Riviera Transport Guide
Public transport in the South of France is among the finest in the world. Trains, trams and buses are frequent and cheap. And no matter where your Riviera holiday property may be located, coverage is comprehensive. Keen cyclists are catered for too, with the Nice-based Vélo Bleu bike-sharing scheme.
The links below will take you to appropriate section of our transport page:
Taxis are not as easy to come by on the Riviera, compared with what our guests might find in other cities. It is rare to be able to "hail a cab". Booking in advance is always best and sadly, availability is not always guaranteed. We have come to trust and work alongside the English speaking company Friend in France. They do tours and transfers from the airport and will carry out a taxi function as well, as long as booked in advance.
If you are wanting a transfer from the airport, this is who we recommend. You can also book the transfer directly through our site on check out. Guests are met at the airport arrival lounge by an English speaker and are transferred directly from Nice Airport to the doorstep of your Riviera apartment. For a wide range of tours across the French Riviera. You can contact Mira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are four main bus networks that serve the Riviera:
|Lignes d'Azur covers routes between Nice, St Laurent du Var, Cagnes sur Mer, Villefranche sur Mer and St Jean Cap Ferrat.|
|RCA Rapides Côte d'Azur runs an express service from between Nice and Monaco, as well as speedy links between Cannes, Golfe Juan and Nice Airport.|
|Bus Azur serves Cannes, Mougins, Vallauris and Mandelieu la Napoule.|
|Envibus connects Antibes, Juan les Pins, Golfe Juan, Vallauris, Biot and St Paul de Vence.|
Most bus tickets cost ?1.50, both within Nice and all along the Riviera. Daylong passes are available for ?5, allowing the holder unlimited transport on Nice's trams and buses for the entire day. (These passes are NOT valid for bus travel to Nice Airport. To travel to Nice Airport a ?6 one way ticket needs to be purchased). Children under four years old ride for free.
Bus tickets can be purchased directly from the driver when you board. Note that even if all destinations on a certain route cost the same amount (such as bus 100), often times the driver will ask you where exactly you plan to alight. On some long-distance lines, the price of the fare may change according to your destination.
Once you purchase a ticket, you must validate it on the bus. Do so by inserting the ticket, face-up, into the slot on the small machine near the driver. The machine will stamp your ticket with the time and date of your journey. Tickets can be used for 74 minutes from the time of validation, both on buses and trams.
Most buses operate roughly between 6am and 9pm. During peak hours (7:30-9:30am and 4:00-7:30pm), many lines run more frequently.
Buses are certainly very good value. It's also likely many routes will pass by your Nice rental property. However, depending on the time of day and the season, buses can also be crowded - worth bearing in mind if you're travelling with a pram or luggage.
Buses are often slower and more crowded than the Riviera's trains. But you can expect to see stunning panoramas from the bus, particularly between Nice and Menton. And stops are often closer to the centre of the town - and thus your holiday apartment in Nice - than the train station.
Lignes d'Azur has recently released a smartphone application that self-updates with all the latest timetables, delays, traffic conditions and route maps. This app is free and can be found in your app store by searching for Lignes d'Azur.
All of the following routes are operated by Lignes d’Azur.
Bus 15 Nice (Promenade des Arts) to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat.
Bus 9 visits artsy Vence: head here to visit Matisse’s iconic Chapelle du Rosaire, or simply wander the medieval Old Town’s cute boutiques. The bus goes from Nice (Parc Phoenix) to Vence. Guests will need to get the Tram Line 2 to Parc Phoenix and get the bus 9 from here.
Bus 100 is one of the Riviera’s most popular routes. It travels the panoramic Basse Corniche between Nice and Menton, stopping at Villefranche sur Mer, Beaulieu sur Mer, Eze sur Mer, Cap d’Ail and Monaco (journey time one hour) along the way. This bus runs every 20 minutes. However, it’s also popular with commuters, which means it can be become overcrowded during peak times. When planning your travels, do your best to avoid rush hour congestion.
Bus 112 connects Nice to Eze and Monaco. Completely constructed in pale golden stone, the enchanting town of Eze offers sublime views over the entire Riviera coastline.
Bus 200 is another very popular line starting at Parc Phoenix and plying the route between Nice and Cannes (journey time 90 minutes). This bus stops at St Augustin, St Laurent du Var, Cros de Cagnes, Cagnes sur Mer, Villeneuve Loubet, Biot, Antibes, Juan les Pins and Golfe Juan, before terminating in Cannes.
Bus 400 runs from Nice Parc Phoenix to Vence, stopping at St Paul de Vence along the way. St Paul is one of the Riviera’s best-known villages perchés, or hilltop towns. It’s particularly famed for its many art galleries.
In France, there are two types of trains. TER trains are regional. You'll use these trains to hop between your Nice rental property and all other points along the Côte d'Azur. TGV trains are high-speed, long-distance trains that connect Marseille, Lyon, Paris and other large cities with the South of France.
Train schedules and tickets are available on the SNCF website, which can be used in several languages. Just click the flag in the top right-hand corner.
