Getting To and From Nice Airport 2023
Everything you need to know about Nice airport transportation, from the new tramway tickets, taxis vs Ubers, my favorite private car service, local buses, even helicopters… and includes sections on how to get to Cannes, Monaco, and Antibes from the Nice Airport.
Taking the tram from the Nice Airport
The fabulous line 2 tramway from the airport has revolutionized airport transportation in Nice. The tramway runs approximately every 10 minutes, runs parallel to the seaside and gets you to the Nice Port in just over 30 minutes, and costs as little as 1.70€. An as an added bonus, the line 2 has free wifi!
But at the airport they only sell a round-trip airport ticket for 10€, which is not bad, but it is actually kind of a blatant tourist rip-off as a tram to or from the airport actually only costs 1.70€. If you have a few extra minutes here’s how you can get into town for just 3.70€:
- The insider tip is to get off at the first tram stop outside the airport (the tram is free to Grand Arenas), where that ticket machine (in English) offers more options and you can get a rechargeable card (La Carte) for 2€ and then each trip is only 1.70€, airport included, and the card can be used for multiple people. But after a long flight, it might be easier to just spend a little more and chill. Up to you.
Once on the tram, validate your airport ticket in the red puncher, or if you buy the rechargeable card at the first stop, just beep it (twice or more, if you are two or more people using the same rechargeable card).
From the airport, be sure to take the line that goes to the Direction: Port. This line runs parallel to the seaside and will get you close to all Promenade hotels. The stop Jean Medecin drops you off in the center of Nice, near all the shops and downtown hotels, plus this is where you can change to the tramway line 1 (outside the station), or get to the train station (10 minute walk or 1 stop on tramway line 1). Garibaldi is the stop for Vieux Nice; just take a left out of the station and then another left, and you’re in the old town. For the final stop, the tram emerges from the tunnel to arrive in the Port, probably one of the most stunning settings for a tram stop in the world. By the way, your tram ticket is good for transferring to all buses and tramlines in Nice for 74 minutes from the start of your voyage.
Returning to the airport from town, be sure to take the tramway that says Direction: Airport, not the one that says Direction: CADAM which splits off inland just before the airport.
If you have early or late flights the tram runs from around 5:30am until just after midnight. To see exact timing, the easiest way is to use Google Maps, put in ‘Nice Aeroport’, chose ‘get directions’, and then click where it says “Depart at…” to set the day and time. Google gets real time info on Nice bus/tramlines.
- 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 in the tramway. Look on your airline ticket ahead of time to see which terminal you need to get off at or simply Google your flight (“AF 7702”) and it will pop right up.
Taking a Taxi from the Nice Airport
Nice taxi drivers have the worst reputation in France for overcharging unsuspecting tourists. To combat this, the city has imposed a fixed rate of 32€ between the airport and town, which is good for day or night and includes your luggage. To make sure you won’t be overcharged (the taxis routinely try to ding tourists by adding on a hefty luggage charge even though it is clearly included) verify with the driver before he puts your bags in the trunk that luggage is, bien sur, included (“je voudrais juste confirmer que la bagage est compris dans la tarif fixe“)
A taxi into Nice will take 20 minutes and and you’ll probably need to pay in cash; all taxis in Nice technically take credit cards but for some odd reason their machine is always broken… what a racket. You can tip a euro extra if you really want to, but it is not obligatory and locals generally don’t tip the taxis at all after getting ripped off repeatedly all theses years.
As soon as you get in, take a photo of the taxi license, just in case you need it later, and always ask for a receipt.
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. The taxi will charge 4€ extra to come pick you up, so you will pay 36€.
For more on taking taxis around town (where there are no fixed rates, so you need to be even more aware of getting overcharged) click here for my Taking a Taxi in Nice page.
Taking an 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 32€ 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.
First-time Uber users: click here and save 7€ on each of your first 5 rides!
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. Once you get your luggage, put in your arrival terminal and destination address and order the car. It will take the Uber 5-7 minutes to arrive, so you will have time to get to the pick-up spot specified by the app. The app will show you exactly where to meet (you’ll see the zone signs once you go outside the terminal), 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 from the airport to Cannes, Uber even has helicopters!
