There are many ways to go to Nice.
The A8 highway linking the Rhone valley to Genova in Italy goes to Nice. BEWARE, the speed limit is 110km/h or less on the highway everywhere in the Maritime Alps (from Mandelieu, West of Cannes to the italian border), instead of 130km/h usually in France. The speed limit is 90km/h on a large part of the Nice bypass.
The highway exits
There are 5 exits in Nice. If you come from Cannes, you'll meet in order:
- Nice Promenade (exit 50)
It enables you to go to the western part of Nice, to the seashore and to the urban freeway which crosses Nice from West to East, the "voie Mathis". Use it if you go to the city center , coming from the West.
- Nice St Augustin (exit 51)
Located barely a few hundreds of meters after Nice-Promenade, you can use it to go the 202 road, no matter which way you want to use it, towards the sea or inland. Use it to go towards Digne or Grenoble, the Vesubie, Tinee valleys... You can also use it to go to the 202 bis, a freeway which runs along the Var River to Carros. If you couldn't make the Promenade exit, you can also use it to go to the city center.
- Nice St Isidore (exit 52)
Use this exit if you go to the stadium or the shopping center Lingostiere, or on the East bank of the Var river (Colomars...) Beware : Nice is one of the very few cities in France where the highway bypass has a toll. It is located in St Isidore. If you exit the highway here or go further, you'll have to pay. We advise you not to use this exit if you go to the city center.
- Nice Nord (exit 54)
This exit is interesting if you go into the "hills", or towards Rimiez, Aspremont, St Blaise, and of course in the Northern areas of Nice. Not advised if you go downtown.
- Nice Est (exit 55)
Enables you to go downtown along the Paillon river. This is the exit you'll want to use if you go to Nice coming from the East (Monaco, Menton, Italy...). This exit is the good one to go to St Andre, Levens, Contes, L'Escarène, la Trinité, le col de Turini... too.
- Nice - Ville
- Nice St Augustin
- Nice Riquier
- Gare du Sud
4 passengers stations, one goods station and several rail stops in Nice, on very different lines. Let's clear this up.
The SNCF is the national railway company. Almost all trains in France belong to this company. There are a few exception, though, with one worth noting in Nice.
If you travel long distance, you'll probably arrive in the SNCF main station "Nice Ville" (1). Some people sometimes call it "Nice Thiers" because it is located avenue Thiers. From there, if noone comes to pick you up, you'll be able to take the streetcar or buses to get to your destination, or a cab. You'll also be able to rent a car. Most car rentals have a desk in the station. Eventually you'll be able to hire a Vélo bleu, a "blue bike", a bike station being just in front of the train station.
The track coming from Marseille bears most of the traffic. Locally TER (regional trains) commute to and from coast cities between Cannes and Vintimille. Many stop at all stations.
Therefore it may be interesting , if your train stops there to use one of the other train stations.
- Nice St Augustin (2) is located West of the city, 5mn from the Arenas business center and 10mn from the airport Terminal 1. Beware, though, if you go take your plane. Trains between Cannes and Vintimille are highly unreliable. They are often delayed or cancelled, and the SNCF employees are very often on strike in the region. Keep it in mind and check your train status before you leave.
- Nice Riquier (3) is located East of Nice, near the St Roch area, the harbour, the St Jean d'Angely University, the bus station.
Those two stations, like "Nice ville" are located on the track linking Cannes to Vintimille. But in "Nice Ville" starts an other track going into the Roya valley, towards Tende and further to Cuneo in Italy.
- Nice St Roch which is located on this track is no longer a passenger station. It is used only as a goods station. The Halte Pont Michel is now a substitute. It is located (beyond the plan) next to the streetcar halt "Pont Michel," line 1. Beware, no desk at this halt, just an automatic machine where you can pay with a credit card... when it is not out of order. This halt is actually the first stop going to the Roya valley when you leave "Nice ville".
Chemins de fer de Provence
An other railway exists in Nice. It does not belong to the SNCF but to the "compagnie des Chemins de Fer de Provence" (Provence railways company). It goes to Digne in the Alpes de Haute Provence, North West of Nice. No connection with the SNCF trains since the tracks have different widths. You're unlikely to come to Nice this way. This company has its own station, the "Gare des Chemins de Fer de Provence" - Provence railways station -, also called "Gare du Sud" - southern station (4). From this station you can walk to the "Libération" streetcar halt, 5mn away. The trains stop in several places within Nice before they enter the Var valley. More information about this railway.
Here you will find information about the ways to go to and from Nice airport.
The Nice Côte d'Azur airport is the third in France after the two large Paris airports, Roissy et Orly. There are many airlines going to Nice.
To know everything about the airport and the available flights.
There are two terminals in the airport. Be sure to check on your tickets from which one you leave. Free bus shuttle commute from one to the other but you'll need 5 to 10mn, plus the wait time.
