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London to Nice

Cleveland, Ohio
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London to Nice

Hello all. We are planning to travel to London in early September and then go to France from there. We have thought about heading to Nice. Can anyone recommend what is the best way to get from London to Nice? We were thinking about using the train. Also, we are considering renting an apartment in Nice. Has anyone else done this? There are a few good sites that show some lovely looking apartments. Any help is appreciated. (Also, any other tips as this will be our first trip to Europe) Thank you. Merci.

Ohio, USA
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1. Re: London to Nice

If London and Nice are the only places you are planning to stop at on this trip you should be able to book a trip from Cleveland to Nice via London with a stop-over in London in one direction, but not both. This would probably be the least expensive option. If for some reason that does not work I would suggest you book an "open jaw" flight, flying to London eastbound and returning from Nice.

If you must travel separately from London to Nice it would take you anywhere from 9 to 11 hours to travel from London to Nice by train depending on connection times. Almost all routings would require you to change trains and stations in Paris. There are a VERY few possible routings through Lille that would avoid Paris. There is also a night train from Paris but I would not recommend that very slow (~14 hours) option.

EasyJet will fly you inexpensively from Gatwick, Luton or Stansted to Nice and Aer Lingus will probably have good fares from Gatwick. If for some reason you must travel round-trip between London and Nice you should also look at Air France and British Airways.

BTW, as this is your first trip to Europe I would really urge you not to miss Paris. With all due respect to the Nice fans on this forum (and a splendid bunch they are....) Nice really can't hold a candle to Paris (splendid place though it is). And Paris is less than 2.5 hours from London by train...

Nice
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2. Re: London to Nice

Flying is usually the least hassle and fastest way of getting from London to Nice.

Some folk enjoy the experience of the long train journey but there are several interesting scenic train journeys from Nice - into the mountains and along the coast

Nice and the coast is spectacular in September- warm and sunny, not too crowded=plenty of stuff to do an see in Nice and hundreds of places close by to visit as well.

Public transport is astonishingly cheap- one euro per journey on the bus - which can take you from Nice to monaco/menton or into the maritime alps.

several folk have told me that they have been pleased with the rental service from

http://www.nicepebbles.com/

However there are lots of other agencies as well as aparthotels etc

Montreal, QC
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for Nice
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3. Re: London to Nice

I also second the air trip. Don't bother losing a full day on trains.

Try also www.go-nice.com and sometimes you can get good deals at the Citadines Promenade (apart-hotel with efficiencies)

London, United...
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for Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer
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4. Re: London to Nice

No quarrel over Paris, Rover, wonderful city (shame about the Parisians, but then you can't have everything)

But coming as some of us do from another big city, London, a big city is a big city - I love Nice because its on a human scale.

The train journey London - Nice however is not a quality experience, unless you need to catch up on a lot of reading over nine or more hours. An hour and a half in the air is just time to read a newspaper and that'll do nicely.

Cleveland, Ohio
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5. Re: London to Nice

Thanks for the info. We were planning to stop in Paris and then take the train down to Nice. By the way, IrishRovr, your name implies you are either Irish or travel to Ireland a lot. I was in Ireland a year ago and it was spectacular. Thanks again. (I have never been to mainland Europe)

One other question, we were going to travel early September but from what I have seen, the rates drop after about September 10. Is that correct? Low season?

Edited: 06 January 2010, 13:46
Ohio, USA
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6. Re: London to Nice

Yes, for much of the first half of my life Ireland was my home.

I do not think we ever established how long you are going to be in Europe, but for the trip you are thinking of IMO two full weeks would be the minimum and more would be better. With two weeks I would give five full days each to London and Paris and three days to Nice. You should try to arrange your travel so you fly to London and home from Nice.

Book your train travel ahead for the lowest fares. Use www.voyages-sncf.com or www.tgv-europe-com for the trip from Paris to Nice. I think you will have to book the London to Paris trip on www.eurostar.com using the UK as your "home" country. When using any of these booking sites do not select the US as your home country or you will be diverted to the RailEurope site where you will pay twice as much for your travel with fewer options. Go to www.seat61.com for a full run-down on how to navigate the booking process as it is not always self-evident.

Eurostar tickets can be booked up to 120 days ahead IIRC, iDTGV tickets to Nice up to 180 days ahead and regular TGV tickets three months ahead. The earlier you book the better your chance of getting the lowest fares, roughtly £30 for the Eurostar and as low as €19 for the Paris to Nice bit.

As a general rule trans-Atlantic airfares drop significantly around mid-September when they switch from Peak to Shoulder season. I would hold off at least a few months before booking. Check the fares on e.g. Kayak, Mobissimo and Bing and any other booking sites you fancy. If you check every few days you should be able to see if there is any trend.

One thing I would mention is that September is a VERY heavy month for hotel bookings in Paris because of trade shows and conventions so you might want to start looking for a Paris hotel sooner rather than later and in any case before you book your flights.

Have fun planning!

Nice
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7. Re: London to Nice

September rates are cheaper in Nice because the school holidays are over -its not low season though- the private beaches, summer activities etc are all open for business

8. Re: London to Nice

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