Nice is a transportation hub with an international airport (the second largest in France), A8 autoroute, railway service to Italy and throughout France and the Corsica ferry service as well as an extensive bus network in the metropolitan area and along the Riviera. Like many modern cities with ancient roots, it suffers traffic congestion but has moved ahead with a modern tram system. If you choose to drive along the Riviera, particularly in season, be aware that it has one of the worst accident records in the nation.
International, national and local agencies have offices at the airport and in the city. See our rental tip for France. Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolitan Council also offers a 24/7 electric vehicle hire service called Auto Bleue. You can book online or at an office across from the train station (closed Saturday pm and Sundays) for a few hours or the whole day.
Nice is the perfect place for seeing the sights on a bike. The Vélobleu rental system has 175 stations around the Côte d'Azur with 1,750 bikes available 24/7 every day of the year. Use your bank card to pick one off the rack at one station and return it to any station. You can't beat the price: 1 day for 1 € and 7 days for 5 € with the first half hour free in case you change your mind! The metropolitan area has more than 125 kilometers (almost 80 miles) of cycling paths.
The city replaced four bus routes with a state-of-the-art 8.7 km (5.4 mi) tram line in 2007 and plans two more. The port-to-airport tram, which will make the trip in about 26 minutes, is in construction. Line 1 with 22 stations is a U-shaped route between Henri Sapppia and Hópital Pasteur that loops through the city center. Service is 20 hours a day with last trains leaving around midnight. Expect a tram every eight minutes except during rush hour when it's a 4-minute wait. While you wait, survey the original art throughout the system and the Jaume Piensa sculptures on top of the pylons at Place Massena.
An extensive urban bus system connects with the tramway. Nice has direct, non-stop express buses to Monaco (less than 30 minutes) and Cannes (45 minutes) as well as slightly slower, more scenic bus routes and train service. Direct bus service is also available to St. Paul de Vence and Eze in the mountains.
Taxis - some of the most expensive in France - can be hailed on the street or engaged by phone or at a stand with metered fares. A night rate runs 7 pm - 7 am. If you hop a cab from the airport during the day, expect a fare around €30. Say "Bonjour" as you get in, ask about how much the trip will cost and be sure you can see the meter. Uber also operates in the city, but Uber-Pop was discontinued.