While the French Riviera boosts luxury and style... getting there cannot be easier with buses starting at $1 and trains from $16. The second most popular touristic destination of France is well equiped to help their guests move around comfortably as well with free tramways and trains ran by the local railway agency "" connecting their main cities from $6. For locations outside the reach of trains, buses are plenty, Uber is not expensive, and Mozio is a good alternative for prebooked rides. Be prepared to tour this area in style with limousines, yachts, and helicopters too. The French Riviera caters to all needs.
French Riviera Key Information
The French Riviera (or in French, Côte d'Azur) extends from St. Tropez to Menton (next to the Italian border). Its main cities are Nice, Antibes, Cannes, St. Tropez, and Monaco. However, some people may argue that it starts at Marseille instead of St. Tropez. In any case, while the main cities are the chosen spots for staying, there are many other villages (small and not so) that offer their own charm.
The tricky part
Moving in between cities can be a bit of a hassle if you plan not to use the train. While the majority of the surrounding cities are small enough where you'll be able to walk from the train station, some locations like Eze, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, and Grasse present a much longer walk. It is recommended to either take a bus from Nice with if you want to visit Eze (bear in mind you want to go to Eze Village and not Eze-sur-Mer) or Saint-Paul-de-Vence. For Grasse it is better to take a train to get there and then a bus from the train station to the village.
Getting to The French Riviera
Arriving in The French Riviera is fairly simple. Most commercial airlines fly straight into Nice Côte d'Azur Airport from all international points ranging from America to Asia.
By car, you can arrive from the west taking the A8 Autoroute (highway), from the Italy on the east via the SS1 or SS20 highways, and from Geneva on the north (through Aosta in Italy crossing the Mont Blanc tunnel, or through Grenoble on the A8 highway).
Ferries are also available between the port of Nice and Corsica with , Sardinia, Sicily, and the Balearic Islands starting at $75 (69€) or locally to Monaco ($42.85 / 39.50€), Cannes ($45 / 41.50€), and Saint Tropez ($74 / 68€). More information at .
How to get from Nice to:
- Antibes and Juan-les-Pins: The most cost-effective way to get to this area, best-known for its port and lively night scene, is by train. The station is walking distance from the port and old town of Antibes and and city center of Juan-les-Pins and a round-trip ticket will cost $11 (10€). An Uber ride from Nice costs approximately $49 (45€).
- Cannes: Perfectly located in the heart of town, the recently renovated train station of Cannes offers a quick access to this lavish city. A return ticket from Nice will cost $15.60 (14.40€). An Uber ride from Nice costs approximately $70 (65€).
- Saint-Tropez: Getting to this iconic town can be a bit of a struggle if you're on a budget or do not count with a vehicle to get there. You can take a boat with from Nice for $73.50 (68€) per person the round trip. You get to experience the wonderful French Riviera from its deep blue waters while admiring the coastal cities. Looking to get there in real Saint-Tropez style? There are Helicopters (, , ) that perform the route there from Monaco, Nice, or Cannes. Prices start at $1242 (1150€). An Uber ride from Nice costs approximately $205 (190€).
The Frugal Option
If your budget is tighter, bus fares with start at $1 (0.99€) from Lyon, Montpellier, or Bordeaux, $31.50 (28.99€) from Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, or Frankfort, and many other main cities of continental Europe.
Private Transfer Options
There are a number of private options to hire in Nice Airport. From private cars with driver, taxis, or on demand services (Uber). The cost of a ride with a private sedan starts at $75 while an Uber ride will start at approximately $28. A middle ground option would be to take a taxi for approximately $45 making it an interesting option to save time and gain convenience.
The Mozio Recommendation
If you're on a budget, use public transportation which offers a comfortable service with good frequencies for a very low price ($2 per person per ride).
If you wish comfort without breaking the piggy bank, use Uber for a moderate fee (starting at $20). If you're looking for an experience according to the famous French Riviera, treat yourself to a private ride in a sedan with chauffeur starting at $75.
Moving AROUND The French Riviera
You'll find public transport in the French Riviera to be very convenient while cost effective. Their network of and offer a vast number of combinations that allow you to arrive to the most remote spots without breaking your budget. Uber is also available for those night outings bearing in mind public transport is only available between 6am and 10pm (12am on the weekend).
