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 validate your ticket in the little yellow machines each tie you board.
Best Bus Deal
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 chip-and-pin credit card: the machines can’t swipe or take bills), or in the Lignes d’Azur boutiques 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 in Nice for 24-hours/7-days/31-days from the first validation, but don’t include the airport bus, ski bus or rando bus, and won’t get you to Monaco, Menton or Saint-Paul-de-Vence (see Ticket Azur below). The day pass can be purchased from the bus driver or tram ticket machines (again, have coin or a chip-and-pin credit card), the ten-trip card and 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 your passport plus a copy of your passport for them to keep.
The Ticket Azur
If you are going to Monaco and beyond (like Menton), to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, or anywhere past Cagnes-sur-mer (like Antibes, for instance), your regular Nice bus ticket/pass/10-trip card will not be accepted. But you can simply buy your 1.50€ ticket from the driver as you board. Easy.
…However, if you want the ability to transfer to or from another bus or the tram, you might want to stop by the Lignes d’Azur boutique and buy a the 1.50€ Ticket Azur. With this card you can do one bus or tram transfer in Nice within 2 1/2 hours. In Nice you can only buy the Ticket Azur from the boutique, but on the way back, you can buy the 1.50€ Ticket Azur from the driver (ask for a ‘Correspondance ticket’).
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.
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 for local Nice buses, and here for the schedules of buses that go outside of Nice (like Monaco).
Download the Lignes d’Azur app which gives you itineraries, maps, and will tell you when you can expect the next bus.
Most regular buses stop running around 8 or 9ish, but then the Noctabuses take over, departing every half hour for the 4 corners of Nice, until 1am. They all leave from the JC Bermond stop, in front of the Aston La Scala Hotel, just off Place Masséna, There’s even a coastal night network on the weekends to get you back to Nice from Monaco and from Cannes (Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only)
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 replaced by gardens, it can be a little challenging to find your bus! Popular buses such as Monaco/Menton, Antibes/Cannes, Vence and Saint-Paul-de-Vence, and Eze 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… Click the link for my pages on the individual bus routes above to see where to catch them.
Just how far can you go for 1.50€?
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 1.50€!
See Related Pages on individual bus routes:
- Bus from Nice to Monaco
- Bus to Antibes and Cannes
- 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 Cimiez for the Chagall and Matisse Museums
- Bus to Aix-en-Provence
- Nice Airport Express Bus
- Nice Ski/Snow Bus
- Nice RandoBus/Hiking Bus
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