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. Once you board the tram, just punch your ticket in the little 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.
Insider tip: buy a 10-pack from the machine for 10€, and your per-trip cost is now is only 1€ a trip. Note that the machines don’t swipe, so you will either need a credit card with a microchip, or 10 euros in coin. You can also buy the 10-pack from the Lignes d’Azur boutiques at Place Massina, across from the train station, and on blvd Jean Jaures on the edge of the Old Town.
Stops: You don’t have to signal your stop, the Tramway stops at each automatically. Scroll down for a map of the tram stops.
Free Park and Ride Lots: There are three large ParcAzur lots where you can leave your car for free and take the tramway, then your day’s tramway ticket gets you out of the lot for free. Only catch: overnight parking is not allowed. The ParcAzur lots are are at each end of the tram line (Saint Michel and Las Planas), plus one in the middle at Vauban (see map below)
Which Direction? From the Train Station, take Direction Pont Saint-Michel to go to the Nice Etoile Shopping Center, Place Massena, Old Nice (Opera then Cathedral) + bus hubs, Place Garibaldi, the Acropolis Convention Center, Palais des Expositions, Vauban bus hub, the University St. Jean d’Angely, and beyond… Take Direction Las Planas if you want to go to north: Liberation, Borriglione, the football stadium Stade de Ray, and Nice Nord. See map below.
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, 50 years later, it was the perpetual gridlock from buses and cars that made the the new Nice Tramway a necessity.
Art: The new tramway was the catalyst for a slew of new public art installations, and every Friday at 7pm the Tourist Office runs a tram/art tour in English and French for 11€ (8€ for the tour and 3€ for the tram tickets). Reserve ahead at the tourist office.
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… For this we’ll have to wait until 2016, but in the meantime, click here to see the video of what’s in store…
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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