Tram 2 Between Nice Airport and Central Nice

Why sit in traffic when you can easily arrive by tram within a half hour?

UPDATE 11/12/23

Below is an accurate description of how to use Tram 2 to get from the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport to Central Nice. However, we no longer recommend this mode of transportation for airport arrival, especially for travelers who are not familiar with Nice and it’s public transportation system. Pickpockets have identified travelers purchasing tickets at the airport machines as easy targets. They will commonly pose as individuals offering to help with the purchase. Then, before you know it, your wallet with all your credit cards, cash, and possibly passport have disappeared. Additionally, since a program update in July 2023, the new system of ticketing for the Tram is more expensive, cumbersome, and confusing. We believe the possibility of becoming a victim of theft during your first moments in Nice is simply not worth the risk, hassle, and nominal cost savings.

Taxi ranks are located at both Terminals 1 and 2. The fixed rate from the airport to Central Nice is 32 €. While not required, it is common to simply pay 35 €, providing the driver with at 3 € tip. This is the mode of transfer from the Airport we now recommend.

That being said, if you are still interested to learn about Tram 2 between the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport and Central Nice, please read on…

Tram 2 in Nice, France

There is a lot to love about the Riviera. Sun, sea, a lively historic center, wonderful cafes, and a stunning beach-side promenade are but a few. One of the lesser-known things we love is how easy it is to get between Nice Airport and central Nice, France. In 2019 Nice celebrated the opening of Tram 2, the newest edition of the city’s ever-expanding, sleek and modern public transportation system. The Tram 2 stop is literally steps from baggage claim exit. The Jean Médecin station is in the heart of Nice. It couldn’t be easier.

Running east to west through downtown Nice, Tram 2 serves Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and terminates at Port Lympia. Fast, clean, and affordable, the full trip between the airport and the port takes less than a half hour. While in Nice for a Blue Walk France tour, we were able to use the tram shortly after it’s opening. Convenient and well-signed, Tram 2 immediately became our favorite way to get between Nice Airport and central Nice.  

The Jean Médecin Station, located at the corner of Avenue Jean Médecin and Boulevard Victor Hugo, is the main stop for downtown Nice. From here it is only a short walk or Uber ride to Nice Old Town, coastal Promenade des Anglais, Nice-ville train station, and most hotels. You may also easily transfer to Tram 1 from this station. 

TIP: While on the go, we usually use the Google Maps app on our smart phones for wayfinding. We find it to be easy to use and generally accurate. (To use it from the airport you will need to already have data set up on your phone.) First, simply enter the terminal you are in (probably Terminal 2 if arriving from North America). Next, enter your destination (probably your hotel). Then, be sure to select the public transit tab to get directions using the tram. The app will map out the tram line, schedule, what stop to get off on, and walking directions for your destination.

Google Maps can be used in driving, public transit, bicycling, walking, and even ride-share mode. If you’d like to see the time and cost to use a ride share such as Uber, select the Ride Share mode. If you are not familiar with using Maps for public transit, here’s a quick tutorial

Tram 2 Schedule Between Nice Airport and Central Nice

The Lignes d’Azur trams run 7 days a week from 5am until midnight. Weekdays from 7:30am to 8:00pm trams run every 4-5 minutes. On Saturdays trams arrive every 5-6 minutes between 7:00am and 8:00pm. Sunday trams run every 8-9 minutes between 8:00am and 9:00pm. Generally speaking, during regular daytime hours waiting times are short – less than 10 minutes. During operating hours waits should never be longer than 15-20 minutes in the early morning and late evening. 

The Lignes d’Azur website has a scheduler to check specific times and dates. 

 

Buying Your Ticket

 

To/From Nice Airport 

At the Nice airport, tram stops are located just outside of the terminal. There, vending machines are available to purchase an Airport Round-trip ticket for 10€. Similar to an ATM, the interface is available in multiple languages, including English. The machines only take credit cards with chips or Euro coins. Swipe cards or bills are not accepted.

The Airport round-trip ticket is valid for a round trip from and to the Airport with connections for 74 minutes (except lines with specific pricing). This ticket can be reloaded with Airport round-trips only. It is not possible to purchase a one-way only airport ticket.

The Budget Alternative

If 10€ is more than you want to pay to get to Nice from the airport, there is an alternative. It is possible to take Tram 2 from the airport to central Nice for as little as 3.70€. It’s less convenient, especially after a long flight, but it is not particularly difficult.

There is no cost to take Tram 2 from the airport terminals to Grand Arénas, which is the first tram station outside of the airport. From there you may purchase the required rechargable pass (2€) and a single trip ticket (1.70€). You will have to get off the tram, purchase the ticket, and then get back on the next tram.

Finding the Tram Between Nice Airport and Central Nice

 

Tram 2 station map. (Jesmar [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

It is important to get onto a tram that is headed in the correct direction. If going to central Nice from the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport look for trams with a terminus at Port Lympia. When departing from central Nice to the airport, look for trams with a terminus at the “Aeroport”. Trams heading to Cadam Centre will take you on a detour for a longer trip and should be avoided.

How to validate La Carte on Linges d'Azur

Validating Your Ticket

Tickets and transfers must be validated at the beginning of the trip. Ticket validation machines are located near the doors. To validate, place your card flat against the machine where it says “Validez Ici” (validate here).  A valid ticket may be used for fee-free transfers on trams and buses for 74 minutes after validation. 

Boarding the Tram

Tram design at all stops and stations allows for stair-free, effortless boarding. Luggage may be rolled aboard through the flat-floor access with double doors. Also, at all underground stations elevators and escalators are available. This is a great feature when you want just to get to your destination as quickly and easily as possible. Upcoming stops will be announced in French and English as well as shown on digital displays.

When we travel in Nice, we are happy to use T2 for our transfers between the Nice airport the city center in Nice. We hope it is as easy for you too.

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