Nice airport arrival information

Nice airport information: Bienvenue, mon petit chou!

In Informationby bpnaughton11 Comments

As someone who lived in Nice and frequently traveled into and out of the airport, I thought it would be helpful to provide Nice airport information that is current, accurate, and useful for arriving visitors. The details that appear below are correct as of August 10, 2019.

Overview

This blog post covers the following:

If you’re taking the bus into the city center, you’ll also find detailed information on:

  • Where to catch the airport bus for Nice Ville station, Nice Downtown, and Menton via Nice at night
  • How often the airport buses run
  • Where to buy tickets for the airport buses
  • What to do with the tickets after you buy them.
  • The website URL for Lignes d’Azur (Nice’s city-wide bus system) so that you can find out which bus stop you need to get off at.

RELATED TOPIC

For a list of the airlines that use Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at Nice airport, check out our blog post: Nice Airport Arrival and Departure Terminals

 

Bureaucratic Checkpoints

Depending on which airport you arrive from, you might need to go through Passport Control and then Customs before leaving the secure area. Although I speak only basic French, in all the times I’ve passed through these checkpoints, I’ve never had any trouble with either. I’ve also never seen anyone else having trouble. As with all airport-related procedures, the key is to pay attention and not do anything to cause problems.

Passport Control / Contrôle des Passeports

To make your movement through Contrôle des Passeports (Passport Control) as smooth as possible, do the following:

  • Make sure your phone is turned off.
  • Have your passport out so you don’t have to dig in your bag for it.
  • Remove your sunglasses and/or hat before approaching the control booth.
  • Know the address of where you’ll be staying in Nice in case the official asks for it.
  • Answer any questions you get asked honestly and fully.
  • Never make jokes about anything.

Baggage Claim / Livraison des Bagages

After you pass through Passport Control, you’ll move on to baggage claim. The process is the same here as it is in every other airport, so there should be no surprises. After collecting your bags, you’ll walk through Customs before you exit the secure area.

Customs / Douane

In French, the word for Customs Department is Douane. If you were given a Customs declaration during your flight to Nice, have it out and ready to present to the customs official. As with Passport Control, the key to getting through smoothly to be organized, polite, and accommodating.

Note that if you’re arriving from within the European Union, you likely won’t have to go through either Passport Control or Customs. The main exceptions are flights from Ireland and the U.K. since they are not Schengen Area countries. If you’re arriving from Ireland or the U.K., you’ll need to present your passport, but you won’t be subject to Customs inspections.

Armed Patrols


Throughout the airport and the city of Nice, you will frequently see armed military personnel doing security patrols. This is not an indication that anything bad is currently going on, it is only a precautionary measure. So don’t be alarmed. Also, don’t try to take their photographs without asking in advance.


Services

ATMs

There are ATMs in the baggage areas of both terminals. There are also additional ATMs in the main concourses of the public, non-secure areas of both terminals.

  • In Terminal 1, turn right as you exit the secure area. The ATM is on your right just past the Interchange currency exchange booth, directly across from Trib’s Cafe. A second ATM is further along past the security checkpoint for the Departures area. The ATM is located on the right side, just across from the Relay souvenir shop.
  • In Terminal 2, turn right as soon as you exit the secure area. The ATM is on the left, just past Chez Jean cafe. A second ATM is located 20 feet away, around the corner. And a third ATM is straight ahead as you exit the Non-Secure Arrivals area, near Baggage Carousel #2.

Car Rentals

The following agencies have desks at Nice Airport:

  • Alamo/Enterprise/National
  • Sixt
  • Budget/Avis
  • Hertz/Thrifty
  • Eurocar

To get to the car rental desks, do the following:

  • In Terminal 1, turn left as you exit the secure area and walk ahead about 100 feet. All of the desks are on the left just before the stairs and ramp going up.
  • In Terminal 2, walk straight ahead from the Secure Arrivals area and exit the building. Keep walking straight and cross the roadway toward the car park. The rental counters are clearly marked within the car park.

Currency Exchange

Both terminals have an Interchange currency exchange booth in the public areas.

  • In Terminal 1, turn right as you exit the secure area and walk about 50 feet. The exchange is directly across from Trib’s Cafe.
  • In Terminal 2, walk ahead as you exit the Secure Arrivals area and veer to the left. You’ll see the bright orange booth about 50 feet in front of you.

