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Nice Tramway 2024

Nice Uncovered: Walks Through the Secret Heart of a Historic City
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Nice tramways have transformed the city, making it greener, less stressful and more modern. Gone are the days of bumper-to-bumper cars, slow travel on a city bus and endless waits for night buses. After years of planning and construction, Nice's tram network is now fully operational! It includes three tramway lines that run north-south and east-west from early morning to late at night.

Tramway Ligne 2

Table of Contents



Ligne 1 was the first tramway line, opening in 2008 and extended in 2013. It swoops down from north Nice and then heads east with stops near the train station and old Nice. Then came Ligne 2 which connects the Airport with Nice's Port Lympia, traversing central Nice. It connects with Ligne 1 at Jean Medecin on the eponymous avenue and at Garibaldi. Around the same time Ligne 3 opened connecting the Airport with Saint Isidore, stopping at Allianz, Nice's sports stadium. It connects with Ligne 2 at the airport, Grand Arenas, Paul Montel and Digue des Francais.

Tramway Map

Nice Tramway Map

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Motorists

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As part of the plan discourage cars in the city centre, motorists are invited to leave their cars in special ParcAzur lots where parking is free upon presentation of a round-trip tram ticket. You can use any multi-voyage card or purchase a a round-trip ticket within the ParcAzur lot.

Choosing the Direction

The last stop is indicated on the front of the tram. For Ligne 1, choose "Hopital Pasteur" to head east and north or "Henri Sappia" to head north. For Ligne 2, choose "CADAM" or "Airport T1/T2" or "Port Lympia" to hit all stops in those directions. For Ligne 3, choose Aeroport Terminal 2 or Saint Isidore. The tramway stops at all stops all the time.

Buying Tram Tickets

You cannot buy a ticket on the tram. There is a distributor at each tram stop that sells La Carte for a refundable fee of €2. Then you choose tickets either solo (€1.70), return (€3.40) or in a multi-voyage system.  Under the latter, you prepay any number of journeys from 1 to 100. The price is degressive. The more you buy, the cheaper it is. You pay €1.70 for the first 12 trips; €1.50 for the next 13 trips; €1.30 up to 50 trips and then €1 for 50 to 100 trips. For example, if you put 15 trips on your card you’ll pay €24.90. Note that this multi-voyage plan can be used by more than one person which makes it ideal for people travelling in a group. There is no expiration date and it can be used for group travel. Just punch in the validator once for each person. As in the single-ticket, the card is good for transfers in the same direction for 74 minutes. The card must be validated for each transfer.

Or, you can purchase a pass. Buy a day pass (€7), 2-day pass (€13) or 7-day passes (€20). The pass is only for one person.

Payment is in euros or by credit card. The machines only accept coins and credit cards with chips. Cards with magnetic strips only are not accepted. Tickets and passes are good for the tram or bus. You can also transfer from the bus to the tram (and vice versa) for a period of 74 minutes but only in one direction (i.e. not a return trip).

Another option is to sign up for an account at lignesdazur.com where you can purchase your tickets and passes online and have them delivered to your French address.

If you have a smartphone equipped with NFC capability, download and install the app NFC Nice Ticket for Android or iPhone. On Android you can buy La Carte and fill it with one or many tickets plus any pass or subscription (Nice residents only). On the iPhone you can only recharge a card you've already purchased.

To validate the ticket or pass on the tram, make sure NFC is turned on and the screen is on. Place the NFC antenna (usually on the back of the phone) against the validating machine.

Here is the validating machine with a reminder the all tickets and cards (titres de transport) are validated by pressing it against the green Validez içi label.

Validating machine

[See prices and details for buying all bus and tram tickets in 2023]

Boarding the Tram

Stations are equipped with LED panels noting the arrival of the next tram. The tram stops at each point; no need to flag it down (unlike a bus). The doors do not open automatically; press the large button to open the door. Once inside, place the card against the validating machine with the green Validez içi label. If you have purchased a multi-voyage card, the machine will indicate how many voyages are left. Do not insert it into the red slot above.

Validating machine on Nice's trams

On the Tram

The stations are announced in French and English and also appear on an overhead screen. You can enjoy free WiFi on the trams. Push the door buttons to open.

Accessibility

All trams are wheelchair accessible.

Line 1

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There are 22 stops running on a north-south axis from Henri Sappia to Hopital Pasteur. It takes 38 minutes to traverse from beginning to end. For travellers, the most convenient link runs along ave Jean Médecin from the train station, to Place Masséna, the Acropolis conference center and Old Nice. See a Nice map.

Map of Line 1

Map of Tramway Line 1

Hours

The tramway starts running at 4.25am from Henri Sappia and 5.10am from Hopital Pasteur. The last tramway leaves Hopital Pasteur at 1.35am Friday and Saturday (12.40am Sun-Thurs) and from Henri Sappia at 12.50am Friday and Saturday (11.50pm Sun-Thurs).

Frequency

Early morning and late at night the tram runs every 15 to 25 minutes with frequency increasing to every 4-5 minutes during the day on weekdays and every 6-7 minutes on Sundays.

Points of Interest Along Line 1

Massena
Plensa sculpture Place Massena
Artist Jaume Plensa created these seven statues on Place Massena. Titled Conversation a Nice, these seven figures represent the seven continents.
Nearby are Galeries Lafayette, Zara, and City Sport stores, the entrance to the Promenade du Paillon park, and the Promenade des Anglais a few blocks away.

