Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   public transportation in cote d'azur (

marisak20 Mar 5th, 2008 11:45 AM

public transportation in cote d'azur
I'll be spending 5 days based out of Nice and traveling around to various towns/villages in Cote D'Azur. Going East, the places of interest (not to say we'll hit them all, but we'll see) are Villefranche, Eze, Menton and Monte Carlo. West is Grasse, Entrevaux, Antibes and Biot. I've been trying to look through the various forms of public transportation. Most people say the bus is best, but after an online search of Sunbus I can't find any information. I looked also at the Ligne d'azur website but I don't think they go to Monaco. Do you need to take a train to Monaco? The bus is really cheap, but with so many stops I'm wondering how long it really would take to get to a destination.

Does anyone have any experience or wisdom on train vs. bus, and also the best way to get from Nice to Monte Carlo?

Thank you!

PalenQ Mar 5th, 2008 11:54 AM

Hop the train to places on the coastal train line which has frequent shuttle trains (Cote d'Azur metro some call it) - this includes Antibes, Monte Carlo/Monaco, Villefranche, Menton and Grasse (change trains in Cannes to a newly reopened branch line to Grasse)

other ones are best by buses

In fact i believe that buses don't duplicate the train line but not sure

Frequent buses to all those places

Eze and Biot have train stations but the stations are a long uphill trek to the towns themselves - though if you want to duplicate Neitschke's hikes from seaside to Eze along what is now dubbed the Philosopher's Trail - a shockingly steep path and stairs it's possible - or take bus up and walk down.

Investigate one day or longer travel passes on the train at least that may be sold locally

PalenQ Mar 5th, 2008 12:24 PM

a neat day trip i did by bus was to go to Vence, a neat old town that is not quite as mobbed as its more famous neighbor St Paul-de-Vence

but i walked the short distance between the two on a lovely path that came out in St Paul by the Maeght Foundation (sp?) with its art museum and neat outdoor statue park

then walked into ancient St Paul and took the bus back down to the coastal train line though the bus also goes back to Nice

sglass Mar 5th, 2008 08:06 PM

I used both the trains and bus for a week and a half, based in Villefranche, and it was very easy to do. The exception was Entrevaux- I had trouble getting the schedule ahead of time and didn't realize the small train station would be difficult to find from the main station in Nice. It is about ten minutes, sort of, but there was construction that made it confusing-to make it in one unrushed day you really have to get the first one of the morning (about 9?); which we missed by several minutes- so we did the Matisse museum (incredible!)and three hours later returned. Frankly I was a little disappointed in the train- which toodled for what seemed a very long time through the outer sort of strip mall-y suburbs of Nice with many stops. Then it got prettier, but not far enough to look like the Alps! Entrevaux was delightful, but it turned out the couple hours we had there were plenty, just time for lunch and a brief wandering. Services are pretty non- existent at the tiny station; just a sort of porta potty and small shelter.

The return train was quite late and quite packed.

So public transport is easy! Some of it is easier to just figure out when you arrive and can actually look at all the schedules. I planned carefully according to which museums were open which days. I also combined Vence and St Paul de Vence in one day trip.

A tip I got here was that you can walk from just past Villefranche to Monaco- that was fabulous! Then take the train or bus back.

PalenQ Mar 6th, 2008 03:34 AM

The 'Ligne Digne' aka Chemins de Fer de Provence (sp?) is a delightful narrow-gauge mountain train that climbs from Nice into the hinterlands of the Alpes Maritime - a sleepy version of Provence more often portrayed in maudlin books like Toujours Provence.

Anyway it's a wonderful ride with great scenery and Entrevaux, along with Annot, are two dusty Provencal towns worth exploring.

The train leaves from a small station a tad north of the main Nice-Ville station - yes hidden away behind the facade of an old station.

AKA the Train des Peignes this is a great day trip away from the glitzy Riviera

LowCountryIslander Mar 6th, 2008 05:21 AM

Great information in this post. I'll be in Nice for 6 days in October and have just started researching how to get around. Looks like it will be easy to do day trips without a car.

Eze Mar 7th, 2008 12:26 AM

I live in Eze (seaside not village).
If you stay in Nice, close to the train station, take the train. Roughly 16 minutes trip. Very nice landscape during the trip. Easy and confortable.
If you stay in Nice, closer to the center than the railways station, take the bus at Gare routière.
Here is the link to Bus site (in french) :
cost of the ride from Nice to Monaco : one euro. Ride roughly 40 minutes depending on the trafic. You should find all the requested details on above mentioned link. There are no buses by late evening but trains yes.

peteram Mar 7th, 2008 01:08 PM

Have stayed in Nice a number of times, have used both train and bus for sight seeing. Bus is best and much cheaper - euro 1.30 Nice to Menton or any of the towns in between including Monaco, same for other direction to Cannes. Very frequent - every 20 mins. Bus ligne 100 as far as menton, ligne 200 other way. All busses start from Gare Routier. Time tables on Ligne D'Azur site. better to get bus at gare to be sure of a seat. get off at first stop in Monaco to see castle and cathederal. take mini train down from catheredal to get super tour of city.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:56 PM.