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First Time !

London, United...
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First Time !

I've been trying to get to Nice for about 10 years and this time we have actually booked and are coming.

Leaving the car at home I would like to know if anyone can explain the mysteries of getting trains and buses from Nice to other places like Antibes, Monaco,Ventimiglia etc etc

I suspect that it is fairly simple on eht bud ...id you get on ,pay your money and off you go.

I remember though from somewhil back that trains are a differnt proposition, Ie Not too easy to buy tickets and then you have to get it clipped or something yourself.

All advice gratefully received please.

K.

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Guildford, United...
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1. Re: First Time !

Yes, buses are easy. Give the driver one euro and tell him/her (the women are usually better drivers) your destination and hand over one euro. You must then validate the ticket in the machine, which is usually behind the driver but occasionally in front, as you will see others doing. As far as the trains are concerned you need some basic French in order to use the ticket machines but during the day it is usually possible to buy from a ticket office. Especially in Nice, where there can be long queues, it is a good idea to buy tickets the day before you travel. Again you must validate the ticket in one of the yellow machines that are either near the entrance barrier, as in Nice, or on the platform. Train tickets are rarely checked but when they are they often have police back up and it can be quite unpleasant if you don't have a validated ticket. Don't worry about travelling around. Several hundred thousand non French speaking foreigners use the system each year and usually manage to get where they want to go. Please don't ask train and bus staff questions in English without at least asking them if they speak the language, which few do. I squirmed with embarrassment recently when an American, speaking as he would to a native speaker of English, asked a series of complicated questions to a bus driver and then said to his wife in a loud voice, 'I can't believe that these people really don't understand English.'

Antibes, France
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2. Re: First Time !

>>>American, speaking as he would to a native speaker of English, asked a series of complicated questions to a bus driver and then said to his wife in a loud voice, 'I can't believe that these people really don't understand English.'<<<

Obviously not shouting loud enough at the bus driver though!

Ed

London, United...
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3. Re: First Time !

Thanks LondonBob , You are still at it then ...... ie helping people out.

I am very grateful for your help as I am sure many others are with all the help and tips you have given them over the years.

Thanks again and no doubt I'll be back for a few more tips before we eventually set off.

Cheers

BB

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer
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4. Re: First Time !

I have only one rule, based on ten years of using public transport out of Nice. In the direction East VF Monaco Menton, I take the bus. In the direction West Antibes, Cannes I take the train. Going inland, bus is the only option. The second rule of one, is hold on to your possesions closely wherever there are crowds on public transport. The third of one rule is never waste money on taxis. Waste it, if you must, on champagne.

London, United...
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5. Re: First Time !

Watcha Nice Life..and if memory serves me right you must be Andrew.

How good to hear from you after all this time. I am delighted that you are still on the team and still looking after all us hopeless types who seemingly could'nt punch theirway out of a paper bag.

But I have to admit that I have not been back on this site for a long time but the lure of Nice has always been there and you may recall that I made a number of plea's for help and assistance 2,3 or even 4 years ago.But at last we have made it and will descend upon Nice at the end of August

It means of course that my questions were made a while back and a lot of the info is probably out of date and I have to start again. So I am so pleased that you are still " working the patch " because everyone in those days reckoned that you were the Guvnor along with ol' London Bob. Plus of course the super info given by the very popular girl that was always and also reckoned to be at the top of her game when it came to advice on Nice. I am so sorry but her name escapes me for a moment and I hav'nt got any of my old computer records available anymore to look up. I dunno..my memory!

But boy oh boy, did she know her onions !

Well I hope you hav'nt dropped off reading all this and in the words of MacArthur.......I shall return !

Many thanks again and my very best regards

Ken (Beanyboy)

London, United...
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for Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer
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6. Re: First Time !

I recognised your Moniker straight away, Beanyboy. Good to know you are finally going to make it. It is better than ever down here, lots of improvements.

