Getting To and From Nice Airport

Nice Airport as seen from the airEverything you need to know about Nice airport transportation, from the Airport Express buses, local buses, taxis vs Uber,  my favorite private car service, even helicopters… and includes sections on how to get to Cannes, Monaco and Antibes from the Nice Airport.

 

Airport Express Buses from the Nice Airport

People boarding the Nice Airport Express BusThe Nice Airport Express Bus costs 6€ and you can either buy your ticket from the bus desk at the airport or from the driver as you board, and you can catch the bus from either terminal.

Take Bus #98 ‘Promenade des Arts/Lycée Masséna if you want to go to the beach hotels or Old Nice: it leaves every 20 minutes until 10pm, and then there are two last runs at 10:50pm and 11:50pm.  The bus goes along the seaside, then turns inland at the Old Town, and finishes in the vicinity above Place Garibaldi. Your ticket is good for one transfer on trams or buses within an hour and 15 minutes, so don’t hesitate to hop on the tramway for one or two stops to get closer to your destination.

(Update: For those going to the Nice Port: the Bus 98 used to go through the Port to Riquier, but now it ends just before the Museum of Modern Art, at the Promenade des Arts stop, or late night one stop earlier, at Lycée Masséna.  To continue to the Port from, take take the bus #9, #10 or #81; one of them comes every 7-10 minutes, and your airport bus ticket gives you a free transfer.  Click here for the local bus schedules (in English!)… just fill in the bus number under ‘route’, click ok, then choose your direction and date, and you’ll have all the stops and all the timings.  For more on taking buses in Nice, including the most popular routes, click here for my Bus page.)

  • Insider bus tip: Check the schedule and notice which stop comes before yours… then once on the bus, you’ll know when to push the red button to request a stop (you’ll see ‘Arret demande’ in red above the driver); if no one pushes the red button, the driver will just keep on going…

Take Bus #99 ‘Gare SNCF’ if you want to go to the main Train Station: it leaves every 30 minutes until 9pm, and takes the seaside until it turns inland at boulevard Gambetta, to finish at the main Nice-Ville Train Station.  The ‘Aero’ bus ticket is good for 74 minutes for transfers on any bus or tram in Nice.  There is now free wifi and luggage storage at the Nice Train Station, by the way!

Here are the schedules for Bus #98  and Bus #99 going back to the airport. Know that you have to flag the bus down at the bus stop, otherwise it might blow right by you, even if you are standing there with luggage!   The #98 leaves from Lycée Masséna starting at 5:10am, and the #99 starts at 8am.

  • Insider tip:  Nice Airport is the only airport in the world (that I know of) that doesn’t post which airlines are in which terminals.  It’s not on any signage as you drive in, nor is it listed on the airport bus (and often the driver doesn’t know, “not my job!”)   Look on your airline ticket ahead of time to see which terminal you need to get off at or check this list of which airline is in which terminal or simply Google your flight (“AF 7702”) and it will pop right up.  The Express Bus stops first at terminal 2, then terminal 1.

The airport buses run every day of the year, except May 1st, which is French Labor Day.

Taking a Local Bus from the Airport

Soon you will be able to take a tramway from the Airport to town!  But in the meantime (mid 2019?) the budget alternative is the local bus.

Walk out to the Promenade des Anglais to catch a local bus for just 1.50€. Walk through the parking lot in Terminal 1 to the Promenade des Anglais then look for the bus stop, and don’t forget to flag the bus down or it might not stop.  Catch bus #23 Bella Vista to go to boulevard Gambetta and then the train station, or bus #52, #59 or #70 for the Promenade hotels, Place Masséna, and the Old Town. And don’t forget that your bus ticket is good on all buses and trams for an hour and 15 minutes.

Going back to the airport from town, the bus #23 Centre Commercial is the only bus that actually takes you into the airport, dropping you off at Terminal 1 (where you can catch the free shuttle/navette to Terminal 2)

Click here for the local bus schedules (in English!)… just fill in the bus number under ‘route’, click ok, then choose your direction and date, and you’ll have all the stops and all the timings.  For more on taking buses in Nice, including the most popular routes, click here for my Bus page.

Taking a Taxi from the Airport

Taxis lined up at the Nice AirportNice taxi drivers have the worst reputation in France for overcharging unsuspecting tourists.  To combat this, the city has just imposed a new fixed rate of 32€ between the airport and town!   This rate is good for day or night and includes luggage.

