Tramway

The Tramway has transformed Nice from gridlocked… to modern and streamlined!  You can go from one end of town to the other in just 17 minutes, and Line 2 is not far behind.

Buying a tramway ticket

It’s the same 1.50€ ticket as the bus, but the only way to buy one at the tram stop is in the little machine.  Have some coin as the machine does not take bills and only takes credit cards with a microchip.

You push the big green button to start, then do all the rest by turning the dial and pushing the green button for ‘ok’.  The instructions are available in several languages, including English.

Validating your ticket

Once you board the tram, punch your ticket in the little yellow machine, just like on the bus.  Your ticket is good for the next 75 minutes for as many tram or bus rides as you can fit in, but the catch is: in one direction only.

Best ticket deal

Buy a 10-trip ticket for 10€, and your per-trip cost is now is only 1€ a trip, including Nice buses, and the card has no expiration date.  Note that the ticket machines don’t take bills and only take chip-and-pin credit cards, so American credit cards that only have a magnetic stripe won’t work; so best to plan ahead and have 10 euros in coin.  You can also buy the 10-pack from the Lignes d’Azur boutiques (where they DO take bills as well as American credit cards!) across from the train station, and on blvd Jean Jaures on the edge of the Old Town.

Schedule

The tramway comes every 3-5 minutes by day and every 12-20 minutes by night until around 1am.  First tram starts at 4:25am, and last one finishes at 1:35am.  See the schedule here.

Tram stops

You don’t have to signal your stop, the tramway stops at each automatically. See below for an old map of the tram stops.

Free Park and Ride lots with Tram ticket

There are five large ParcAzur lots located at various points along the tramway route (see map below), where you can leave your car for free from early morning until late at night as long as you pay for a round-trip on the tramway.  Click here for details on how to use them.

 

Which Direction?

From the Train Station, take Direction Hopital Pasteur to go East: the Nice Etoile Shopping Center, Place Massena, Vieux Nice (Opera, then Cathedrale), Place Garibaldi, the Acropolis Convention Center, Palais des Expositions, Vauban bus hub, the University St. Jean d’Angely, and beyond…   Take Direction Henri Sappia if you want to go to North: Liberation, Borriglione, the football stadium Stade de Ray, and Nice Nord.

Here are some of the mains stops, and what you will find nearby…

  • Liberation – Daily outdoor market (Tues-Sun) with Nice’s best fish market
  • Gare ThiersTrain station
  • Jean Medecin – Nice Etoile Shopping Center, Cinemas, Notre Dame Church, Arab market area, Theatre de la Photgraphie Museum.
  • Massena – Rue Massena (walking street), Galeries Lafayette department store, Sephora, Zara, designer shopping on Avenue de Verdun, Apollo fountain, Promenade du Paillon, Promenade des Anglais and seafront.
  • Opera – Old Town, Nice Opera, Cours Saleya flower and produce market (Tues-Sun) and Brocante Antique market (Monday), Palais du Justice, seaside and beaches.
  • Palais des Expositions – Convention center, Park and Ride lot, Riquier train station, Carrefour shopping center.


History

The first Tramway in Nice was built in 1900, but went out of fashion just 20-odd years later in favor of the latest technology: the bus.  The last old-style tramway was shut down in 1953.   Ironically, it was the perpetual gridlock from too many buses and cars that made the the new Nice Tramway a necessity.

Next Up Line 2

As great as the current tramway is, it only makes us realize how much we want another one from the Port to the Airport… it’s in the works, but we’ll still have to wait a few more years.  To get an idea of what’s coming up, check out the blog post  Nice Transport Transformed: A Peek into the Future

 

Photo credits: Tramway at Place Massena and Tramway by Night by Best of Nice Blog,  Old Tramway licensed under Creative Commons

 

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