Hotel Information

Information on local hotels is available via an electronic bulletin board located directly ahead of you as you exit the secure areas of both terminals.

Toilets

As is the case at every airport in the world, there are lots of toilets in both the secure and public areas of both terminals. Just look for the internationally recognized man and woman symbol on the overhead signs.

Tourist Information

The Tourist Information desk in both terminals is located directly ahead and slightly to the right of you as you exit the Secure Arrivals area.

Wifi

Free wifi is available throughout both terminals. The network name is Nice Airport Free Wifi. You’ll need to sign in, after which you’re free to use the service as long as you want.


Transport

Buses

There are two express buses from the airport into the city center: Bus 98: Promenade des Arts and Bus 99: Gare Nice Ville/Gare SNCF. Both cost 6 euros for adults and it seems to be up to the discretion of the ticket seller and driver whether children pay or ride for free.

In addition, the N100 bus runs from Terminal 1, Platform 3 to Nice Port a few times a night on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and holiday eves. Note that the N100 does not go to Terminal 2, so you would need to catch the shuttle to Terminal 1 if this is the bus you want to catch.

For reasons that make no sense to most people, the N100 buses do not display the number N100 on the front and when you get on board, you’ll likely see the route map for an entirely unrelated bus line. Confirm with the driver if you’re unsure if you’re on the correct bus. And know in advance where you want to get off as there will be no list of stops available to you after you get onboard.

The N100 bus costs 1 euro 50 cents and in addition to the Port, it stops in Beaulieu, Monaco, and Roquebrune before terminating in Menton.

  • In Terminal 1, the ticket office is located outside the building. As you exit the secure area, turn left. Walk 100 feet and exit the building through the glass doors. The ticket office is immediately on your left. All of the ticket sellers speak at least enough English to make a sale. If the ticket office is closed, you can buy your ticket directly from the driver.
  • In Terminal 2, the ticket office is located to your right as you exit the secure area. All of the ticket sellers speak at least enough English to make a sale. If the ticket office is closed, you can buy your ticket directly from the driver.

When you get on the bus, you must cancel your ticket immediately by inserting it, with the arrow pointing down, into the yellow ticketing machine behind the driver’s seat. Failure to cancel your ticket could get you fined.

The English website for the public bus system in Nice is Lignes d’Azur. To double-check the bus schedules, click the Timetables link in the top right corner, then enter 98 or 99 in the field that says Numéro ou nom de la ligne.

Express Bus #98: Promenade des Arts

Nice airport arrival information

Express bus #98 departs from the airport every day of the year except May 1.

  • The first bus from Terminal 1 leaves at 5:55am and the last leaves at 11:50pm every day of the week.
  • The first bus from Terminal 2 leaves at 5:40am and the last leaves at 11:45pm every day of the week.

Buses run every 17-40 minutes, depending on the time of day and traffic conditions.

  • In Terminal 1 the #98 bus departs from Platform 7. To get there, exit the ticketing office and turn left. Walk on the footpath, hugging the wall until you pass the white round building. The bus bays are immediately after that building.
  • In Terminal 2, the #98 bus departs from Platform 5. To get there, exit straight out the doors from the Non-Secure Arrivals area. Check the sign posted at each bay to confirm.

The line ends at the Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art), a collection of huge white blocky buildings at the end of the park.

Express Bus #99: Gare de Nice Ville

Nice airport arrival information

Express bus #99 goes from the airport to the main train station,  Gare de Nice Ville, also called Gare SNCF. It departs every 30 minutes beginning at 7:53am, with the last bus at 8:53pm, seven days a week. The service does not run on May 1.

NOTE: Due to a huge construction project at Nice Ville station, the #99 bus route now ends 100 yards west of the station.

  • In Terminal 1, the #99 bus departs from Platform 8. To get there, exit the ticketing office and turn left. Walk on the footpath, hugging the wall until you pass the white round building. The bus bays are immediately after that building.
  • In Terminal 2, the #99 bus departs from Platform 4. To get there, exit straight out the doors from the Non-Secure Arrivals area. Check the sign posted at each bay to confirm.

