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From Cannes to Nice : the best ways to travel
One of the best things about holidaying on the French Riviera is the close proximity of the coasts well known cities and those delightful little gems found in between.
Depending on the type of holiday you wish to take, you may want to base yourself in Cannes and do day trips from the city, or spend a week travelling up the coast – it’s completely up to you.
One thing we can say is that there are so many options when it comes to public transportation. All vary in price, duration and comfort so you’ll definitely be able to find the one that suits you best.
The trains in the French Riviera are extremely reasonable. You can purchase a return train ticket from Cannes to Nice Ville for as little as 14€. The journey time varies between 25 – 45 minutes depending on which train you get (some are high speed and do not stop at the stations in between).
You can purchase train tickets from the self-service machines at the station or you can pre-purchase tickets online from the official websites of French Railways – Oui.SNCF and RailEurope, or you can use Trainline.
Trains departing from Cannes also stop at the following well-known spots along the Riviera (if you take the slow train):
On the way home
When heading home, and catching the train from Nice to Cannes, be sure to take note of the train times. The trains do run regularly but it’s always good to have some idea of what time you’d like to head back…prevents wasting time standing around at the station.
If you’re taking the train to head back home (boo) you’ll need to take the train to Nice-Saint Augustin, which is the stop before Nice Ville. Once you exit the train, it’s about a 10 minute walk to Terminal 1.
Train travel from Cannes to Nice is a great way to see the coast. The train runs almost parallel to the sea for the duration of the journey, providing a beautiful view throughout
So, the train is cheap…but the bus is cheaper! Yes, cheaper! A standard fare costs as little as €1.50 for a single bus ride.
The bus, Lignes d’Azur bus 200, connects Cannes and Nice. The bus runs twice per hour on Sundays, three times per hour on Saturdays, and mostly every 15 minutes on weekdays. In some ways the bus is a little less reliable than the train in terms of the varied travel time. Traveling time very much depends on traffic. It’s probably wise not to catch the bus around rush hour; as you can imagine the traffic can be quite dense
The bus can get really, really busy! Be prepared for the bus to drive straight past you if the bus is full. This can be a little frustrating.
Catching the bus is a good way to travel in France, but we’d suggest catching the train as it’s more reliable, comfortable and the travel time is confirmed. There is also around 50 stops between Cannes and finding yourself on the Promenade Des Anglais – this is a huge amount of stops, although you get to see a lot of the Riviera from the comfort of the bus…
Validation of the bus ticket
There is the option to stop off along the way. From validation of your bus ticket (remember to validate your ticket as soon as you get on the bus to avoid being fined) you have 74 minutes of travel. This means you can stop off in say, Antibes, for a quick coffee and then jump straight back on and carry on to Nice.
The train does offer the same option without the time limit which is much more appealing. Yes the train is more expensive, but worth it.
Okay, so this is more for those staying in Nice than Cannes (unless you fancy flashing the cash and chartering a boat).
Operated by Trans Cote d’Azur, the boat leaves Nice at 9am and arrives in Cannes around 10am. The boat drops you off at Quai Laubeuf, Cannes and will collect you from the same spot at 7pm to take you straight back to Nice.
You’ve got a great few hours to explore the city of Cannes from La Croisette to the quaint old town with tiny streets that wind up the hillside. To see what else to do in Cannes, check out our blog about the city.
What’s more, the views from the ferry will be spectacular. You can take in the beauty of the Rivieras rocky coastline from a completely different angle. Nothing screams ‘holiday on the French Riviera’ than relaxing on a boat with a glass of wine in hand.
The trip will set you back around 41€ per person for a return ticket.
It’s time to sit back and soak in that sea air whilst gazing out to the spectacular vision that is the French Riviera.
If you feel confident in driving in a foreign country, then renting a car for the week could be a great option. It solves the fluster at the airport trying to find a taxi, or figure out the best route of public transport whilst giving you the freedom to discover the French Riviera at your own pace.
Perhaps you wish to venture out to smaller, towns such as Juan-les-Pins or Cagnes-sur-Mer for a spot of dinner. Or you’d like to start your week in Cannes and slowly weave your way through the towns lining the coastline until you reach the city of Nice. Whichever way you prefer to explore the region, a rental car gives you the freedom to do so.
To avoid paying extortionate prices for car rental, it’s best to plan ahead and do your research. Websites like Kayak help you find the best prices, there is the option to rent a car from a kiosk at the airport on arrival…but this will come with a hefty price tag.
A car is an excellent option if you’re travelling as a family, or a group of 4-5 friends. Yes, the cost may be a little more, but it’s a great experience nonetheless. You can stop off at the bakery, fill the car with delicious pastries and take the enchanting drive to a secluded beach (we’d recommend the beaches based in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat).
With a car, there is more freedom to explore smaller towns and villages inland. Perhaps take the 20 minute drive and discover the darling little village north of Cannes called La Cannet, or drive 30 minutes further inland and spend the day at Valbonne
Whichever mode of transport you choose to explore the coastline between Cannes and Nice, we’re positive you’ll have one of the best holidays of your life.
The coastline is diverse and beautiful. It has everything you’d expect when dreaming of Provence; the quaint bakeries, fresh food markets, bleached washed walls of old towns combined with the newer luxe glamour infused in the towns by the likes of Bridget Bardot.
You’ll spend your week discovering the history of the area, whilst tasting the unique flavours of France from the fresh bread to the delicious range of cheese and wine.
If you’d like a guide to show you around either Nice or Cannes, we’d love to have you on one of our Walking Tours. All our guides are bursting with interesting information about both cities. They’ll talk you through the history whilst showing you the best places to have ice-cream or a drink when the sunsets.