Jean Medecin
Nearby are the Nice Etoile shopping centre, Notre Dame Church and the Pathe Massena cinema.

Gare Thiers
Nearby is the Nice train station

Liberation
Nearby is the outdoor market of the same name (Tues-Sun morning) and the Gare du Sud.

Opera-Vieille Ville
Porte Fausse, Sarkis
Artist Sarkis designed this entrance to the Old Town. Called Les postes restantes de la Porte Fausse, the luscious marble and gold pattern is meant to evoke postcards and letters from around the world.
Nearby is the Old Town, Cours Saleya, Nice Opera

Cathedrale-Vieille Ville
Nearby is the Old Town and access to the Colline du Chateau.

Garibaldi
Nearby is the Place Garibaldi, MAMAC, Archaeological Crypt. It's a short walk to Nice Port.

Acropolis
Nearby is the Acropolis

Palais des Expositions
Nearby is the Palais des Expositions (Conference Centre)

Vauban
Nearby is the Gare Routiere (Bus Station) where you can get a bus to Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence and Gap.

Line 2

Map of Line 2

May tramway ligne 2
Jesmar [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

When Ligne 2 rolled into the Port Lympia station on December 14th, 2019 there was rejoicing throughout town. So much of the Port area had been infested with machines, tarps, fencing and mud, people forgot what it once looked like. Worse, they forgot how many businesses were struggling to stay afloat during the years of construction.

Line 2 tramway at Magnan

Ligne 2 has been a more complicated engineering project than Ligne 1, largely because the tram runs underground from CUM to the Port. Also, unlike Ligne 1 which is electrical-powered, Ligne 2 is solar-powered with charging effected in 20 seconds at certain stops. It's also a faster tram, clocking in at an average speed of 25km/hr as opposed to 14.5km/hr for Ligne 1.

When all runs smoothly in peak hours it should only take 26 minutes to go from the Port to the Airport or CADAM.

Tram 2 to the Airport

Notice that there is a separate branch for Nice Airport. When boarding the tramway, it's essential to board the one marked Airport if that's where you're going or CADAM if your destination is the Administrative Centre. Every other tram departing Port Lympia heads to the airport.

Hours

First departure to Port Lympia from CADAM at 4:05am; from Airport Terminal 2 at 5:24am.

Last departure from CADAM at 12:35am; from Airport Terminal 2 at 12:15am Friday and Saturday (11.55pm Sun-Thurs).

First departure from Port Lympia to CADAM at 4:55am; to the Airport at 4:45am

Last departure from Port Lympia to CADAM at 1:15am Fridays and Saturdays (12.35am Sun-Thurs); from Port Lympia to Airport at 11.11pm Monday to Friday, 11.35pm Saturday, 11.05pm Sunday.

Do you have an early flight? Check out my recommendations for staying near Nice Airport.

Frequency

The tram runs every 10 minutes in the early morning and late evening, shortening to every four minutes during the day on weekdays and every six minutes on Sundays.

Accessibility

The tram line plunges deeply underground between CUM and Port Lympia but no worries for those with luggage or mobility issues. There are escalators and elevators running from the tram to the street.

Points of Interest along Ligne 2

Garibaldi
Tram stop Garibaldi, Nice
Noted Nice artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest created this statue of the goddess Nike, who gave Nice its name. Based on the famous Winged Victory of Samothrace displayed in the Louvre, this version is topped with a sculpture of Garibaldi dressed as a fisherman.

Nearby is Place Garibaldi

Magnan

Artist Jean-Pierre Raynaud created the two-pot Metamorphose to accent the Societe d'Agriculture et Horticulture (Agriculture and Gardening Association) in the adjacent building.
Nearby is Magnan beach and the Jean Medecin Sports Centre.

Lenval
Nearby is Lenval Hospital

Fabron
Nearby is the Museum of Naive Art

Sainte Helene
Nearby is the Radisson Blu hotel

Carras
Tramway stop at Carras
Artist Sacha Sosno created the sculptures Poseidon and Hommage a Venus to evoke a sense of antiquity by referring to the God of the sea and the Goddess of love.
Nearby at the port is a small fish market (Tuesday to Sunday mornings).

Ferber
Tram stop at Ferber Tutti Frutti sculpture
Artist Joana Vasconcelos created the playful Tutti Frutti using the shapes of plastic beach toys.

Parc Phoenix
Parc Phoenix
Nearby is the botanical garden, Parc Phoenix, and the Musée des Arts Asiatiques (Asian Arts Museum).

Grand Arenas
This is the last stop before the tram splits between the Airport and CADAM.
Nearby is the Saint Augustin train station.

Line 3

Map of Line 3

Map of Tramway Ligne 3

Ligne 3 runs from Airport Terminal 2 to St Isidore, with a stop at Allianz Riviera (Stade), Nice's football stadium. The line runs from around 6am to 9.15pm. From 9.26pm the line runs directly from Port Lympia to the airport and beyond. The last departure from Port Lympia is at 11pm Monday to Friday (11.20pm weekends). The final stop at Saint Isidore is right next to Nice's new Ikea store.

 

Last updated January 1, 2024

 

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