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Rich English people, for instance Queen Victoria, were the first to turn Nice into a fashionable town for healthy, relaxing holidays by the sea. Today, many people from all over the world still come to enjoy Nice's beautiful beaches, glorious long promenades and magnificent sea. Nice, also know as the capital of the Riviera, is a good base from which to discover the Cote d'Azur. After all, Nice is blessed with excellent museums, a vibrant nightlife, narrow streets, an old harbor, gardens and markets.
Nice has over 340,000 inhabitants (as of 2005), which makes it the fifth largest city in France. The city is also the capital of the French department (a kind of province) of Sea Alps. Nice has relatively many students, over 30,000.
Nice is located at the Cote d'Azur. This water in turn borders on the Mediterranean. Twenty kilometers to the east of Nice lies the country of Monaco. Some 10 kilometers after that is the Franco-Italian border. To the north of Nice lie the Sea Alps and to the east the Provence.
Nice's economy to a large extent depends on tourism. It is the second-most popular tourist location in France. In 1999, Nice attracted over 3.2 million visitors. The tourists are attracted by, among other things, the 19 museums. In addition, the splendid beach with its blue water really draws in the tourists. The city also has lovely gardens, enjoyable restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, etc. There is also a great deal of activity. There are some 27,000 companies in the city, 83% of which are active in trade and services (including tourism). Nice has the second largest airport, in terms of the number of passengers, in France. The airport processes over 8.6 million passengers a year, and is connected to 80 destinations in 28 countries. This provides jobs for the people of Nice.
Nice has one airport, called Aeroport International Nice-Cote d'Azur. It is the second-largest airport in France, and is located about 6 kilometers to the west of the city. Nice is connected to 80 destinations in 28 different countries.
The fastest and cheapest boat from the French mainland to Corsica is in Nice. About two dozen bus companies use Nice's Intercity Bus Station. You can take the bus to many other (French) cities. Nice has several bus stations. The most important one is Gare Nice Ville. From Nice, you can take a TGV to Paris. There are two bus companies, Sunbus and ANT, offering connections between Nice and Nice Airport. They are the Sunbus 23, ANT 99 and ANT airport bus. Sunbus is the company that offers public transport in Nice. A one-way ticket costs € 1.30 and, after it is stamped, has a validity of one hour. It is also possible to buy a multiple day pass.
Like other major cities, Nice is a chaotic place to drive. However, with a bit of nerve and experience, there should be no real problems. During the tourist season, parking in the city center may be a bit problematic, so don't be too picky when it comes to parking space, and don't be surprised at what they charge you to park in the city center.
Because Nice is popular among youngsters, the city has many low budget hotels. These hotels are primarily located near train station Gare Nice Ville. In the older part of town, there are fewer hotels. Near the seaside there are lots of hotels, although they tend to be a little more expensive. In Nice, all star classes are represented. If you have a location and quality in mind for your hotel, we recommend you book in advance. There is less need to do so during the off-season, when there is usually plenty of choice.
For more information about Nice, we recommend Google and the following external sources: