Musée National du Sport in Nice

The Musée National du Sport is an excellent place to go for families visiting or living on the French Riviera.  Located at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, it is the only national museum in France dedicated to sport.

Musée National du Sport

The Musée National du Sport (National Sports Museum) in Nice is the only national museum in France dedicated to sport

What is on display at the Musée National du Sport

The museum has a wide collection of different sports memorabilia dating from the 16th century to modern times spread across 2500m2 of exhibition space.

You will see historic sports items including Olympic medals and torches, team uniforms, sports equipment, postcards, photographs, posters, sculptures and trophies.

It is a great place for children to see recreational items which are not in use today such as vintage bicycles and wooden skis. 

national sports museum nice

musee national du sport

There are displays for cycling, snow sports, running, boxing, fencing, racquet sports, football, rugby, handisports, martial arts, sailing, skateboarding and motorsports.

There are also interactive sports animations such as trying a game of fencing, Wii controllers, baby football tables and a Formula car simulator.  A film room screens sports footage and documentaries.

The museum has a room dedicated to the OGC Nice football team with signed shirts, supporters gear and a jukebox with team chants. It is called Café des Aiglons but isn’t actually a cafeteria; there is a snack vending machine though!

The museum is excellent for families with kids of different ages because it has a good mixture of cabinet displays as well as interactive educational screens to keep children entertained.  It is in my opinion one of the more modern museums you can visit on the Cote d’Azur and is definitely underrated for families!

national sports museum nice

Temporary Exhibitions

As well as many permanent collections, the museum holds temporary exhibitions throughout the year.  There is a dedicated zone of 500m2 where you can explore different displays based on specific themes or subjects.  You can buy entry just for the permanent collections, or purchase a combined entry for the permanent and temporary exhibitions – the difference in price is €1 – €2 only.

Currently, the temporary exhibition at the museum until 11 March 2018 is ‘Jouez’ which is a fantastic showcase of games and toys, with a special focus on vintage items.  You’ll see retro game consoles, vintage wooden toys and games and modern video games.

vintage toys

The current temporary exhibition ‘Jouez’ has some excellent vintage games and toys including a ping pong set from 1901, a pinball machine from 1933 and a steeplechase game from the 1850’s

Slot cars and toys from the 1950’s and 1970’s

Mattel figurines from the 1960’s

atari nintendo pong intellivision

Games consoles from 1975 onwards – who remembers Pong, Intellivision, Atari and Nintendo?

What other things do they offer?

The museum offers guided tours for individuals, groups, or associations; guided tours are additional to the cost of museum entrance.

They run children’s workshops throughout the year (including school holidays and Christmas).  They also host kids birthday parties where you choose between several options that can include a visit of the museum, a sport-related activity and snacks.

Onsite, just to the right in the museum entrance foyer you’ll find a boutique selling items such as football shirts, books and posters.

(image: Insep)

Additionally, they have a huge collection of sports brochures, books, tickets, photos and films that have been collected since the 1960’s and the public can access this research area by pre-reservation every day (except Tuesday or the weekend).  Find out more here:  Le Centre de Researche et Ressources du Sport

You can also combine a visit to the museum with a tour of Allianz Riviera stadium; the cost varies between €8 to €13, reserve this via the museum site.  The tour goes for 1.5 hours and is hosted in French language, tour participants must be minimum 6 years of age.

Another thing to note (which parents will appreciate) is that the toilet facilities include a baby change table. Such a small consideration, but it is not so common to find a baby change table here on the French Riviera so it is a much appreciated amenity.

How to get to the Musée National du Sport

By car:  Getting to the museum is very simple.  If you’re driving, simply come off the A8 autoroute at Sortie 52 (Saint-Isidore) and follow the signs to the stadium and/or museum which is located on boulevard des Jardiniers.  There is free car parking right outside the museum entrance.

By train: Note, the museum can not be reached by train from either Nice Ville train station or Nice Saint-Augustin train station so don’t be led astray.  You can get the Chemin de Fer de Provence train line from the Gare Nice station (4 bis rue Alfred Binet) to Saint-Isidore stop, and then it is a 10-minute walk from Saint-Isidore to the museum.  See this map for the route from St Isidore station to the museum/stadium:  http://www.allianz-riviera.fr/sites/allianz-riviera.fr/files/media/plan_daccecs_stade_evenement_pieton.pdf    Chemin de Fer de Provence also have special fares when matches are on at the stadium too.

(image: Allianz.Riviera.fr)

By bus:  The museum’s brochure says you can get there using bus lines 11 and 59 that stop at Saint-Isidore.  🙂 However, for a tourist it’s not so easy to find more information online about these bus lines and where they travel to/from.  So, to make things easier here is the information you need if you want to go by bus!

Bus 11:  Travels between Carras / Frémont and Saint-Isidore. The line is called ‘Carras / Frémont – Centre Commercial Saint Isidore’ with Lignes Azur.  For the museum, you can get off at stops ‘La Carrière’ or ‘Saint-Isidore Église’ and walk less than 10 minutes.  The timetable at February 2018 is here:  https://www.lignesdazur.com/ftp/lines/170904ligne-11.pdf

Bus 59:  Travels between Nice and Plan du Var.  The line is called ‘Plan du Var-Trésorerie-Cathédrale Vieille Ville’ with Lignes Azur.  For the museum, you have to get off at stop ‘Les Baraques’ and walk 10 minutes to the museum/stadium.  It’s important to note that the roads around this area are part of a semi-industrial area and can be quite busy with the autoroute nearby, so be cautious walking along here and crossing roads.  The timetable at February 2018 is here:  https://www.lignesdazur.com/ftp/lines/180110ligne59.pdf

Note:  These bus routes have changes until the end of February 2018 because of roadworks and Nice Carnival, so check on the Lignes Azur website before you travel on these buses.

Opening hours / entry prices for the Musée National du Sport

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays).

Between October and April, hours are 11am to 5pm.

Between May and September, hours are 10am to 6pm.

Ticket prices:

The best tip I can share is that on the first Sunday of every month the museum is free of charge for everyone. 

They also participate in the yearly Journées Européennes du Patrimoine held each September when museums open their doors to the public for free (or a very low cost).

Every other day, children under 18 years of age get free entry.

Groups, 18-25 years of age or job seekers = €3 for one exhibition, or €4 for permanent + temporary displays.

Adults = €6 for one exhibition, or €8 for permanent + temporary displays. There is no special rate for seniors.

If you are visiting the French Riviera for 3 days or more, the museum participates in the Côte d’Azur Card sightseeing pass.

The National Sports Museum is an excellent option for travellers on a budget, families looking for an interesting attraction or rainy day activity or anyone interested in history of sport.

Watch the promotional video of the museum below (video credit:  MuséeduSport / YouTube):

Accessibility information

The Musée National du Sport is suitable for persons with restricted mobility and is wheelchair accessible.  The museum is on the ground floor with no interior steps or steep inclines and there are wheelchair accessible toilets in the main entrance foyer.  I forgot to check if there are mobility spaces in the carpark but I’m 99% sure there will be some and the entrance path to the museum is flat and paved.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post about the Musée National du Sport in Nice!  Please do share this post on social media if you found it useful, or for more information about the Sports Museum in Nice, go to their website www.museedusport.fr

 

Trumped by an expert : Wheels on the beach

Every now and then I come across a blog that is super-informative, entertaining and basically everything I wish my blog would be (HA!).

I get blog envy occasionally, but I’m more than happy to share great posts and content from other people if it fits my vision for my own blog.

image: Access Riviera

image: Access Riviera

Recently, Sanna Kalmari, a Finnish blogger contacted me on Twitter with her fab blog about travelling across the world with an electric wheelchair.

While I set up this blog to fill a gap and help others with information about accessibility on the French Riviera, as an able-bodied person I can only give so much insight, and Sanna’s brilliant blog article about visiting Nice in a wheelchair is a true hands-on experience.

image: Access Riviera

image: Access Riviera

I’m happy to admit that I have been trumped by an expert !

Well done Sanna, and thank you for letting me share your blog article about Nice.  You can read it here

You can follow Sanna’s English blog at http://wheelsonthebeach.com and she is also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wheelsonthebeach

If  you speak Finnish, you can follow her on Twitter @Palmuasema

Activities – SOPHIA / ANTIBES (Parc des Bouillides)

Parc des Bouillides is on the border of Sophia Antipolis and Antibes, but is also classed as a local park of Valbonne (though it is not near Valbonne village as such).

It is a large park with established trees, grassed areas for picnics and ball games and a small stream.  There are lots of shady areas due to the trees, and water fountains and picnic tables at various locations.

The park has many wide concrete walkways perfect for children’s bikes or scooters, and also for people who are wheelchair-bound as the walkways are excellent condition and flat, paved surfaces.

wide paved pathways, Parc des Bouillides

wide paved pathways, Parc des Bouillides

There is a fenced children’s playground with climbing structures, slides, rocking horses and it is entirely floored with safety rubber matting so is good for little ones. The downside is that this playground is not shaded, so be aware on hot days.

fenced children's playground, Parc des Bouillides

fenced children’s playground, Parc des Bouillides

fenced children's playground, Parc des Bouillides

fenced children’s playground, Parc des Bouillides

There is also a public skate park with a couple of quarter pipes and ramps.  There are walking trails, a running trail, free public basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, football nets, and the Athletic Club of Valbonne has a clubroom there also.

Access:  From Antibes:  Via route du Parc, look for the small side-road D103 on the right-hand side with the small red signage ‘La Source’. Parking is to the left down the road.

Also, the other access points and carpark is near École Sartoux and promenades des Bouillides. Refer to the map below:

map of Parc des Bouillides

map of Parc des Bouillides

Carparking:  Free carparking, though limited spaces.  There is a designated handicapped carpark space near the route du Parc entrance but in the height of summer this is a busy park so this designated space may be taken.

Toilets:  No onsite toilet facilities unfortunately.

Accommodation

Below you will find some options for  accommodation (accessible and/or family-friendly accommodation) on the French Riviera.  All properties must be booked direct via the links provided in the descriptions:

ANTIBES

All Seasons (futur Ibis Styles), 2067 chemin de Saint Claude, 06600 Antibes (Telephone: + 33 4 93 33 34 50 ).  Located a 10-min drive to Antibes old town and nearby to the big Carrefour supermarket, room rates include unlimited Wifi and continental breakfast.  Free underground carparking.  Good access to nearby motorway.  They have 3 rooms adapted to travelers with reduced mobility.  www.all-seasons-hotels.com

Hotel La Jabotte, 13 avenue Max Maurey, 06160 Cap d’Antibes (Telephone: +33 4 93 61 45 89).  Small B&B-style hotel with rooms having semi-private patios leading to a shared garden where breakfasts are served.  50 metres from the sea and Salis beach.  They have one room on the ground-floor that is more accessible than the others (note: there is one small step leading to the bathroom).  For photos, rates and more information go to www.jabotte.com

CAGNES SUR MER

Sandton Hôtel Domaine Cocagne, 30 chemin du Pain de Sucre, 06800 Cagnes sur Mer (Telephone: +33 4 92 13 57 77): The hotel site covers an area of five hectares comprising beautiful parks, woodland, swaying palm trees and wide expanses of lavender. The hotel consists of several buildings, and it is just three kilometres away from magnificent beaches. There are several lounges and patios, a restaurant and swimming pool.  The hotel has one disabled access room (a poolroom that sleeps 2 people) with rates including breakfast.  It has a special shower adapted for a wheelchair, and you can obtain access from the room to the swimming pool.     For reservations, email cagnes@sandton.eu or book via http://www.sandton.eu/en/cocagne/contact-cocagne

Camping Green Park, 159 bis, Vallon des Veux, Cagnes sur Mer.  Camping ground open April-September with holiday cottages, villas etc.  They have two air-conditioned holiday chalets that sleep 3 persons and are adapted to persons with reduced mobility (see on the booking site ‘Autres Hébergements’, 3 person chalet personne à mobilité réduire).  Book via http://www.homair.com/camping/green-park/hebergements/detail/2067

