of year to visit – you may even bump into some film stars. Free film screenings are available at key locations throughout Cannes, but we would recommend a screening under the stars on the beach front.

    Monaco: Around 10 km from Nice you’ll come across beautiful Monaco with all the splendour it has to offer. Monaco is easily reached either via the tolled A8 or along the M6098 and M6007 coastal roads. If you plan to visit during the summer months, then you’ll be in for a treat, the Prince’s Palace – the official royal residence – is open to the public and a must see. From learning about the American actress Grace Kelly to the infamous Grimaldi family, Monaco has plenty to entertain you.

    St. Tropez: Also known as the playground to the rich and famous, St. Tropez is ripe for exploration. Only around 75 km from Nice, you’ll navigate what is by far the busiest stretch of motorway on the Côte d'Azur. Once you arrive you’ll have plenty of time to lunch in pricey and glamorous restaurants or relax in an expensive coffee house. If the drive seems a bit daunting, then consider a ferry from Nice, you’ll not only see splendid coastline scenery but also arrive refreshed.

    San Remo: Take a day trip to see the beautiful Italian town of San Remo, wander through its narrow streets, eat some fine Italian cuisine or spend the day shopping in an Italian market. On your route you’ll not only take in some spectacular scenery, but also be given the opportunity to visit the border town of Menton. Whilst in Menton you can visit the quaint old town and its exquisite Basilica of Saint Michel.

    Geographic Information & History

    The city has been a strategic location throughout its history due to its location at the foot of the Alps, proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and being only 30 km from Italy. Located in an area known as the French Riviera, Nice and its surrounding towns are known to be quite affluent. The city experiences mild winters and hot summers, with on average 300 days of sunshine per year. Rainfall is also very mild, even during the winter months. Due to its great weather, the city is extremely popular amongst tourists.

    The original Greek settlement was established in 350 BC and known as Nikaia, or Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. This name was given to the settlement due to its challenging location at the top of the hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea - which was very difficult to conquer. During the city’s Italian rule, it was named Nizza, which later morphed into Nice.

    The Middle Ages saw the city grow substantially and expand down the hill side. Being such a stronghold, it wasn’t until 1706 that the city was eventually captured by Louis XIV. During this period the city walls and much of the fortress was dismantled. The late 18th Century saw the city grow in popularity, especially with English aristocrats, who were attracted by the city’s mild climate.

    Nowadays, Nice is still an extremely popular holiday destination, especially amongst some of the rich and famous. The internationally renowned Cannes film festival is nearby, which helps to attract around 4 million tourists per year. Nice Airport is the main gateway to the region and Monaco, which in turn also helps to bolster the areas popularity. The city is also home to artists such as Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall, whose works are on display across many of the city’s museums and galleries.

    How to get around Nice

    As one of France’s major cities, Nice has a well-maintained and modern transport infrastructure. It is relatively inexpensive to use and will take you effortlessly and quickly through the city centre and into its suburbs. The network consists of trains, buses, trams and a ferry service. Taxis are also available to reach parts of the city not covered.

    Bus

    Nice has an extensive bus network which takes you all around the city and into its neighbourhoods. Known as the Lignes d’Azur, it has more than 100 route connections making it extremely easy to get around. Bus tickets can be purchased on-board or at major transport kiosks. A variety of tickets are available, from single travel to a weekly pass. Most buses terminate at 19:00.

    From the Nice central bus station, an intercity bus service provides regional and express coach services along the Riviera coast, between Cannes and Menton. There are a further two express coach connections to Monaco. Some services also have multiple stops on route.

    Tram

    The city has a well-maintained tram network which easily takes you around the city. When you purchase a bus ticket, you can also use these tickets on the tram. This is ideal because buses tend to finish at 19:00, whilst trams continue until midnight. The tram links the city’s suburbs with the city centre, including to the city’s central train and bus stations. Tram tickets cannot be purchased on-board but must be bought at a tram stop ticket machine.

    Train

    Built in 1867, the Gare de Nice-Ville is the city’s central train station. Initially the train station was situated on the city’s outskirts, however over time the city grew around it. Nowadays it is considered to be in the city centre. Train connections are available throughout France and to other international destinations such as Rome, Milan and Monaco. If you plan to visit Paris, then the TGV takes around six hours from Nice. Regional trains are operated by SNCF, whilst local routes to other towns along the French Riviera are operated by TER.

    Taxis

    Taxis in Nice correspond to the same colours and styles as the European taxi found in other EU countries. Official taxis are cream in colour with a taxi sign on its roof. Taxis are metered but we still advise discussing your journey with the taxi driver before setting off. If you require a taxi, you can either call one or head towards one of the numerous taxi ranks spread out throughout the city, including major transport hubs.

    Ferry

    Nice has a modern ferry port which is a great way if planning to visit nearby islands. Corsica is the closest island, but a little further and you will reach the Italian island of Sardinia. Sardinia in particular is a wonder island to visit, especially if you adore white sandy beaches, Italian cuisine and a slower pace of life. The two major ferry companies are Corsica / Sardinia Ferries and SNCM ferries. If you plan to take your car on the ferry, make sure to inform the car rental supplier beforehand as additional charges may apply.

    Useful links

    Tourism Information

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