Though the Promenade des Anglais starts from the airport, the ‘nice’ part begins as you nearly reach Boulevard Gambetta. What exists in between is B-grade property for those that need a sea view but do not want to pay top dollar. Parallel behind lies Avenue Californie, rather run down and lined with mini-marts and pizza parlours. The local University and business school, however, give it potential for cheap purchases for student letting.
The relatively unloved Nice West lies between the airport and Boulevard Gambetta, a long and relatively narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Promenade des Anglais along the beach to the south and the dual carriageway, or Voie Rapide, to the north.
By the airport end is Les Arenas, a pivotal point where Nice joins the motorway and has a business park, the main business school EDHEC, the botanical gardens, and a smattering of airport hotels. To the north lies the notorious Moulins council estate which is slowly being demolished to make way for a new “eco business park”, as well as the Prefecture (a warren of government bureaucracy) and the Nikaia concert stadium. It also marks the start of Avenue de la Californie.
The first segment of the Promenade is known as Carras and is the cheapest part of the Promenade with sea views. It is also a plane-spotters dream, being at the point both private and commercial planes take off and land. All the major supermarkets are located here, and there is a good selection of pizza and sushi take-away.
Next is a long stretch of road flanking the Promenade des Anglais and in parallel behind it Avenue de la Californie until we get to a cross-roads called Magnan, just after the Lenval Hospital where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie famously flew to have their baby. Architecture is predominently ’70s with a smattering of Art Deco. Shop fronts are mainly fast food outlets and low-tier services.
The final stretch between Magnan and Boulevard Gambetta, where Avenue de la Californie is replaced with Rue de France, is where the price gradient steadily rises until it reaches the most desirable segment of the Promenade. We have had several private owners telling us their get a surprising amount of rental here simply due to having a sea view, but in general it is seen as a long walk into town and buses stop around 9pm.
There will be the tram being built along Rue de France / Avenue de la Californie, which will give it a slight boost but not a significant one. The areas the tram has boosted in price in the centre has been due to the widening of the pavements, pedestrianisation of certain roads, and new parks and piazzas. In this instance there will simply not be any space.
Our general rule of thumb has been do not go more than two blocks west of Boulevard Gambetta. However if you do want Promenade on a budget, and are prepared to go further up, we can certainly put together a good selection for you.