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Nice, and the rest of the French Riviera, don’t typically make the cut when we think of a budget getaway. But, luckily for us Cheapos there are ways to make it so. When I was there this July, I found some wallet-friendly hotels, but once in the land of fois gras and rosé wine, Nice and its surroundings are every bit the luxury holiday locale you imagine.
Since I didn’t have a yacht to travel the coast (it was in the shop, of course!), I took the next best thing: the €1 Ligne d’Azur bus.
What’s that you say about €1?
That’s right. One euro gets you anywhere from Cannes to Montecarlo, and everywhere in between (price is per trip). So, for pennies, I hobnobbed from Nice to Monaco and had time to visit Cannes along the way.
At this price, you can’t exactly expect hors d’oeuvres to be served, but all buses are air conditioned, have comfy seats, and big windows from which to watch the view as you glide by. And, get this – the locals use them like they would public transport. In fact, during my ride to Montecarlo, an older woman asked me if we had gotten on the express. My elementary French was good enough to understand the question and say yes.
Before you hop on…
Nice is a major hub and there’s no need buy tickets in advance. Pay on board the bus and head to Juan les Pins, Cape d’Antibes, Antibes, or the lavender-scented Giot. Or, do as I did and visit Montecarlo for an afternoon. Cannes is also on the Ligne d’Azur’s list of bus stops. Otherwise, just hop on the Ligne’s #100 bus (also known as the Monaco Express) from Nice to Montecarlo and vice versa.
Buses leave from Nice’s Gare Routiere.