A taxi into Nice will take 20 minutes and and you’ll probably need to pay in cash, taxis in Nice rarely take credit cards.  You can tip a euro extra if you want, but it is not obligatory as locals generally don’t tip the taxis after getting ripped off repeatedly all theses years.

To take a taxi from Nice back to the airport, here is a list of taxi stations, or call to reserve at 04 93 13 78 78 (from a non-French phone, it’s 0033 4 93 13 78 78), and they do speak English.  The taxi will charge 4€ extra to come pick you up, so you will pay 36€

For more on taking taxis around town (where there are no fixed rates, so you need to beware of getting overcharged) click here for my Taking a Taxi in Nice page.

Taking a UBER from the Nice Airport

The best deal is to take an Uber-X from the airport for 16-20€ to Nice Center (as opposed to 32€ in a taxi)… no cash changes hands, all the driver’s info is on your phone, the driver is friendly and professional, and you rate the driver at the end of the ride.

When you arrive at the Nice airport and are waiting for you luggage, log on to the free airport wifi with one click.  Once you are connected, click on the Uber app and you’ll see all the Uber cars in the vicinity.  Once you get your luggage, put in your destination address and order the car.  It will take the Uber 5-7 minutes to arrive, so you will have time to get to the pick-up spot specified by the app.  The app will tell you clearly exactly where to meet, and tells you the type of car, license plate number, and driver’s name and photo, so it’s easy to spot your car.

You can also use Uber’s upgraded higher priced service, Uber Black Car, which works the same but your driver will be in a suit and tie driving an immaculate luxury sedan.  The cost to Nice Center will be around 28-32€ (still less than a taxi). And as with Uber-X, no cash changes hands, all the driver’s info is on your phone, and you rate the driver at the end of the ride.   And if you are going from the airport to Cannes, Uber even has helicopters!

If you want 5-10€ off your first Uber ride, use promo code uber-get-ten when you sign up, which can make an airport transfer for two cost less than taking the Airport Express Bus!

A few Uber airport tips:

  • The app will tell you where to meet your driver, and will say for instance ‘Meet at Door D2’ but you will only see the D markings from outside on the sidewalk; oddly, the doors are not marked inside the airport.
  • Request that your driver take the route along the Promenade des Anglais, which will not only cost less than the highway but will be infinitely more scenic!
  • Uber is the best way to get to the airport for early morning flights as there are lots of drivers out in the wee hours taking people home from bars and clubs.

For more on taking Uber in Nice, click here for my Uber page.


Private Car Services (VTC’s)

A private car service costs roughly the same as a taxi but has several advantages:  You have the serenity of pre-booking and knowing that you will be met by a professional, courteous, English-speaking driver that waits for you just outside baggage claim holding a sign with your name.  My recommendation is the aptly-named Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 35€ to Nice (it’s a bit more at night), has an excellent reputation, and is exceedingly reliable and professional.  You can book through the website, email them at mira@friend-in-france.com, or call them at +33 6 99 16 22 33.   And please mention that you heard about them from Best of Nice!

How to get to Cannes from the Nice Airport

  • Express Bus:  The Cannes Express Bus #210 leaves the airport every 30 minutes, costs 22€ (or 33€ round trip), takes the freeway and gets you there in about 45 minutes, dropping you off at the Port.  You can even buy your ticket online.
  • Local Bus:  If you are long on time and short on money, you can also take the Bus #200 for just 1.50€, which leaves every 15 minutes and takes about 90 minutes as it winds along the coast.  From terminal 1 just cross through the parking lot to the Promenade des Anglais, cross the street (use the underpass) and look for the stop; from terminal 2 take the free Navette to terminal 1.
  • Taxi:  A taxi from the airport to Cannes now has a new fixed rate of 80€ for up to 4 people, including luggage, and takes about 50 minutes (but can be twice that during high traffic periods like the Cannes Film Festival).   A 5€ tip is appropriate.  Note that you will probably have to pay in cash; Nice taxis are supposed to take cards, but their card machines are usually ‘broken’.
  • Private Car Services: For the same price as a taxi, you can be met by a professional English-speaking chauffeur holding a sign with your name just outside baggage claim.  I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 80€ to Cannes, is very reliable, has all English-speaking drivers, and you can reserve and pay in advance on-line.
  • Uber: 50-70€ to Cannes, but get 5€ off when you sign up with the promo code uber-get-ten.
  • Helicopter:  From May through October, forget the traffic… you can get to Cannes in 7 minutes by helicopter!  It’s super-fun, really fast, and at 160€ per person for the mind-blowingly-beautiful ride, it is actually quite economical (time is money!)  Reserve in advance and book online with Azur Helicoptere, or be spontaneous and click the Uber-copter option on the bottom of your Uber app when you arrive for immediate embarquement at the same price (…especially handy during transport strikes!)  Upon landing, a transfer to your hotel is included in the price.

