Getting To and From Nice Airport

Everything 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

The 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’ if you want to go to the beach hotels or Old Nice: it leaves every 20 minutes and goes along the seaside, 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, 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.   From here, to continue to the Port, take take the 9, 10 or 81; one of them comes every 7-10 minutes, and your bus ticket gives you a free transfer.)

Take Bus #99 ‘Gare SNCF’ if you want to go to the main Train Station: it leaves every 30 minutes 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 (no longer 24-hours…).

  • Insider bus tip: 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…

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!

  • 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.   The Express Bus stops first at terminal 2, then terminal 1.

Taking a Local Bus from the Airport

You can also walk out to the Promenade des Anglais and catch a local bus for 1.50€. Walk through the parking lot in Terminal 1 to the Promenade des Anglais then look for the bus stop.  Catch bus 23 to go to blvd Gambetta and then the train station, or bus 52, 59 or 70 for Promenade hotels, Place Massena, and the Old Town.  And don’t forget that your bus ticket is good on buses and trams for an hour and 15 minutes.

Going back to the airport from town, only the bus #23 actually takes you into the airport, dropping you off at Terminal 1.

Taking a Taxi from the Airport

Locals avoid Nice taxis like the plague, as Nice taxi drivers have the worst reputation in France for overcharging, intimidation and surliness, so before you get in ask the driver how much it will cost, tell him you will need a receipt, and then check that the meter is set correctly to day (jour) or night (soir – which is also legitimately used on Sundays and French holidays).  If the meter is obscured he is probably overcharging.  

A taxi into Nice will take 20 minutes and cost you between 30-50€… the difference depends on luggage, if you look like a tourist (especially if you look Asian) and if you speak French or not… and you’ll need to pay in cash.   If you are charged 30-35€, tip a euro or two, otherwise tip nothing and ask for a legible detailed receipt, which will often make the driver leave before you pay rather than get caught.

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, but know that Nice taxis start charging from wherever they are before coming to get you, so you will already have a big charge on the meter before you even get in the car.

Better to take an Uber or book a private car service.

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 35-45€ 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.  Put in your destination address and order the car.  It will take the Uber 10 minutes to arrive, so you will have time to get your luggage, and get to the pick up spot in the Kiss and Fly pick up zone (in terminal 2 it is up one floor).  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 to Cannes, Uber even has helicopters!

If you want 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!


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, has an excellent reputaion, 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 (which is especially useful if you land and find that you can’t get online to order your Uber.)   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 16.50€ (or 26.50€ round trip), takes the freeway and gets you there in about 45 minutes, dropping you off at the Port.
  • 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 will run you about 90€ for up to 4 people (depending on luggage and traffic) and takes about 50 minutes (but can be twice that during high traffic periods like the Cannes Film Festival).   A 5€ tip is appropriate.
  • Uber: 50-70€ but get 5€ off when you sign up with the promo code uber-get-ten.
  • Private Car Services: 80-100€, and your driver will meet you just outside baggage claim with your name on a sign.  I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 80€ to Cannes and has a excellent local reputation.
  • Helicopter:  Uber runs Uber-copter from May all through the summer; which is super-fun, really fast, and at 160€ per person for the scenic 7-minute flight, is actually quite economical (time is money!)  Just click the Uber-copter option on the bottom of your Uber app and you can order one upon landing for immediate embarquement!  This is a boon if the taxis are are strike (which they so often are…).  And save 5€ when you sign up for Uber with the promo code uber-get-ten.

How to get to Monaco from the Nice Airport

  • Express Bus:  The Monaco Express Bus #110 leaves the airport every 30 minutes, costs 20€ (or 30€ round trip), takes the freeway and gets you there in about 35 minutes.
  • Taxi:  A taxi from the airport to Monaco will run you about 90€ for up to 4 people (depending on 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€.  Interestingly, the return trip must be a Monaco taxi, and will run you at least 100€, so on the way back at least, why not have a little fun and take the helicopter: the price is the same!
  • Helicopter:  If you are only one person, you could take it up a notch and arrive in style for almost the same price as a taxi!  The gorgeous 7-minute trip costs just 110€ one way, barely more than a taxi. They leave every 30 minutes, and upon your landing at the Monaco helipad, they take you to your hotel by shuttle (included in the price).
  • Uber: 45-60€, but get 5€ 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!
  • Private Car Services: 80-100€, and your driver will meet you just outside baggage claim with your name on a sign.  I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 80€ to Monaco and has a excellent local reputation.

 

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 about 60€ for up to 4 people (depending on luggage and traffic) and takes about 30 minutes.   A 2-3€ tip is appropriate.
  • Uber: 35-50€ but get 5€ off when you sign up with the promo code uber-get-ten.
  • Private Car Services: 60-80€, and your driver will meet you just outside baggage claim with your name on a sign.  I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 60€ to Antibes and has a excellent local reputation.

 

See Related Pages:  Flying into Nice,  Taking the Bus in Nice, Taxis in Nice, Using Uber in Nice, Luggage Storage in Nice

See Related Blog Post: Nice Transport Transformed –  A Peek into the Future

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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