Public Transportation to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport on the French Riviera

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by Henk Bekker

in Côte d'Azur Riviera, France, N24

The cheapest transportation options to Aéroport Nice-Côte d’Azur (NCE) are the tram, bus, or train.

Getting to Aéroport Nice-Côte d’Azur (NCE) on the French Riviera is easy by bus, tram, train, helicopter, taxi, and airport shuttle vans. Public transportation is cheap and often very convenient.

Antibes on the Côte d'AzurGetting to Aéroport Nice-Côte d’Azur (NCE) on the French Riviera is easy by bus, tram, train, helicopter, taxi, and airport shuttle vans. Public transportation is cheap and often very convenient.

Aéroport Nice-Côte d’Azur (NCE) is very easy to reach by car, bus, tram, train, or helicopter from many other towns on the French Riviera and Monaco. Tram 2 provides the cheapest transportation from the airport to Nice Gare SNCF train station, downtown Nice and the Promenade des Anglais. Express buses are often the best way to travel to Monaco, Menton, Cannes, Antibes, and Golf Juan. Regular buses are available to Nice, Grasse, St Martin Vesuble, Auron, Isola 2000, and Valberg. To other destinations, it is generally easiest to transfer to trains or use the huge number of bus connections available from central Nice. Helicopter transfers from the airport are a quick way to Monaco and Cannes.

Taxis and airport shuttle vans are often worth the splurge, especially at odd hours or when traveling as a small group or family with luggage. Welcome gives online quotations for private airport transfers without first requiring personal details or flight numbers.

Driving to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport in France

Google Map Nice Airport

Nice-Côte d’Azur Aéroport (NCE) is the busiest French airport outside Paris. The airport is very conveniently located on the seafront just to the south of the city Nice allowing fast and easy access from many French Riviera towns – it is generally worth using the toll road highways to bypass Nice. Autoroute A8 exit 50 is right at the airport.

For groups, families, and travelers with luggage, taking a taxi or pre-booked airport shuttle van service may be a good idea and not that expensive. Taxis are according to the meter (with surcharges allowed for luggage, Sundays, and night times (19:00 to 07:00)). Expect to pay around €40 to Nice Center (less to Promenade des Anglais), €70 to Antibes, Sophia-Antipolis, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Villefranche, and €120 to Monaco or Cannes.

Driving distance and times using the highway from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE):

  • Nice Downtown – 9 km / 0:30
  • Antibes – 17 km / 0:25
  • Cannes – 30 km / 0:35
  • Monaco – 32 km / 0:40
  • Menton – 42 km / 0:45
  • Saint Tropez – 110 km / 1:30
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By Tram 2 to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE)

Tram 2 is the cheapest and best public transportation option to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport. Tram 2 runs from Airport Terminal 2 and Airport Terminal 1 along Avenue de Californie (parallel to Promenade des Anglais and the seafront) then via Jean Médicin and Garibaldi in Nice’s city center to the terminal at Port Lympia.

Tram 2 is the best public transportation to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) with frequencies as high as every eight minutes.

From 1 January 2024, a rechargeable “La Carte” is necessary to travel on the Nice public transportation system. Typically, these are NOT sold at the airport — only a “L’Aéro” card is available at the airport and airport tram stops and is €10 for an airport return. Travelers with a “La Carte” pay only the standard €1.70 each way for the same journey.

Traveling on the tram between the two airport terminals and to Grand Arenas is free and does not require any ticket.

See By Tram to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport for more details.

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

Buses often provide the cheapest and best public transportation options to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) from nearby towns. Airport Express buses often stop at only Terminal 2. Other regular buses do not stop at the airport terminal. Some stop at Aeroport Promenade outside the airport perimeters — a short walk from terminal 1. (Use the tram to travel for free between terminal 1 and 2 — walking is not possible.)

The pricy Airport Express buses 98 and 99 have been replaced by the cheap Tram 2 for travel from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport to destinations in Nice city center and the Promenade des Anglais.

Buses to Nice Downtown and Stations from the Airport

Tram 2 replaced express buses 98 to Nice Gare SNCF train station and 99 to Nice Promenade des Arts (via Promenade des Anglais). The only regular municipal bus stopping outside the airport that could be of interest to tourists is bus line 12 which runs along Promenades des Anglais to the old town. The tram is usually a better option, especially when traveling with luggage.

Buses from the Airport to French Riviera Resorts

Bus 98 on Promenade des Anglais to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport

Note: several buses from Nice Airport to nearby towns change route numbers at the start of 2023!

Four types of buses operate from Nice Airport:

Airport Express buses are available from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) to Monaco and Menton (80 — previously 110), Cannes (81 — previously 210), and Antibes / Golf-Juan / Vallauris (82 — previously 250). These airport express buses cost significantly more than the €2.50 of regular buses but are much faster and generally do have more space for luggage.

Regular regional ZOU! buses — bus numbers larger than 100 — operate to towns and cities in the region and are in 2024 only €2.50 to anywhere in the region (add 40c per ticket if bought on the bus). These buses stop near the airport at Aéroport / Promenade or Parc Phoenix and include services to Cannes, Grasse, St Martin Vésubie, Auron, Isola 2000, and Valberg.

Regular Lignes d’Azur buses that operate in Nice city remain absolute bargains. A rechargeable “La Carte” is required — it costs €2 and is sold on buses and at vending machines. Single tickets (€1.70) and day passes for Nice (€7 or €20 for seven days) may be loaded onto the “La Carte”.

Intercity buses such as Flixbus often have spectacular deals but the services are seasonal.

On many buses, the first piece of hand luggage is free but a second piece may be charged €1 and a suitcase €5.

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By Train to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE)

Nice-Ville SNCF Train Station

Trains do not stop directly at Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) but it is often best to take the tram to the station and continue journeys by train to many Riviera towns. Trains are faster, less crowded, and continue later at night than local buses.

Gare SNCF Nice-Saint-Augustin is only 1.5 km from the airport and almost all local TER trains call here. Take any tram departing from the airport for the free ride to Grand Arenas — from here it is only a block to the station.

To reach Nice Ville main train station (SNCF Gare Thiers) in downtown, use tram 2 to Jean Médecin and change there to tram 1 to Gare Thiers (one-stop, direction Henri Sappia). Alternatively, especially if planning to actually take a train from the main station, start the railway journey from Saint-Augustin.

By Helicopter to Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE)

Helicopter landing at Monaco Heliport (MCM)

Helicopters provide fast and glamorous transportation from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) to top French Riviera destinations such as Cannes, Monaco, and Saint Tropez.

Helicopter flight times from Nice Airport are around 7 minutes to Monaco or Cannes. Expect to pay around €250 for a shared flight — expensive but what a way to arrive.

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

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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 European-Traveler.com, 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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