About Nice and the French Riviera

Nice is the largest city of the French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur), located in the southeast corner of France, which extends from the Italian border to Saint-Tropez and includes the principality of Monaco. This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by painters and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II, it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. With a total population of over 2 million, the French Riviera is a culturally rich and cosmopolitan area: officially, it is home to 163 nationalities with 83,962 foreign residents, although estimates of the number of non-French nationals living in the area are often much higher. It is home to a high-tech/science park at Sophia Antipolis (north of Antibes). It is a major yachting and cruising area with several marinas along its coast. As a tourist centre it is blessed by a wonderful climate, enjoying 300 days of sunshine per year, and it benefits from 115 km of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts, 3,000 restaurants and France’s third-busiest airport.

Travel

Nice is well-connected and easily accessible by plane, train, and car.

By Plane

Nice is served by the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (IATA code: NCE), an intercontinental airport, the third busiest one in France and just less than 6 km away from the city center.

The airport is located on the western end of the Promenade des Anglais (Nice’s seafront avenue) . Buses go between the airport and the Nice-Ville railway station (route 99) and Nice-Riquier railway station (route 98). The Nice-Saint-Augustin train station is near the airport (15 minutes by foot).

By Train

The Nice-Ville train station is on the Marseille-Genoa train line. It is served by TGV (the French high-speed train) with many connections per day to and from Marseille, Lyon, Paris, and other destinations. Schedule information can be found on the website of SNCF. Daily inexpensive train connections between Nice and Italy are also provided by Thello.

By Car

Nice is on European route E 80 and can thus be reached from France through the A8 (“La Provençale”) motorway and from Italy through the A10 motorway (“Autostrada dei fiori”).