Train tickets must be purchased before you board your train, either in any train station or online on the SNCF website. Within the station, tickets may be bought from an automated machine (blue for TER, yellow for TGV), or from the station's Sales Office (Espace de Ventes).
Before you set off on your journey, you must validate your ticket. Look out for the boxy yellow 'composteur de billets', positioned within the train station en route to the platforms, and often on the platforms themselves. Slot your ticket into the mouth of the machine, and it will be stamped with the name of the station, the date and the time. If a ticket is not validated, you may be fined. Signs remind travellers - in French, English and Italian - that ignorance of this procedure is not an excuse!
Travel on French trains is divided into first and second class. On a TER train, there is little difference between the classes. First-class seats are red and offer slightly more legroom, while second-class seats are blue (and about two-thirds the price). Aboard TGV trains however, first class is quieter, boasts bigger seats that recline further and more legroom. If you're embarking on a long trip, first class seats may be worth the higher price. On a TER train, when your journey will likely be shorter, second class tends to be just fine.
Students, travellers under 26 as well as those over 60 are all entitled discounted tickets. Children under four years old ride for free while kids aged 4-12 are entitled to a 50% discount.
Inside every station, a large board lists all trains departing and arriving from the station. Information includes each train's specific number, its destination or origin, the time the train is due and at which platform (voie) it will arrive.
Depending on the station, either numbers or letters may be used to identify platforms. Don't be afraid to ask the people who work in the station for help if you can't find the right platform. SNCF staff are wear purple and grey uniforms. Security guards, usually in navy blue or black, will also be able to assist.
From your holiday apartment in Nice, it's a cinch to hop aboard a TER train and visit all the Riviera towns along the coast. There are two main train lines: one heads east to Ventimille / Ventimiglia, the other west to Cannes and Grasse.
For day trips to Beaulieu sur Mer, Villefranche sur Mer, Eze sur Mer, Cap d'Ail, Monaco / Monte Carlo, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Menton or Ventimiglia, take a train heading in the direction of Ventimille / Ventimiglia.
For day trips to Grasse, Cannes, Golfe Juan, Juan les Pins, Antibes, Biot, Villeneuve Loubet, Cagnes sur Mer, Cros de Cagnes or Saint Laurent du Var, take a train heading in the direction of Grasse and Cannes.
Make the most of your day out! Note that you're able to get on and off the train anywhere between Nice Ville and your final destination. You can always hop aboard a later train to continue your trip, provided you complete your entire journey within six hours of when you validated your ticket.
Depending on the location of your Nice holiday apartment, you may wish to take the train to or from Nice Airport. Trains to Nice Airport stop at the station Nice St Augustin. It's the first stop west of Nice Ville. From Nice St Augustin, it's a 5-10 minute walk to the airport. Once inside the airport area, there are free shuttle buses (every 15 minutes) that can take you to Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.
|Nice to Cannes||50 minutes||Every 20 - 30 minutes|
|Nice to Antibes||40 minutes||Every 20 - 30 minutes|
|Nice to Airport||5 minutes||Every 20 - 30 minutes|
|Nice to Villefranche||15 minutes||Every 20 - 30 minutes|
|Nice to Monaco / Monte Carlo||45 minutes||Every 20 - 30 minutes|
|Nice to Ventimille (Italy)||60 minutes||Every 20 - 30 minutes|
|Nice to Marseille||2 1/2 hours||Approximately 1 per hour|
|Nice to Lyon||4 1/2 hours||Apporoximately 1 per hour|
|Nice to Paris||6 hours||Approximately 1 per hour|
Note: Frequency of TGV trains changes depending on season and day, check the date of departure on the SNCF website prior to travel.
Nice's trams provide speedy, cost effective transport for guests staying in our Nice holiday rental apartments. Trams run every 5 to 10 minutes between 4:30am and 11:30pm, each and every day.
For more information on Nice's tram system, please see our Nice Transport Guide.
If you are arriving by plane and renting an apartment in one of the Riviera's town centre, we wouldn't recommend hiring a car for the duration of your stay. The ride between towns by train or bus is very easy and cheap.
Guests may prefer hiring a car just by the day if you want to travel to places not served by the great public transport links. We recommend Elite car hire who will deliver a car to the first available street outside your Riviera apartment rental. They also give Pebbles guests a 10% discount.
You can see the best options for parking cars on the How to Get There text listed on each property page.
For more information on Nice's car parking, please see our Nice Transport Guide.
The Riviera's wide, flat, sun-kissed roads - including Nice's Promenade des Anglais - are perfect for cycling. If you're keen to explore the neighbourhood around your Riviera holiday rental apartment, or the towns and the countryside beyond, Nice offers Vélo Bleu (website in French only), an automated bike-sharing system. It's very easy to use. It also allows you the freedom to rent a bike from one spot and return it to whichever Vélo Bleu station is closest when you are finished. There are Vélo Bleu stations across Nice and in Cagnes sur Mer.
For more information on Vélo Bleu, please see our Nice Transport Guide.