How to get to Monaco from the Nice Airport

  • Express Bus:  The Monaco Express Bus #110 leaves the airport every 30 minutes, is a super bargain at 22€ (or 33€ round trip), takes the freeway and gets you there in about 35 minutes.  Here is a list of the stops and the schedule.
  • Taxi:  A taxi from the airport to Monaco will cost a fixed rate 90€ for up to 4 people (including luggage) and takes 45 minutes (ask the driver to take the lower road for a wonderfully scenic drive).   A 5€ tip is appropriate,
    but since it’s Monaco, many tip 10€.  Note that you will probably have to pay in cash; Nice taxis are supposed to take cards, but their card machines are usually ‘broken’.   Interestingly, the return trip must be a Monaco taxi, and will run you at least 100€ (but they take credit cards and their card machines are never broken!).   Helicopter flying into Monaco…So on the way back at least, why not have a little fun and take the helicopter: the price is just a little more!
  • Private Car Services: For less than the cost of a taxi, you can be met by a professional English-speaking chauffeur holding a sign with your name just outside baggage claim.  I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 80€ to Monaco, is very reliable, has all English-speaking drivers, and you can reserve and pay in advance on-line.
  • Uber: 45-60€ to Monaco, but get 5-10€ off when you sign up with the promo code uber-get-ten.  You can take an Uber in to Monaco, but you can’t take Uber back to the airport because the Uber app is blocked in the Principality!
  • Helicopter:  If you are only one person, for just 30-40€ more than a taxi, you can treat yourself to a 7-minute thrill and arrive in Monaco like a rock star.  The The flights leave every 30 minutes,  costs 140€ one way/260€ round trip, and upon landing at the Monaco helipad, they take you to your hotel by shuttle (included in the price).  Especially useful during transport strikes!

To get to Antibes from the Nice Airport

  • Express Bus:  The Antibes/Golf Juan Express Bus #250 leaves the airport every 35 minutes, costs 8.50€ (or 16€ round trip), and gets you there in about 35 minutes.  The drop off point of ‘Antibes Vautrin’ is just across the overpass from the Antibes Train Station.
  • Local Bus:  If you want to save a little money, you can also take the Bus #200 for just 1.50€, which leaves every 15 minutes and takes only 20 minutes longer than the Express Bus.  From terminal 1 just walk through the parking lot to the Promenade des Anglais, cross the street using the underpass, and look for the stop; from terminal 2 take the free Navette to terminal 1, the follow the instructions above.
  • Taxi:  A taxi from the airport to Antibes will run you a fixed rate of 60€ for up to 4 people (including luggage) and takes about 30 minutes.   A 2-3€ tip is appropriate but not necessary as it is a fixed rate.   Note that you will probably have to pay in cash; Nice taxis are supposed to take cards, but their card machines are usually ‘broken’.
  • Private Car Services: For the same price as a taxi, you can be met by a professional English-speaking chauffeur holding a sign with your name just outside baggage claim.  I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 60€ to Antibes, is very reliable, has all English-speaking drivers, and you can reserve and pay in advance on-line.
  • Uber: 35-50€ but get 5€ off when you sign up with the promo code uber-get-ten.

 

See Related Pages:  Flying into Nice,  Taking the Bus in Nice, Taxis in Nice, Using Uber in Nice, Luggage Storage in Nice, What to do in case of a Transport Strike

Photo Credits: Nice Airport from the Air by LaFrance, Helicopter over Monaco by Elizabeth Klimesch, both licenses under Creative Commons.  Airport Taxis from Aeroport Nice Cote d’Azur, Nice Airport Bus from Flickriver.com

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