Travel Between Nice Airport and Central Nice on Tram 2
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, conveniently 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.
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.
TIP: Usually we recommend using Google maps for wayfinding in France, but maybe not in this case. We have had excellent experience using it for driving, walking, and using public transportation. However, at the time of writing, the T2 schedule was not included in the Google directions search results.
Buying Your Ticket
Public transportation in Nice is one of the best deals in France. For €1.50 a single use pass has unlimited transfers on buses or trams within 74 minutes of validation. (This is in one direction only. Transfers may not be used for return trips.) While bus tickets may be purchased from the driver, tram tickets must be purchased before boarding. Vending machines are located at all tram stops. 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.
TIP: If you plan on using public transport multiple times during your visit, you may consider a 10-ride pass. This is especially true if you have one or more traveling companions. These passes are sold for only €10 (€1 per ride) and may be used for more than one person on the same trip. Passes are not available from drivers and must be purchased from vending machines or Lignes d’Azur ticket offices.
Jesmar [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Finding Your Tram Between Nice Airport and Central Nice
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.
Validating Your Ticket
Tickets and transfers must be validated at the beginning of the trip. Ticket validation machines are located near the doors. The machines print the date and time of validation on the ticket. A valid ticket may be used for fee-free transfers on trams and buses for 74 minutes after validation. Always check to be sure the timestamp has been printed. If not, insert the card again to apply the validation. If using the 10-pass ticket with multiple people on one ride, insert the card for as many passengers as is needed. Be sure to check that the number of printed timestamps is correct.
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.