Coastal Trains Along the French Riviera 2024

Waves breaking on the coast as seen from the train window

Thirty charming train stations wait to tempt you along the coast, varying from tiny, to gorgeous (Villefranche- and Theoule-sur-mer), to mythic (Cannes, Monaco), to… well, Italy!

Here are the 2024 full-fare one-way train rates from Nice, plus how long each train ride takes:

  • Villefranche-sur-mer  2.10€, 5 minutes
  • Monaco  4.40€, 20 minutes
  • Ventimiglia, Italy 8.70€, 50 minutes

Going West:

  • Antibes  5.20€, 25 minutes
  • Cannes  7.90€, 40 minutes
  • Grasse   11.40€, 1 hour
  • Saint Raphael  13.90€, 50 minutes

Those are the regular prices, but for other train passes (day pass, week pass, family pass…) and other deals and discounts, click on my Train Tickets and Rail Passes page.

Train Schedules

Trainline App logoThe coastal trains go roughly every half hour in both directions until around 10pm (11pm to near midnight on weekends), but check the schedule here with TrainLine (in English) to be sure, especially for the smaller stations.

Using the Trainline link above is easiest, but just for reference, here are pdfs of the most up-to-date train schedules.

All trains going west automatically stop in NiceAntibes, and Cannes, and all trains going east automatically stop at Nice and Monaco.

Train station schedules in real-time app logoThe MaGare SNCF smartphone app is infinitely easier than the SNCF website: choose your train station and then with one click (‘see train schedules’) this app replicates the big board currently at the train station of your choice.   Great for when you want to know the timing of the next trains, during the frequent strikes, or if you’re late and want to know if you have to run.

The local trains don’t have wifi, but they do have electrical plugs next to the window seats, so you can at least charge and use your devices.

The Main Train Stops

Nice has 3 train stations: the main one is Nice-Ville which is also known in town as Gare Thiers, but there is also one on either side; Nice St Augustin near the airport, and Nice Riquier inland from the Port.  The Nice-Ville train station has free wifi and the tourist office is right outside.

Inside Monaco train station



After all the quaint train stations on the coast, the Monaco train station is a shock: a giant white marble cavern.   When you get off the train you have two choices:

  • Go down the the little stairs to get to the marble tunnel to the Port (where you can walk or bus to the Palace)
  • Or go up the big escalator to Monte Carlo via a series of escalators and elevators.  You will emerge from the train station to find yourself in what looks like the middle of nowhere, but just go left for a short 10-minute, mostly downhill, walk that will bring you to the top of Monte Carlo.

Your train ticket is good for 2€ off admission to the Monaco Oceanographic Museum.

Here is an itinerary for a day trip to Monaco with an interactive map, plus some Fascinating Facts about Monaco that will make your day even more interesting!  And if you’re not rich, check out my list of 30 ways to do Monaco on the Cheap.

Beaches on the Cannes Croisette


With everything in such close proximity to the train station, you can’t go wrong with a day trip to Cannes.  Go right for the budget shopping along rue Meynadier walking street, then the lovely morning Forville covered-market, and finally the tiny old town road that leads to a chapel and museum.  Or, go left from the train station an in one block for the designer boutiques of rue Antibes.  Or go straight to the seaside for the famous Cannes Film Festival Palais, the red carpet and famous handprints; stroll left along the Croisette with its grand hotels, or take a right to meander around the Port… in the corner you’ll find the little street leading uphill through the tiny Old Town (Le Suquet), and if you continue around, at the far end you’ll find the boats to explore those little islands that you see, the Iles des Lerins.


The train station is a 10-minute walk from the picturesque Old Town, but before you plunge into its captivating alleyways, first take a walk along the Port… keep going on the dock as far as you can, through each successive arch, then take the stairway to the top of the arches to see the rest.  They super yachts get bigger and bigger the farther you go, the most impressive collection you may ever see (and you can google their names to get the story on each one!)  Now go into the Old Town… has a great morning market, a not-to-be-missed Absynthe Bar and museum , and the wonderful seaside Picasso Museum.  Here are more ideas for a day trip to Antibes


Saint Raphael is the closest train station to very remote Saint Tropez. The Saint Raphael tourist office is just across from the train station, so once you arrive, just pop in, pick up a boat schedule and map, and if you have a little time to kill, get them to point you to the daily morning market.  Saint Raphael is a little bit what Nice and Cannes might have looked like 100 years ago, and is worth taking a little time to explore.  From here you can also take the one-hour boat to Saint Tropez which runs every couple of hours from April through October.

Train to Italy

Ventimiglia, ItalyThere are so many things to do in a day trip to Italy, but one of the big draws is the all-day Ventimiglia Friday Market: just walk out of the train station and in minutes you’re in the thick of it.  On Tuesday and Saturday mornings (until 1pm) you can find the same stuff tucked into the winding alleyways of the charming village of Sanremo.  or on Thursday morning on the seaside in Bordighera.  It’s very fun, but watch out for pickpockets!

Smaller Coastal Train Stations worth a stop

There are thirty little train stations between Italy and Saint-Raphael, with Nice right in the middle, and some of the overlooked smaller ones have the most to offer…

  • Roquebrune for the gorgeous family-oriented pebbly/sandy public beach Plage de la Buse with beachside bar, snack bar, and restaurant tucked right into the cove.
  • Cap d’Ail for Mala Plage, a stunningly beautiful cliff-backed setting with a large public beach and 2 luxurious private beaches where you can get waited on hand-and-foot.  Popular with the Monaco crowd.
  • Eze-sur-mer  for the narrow pebbly Adjuna beach is popular with yachties and has a lively vibe and almost always live music.
  • Beaulieu-sur-Mer for the charming village, casino, and family-friendly Petite Afrique beach… this one even has a jellyfish protection net!  A short walk gets you to Villa Kerlyos, and the start of the famous walk around the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, with peeks at millionaires mansions, Paloma Beach (named after Picasso’s daughter), and if you continue farther past the beach and around the point, a well-maintained trail with wind swept views and hidden villas.
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer, one of the most picturesque villages on the French Riviera, with a mysterious hidden street that runs through the town, rue Obscure. At the seaside you can visit the the tiny Chapel painted inside by the artist Jean Cocteau, and the crescent-shaped public beach makes for a lovely beach day.
  • Juan-les-Pins Hang with the in-crowd on pricy private beaches with fine smooth sand, or a walk around the Cap d’Antibes peninsula to La Garoupe beach, where F. Scott Fitzgerald used to summer and set his book Tender is the Night.
  • Mandelieu-la-Napoule for an adorable tiny town and a surprising seaside castle/museum, the Chateau la Napoule.
  • Théoule-sur-Mer where a short hike down the red-hued cliffs rewards you with the most beautiful wild, secluded, and untouched beaches on the Riviera, and the Plage de l’Aiguille was voted the Best Beach on the Riviera in the Nice-Matin.

Head inland to Grasse

From the Cannes train station there is an offshoot track that goes another 20 minutes inland to Grasse, the perfume capital of the world.  You can do a lovely day trip to Grasse, even taking the train one way and the bus for your return.

See Related Pages:  

Back up to main Train Page

Photo credits: View from Train Window, and Monaco Train Station by Best of Nice;  Cannes Croisette by Bledard92, Ventimiglia by Gilber Bochenek, both licensed under Creative Commons.  

Comments are closed.