Welcome to the guide to using Nice-Ville station and taking the spectacular railway journeys which head off from the city.
What provides Nice-Ville train station with its wow factor is its beautifully preserved glass canopy over the voie (platforms/tracks).
The passenger experience has been also been improved for the better!
A modernisation program has improved the transfer between most of the trains which use Nice-Ville and the station's main entrance and exit.
However, for the time being, the station entrance hall is somewhat cramped, the cafés at the station are average and long queues can build up in the ticket office, particularly in the summer.
But that aside, it’s a beautiful building in which to wait for a train.
Also worth knowing is that letters are not numbers are used for the platforms/tracks/voie B-G at Nice-Ville.
Though what can be confusing is that letters are also used to divide the voices (platform/tracks) into repéres (zones).
The letters used for the zones/repéres are larger than those that indicate the voies/platforms,
The departure screens will indicate in which zone specific coaches of the TGV trains will be located, so you can use the info screens to find out where you should wait for easiest access to your reserved seat.
Although most long distance trains from Nice will commence their journeys at Nice-Ville, so there is generally no rush to board the TGV.
However, in common with other stations in France, the specific platform/track/voie that a train will be departing from isn’t confirmed until around 15 - 20 mins before departure; hence the entrance hall at the station often being crowded.
The access to and from the trains has been recently transformed for the better
There is now step-free access to the platforms/voies B-G where the majority of trains arrive and depart.
(Platform/voie A is beside the main entrance hall).
Though the transfer still isn't absolutely ideal, because the new bridge which spans the station and has elevator access, is at one end of station - away from the main entrance hall and exits.
This bridge will be the rear of trains which will have arrived from the west via Antibes and Cannes, and by the front of trains which have arrived from the east, via Monte Carlo and Menton.
So when arriving by train if you can use the stairs on platforms/voies B-G, which lead down to a subway that's beneath the railway lines, that's by far the quickest route to the exit.
There is an escalator in the main entrance hall, leading to/from this main subway under the railway lines.
When departing by train, if you have luggage etc, it can be worth being at Nice-Ville at least 10 mins before your train departs.
Two sets of stairs will need to be used if you take the shortest route to voies (platforms/tracks) B-6, the subway under the railway lines, but the step-free route is longer.
You'll need to turn to the left on voie A and head for the bridge some distance along, it has elevators which lead up and down from it
For the city centre and sea front, turn left on leaving Nice-Ville station and follow the short road down to the tram stops, take the tram (direction Pont Michel) two stops to Masséna.
The tram stop nearest to Nice-Ville station is named 'GareThiers'.
The eastern most area of The Cote D’Azure has an excellent local (TER) train service centred on Nice.
During the day (between 09:00 and 20:00) there are 2 x trains per hour in both directions on the scenic route between Cannes and Menton that all call at Nice-Ville
So Nice has a minimum of 2 x train per hour to a swathe of other Cote D’Azure resorts including Antibes; Bealieu Sur Mer; Cagnes Sur Mer (location of the Le Muséé Renoir); Éze (location of Jardin botanique d'Èze); Juan Les Pins; Monaco-Monte Carlo; Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Villefrance Sur Mer.
During the day there is also 1 x train per hour between Nice and Grasse.
Le Train de Merveilles (The Train Of Wonders) twists its way through spectacular gorges in the Parc national du Mercantour on the journey from Nice Ville to Breil-sur-Roya and Tende.
In high season the train that departs Nice around 09:25 has an on-board tour guide giving commentary on the villages and landscape.
You don’t have to take the trains that have the on-board guide, other trains are available on which you can experience the stunning scenery (visible between the many tunnels).
Definitely check the ligne 05 timetable here before heading to the station, there can be gaps of more than 3 hours between trains.
These trains which take the spectacular route to Digne, don’t use Nice-Ville, instead they arrive at and depart from a separate station commonly known as Nice C.P.
Nice C.P is a 10-15 min walk from Nice Ville, so it’s not worth hopping on the tram to make the transfer.
Turn left when exiting Nice-Ville and head down to the main road, turn left when you reach it and walk under the bridge that carries the railway tracks.
Walk along this main road, the Avenue Malussena, until you see the Liberation tram stop.
(So if you’ll be heading to Chemins de Fer de Provence trains from Nice city centre, take the tram to the ‘Liberation’ stop).
The Chemins de Fer der Provence’s renovated old station building, the Gare Du Sud, is set back from the road, to the left of the tram stop, but sadly the trains no longer depart from here.
The trains towards Digne now leave from a more modern, modest building on the other side of the car park, which is located behind the Gare Du Sud building
There are only 4 x trains per day in each direction so it’s a journey that needs to be planned in advance, but the spectacular scenery rewards the effort.
Between May and October steam trains (le train des Pignes) operate on part of this route, full details here.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.