Vélo Bleu is Nice’s shared-bicycle service. It’s great value and very convenient for getting round town, with 100-plus stations around the city – pick up your bike at one, return it at another.
One-day/weeklong subscriptions cost €1.50/5, plus usage: free for the first 30 minutes, €1 for the next 30, then €2 per hour thereafter. Some stations are equipped with terminals to register directly with a credit card; otherwise you’ll need a mobile phone.
The handy Vélo Bleu app allows you to find your nearest station, gives real-time information about the number of bikes available at each and calculates itineraries.
Buses and trams in Nice are run by Lignes d’Azur. Tickets cost just €1.50 and include one connection, including intercity buses within the Alpes-Maritimes département. If you're using Nice's buses and trams a lot, consider purchasing a money-saving all-day ticket or mutli-day pass. Buses are particularly handy for getting to the Musée Matisse and Musée Chagall in Cimiez.
Buses typically run every 10 to 15 minutes between 6am and 9pm. Between 9pm and 1am or 2am, night buses –numbered N1 through N5 and running every 30 to 60 minutes – fan out to various destinations around the city from their central terminus at Promenade des Arts.
Bus stops throughout the city have clear signs indicating which buses stop there. Tickets can be purchased at machines on the platform or on board the bus. All tickets (including day and week passes) must be validated at the beginning of each ride by inserting them into the machines provided on board.
Car & Motorcycle
Traffic, a confusing one-way system, and pricey parking mean driving in Nice is a bad idea – it’s better to explore the city first, then head back out to the airport and rent your car for onward travel there.
Taxis are widely available but expensive and sometimes less efficient than public transport. All taxis are equipped with a meter that can be set to jour (Monday–Saturday day rate) or nuit (the more expensive Sunday, holiday and night rate). To avoid overcharging, make sure your driver is using the meter and has it set to the correct rate. For rides from the airport into Nice, there's a flat fee of €32 (no meter). Call Taxi Riviera to arrange pickup.
Uber is always less expensive than taxis, often costing half price or less.
Tickets & Passes
Lignes d'Azur offers a variety of money-saving passes for frequent users of Nice's bus and tram system. These tickets can be purchased from machines at bus and tram stops or from Lignes d'Azur agencies in Vieux Nice and the New Town.
- A 10-journey pass costs €10 (vs €1.50 per ticket for individual rides).
- A day ticket (€5) offers unlimited bus and tram travel for 24 hours from first validation.
- A week pass (€15) allows unlimited rides over seven consecutive calendar days.
SNCF long-haul trains provide near instantaneous service to suburbs east of Nice such as Villefranche-sur-Mer (eight minutes), while the tram connects the city centre with outlying neighbourhoods west and north.
Nice’s sleek tram system (http://tramway.nice.fr) is great for getting across town. The original line, opened in 2007, charts a parabolic course through the city centre, connecting Nice-Ville train station with Vieux Nice and Le Port-Garibaldi to the southeast and Libération to the north. Trams run from 4.25am to 1.35am, with service every four to five minutes between 7am and 8pm (less frequent at night and on Sundays). Nice's second tram line, scheduled for completion in 2019, runs east–west between the airport and the port, adding 20 new stations to the system.
Single-ride tickets cost €1.50 and can be purchased from machines at any tram stop. Frequent travellers can save money by purchasing one of the multi-ride tickets and passes sold at the same machines, valid on both trams and buses. All tickets (including day and week passes) must be validated at the beginning of each ride by inserting them into the machines provided on board the tram.