Metro

As of June 28, 2019, the new metro line from the airport goes as far east as Avenue Jean-Médecin, the main shopping and hotel area of Nice. Jean-Médecin Station is underground. If you get off here, you can take the escalators up to the surface and connect with the existing above ground metro line, Ligne 1. By fall of 2019, the entire line will be open, running from Terminal 2 at the airport to Terminal 1 and then all the way to the port.

The metro leaves from just outside the baggage claim area. Trams depart as frequently as every 12 minutes during busy times. Purchase your tickets from the ticket machines on the platform.

Taxis

The rate from the airport into Nice center is FIXED at 32 euros, which includes your luggage. You can confirm this yourself by referring to the Nice Airport website. If you’re planning to take a taxi, ask in advance what the fare will be. Walk away if the driver’s price is higher than 32 euros.

Two separate groups of houseguests reported being ripped off by taxis when coming from the airport. One group of friends was charged 60 euros to get to the port (about a 6 minute drive beyond the center) and another got in the taxi and suddenly found another couple crammed in with them — both groups being informed that the cost would be 35 euros each (70 euros total), despite sharing the cab. My friends ended up being taken first to the couple’s hotel, which was nowhere near where my friends were headed, so the trip was 20 minutes longer than it should have been.

Taxis are available directly ahead of you as you exit the secure areas of both terminals. As is common in many cities, taxis with a green light on top are available. Those displaying a red light are unavailable. Most taxis do not take credit cards, so make sure you have cash on hand before getting in the cab.

Uber

An alternative to taxis is to take Uber from the airport. A fare from the airport to Place Massena (in the middle of town) is listed as between 16 and 22 euros. This will vary depending on the time of day, the day of the week, and the amount of traffic involved. In any event, it should cost significantly less than a taxi.

Comments

  1. Hi,

    I will be visiting Nice in Sep and would like to check the following:-

    1. Do I need to clear custom in Nice when transiting from Zurich?
    2. Does the metro go to Nice Ville station from Airport Terminal 1?
    3. If I were to take airport bus 99 to Nice-Ville station, how long is the journey?
    4. Is there a train to Nice St-Augustine station from Nice airport?
    5. Is it better to take the train to Avignon from Nice Ville or Nice St-Augustine station?

    Merci.

    1. Author

      Hi Naomi, thanks for contacting us at NiceForTourists.com. Here are our answers to your questions:
      1. You’ll likely need to show your passport when arriving from Zurich, but that’s Immigration, not Customs. In the 20+ times I’ve flown into Nice airport, I’ve never seen any passengers being inspected at the Customs area. Normally, you collect your bags and walk out of the secure area.
      2. As of June 28, 2019, the new metro line (Ligne 2) now extends into Nice’s downtown area, but its route doesn’t go near Nice Ville station. To get there, you’ll need to transfer to Ligne 1 at the new Jean Medecin station. Go north one stop on Ligne 1 to Gare Thiers, which is what Nice Ville station is called on the Metro. You’ll then have to walk about 100 yards west to the actual train station.
      3. Depending on traffic, about 15-20 minutes.
      4. Not exactly. You’d need to get off at the Parc Phoenix station and walk a short distance.
      5. All trains stop at and leave from Nice Ville, but the fast ones often skip the Saint Augustine station, so it depends which sort of train you’re catching. Also, Nice Ville is in a safer, more crowded neighborhood, if you’re going to be traveling late at night or early in the morning.

  2. I am arriving into Nice at 11am but the rest of my party won’t be here until 4pm. Is there somewhere I can wait for them outside of baggage claim that is secure, like a Starbucks?
    Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Jan, thanks for contacting NiceForTourists.com. You didn’t mention which terminal you’re arriving at, but in any event, there are coffee shops and small cafes in the public areas of both terminals. In both cases, the cafes are directly facing you as you exit the secure areas. In Terminal 2, there are additional cafes upstairs in the departure area. If you don’t have much luggage, it might be more interesting to spend your time down the street at Park Phoenix, which is a public park with outdoor cafes, a large greenhouse, and an informal zoo. You can catch the tram from either terminal and get off at the Park Phoenix stop — about five minutes’ ride. Enjoy your stay!