The Frugal Option
There are three train stations in Nice. The main one, Nice Ville situated downtown with access to the tramway line, Nice Saint-Agustin close to the airport and right next to Saint-Laurent-du-Var, and Nice Riquier close to the port of Nice and the old part of town. They connect the rest of the Cote d'Azur with one station in every important city. All trains in France are operated by . Their App allows you to check the times of trains as well as the prices of tickets or buying your ticket online.
If you're at a station with multiple platforms, make sure you differenciate between TER trains and TGV trains as the price is different from them. Unless you're traveling long distance you may want to stick to TER trains which are less expensive. International railway companies such as Thello from Italy also stop at the main stations (Cannes, Antibes, Nice Ville, Monaco).
While they are not common, there are some express trains which will bypass some stations such as Juan-les-Pins and Biot but stop at main stations such as Antibes and Cannes.
Nice to Menton: $5.97 / 5.50€
Nice to Monaco: $4.45 / 4.10€
Nice to Cagnes-sur-Mer: $3.45 / 3.10€
Nice to Antibes: $5.21 / 4.80€
Nice to Cannes: $7.81 / 7.20€
Nice to Grasse: $11.28 / 10.40€
Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available In This Resort?
Car Rental Options
Well know brands of car rentals are available in Nice. Amongst them we count Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Budget, EuropCar, National, Thirfty. The first three agencies have branches in Antibes, Cannes, and Saint Tropez where you can drop off your vehicle picked up in Nice. One of the attractives of the area is certainly to rent a convertible vehicle and ride along the seaside with the hood down feeling the cool fresh air of the mediterranean sea brush against your hair. Renting a vehicle allows you to stay independent from public transportation. However, finding a parking spot is the biggest tradeoff of this option. Parking in the French Riviera is usually expensive (starting at $1.10/1€ per hour) and in high demand (find your parking spot before there's nowhere left to park). As city parking controls are conducted by a private entity, they are very efficient at checking the vehicles that run out of time on their parking meters or parked in a forbidden area.
Day Trips Around The French Riviera
To get to Menton from Nice (or any of the adjoining cities) the best choice is to take the train which leaves you at a walking distance (0.4 mls / 700 mts) from the Downtown area and the beach. The train ticket from Nice will cost approximately $5.94 (5.50€) per person (one way). An Uber ride will cost approximately $68 (63€).
From Nice, taking the train to Monaco is probably the best option. The main train station will leave you 0.5 miles (750 mts) from Monte Carlo or 1.4 miles (2.2km) from the Old Town (The Rock). If you want to profit from the French Riviera, a unique way to make this trip more memorable would be to get there by boat. Trans Côte d'Azur offers two departures from Nice port for $42.67 (39.50€) per person the round trip. An Uber ride from Nice costs approximately $53 (49€).
One thing that you must take into account is that Eze is spread across the mountain. The train station is the safe option if you want to go to the beach at Eze... However, if you're looking to visit the amazing medieval village of Eze, you want to take a that drops you off right there. The climb from the Eze train station to the village is very steep. Take the 82 bus line from the Rue Barla (stops Bavastro or Boyer). An Uber ride from Nice costs approximately $35 (32€).
The Villefranche-sur-Mer train station is walking distance from the sandy beach of Villefranche-sur-Mer (one of the favourites in the area). Bear in mind the village is built along the mountain so be prepared to climb endless stairs on winding narrow passages of this ancient place. An Uber ride from Nice costs approximately $25 (23€).
To get to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat you can take the train from Nice and stop at Beaulieu sur mer. It is not a far walk from the train station to the cape and the terrain is flat. Once you're closer, you can as for a free ride to the Villa Rothschild if you were planning on visiting their lavish gardens. Otherwise, you can take the Line 15 from Rue Arson (stop Barla) to the stop Passable / Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. An Uber ride from Nice costs approximately $30 (28€).
There's no cheap direct way to get to the lovely artistic village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. The most cost-effective way would be to take the train to Cros-de-Cagnes and an Uber from the train station. A direct Uber ride from Nice costs approximately $31 (29€).