Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Tour Cote d'Azur with public transportation?

Tour Cote d'Azur with public transportation?

Old Apr 7th, 2005, 07:46 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 56
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tour Cote d'Azur with public transportation?

How easy it to get to different cities via train or bus? We are staying in Nice and would like to visit Cannes, Monaco, maybe St. Tropez during our visit and wondering if this possible without renting a car. We wanted to rent a car, but most of the rental cars are manual transmission, and we do not know how to drive those (auto trans is a lot more expensive). One friend who had visited, say that the train are very far from the city center and it's rather difficult to get around without a car... is this true?
swiggle75 is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2005, 08:09 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,093
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The main train station (Nice Ville) is a mile north of the beach area of town in the center of the city. You should be able to walk between the beach and the train station easily in 15 or 20 minutes. Don't know what hotel you will use so wherever it is you can figure it will be less than 15 minutes to the station. By train in less than an hour you can go to Ventimiglia, Italy, Menton, Monte Carlo, Eze sur Mer, Beauliew sur Mer, Villefranche sur Mer, Cagnes Sur Mer, Antibes, and Cannes. St Tropez is not on the rail line and is too far away from Nice for a daytrip anyway. The mountain train line between Nice and Cuneo, Italy: in less than 1 1/2 hours you can do Peillion, Peille, Briel sur Roya, Tendre. By bus from Nice in less than an hour you can do St Paul de Vence, Vence, Eze Village, Grasse etc. You don't need a car to do the Cote d'Azur and do it well.

Have fun.
Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 12:54 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In summer, you can also get along the coast by boat. There are several operators including www.trans-cote-azur.com who have trips from Nice to St-Tropez and other places.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 08:24 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 56
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, Thank you so much for your help!! We will be staying at the Splendid in Nice. It sounds like touring to neighboring cities is easy with train, bus or boat! One question is, if I do take one of these modes of transportation, does it drop me off close to the center of town? I'd hate to take a train and then have to walk 5 miles just to get to the center of these towns.
Also, Larry, you mention a lot of cities to visit a lot of them I have not heard of. Can you help me by telling me which one are a must to visit?
swiggle75 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:08 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,667
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It really depends on where you want to visit. However, a "standard" trip around cote d'azur does not require a car, nor would i want a car. we combined a trip to provence hills with cote d'azur and returned the car just before our stay in nice. all of the places you mention are very easily accessable by train...except for St Tropez which is quite remote. A boat is recommended for St Tropez. St tropez is also not very accessable by car because of the horrible traffic in this area (they keep it inaccessable on purpose). also, the good beaches in st tropez not close to the city centre and public transport is not very good within St tropez. i suspect that this is the only place where you will find it difficult to get to and to get around. in my opinion, it is not really worth the hassle unless it was one of those places that you've always wanted to visit. The boat trip is nice and minimises the hassle. I don't care for Cannes. Nice is great.
walkinaround is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:09 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,527
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think the Splendid is near Old Nice at the end of the promenade, correct? If so you might want to investigate taking a bus to Antibes. We walked up to the train station and took the train to Antibes - I think there is a bus station at the edge of Old Nice that would have been much more convenient. But I think you will do fine using public transportation - in some ways having a car can be problematic - parking can be difficult and you may get around quicker by train as traffic can get intense. Have a great trip! and if you enjoy art, be sure to check out the Chagall museum in Nice, very nice. SueC1
suec1 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:11 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 23,188
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can certainly get around without a car, but having one makes getting to some of the sights a lot easier. Many towns and villages are accesible by bus or train, but then you're dependent on their schedules, not yours. Have you checked rental prices on AutoEurope?
Underhill is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:25 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm not sure I'd agree about the rental car deal. Sure there are a few places where having a car makes it easier, but you already have too many places to choose from that are not only easy by car -- they are EASIER. If you've ever searched for a place to park in some of those coastal towns, you'll know what I mean. We've often had a car in Nice, but left it parked to take the train to places like Monaco, Antibes, Beaulieu, and others. There are very frequent and easy trains to all those places and you end up very convenient to the center with no parking worries or being stuck in traffic if it is the height of "season".
Patrick is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:34 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,343
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have to agree with the other posters who recommend AGAINST having a car in Nice. From what I've seen, it's a real pain in the neck trying to park and travel by car during the busy summer season.

The Hotel Splendid is not far from the train station ( I think it's all the way down Rue Meyerbeer?) and you can either train it to most of the places you'll want to see ( Cannes, Antibes, Monaco) or take the bus ( St. Paul de Vence in one direction, Eze in the other).

My top recommendation for towns to see in the area would definitely be St. Paul de Vence, then Eze. St. Paul de Vence is a lovely town to wander in ( lots of boutiques, shops, art galleries, etc) and has beautiful views of the valley below. Eze has spectacular views, but less of a town.

Have a great time!
Weadles is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:36 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,343
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
By the way, most of the time the train or bus will drop you off pretty much in the city center, or if not, only a 10-15 minute walk away.
Weadles is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:39 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And just for confusion, the train will take you to Eze sur Mer, but it is a huge climb up to the village. If you want to see the "perched" town of Eze, be sure to take the bus, not the train.

Incidentally, that's a place we drove. We circled parking lots for a good half hour trying to find somebody leaving so we could get a parking space. Meanwhile we saw two busses come and drop off their passengers, who were immediately up in the village while we were still circling like vultures in our car.
Patrick is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:49 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 23,188
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was NOT recommending a car in Nice, but I suppose you'd have to have one there to have it available for touring the outlying regions. So back to public transport.

For a horror story, check out the Ombudsman column in the current Condé Nast Traveler. Some pour soul rented a car in the Caribbean, returned it as directed to the agency's parking lot for holding while he was on another island, and returned to find that the car had been rented to someone else. Then, to add insult to injury, he was charged for the entire rental. Very nasty.
Underhill is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 10:51 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 56
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh wow!! Thank you so much for all your input!! I feel a lot more comfortable knowing I don't have to have a car there. I guess I'll just cross St. Tropez off my list. Since Hotel Splendid seems close to the train (yes it is on meyerbeer) we'll do just that. Also, since we are only there for 3 days, we'll have to limit where which cities we can visit. Sounds like there are various ways to get to places. Incidentally, on AutoEurope, the cheapest tiny car was $228 US/ day. Thank you all for your help!
swiggle75 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 11:20 AM
  #14  
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You don't mention when you are traveling. If during the peak July & August, driving can be a pain, as is finding parking. That said, if traveling in June or September, consider a car. The reason you are getting such high prices is because of the "3-days only" - prices are cheaper by the week, even for an automatic. We've been known to rent for a week, even if we only needed a car for 3 to 5 days. It's just cheaper that way.

But the train is doable to most places along the Cote d'Azur except where indicated above - St. Tropez (go by boat) and Eze (which is better by bus). If using the train, check for the "pass" that allows you to get on/off as many times in any given day. Though we've always had a car, friends have used the train pass and it worked well.

I would suggest you stop at the bookstore and pick up at least one guidebook for the Cote d'Azure so you have some background on places you would be visiting and whether they are of interest to you. What interest some, doesn't for others.
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
moki
Europe
6
Aug 24th, 2010 07:37 AM
justbronwyn
Europe
7
Dec 28th, 2009 12:37 AM
lovegolf
Europe
5
May 28th, 2007 09:21 AM
Chelsea1479
Europe
17
Dec 5th, 2005 08:57 PM
avidtraveler
Europe
5
Jun 17th, 2005 05:03 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:09 AM.