A few Uber airport tips:
- The app will tell you where to meet your driver, and will say for instance ‘Meet at Door D2’ but you will only see the D markings from outside on the sidewalk; oddly, the doors are not marked inside the airport.
- When you get in the car, request that your driver take the route along the Promenade des Anglais, which will not only cost less than the highway but will be infinitely more scenic!
- Uber is the best way to get to the airport for early morning flights as there are lots of drivers out in the wee hours taking people home from bars and clubs.
For more on taking Uber in Nice, click here for my Uber page.
Taking a Private Car (VTC’s) from the Nice Airport
A private car service costs a bit more than 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 45€ to Nice (20% more at night and on Sundays), has an excellent reputation, and is exceedingly reliable and professional. You can book through the website, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them at +33 6 99 16 22 33. And please mention that you heard about them from Best of Nice!
Catching a Train from the Nice Airport
Just take the tramway to the first stop Grand Arenas (which is free, no tram ticket required) then look right. There’s the elevator to take you and your luggage up to the train platform for the Nice Saint-Augustin train stop. From here it is just one quick stop (3 minutes) to the main Nice-Ville station where you can catch trains to just about anywhere.
Taking a Local Bus from the Nice Airport
There is absolutely no advantage to taking the local bus unless the tramway is not running for some reason.
Walk out to the Promenade des Anglais to catch the local bus #12. It will cost 3.70€ if you buy it from the ticket machine (2€ for the rechargeable -and refundable!- card, plus 1.70€ for the ride) or 4€ if you buy it from the bus driver when you board. Walk through the parking lot in Terminal 1 to the Promenade des Anglais then look for the bus stop, and don’t forget to flag the bus down or it might not stop. Bus #12 comes by every 15 minutes or so, and will take you to the Promenade hotels, Place Masséna, and the Old Town, ending at Place Garibaldi. And don’t forget that your bus ticket is good on all buses and trams for an hour and 15 minutes.
How to get to Cannes from the Nice Airport
- Express Bus: The Cannes Express Bus #81 leaves the airport from Terminal 2 every 45 minutes, costs 19€ (or 38€ round trip), takes the freeway and gets you there in about 45 minutes, dropping you off at the Port. You can even buy your ticket online.
- Local Bus: If you are long on time and short on money, you can also take the Bus #620 for just 2.10€ (buy your ticket from the driver). You catch it at the stop Aeroport/Promenade, which is just outside the airport and across the busy boulevard (so bus heading west); a 5 minute walk from terminal 1 door A1. It passes roughly every 30 minutes (flag it down or it might not stop) and then steel yourself for a long, winding, and not particularly scenic trip with over 50 stops over at least 90 minutes (or more if lots of traffic) ultimately dropping you off at the Cannes Train Station. Not recommended.
- Train: Take any tramway leaving the airport to the first stop outside the airport, Grand Arenas. If you get off at this first stop you don’t need a tram ticket, it’s free. Now look right and there’s the elevator to take you and your luggage up to the train platform for the Nice Saint-Augustin train station. Here you can catch a train to Cannes which will cost around 8€ euros and take around 35 minutes.
- Taxi: A taxi from the airport to Cannes now has a new fixed rate of 85€ for up to 4 people, including luggage, and takes about 50 minutes (but can be twice that during high traffic periods like the Cannes Film Festival). A 5€ tip is appropriate. Note that you will probably have to pay in cash; Nice taxis are supposed to take cards, but their card machines are usually ‘broken’.
- Private Car Services: Be met just outside baggage claim by a professional English-speaking chauffeur in a suit holding a sign with your name. I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 110€ to Cannes (20% more for nights and Sundays), is very reliable, has all English-speaking drivers, and you can reserve and pay in advance on-line.
- Uber: 50-70€ from the airport to Cannes, depending on traffic.
