The lovely pastel-hued fishing village of Villefranche-sur-mer is one of the most picturesque on the Riviera, and it’s just 15 minutes away from Nice by bus.
Take the Bus #100 (Monaco/Menton) from the top of the Nice Port (tram stop Port), which leaves every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on Sundays and French holidays. The stop is just to the right of the church, in front of the Brassiere du Vieux Port.
Or take the Bus #15 Port de Saint-Jean leaves from the Promenade des Arts bus stop located behind the Place Garibaldi Monoprix (tram stop Garibaldi), and runs every 20 minutes during the week, 30 minutes on Sundays and French holidays.
The ticket for either bus costs just 1.50€ (or just 1€ if you use a 10-trip card), and you can also use a day or week pass, 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 #15 (tram stop Massena) or #100 (tram stop Port), it will not cost extra.
Where to get off
You will know you’re close to your stop when your breath is taken away by the view of the gorgeous bay of Villefranche-sur-mer. Wait a few minutes until the bus gets into town, then push the red button to request the stop and get off at the garden; the stop is called Octroi. Look for the Tourist Office and follow that road downhill into the village.
Getting back: I recommend taking the train on your way back, which leaves just above the seaside, comes roughly every half an hour and takes 3 minutes to the Nice-Ville station. The train is preferable for the return trip because you have to walk quite a ways uphill to get to the Octroi stop. Also Bus #100 is usually already full on its way back from Monaco so will just blow right past you, however you should always be able to get a seat on the Bus #15, which starts a lot closer at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Also, don’t forget to flag the bus down, otherwise it might not stop, thinking that you are waiting for the other bus.
The Bus #100 stops running at around 8pm and Bus #15 at 8:30pm, so after that you have to take the train anyway (last one leaves around 11pm).
If you bought the French Riviera Pass from the tourist office, you can also get to Villefranche from Nice via the Open Tour Hop on/Hop off tourist bus.
- Back up to Main Bus Page: Everything you need to know about taking the Bus in Nice