CANNES

Carlton International, 58 La Croisette 06414 Cannes (Telephone: +33 4 93 06 40 06) http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/cannes-carlton

Chateau de la Tour, 10 avenue Font de Veyre, 06150 Cannes. (Telephone: +33 4 93 90 52 52) www.chateaudelatour.com

Vue des Oliviers – a luxury 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment in the fabulous Palm Beach area of Cannes, near the beach and just off the famous Boulevard de la Croisette, air-conditioning in warm months, heating in cooler months, underground parking for one car.  First floor accessed via elevator but apartment is not wholly accessible for mobility reduced persons however it is included on this list as it is great for families. Book direct via http://http://www.white-horse-holiday-rentals.com/vuedesoliviers.htm

JUAN LES PINS

Ground-floor location, family-friendly apartment located in a new domaine close to supermarkets, restaurants, the beach and transport links.  Secure underground carpark with an elevator to the apartment level.  Wide paths to a communal swimming pool, with shallow ramp entry into the water.  There is a ramp with access to the beach, though the beach is sandy and not wheelchair accessible as such.  The apartment has a private ground-floor terrace with BBQ, perfect for al fresco dining (note:  the terrace is reached by stepping over a small threshold from the living area).  For reservations, visit http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/antibes/136039

Vue du Jardin – a luxury 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment in chic Juan-les-Pins, near the beach and directly overlooking the beautiful Jardin Pauline gardens. Air-conditioning in warm months, heating in cooler months, underground parking for one car.  Sixth floor apartment accessed via elevator but apartment is not wholly accessible for mobility reduced persons however it is included on this list as it is great for families. More information, photos and to book direct via http://www.white-horse-holiday-rentals.com/vuedujardin.htm

LE ROURET

Villa Mimosa, a six-bedroom Provençal villa with stunning views of the mountains and distant coastlines of Antibes and Cannes. Facilities include swimming pool with loungers, outdoor terraces for entertaining, and walking distance to the local village and amenities.  Suitable for families (kids room with triple bunk beds, extensive film and book libraries and outdoor entertainment including swimming pool, table tennis and pétanque). Accessibility for persons with restricted mobility. For photos and availability and to book direct, go to their link via http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/valbonne/78603#reviews

PEYMEINADE

Bastide des Jaisous, a bed-and-breakfast gite has an accessible apartment called ‘Les Glycines’ that is adapted to guests with reduced mobility including roll-in shower and shower seat, large door, ramp and outdoor terrace area.  Other non-accessible rooms available also.  More information and bookings via http://www.hotegenty.com/en/index.htm

ROQUEBRUNE CAP MARTIN

Hotel Victoria, 7 Promenade du Cap, 06190 Roquebrune Cap Martin (Telephone: +33 4 93 35 65 90). Located overlooking the sea on the bay of Cap Martin, this hotel conforms to current disabled regulations.  A reserved carparking space is at the hotel entrance, with an access ramp into the hotel.  Ground floor facilities are all accessible to wheelchair users, and access to the rooms is via an elevator. The hotel has 2 adapted rooms – one a Seaview room; the other a Mountain View room and they are equipped with easy-access showers and have appropriate bars and fold-down seating.  For reservations, email info@hotel-victoria.fr or visit their website for further information on rates and rooms www.hotel-victoria.fr

SAINT LAURENT DU VAR

One-bedroom apartment set in quiet residential area with original features including wood beams and stone walls. Fully-equipped kitchen, Wifi internet, private garden complete with barbecue and loungers, good transport links for buses and trains and an excellent option for accommodation close to Nice Airport but not directly next to it. Baby cot and high chair available to hire.  For photos and to book direct, go to their link at http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/france/fr19841.htm

VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER

Welcome Hotel, 3 quai Amiral Courbet, Villefranche sur Mer (Telephone: +33 4 93 76 27 62).  Non-smoking rooms each with balcony. They have 2 rooms reserved for disabled travelers (one a Superior, the other a Comfort) that are adapted with larger doors, seat for the bath tub, handles and booster for toilet.  These rooms are accessed via the square adjoining the hotel.  Reservations via email resa@welcomehotel.com or visit their website for photos and more information www.welcomehotel.com