- Helicopter: From May through October, forget the traffic… you can get to Cannes in 10 minutes by helicopter! It’s super-fun, really fast, and at 195€ per person for the mind-blowingly-beautiful ride, it is actually quite economical (time is money!) Reserve in advance and book online with Heli Air Monaco, or be spontaneous and click the Uber-copter option on the bottom of your Uber app when you arrive for immediate embarquement at the same price (…especially handy during transport strikes!) Upon landing, a transfer to your hotel is included in the price.
How to get to Monaco from the Nice Airport
- Express Bus: The Monaco Express Bus #80 leaves the airport from Terminal 2 every 30 minutes, is a super bargain at 19€ (or 38€ round trip), takes the freeway and gets you there in about 35 minutes.
- Train: Take any tramway leaving the airport to the first stop outside the airport, Grand Arenas, which is free, no ticket required. Now look right: There’s the elevator to take you and your luggage up to the train platform for the Nice Saint-Augustin train station. Here you can catch a train to Monaco which will cost around 4.50€ euros and take around 30 minutes.
- Uber: 45-60€ from the airport to Monaco, depending on traffic. 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!
- Taxi: A taxi from the airport to Monaco will cost a fixed rate 95€ for up to 4 people (including luggage) and takes 45 minutes (ask the driver to take the lower road for a wonderfully scenic drive). A 5€ tip is appropriate,
so make it a bill. Note that you will probably have to pay in cash; Nice taxis are supposed to take cards, but their card machines are usually ‘broken’. Interestingly, the return trip must be a Monaco taxi, and will run you at least 100€ (but they take credit cards and their card machines are never broken!) …So on the way back at least, why not have a little fun and take the helicopter: the price is just a little more!
- Private Car Services: For less than the cost of a taxi, you can be met by a professional English-speaking chauffeur holding a sign with your name just outside baggage claim. I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 110€ to Monaco (add 20% for nights and Sundays), is very reliable, has all English-speaking drivers, and you can reserve and pay in advance on-line.
- Helicopter: Treat yourself to a 7-minute thrill and arrive in Monaco like a rock star. Blade offers Nice-Monaco helicopter shuttle every half-hour for just 195€ a seat… And upon landing at the Monaco helipad they take you to your hotel by van (included in the price). For a family or group of 4-6, you can just charter the helicopter transfer for 750€ for a better deal. Especially useful during transport strikes!
To get to Antibes from the Nice Airport
- Express Bus: The Antibes/Golf Juan Express Bus #82 leaves the airport from Terminal 2 every 45 minutes, costs 9€ (or 18€ round trip), and gets you there in about 35 minutes.
- Local Bus: If you are long on time and short on money, you can also take the Bus #620 for just 2.10€ (buy your ticket from the driver). You catch it at the stop Aeroport/Promenade, which is just outside the airport and across the busy boulevard (so bus heading west); a 5 minute walk from terminal 1 door A1. It passes roughly every 30 minutes (flag it down or it might not stop) and gets you to Antibes in about 55 minutes (or more if lots of traffic). Not really recommended.
- Train: Take any tramway leaving the airport to the first stop outside the airport, Grand Arenas. If you get off at this first stop you don’t need a tram ticket, it’s free. Now look right: there’s the elevator to get to the train platform with your luggage. From here you can catch a train to Antibes which will cost around 5€ euros and take around 20 minutes.
- Uber: 35-50€ from the airport to Antibes, depending on traffic.
- Taxi: A taxi from the airport to Antibes will run you a fixed rate of 60€ for up to 4 people (including luggage) and takes about 30 minutes (Juan les Pins is 72€). A 2-3€ tip is appropriate but not necessary as it is a fixed rate. Note that you will probably have to pay in cash; Nice taxis are supposed to take cards, but their card machines are usually ‘broken’.
- Private Car Services: Be met by a professional English-speaking chauffeur holding a sign with your name just outside baggage claim. I recommend Friend in France which charges a flat fee of 90€ to Antibes, is very reliable, has all English-speaking drivers, and you can reserve and pay in advance on-line.
- Back up to main Go/Transport page