Better living through technology! Here are the best iPhone and Android apps to put Nice and the Cote d’Azur at your fingertips… and they’re all FREE!
Chagall Museum Audioguide: A free audioguide (in English) to one of Nice’s best museums… how cool is that? Insider tip: go on the first Sunday of each month to get free admission as well. For the moment, the app is only available for the iPhone.
Mobile Tour Guide: The Nice Monument Tracker App alerts you to points of interest and then gives you a little summary about what makes it interesting! Made by France Guide, it works in all the little towns all over France. Also available for Android.
Nice Bus Schedules: The Lignes d’Azur App quickly tells you the nearest bus station, and if you then click on your bus, it tells you when you can expect it. It even has a map to help find your bus now that the Nice Bus Station has been reduced to rubble. It’s much easier to use than the Ligne d’Azur website. Click here for the Lignes d’Azur mobile site for Androids.
French Train Times: The SNCF Direct app is incredibly simple to use and infinitely easier than the SNCF website: with one click this app replicates the big board at the train station on your phone. Great for when you want to know the timing of the next trains, or if you’re late and want to know if the train is also going to be late, so you don’t have to run. Available for iPhones, Androids and Blackberries.
Vocal Translation: The Google Translate app blows my mind: you can type or speak the phrase in English, and in 1 second it not only writes the equivalant phrase in French, but you push a button and your iPhone says it in a sexy French voice! It also does the regular type and translate, which is very helpful for figuring out French menus. Also available for Android.
Find Free Wifi: The Free Wifi Cafe Spots app is great if you are trying to avoid roaming charges. And of course you can always get free wifi at the ubiquitous McDonalds, and McDo France is the app to find the location nearest you.
Italian Train Times: The Pronto Treno app gives you flexibility for coming back from market day in Ventimiglia or Sanremo, especially since Trenitalia doesn’t have printed train schedules. And since Italian trains are almost always late, you can now know this before you get to the train station. The app is only for iPhones, but here is the Trenitalia mobile site for Androids.
Bike Rentals in Nice: The Velo Bleu App quickly tells you the closest station, and even better, if they have bikes in stock and/or free places to leave a bike. Here is the Velo Bleu mobile site for Androids.
Flight Arrivals and Departures: Whether you are catching a flight or picking someone up, with the Nice Aeroport app you can check if the flight is on time with a simple click. And since the Nice Airport is the only one in the world that doesn’t have a huge sign to tell you which airline is in which terminal, you can easily find this out with the app as well. Here is the mobile site for Andoids.
Toilet Finder: Ou Sont Les Toilettes? is very handy new app that directs you the closest public WC, if it’s free or not (as if…), and gives you a chance to rate it or submit new ones. Also available as an Android app.
Skype: Find a wifi spot and call any phone anywhere in the world for pennies. Such a deal!
Closest Gas Station: As part of the Green Initiative, gas stations are rapidly disappearing from Nice, and Essence Pas Chere not only shows you the closest one but lets you compare prices to find the best deal. It’s only for iPhone, but Zagaz is a similar app that works on a Android.
Walking Trails: IPhiGenie is a strikingly beautiful map app with walking trails in purple! It’s only free for the first month (then you must subscribe at 14€/year), so choose the timing of your download carefully.
Nice-Matin: Peruse the local daily newspaper (in French) with this free app. For the moment, only for iPhones.
FIP: The most eclectic of Parisian radio stations where you never know what you will hear, be it jazz, obscure rock, classical, rap, Bosnian trumpets, American 50′s, and everything in between. You actually can’t get it on the radio in Nice, but you can with your iPhone.
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