  3. Hello, If there are any passport control in Nice Terminal 2 arriving from Prague?
    Thank you

    1. Author

      Hi Ann. Thanks for contacting us at NiceForTourists.com. The answer to your question is “No.” France and the Czech Republic are both members of the Schengen zone within Europe, so when you travel between any two of the 26 Schengen countries, you are not required to show your passport on arrival. It’s the equivalent of traveling between states in the USA.
      In case you’re traveling elsewhere in Europe during your trip, the following countries are NOT part of the Schengen area: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. Passport controls are in effect when traveling to and from them.

  4. Two of us flying into NCE arriving terminal 2 on Easyjet from BCN. ETA into NCE is 12:15p. We want to take a 2pm French Riviera tour that includes pickup at all major hotels. The tour operator said I would have time to claim baggage, clear the airport, and I could get transportation to a nearby major hotel. They also said we could bring our baggage along in the tour van. Our accommodation for that night is in Cannes. If we make it to the 2pm tour, the tour van will drop us off somewhere in Nice and we will need to get our own transportation to Cannes. If we miss the 2pm French Riviera tour, we will have to take another the next day and will likely just get some kind of transportation to Cannes.
    How long should it take to clear the airport? Hopefully our plane will be on time… not sure if Easyjet has a good on-time record?

    1. Author

      Hi John,

      Thanks for contacting NiceForTourists.com.

      Here are a few notes that might help you decide what to do:
      • EasyJet has a 66% on-time record overall. Not sure how it ranks for Nice, but you won’t go straight to a gate. You’ll deplane onto the tarmac and then catch a bus to the terminal building.
      • Arriving into Nice from Barcelona means you won’t have to go through Customs or Passport Control as they’re both within the Schengen area.
      • You didn’t mention what time of year you’ll be flying. In winter, storms can really play havoc with Nice airport because of its location right on the edge of the Mediterranean. In summer, the airport is chock-a-block with tourists, so everything takes longer when you arrive, particularly baggage delivery to the baggage claim area.
      • French Air Traffic Control is continually on strike and have been for years. Some days they work; other days, a huge number of flights are delayed due to the strike. I think they announce this information in advance, so I’d check the internet just prior to your travel date.
      • There are dozens of hotels within a five-minute drive of the airport, so if you manage to get your bags relatively quickly, you’ll be fine.
      • If you decide to do the tour, I’d suggest scheduling an Uber pickup in advance so you don’t have to wait or leave yourself at the mercy of one of Nice’s highly unethical taxi drivers.
      • Trains run all day from Nice to Cannes, so you won’t have any trouble getting to Cannes after your tour.

      Hope this helps.
      Brian N.
      NiceForTourists.com

  5. Pingback: Nice Airport arrival and departure terminals for each airline

  6. Hello,
    I will arrive to Nice with WizzAir at 21:20 (Terminal 2) and the next flight will be from Terminal 1 at 22:15. (I will have only hand luggage with me.) I cannot find any information if is it possible to make it in time, I don’t know how big the airport really is and if the 55 minutes for change will be enough.
    Thank you

    1. Author

      Hi Alicja. Thanks for contacting Nice For Tourists. Here are the answers to your questions. The distance between terminals 1 and 2 is about a mile and there’s a free shuttle that runs between them. There’s also the new metro line that travels between them, though unlike the shuttle, it’s not free.

      It is possible to make a connection in only 55 minutes, but that’s assuming that everything goes exactly to schedule. Keep the following in mind when deciding what to do:

      • Wizz Air has a poor on-time rate and I think it’s one of the airlines that parks on the tarmac, not at a gate. That means that when you land, you might need to get on a bus to take you from the airplane to the gate. If that’s the case, it will add about 10 minutes onto the deplaning process.
      • You didn’t mention where you’re coming from; if it’s not within the Schengen Area, you’ll have to go through passport control, which will add another 10 minutes or so onto the transition.
      • Terminal 2 is compact, so you won’t have to walk far.
      • The shuttle buses between the terminals leave constantly, so you shouldn’t have to wait long for one.
      • The journey on the shuttle should take no more than 8 minutes.
      • Terminal 1 is also not very large and other than Christmas-time, I’ve never had any sort of delay going through security (usually takes less than 5 minutes).

      In short, you have a chance of making the connection, but if there’s an earlier flight you can arrive on or a later flight you can connect with, I’d recommend taking it.

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