Taking the bus in Nice is one of the great bargains of the Riviera: tickets are 1.50€, but if you buy a 10-pack you can go almost anywhere for just 1€, making the buses in Nice the least expensive in France.
Buying a Bus Ticket: Generally, you buy your ticket or day pass from the driver as you board, but the bargain 10-pack is a little more work, see below. With a few exceptions (see Ticket Azur, below), your ticket entitles you to change buses/trams as much as you like within 74 minutes, just punch your ticket when you board.
The insider tip is to buy a 10-trip ticket for 10€, which cuts the cost of each trip by a third, down to one euro each. You can’t buy these from the bus drivers, but you CAN buy them in the machines at the tram stops (but have 10€ in coin, or a credit card with a microchip: the machines can’t swipe or take bills), or in the Lignes d’Azur boutiques at Place Massena, across from the train station, or on Blvd Jean Jaures on the edge of the Old Town.
You can also buy a Day Pass for 5€, a Week Pass for 15€, or a Month Pass for 40€. These passes are good for 24-hours/7-days/31-days from the first validation, but and don’t include the airport bus, ski bus or rando bus, and won’t get you to Monaco (see Ticket Azur, below). The day pass can be purchased from the bus driver and tram ticket machines (have coin or a credit card with a microchip, the machines don’t swipe or take bills), the week pass only from the machines and Lignes d’Azur boutiques, and the month pass only from the Lignes d’Azur boutiques. For the month pass you’ll need an ID photo, your passport, and a copy of your passport.
Catching the Bus: At the bus stop you have to flag down the driver… otherwise he might blow right past you. When you want to get off just signal the driver by pressing the red button and ‘Arret Demande’ will flash at the front. The trams, on the other hand, stop at every stop automatically.
Bus/Tram Schedules: The tramway comes every 3-5 minutes by day and every 12-20 minutes by night until around 1am. The bus timings vary, but you can check the bus schedules here.
Night Buses: Most regular buses stop running around 8ish, but then the Noctabuses take over, leaving from the main bus hub (bus N1-N5 on lower right), just off Place Massena, and departing every half hour for the 4 corners of Nice, until 1am. There’s even a night network to get you back to Nice from Monaco to Cannes.
How to find your Bus Stop now that the Nice Bus Station has been demolished:
Now that the decrepit Nice Bus Station/Gare Routiere has been reduced to rubble, it can be a little challenging to find your bus! Popular buses such as Monaco/Menton, Antibes/Cannes, and Cimiez (for the Matisse and Chagall museums) have all been dispersed within a few blocks of the old bus station, so whereas you won’t have to go far, it will still be a trick to find where your particular ride is hiding… here’s a map of the main bus hub to help you out.
The buses to Eze Village, Peille, Aix-en-Provence, Marseilles, and Grenoble now all live at the tram stop Vauban (Saint-Jean d’Angély)… here’s that map. International buses, including Eurolines, can be found in the Arenas area at the Lindburgh stop, which is a 10-minute walk from both the Airport and the Nice St-Augustin train station.
How far can you go for 1.50 euros?
You can go as far east as Menton, as far west as Cannes and Grasse, and as far inland as Peille, Coaraze, Gillette, or even take the 790 to Entrevaux, the Gorge Daluis and Guillaumes… 2 1/2 hours of spectacular scenery for 1 euro!
The Ticket Azur: Some destinations far out of Nice are on a different ticket system. This only affects you if you are using a day/week/or ten-day card, or, say, you want to take the tramway and then transfer onto the Monaco bus. If you are going to Monaco, Menton, Antibes, Cannes, Grasse, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, or the mountain destinations above, the driver won’t let you use your Ligne d’Azur ticket and will make you pay another euro-fifty! The way around this is to go to the Ligne d’Azur boutique ahead of time (at Place Massena or across from the Train Station) and buy a couple of Ticket Azurs, which are good from Monaco to Cannes and far inland, and works for one transfer within 2 1/2 hours, with the added advantage of working on the local Monaco, Antibes, Cannes and Grasse buses.
See Related Pages on individual bus routes:
- Bus from Nice to Monaco
- Bus to Cimiez for the Chagall and Matisse Museums
- Bus to Eze Medieval Village
- Bus to Vence and Saint Paul de Vence
- Bus to Villefranche-sur-mer
- Bus to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat
- Bus to Antibes and Cannes
- Bus to Aix-en-Provence (not 1 euro!)
- Nice Airport Express Bus
- Nice Ski/Snow Bus
- Nice RandoBus/Hiking Bus
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