The lovely perched village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence is one of the most picturesque on the Riviera, and the charming (and less touristy) town of Vence is another gem. Both are just 1 hour away from Nice by bus.
Take the Bus #400 Vence (par St Paul) from the main bus hub off Place Massena (bottom right of the map), or at one of the stops along the Promenade des Anglais as it heads out of town. The bus leaves every 30-45 minutes on weekdays and every 45 minutes to an hour on Saturdays, Sundays and French holidays. Like all bus routes in Nice, it will only cost 1 euro, and you pay as you board.
The Ticket Azur: Some destinations outside of Nice are on a different ticket system, including Saint-Paul-de-Vence. 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, or Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the driver won’t let you use your Ligne d’Azur ticket and will make you pay another euro! 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 Azur’s for 1 euro, which is 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.
Almost There: You will know you’re close when you see the mountain-top village of St Paul looming in the distance. After the Foundation Maeght stop, push the red button to request a stop because St Paul de Vence is next; as you get off the bus walk left to get to the village. Wear flat walking shoes as the 1000-year-old cobblestones can be steep and slick. 5 minutes and two stops later the bus arrives in Vence.
Getting Back: The last bus 400 leaves Vence at 7:15pm on weekdays, and 7:30pm on weekends and holidays (picking up in Saint Paul de Vence 5 minutes later). If you miss the last bus, the least expensive way to get back is to take a taxi down to the train station and then take the train back (last one around midnight).
Photo Credit: St. Paul de Vence by Wng, licensed under Creative Commons
- Back up to Main Bus Page: Everything you need to know about taking the Bus in Nice