Bus from Nice to Vence and Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Hilltop village Saint-Paul-de-VenceThe 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 one hour away from Nice by bus.

Take the Bus #9 Halte Routiere de l’Ara which leaves every 15 minutes, and only goes to Vence but doesn’t stop at Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

To go to Saint-Paul-du-Vence take Bus #400 Vence (par St- Paul) which has stops in both towns.  This bus leaves every 30-45 minutes on weekdays and every 45 minutes to an hour on Saturdays, Sundays and French holidays.

Both of these buses leave from the same place: at the Parc Phoenix bus stop which is near the airport (tram stop Parc Phoenix).

Tickets

There is this weird little quirk about the bus ticket to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, due to this town lying in another bus network.

If you are just going to Vence, you can take either of the buses and the ticket costs just 1.50€ (or just 1€ if you use a 10-trip card) and you can also use a week pass or a 10-trip card, all of which you can buy in the ticket machines at any tram stop.  You can also buy your tickets from the driver as you board (with the exception of the 10-trip card).  Also note that your bus/tram ticket gives you unlimited transfers in Nice for 74 minutes, so if you take the tramway to get to the stop to transfer to the Bus #9 or #400 to go to Vence, it will not cost extra.  If you do it this way, you cannot get off at the Foundation Maeght or Saint-Paul-de-Vence, even though the bus #400 stops there on the way to Vence.  I know it sounds crazy, but I did warn you that it was a weird quirk.

If you intend to get off the bus #400 at Saint-Paul-de-Vence here is what to do:  Either just buy the special 1.50€ Saint-Paul-de-Vence ticket from the driver as you board, or if you are taking the tramway to get to the Parc Phoenix stop to catch the bus, there is an easy way to not have to pay for two tickets.  At any tram stop ticket machine buy the Ticket Azur for 1.50€, which is good for one tram trip (or local bus), and then is also good for the Bus #400 anytime within up to 2 1/2 hours, and allows you can get off at Saint-Paul-de-Vence.  Buy two Ticket Azurs from the machine, so that you will also have one for coming back.

If you continue on from Saint-Paul to the town of Vence (3 stops later), yes, you will have to buy a new ticket from the driver.

Where to Get Off

You catch both of these buses at Parc Phoenix which is near the airport (tram stop Parc Phoenix).

If you’re on the Bus #9, just stay on until the end, which is the Vence bus station.

On bus #400, 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 because Saint-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 three stops later the bus #400 arrives at its endpoint in Vence.

Getting Back

The last bus #400 leaves Vence around 7:30pm on weekends and holidays (picking up in Saint-Paul-de-Vence 5 minutes later), but the Bus #9 from Vence runs all the way until 1am!   You can also take an Uber down to the Cagnes-sur-mer train station and then take the train back (last one around 11pm).

Photo Credit: St. Paul de Vence by Wng, licensed under Creative Commons

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