By Public Bus from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) to Downtown

Published on

by Henk Bekker

in Côte d'Azur Riviera, France, N24, Nice

The tram is usually the best transportation to downtown from Nice Côte d’Azur airport but bus 12 is handy to Promenade des Anglais.

Tram 2 has replaced airport express buses 98 and 99 to provide fast and cheap transportation from Nice-Côte d’Azur Aéroport to downtown. Bus 12 remains an option for traveling along Promenade des Anglais.

Trams rather than buses are now the best way to travel to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport

Since mid-December 2018, tram 2 has been the best and cheapest way to travel from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) to downtown (Jean Médecin, Garibaldi, and Port Lympia). The only municipal bus stopping near the airport that could be of interest to most tourists is bus 12 that runs along Promenade des Anglais to the old town. Buses remain a good option for traveling to nearby towns such as Cannes, the Antibes, and Monaco. Welcome gives online quotations for private airport transfers without first requiring personal details or flight numbers.

Public Municipal Buses from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) to Town

Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) is very conveniently located right on the seafront in the south of Nice city. Tram 2 has replaced public buses (Lignes d’Azur) as the best public transportation for traveling between the airport and downtown. The two expensive airport express buses 98 and 99 have been canceled.

The only regular municipal bus of interest to tourists traveling via Nice-Côte d’Azur airport is bus 12. It runs mostly four times per hour between Promenade des Arts (Nice city center) and Centre Commercial Cap 3000 to the west of the airport. En route, bus 12 runs along the Promenade des Anglais seafront and stops at Aeroport/Promenade on the main road in front of the airport. The Aeroport/Promenade stop is a short walk from terminal 1. Use the tram (free) for travel between terminal 1 and terminal 2 — walking is not an option.

Bus 12 is a regular commuter bus without space for luggage. In most cases, tram 2 will be a better choice for traveling to the airport but of course without the sea views. The price for either is the standard €1.70 ticket (although on the bus €5 may be charged for larger suitcases).

From 1 January 2024, travel on trams and buses in Nice requires a rechargeable “La Carte”, which is NOT sold at the airport. At the Airport tram stops, only a “L’Aéro” card is sold, which is €10 for a return trip. However, anyone already in possession of a “La Carte” pays only €1.70 for the same journey.

This makes bus 12 interesting for travelers without luggage — a “La Carte” may be bought on the bus for €2 and already includes the first ride. It may be recharged later like any another “La Carte” card.

→ See also: Cheap Public Transportation Tram 2 to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) for more details on the “La Carte” and “L’Aéro” card.


More on Travel to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport:


By Bus 99 from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport to Nice-Ville Train Station

Bus 99 is usually the recommended way to travel to Nice-Ville Gare SNCF main train station. (However, see bus 23 below and Travel to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport by Train for alternatives.)

Bus 99 runs twice per hour in each direction. The first (last) bus from the station leaves at 8 am (9 pm) and the first (last) bus from the airport just before 8 am (just before 9 pm). Later at night, use bus 98 to stop Cathédrale-Vieille-Ville, then the tram to Gare Thiers, which is next to the train station. Bus 99 is a true express bus – it only stops at Airport Terminal 1 and 2, Alsace Lorraine (buses from the airport only), Thiers Gambetta and Gare SNCF. Traveling time to the station is thus only 15 minutes. (If planning to change buses, better connections are often available at Thiers Gambetta but for the tram continue all the way to the Gare.)Bus 99 requires an Aéro Ticket (€6) that is valid for travel on this airport express bus, as well as any connecting buses and trams on the network for up to 74 minutes. This ticket no longer works as a full day travel pass.

By Bus 98 from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) to Nice-Promenade des Arts

Bus 98 connects Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport with Promenade des Arts on the edge of the old town.  En route, the bus stops on request at all stops along the Promenade des Anglais (seafront) before passing around the old town (stop Cathédrale-Vieille-Ville) and terminating at Promenade des Arts. When traveling towards the Airport use stops Lycée Masséna or Station J C Bermond from the old town area. (Bus 98 no longer goes to Riquier station in the far east of Nice.) Bus 98 runs every 15 or 20 minutes in either direction from around 7 am to 9 pm. Earlier and later buses are generally only once or twice per hour. The first (last) bus for the airport departs at 5:00 am (9 pm) and the first (last) bus from the airport departs Terminal 2 just before 6 am (23:45). Travel time depends largely on traffic but expect around 35 minutes to the old town area. Stops on the Promenade des Anglais are reached within minutes but the full fare is still payable. Bus 98 requires an Aéro Ticket (€6) that is valid for travel on this airport express bus, as well as any connecting buses and trams on the network for up to 74 minutes. This ticket no longer works as a full day travel pass.

By Buses 23, 52, 59 or 70 from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE)

A cheaper alternative to the Airport Express buses are regular municipal buses that stop near the airport. These buses only require a regular ticket but has no space for luggage. For many travelers, tram line 2 is likely to be even more convenient than these. Of the regular municipal buses passing directly in front of the airport, bus 23, 52, 59 and 70 are the most useful to tourists. These buses stop at Aéroport Promenade, which is a few minutes walk from Terminal 1. Travel on tram line 2 between terminal 1 and Terminal 2 is free for all travelers. (Walking between these two terminals is not an option.) These buses follow the same basic routing from the airport along Promenade des Anglais – not all buses call at all stops here – but then follow different routes into the city:

  • Bus 23 turns north on Boulevard Gambetta and then goes to the northern suburbs of Nice to terminate at Vallon des Fleurs (or Bella Vista). It stops near the main train station at Thiers-Gambetta. It runs four to six times per hour.
  • Bus 52 terminates at Station J.C. Bermond between the old town and city center. It runs four to five times per hour for most of the day.
  • Bus 59 terminates at Cathédral-Veille Ville but runs only once per hour.
  • Bus 70 also terminates at Cathédral-Veille Ville but runs two to four times per hour.
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About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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