Biking in Nice

Rent a bike and cruise Nice’s miles of bike trails on your own, or with a bike tour, or even with the new easy-to-use self-service share bikes… then finish in one of Nice’s coolest cycle-cafés.

Bike lanes in NiceDuring the Covid confinement, the city of Nice took advantage of the fact that no one could go out… and just went wild creating painted and protected bike lanes all over town.

Now, Nice is literally crisscrossed with yellow bike lanes, the most beautiful of which is the seaside bike path that traces the entire length of the Promenade des Anglais, continuing all the way to Cagnes-sur-mer, and from the airport you can even go far inland following the banks of the Var river.  

  • Insider tip: As tempting as it is, technically it is illegal to ride on the tram tracks, and from time to time the police make a big show of writing a bunch of tickets (135€!), so glide down that sweet pristine tram track at your own risk!  Same fine for biking on the sidewalks, but with so many bike paths cris-crossing the town, there is no need.  Other rules to be aware of: no earbuds or phone use… so don’t take that rolling selfie!

To find the closest trail or plan a ride, just go to Google Maps, touch the ‘layers’ icon, and tap Cycling and you can see the full network of bike trails.   You will see that you can pretty much go in every direction

To get more ideas, check out this super website EpicRoadRides which gives a selection of great rides including all details, pictures, and maps.  Another good one is BikeMap.net… between the two of them you will be spoiled with choice!

Map of NoloBici bike rentals in Italy

There are lots of easy seaside routes, but one of the most interesting is just over the border in Italy. Just take the train from Nice to Italy and rent cruiser or electric bicycles in Sanremo, then pedal down the Italian coast on a flat, peaceful, and uncrowded bike path that goes for 24 km (15 miles), with gorgeous scenery and lots of beachside restaurants to stop at along the way.  In Sanremo, just head down to the beach path where you’ll find NoloBici bike rentals; they are super friendly and helpful, have cruiser bikes and electric bikes, and have locations in all the little towns along the coast.

Café Culture in Nice

Go hang out in one of Nice’s cool cycle cafés, where you can not only rent a bike, but also meet like-minded adventurers and share tips and itineraries.

Cycling cafe in Old Nice

In old Nice try the Service Course Café, a specialty coffee house with tapas, plus custom bikes, rentals, and a curated selection of premium cycling products.  A veritable ‘hub’ for cyclists, they organize group rides and social events, including regular Sunday rides. 1 Rue de l’Ancien Sénat, just off the top of Cours Saleya; open every day.  Tram stop Cathédrale.

At the far end of the Port you’ll find Café du Cycliste, a loft-like bikers hang-out/café/boutique/bike repair and storage.  16 Quai des Docks, tram stop Port Lympia.

Another good address for veloists is Bicicletta on 9 rue Defly which doesn’t have a café, but does specialize in stylized bike art, curious biking accessories, and vintage bicycle souvenirs.  Tram stop Garibaldi.

And if you are here in March, don’t miss the colorful seaside Prom finish of the famous Paris-Nice bike race!

Nice’s Self-Service Electric Share Bikes 

Nice has two new fleets of easy-to-use share bikes!  In all, there are 2000 bikes, 90% electric, and you can use them not just in Nice, but in the adjoining towns as well.  They are easy to use, modern and well-maintained, and anyone can use them, locals and tourists alike.  The bikes are available in designated zones, mostly where the clunky old Velo Bleu docking stations used to be.

The main differences between the two fleets are that the blue Pony e-bikes are made for 2 riders, with a comfortable rear passenger seat and footholds.  The Lime green bikes are just for one rider and have a big handy basket on the handlebars.   Also, for purists, Pony has a few classic muscle-powered bikes mixed into its fleet as well.

Both companies work exactly the same way:

  • Download the Lime and/or Pony app to your phone (both available in English) and register a payment method
  • Find the nearest bikes on the online map, with battery charge noted in kilometers
  • Reserve your chosen bike for 10 minutes so no one else can snake it before you get there
  • Walk up to your bike, scan its QR code with your phone to unlock it, and start your ride
  • The ride ends (and the timer stops) when you park the bike in one of the designated zones.  Nothing to do, the bike just knows, but take a photo anyway.

Both Lime and Pony start with single-trip prices of 1€ plus a few centimes per minute (.19 for Pony, .23 for Lime), then offer discount deals by the day/week/month: Pony’s are based on number of trips, and Lime’s are based on cumulative minutes.   Between the two companies, there is an offer to fit every user. 

Pony app logoHere are all the choices for Pony:

  • Single-trip: 1€ plus 19 cents per minute 
  • 2-trips in a day: 3€ for 2 trips in a day, max 25 minutes each
  • Day rate: 9€ for 5 trips in a day, max 25 minutes each
  • Week rate: 19€ for 5 trips every day for a week (25 min each)
  • Month rate: 39€ for 5 trips every day for a month (25 min each)
  • Muscle-powered classic bikes have a fixed rate of 1.50€/half-hour

Lime app logoHere are all the choices for Lime:

  • Single-trip: 1€ plus 23 cents per minute 
  • Day rate: 3.60€ for 30 minutes, good for 24-hours
  • 3-day rate: 8€ for 60 minutes, good for 3 days
  • Week rate: 23€ for 200 minutes, good for 1 week
  • Month rate: 32€ for 300 minutes (5 hours), good for 1 month

Besides these packages, there are additional discounts for students, and yearly tram pass holders.

Where to Rent a Bike in Nice

If you just want to rent a well-maintained bike the easy way, just pop into one of the many local bike rental shops and get a bike by the day or week, starting at 15€ a day for a basic model.  The big plus here, besides the ease, is that you choose a bike tailored to your needs (city cruiser, mountain bike, electric bike, or racer), and it will be professionally adjusted to fit your body type.  Most rentals include helmets and liability insurance, and you have someone to call if problems arise.   Here are some reliable rental shops with websites in English:

  • Holland Bikes on 3 rue Blacas near Nice Etoile (high quality and less crowded)
  • MobilBoard 5 rue Halevy, behind Hotel Meridien 
  • Bike Trip 21 rue Rivoli behind the Negresco
  • Booking Bikes at 9 Rue Massenet
  • Roller Station at 49 Quai des Etats-Unis, on the seaside of Old Nice 

Guided Bike Tours

Nice Cycle Tours  offers a 3-hour Nice sightseeing tour in English, which includes the bike rental, helmet, a drink, and a lively guide.

French Riviera eBike Tour  Hit the road for some great views, a medieval hilltop fort, surprising stories, and the most beautiful little town on the coast, and best of all the e-bike does all the work! 

eBike the Vineyard Tour Explore the wine region above Nice on electric bikes! The 5-6 hur trip includes a private Bellet vineyard tour, a wine tasting, and time to picnic amongst the vines.

All three of these can be booked at A Taste of Nice, 9 Rue Colonna d’Istra, next to Marinette restaurant in the Old Town; tram stop Opera.  +33 9 86 65 75 17

Holland Bikes does more European-style Nice city tours on Dutch bikes.  2 Rue Blacas, tram stop Massena.

For cycling tours along the Riviera that are a little more intense, check out Azur Cycling Tours.

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