The airport is very close to the city center (7km) and going from one to the other is easy and fast.
The airport bus station is just next to the Terminal 1 building. Exit the terminal, turn left and walk along the building. From the Terminal 2, take the bus shuttle.
- with a direct bus
special lines link the city center directly to the Terminals 1 and 2. Tickets cost 6 € (in 2015). They include connections with all urban buses within 74mn.
- The line 98 goes along the sea and ends at the MAMAC museum. One bus every 20mn during the day.
- The line 99 goes to the SNCF train station "Nice ville" through the boulevard Gambetta. Buses are not as frequent as on line 98.
- The line 23 is not a special line but stops directly at Terminal 1. The fare is 1,50€. The trip lasts longer than with lines 98 and 99.
- with a streetcar
Each terminal has its own streetcar stop. Unfortunately, this line is still under work and streetcars don't go to the center of the city yet. They stop in Magnan / La Madeleine, where you can find buses for a connection. The line will go downtown (av. Jean Medecin) from the summer of 2019 on, and to the harbour in fall the same year. Don't expect a streetcar more often than every 20mn for the moment. You can use a regular, 1€50 ticket including a connection. There is no extra fee to go to the airport this way.
with an urban bus
The fare is 1.50€. Buses do not enter the airport. You have to take them at the bus stop (B) which is located on the seashore road, just in front of the Terminal 1. It's a 2mn walk.
1 = Terminal 1
2 = Terminal 2
B. Bus stop on the seashore road.
If you go to Nice do not cross the road, you're on the good side.
If you go to St Laurent, Cagnes, etc... cross the road using the zebra crossing protected by traffic lights. The raod is an 8lanes one, so it's dangerous.
Beware, some bus lines (94, 200, 400, 500...) ride along this bus stop but cannot drop passengers who got in in Nice. In the other direction, towards the city, they can only drop passengers, but not pick up any. Do not be surprised if you see buses stop and the drivers don't allow you in.
The lines enabling you to go from Nice center to the airport using this bus stop (or the other way around) are only:
- 52, 59, 70 (and 99, 98, 23, see above)
From or to Terminal 2 take the free shuttle comuting between the terminals at the airport bus station and get off at Terminal 1 to make the connection.
To get all the information on schedules and available tickets see the Lignes d'Azur website. This is the city's bus company.
The airport will in 2018 be connected to the streetcar network.
All car rentals are available at Nice airport. You'll find their desks in the two terminals. An extra tax applies to all rentals taken in the airport. (The money goes to the airport managers.) If you have time and want to save money on your rental take a bus and rent your car downtown.
Terminal (1) - Gare SNCF St Augustin (T)
The SNCF train station Nice St Augustin (T) is a 10-15mn walk from the airport Terminal 1. Many local trains stop there, going from Cannes to Vintimille along the coast and stopping in Nice Ville.
Beware, though, as stated above trains in the area are not reliable. Delays, cancellations, stikes... If you choose trains to go take your plane make sure that the train is not cancelled and that it is not late.
A vélo bleu station where you can rent a bike is located just in front of Terminal 1, next to the bus stop along the seashore road. (Southern side, no need to cross the street.) A bicycle path goes from there to the city center (jardin Albert 1er, 7km away). It's completely flat and you'll ride along the sea all way long. Wonderful. How can you rent a bike ?
With a taxi
They are expecting you just in front of each terminal.
Several companies link the airport to Cannes, St Tropez and Monaco. To contact them.
With your own plane
The Nice airport is meant for airlines. Landing and parking taxes are high enough to prevent you from staying there. The only jets on the ramp belong to billionnaires or arab emirs. Also there is no longer any 100LL on sale. If you come to the Riviera with a private aircraft, go to Cannes Mandelieu (LFMD). This is the only local general aviation airport.
Le port de Nice
The harbour is located East of the city.
If you come from Corsica with a ferry, the wharf is located at the end of the harbour (down right, blue logo) and if you don't have a car you will have to walk 10 mn to bypass the bassins and find yourself in town with bus lines. You can also take the buses in this street, but there are not many of them, or call a cab, or rent a bike (a vélo bleu station is located boulevard Stalingrad, ahead after the harbour exit for the cars, a few dozens of meters away).
If you come with your own boat and find a place in the Port Lympia, you'll be closer from public transportation.
Since 2015 inter cities bus liaisons are open to the private market. There are already bus liaisons to Aix en Provence, Marseille, Gap, Grenoble run by the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region. They leave from the eastern bus station, next to the Vauban and Palais des Expositions streetcar stops. So do the eurolines buses. New lines should appear in the next few monthes.
Unfortunately this bus station is not used by all bus lines in Nice and many departement lines leave from elsewhere.
Flixbus, for exemple has several departures : at the airport terminal 2 bus station, or at the city bus station, or near the main train station. Check their website to know where your bus will stop.
Same thing for eurolines and their local subsidiary isiline.