Probably the biggest change has been in the bus locations since they knocked down the bus station last year.The trusty 100 and 200 start at JC Bermond, and my favourite secret excursion to La Turbie on the 116, now starts at a new Gare Routiere St Angeley interconnect the tram stop Vauban.

A lot of information put online over a year or two ago will be out of date.

I'm in Nice at the moment and we have had a beautiful week, and I hope more to come.

London, United...
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7. Re: First Time !

Thanks Andrew, yep I am really looking forward to it. The only thing that I was a bit wary about was the catching of trains and buses as we will for the first time ever, be going on hols without the car !!!!.

Scary... but as long as I remmber to punch le billet,we should be ok, at least as far as the buses are concerned an presumably the Trams are the same.

Tis the trains that still worry me, as not really knowing how to buy the tickets and most importantly...when to buy the tickets. I am a born worrier anyway but we will be using trains quite a bit by the looks of it to get to places like Antibes , Cannes etc .I have taken your hints on board about the best ways to travel East and West however.

I'll no doubt think of something else to ask in due course,

Tis great to hear from you again.

Best....

Ken (BB)

Nice
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8. Re: First Time !

Getting train tickets - either buy in advance [specifying date of travel] from ticket counters or use the blue machines using coins or card [chip and pin]

There is a day rover ticket called the Passe Isabelle that you can buy online or from ticket machines/counters

online site for passe isabelle

https:/…index.php

It costs 14 euros per person for travel west as far as frejus/st raphael, east as far as ventimille [italy], north to Grasse or into the mountains on train des merveilles route as far as Tende.

There is a family version which allows 2 adults and 2 kids under 16 to travel together in same area for 35 euros for one day or 80 euros for 3 consecutive days

when you come to validate your ticket [usually before accessing platform ] = put ticket slowly into the yellow machine slot as far to the left hand side as you can / Theoretically the ticket should be coloured side up so that the printing goes in a box printed on the ticket ,but in practice it doesn't matter which side has the printing -but it MUST be validated [in each direction if it is an aller et retour /round trip ticket]

If the yellow validating machine is out of order or you can't find it etc , then you must seek out the guard on the train as soon as you board to get it validated in order to avoid a fine.

Bus tickets are easy as you can just pay the driver but these also need to be validated if they are made of cardboard. If it is a paper ticket [like a receipt] then this does not need to be validated.

You get a cardboard ticket within the Nice metropolitan area - ie as far east as cap d 'ail, and as far west as cagnes sur mer, as far north as vence and st jeannet [and within the area to Eze, cap ferrat, Villefranche Beaulieu etc]

You get a paper ticket to st Paul de vence , Monaco. Menton , St Martin Vésubie , Grasse etc

The paper and cardboard tickets all cost 1 euro

You can purchases bus tickets using coins r chip and pin cards at the tram machines- the tickets are not valid until they have been put in the little machines on board the bus/tram

Don't get them wet [eg rain/damp towels/sweat] or bend them

Edited: 13 July 2012, 20:27
London, United...
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9. Re: First Time !

Selkie you are a star !

I apologise too for leaving you out of my "accolades" ie when I was singng the praises of the "stalwarts of knowledge" of Nice.. I was learning things from you when you only had 2000 posts under your belt ,so you have certainly done some work since then. I still cannot remember the name of other female colleague.. she had a little daughter she often spoke about then.

Anyway I digress, thanks a million for your advice and tips above. They will be a great help. But d'ye know and I feel a right twerp in admitting this but I dont know if my debit and credit cards are chip and pin or not. do you happen to know if UK cards are or is it just French Cards that are ?

Oh can you tell me if the Blue Machines take Euro Notes?

Many thanks again

Ken (Beanyboy)

Nice
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10. Re: First Time !

I don't know if all UK cards have the chip and pin system but certainly some do

The chip on the card looks like this:

…wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Differentsmartcardp…

The Blue Machines don't take notes, only coins or chip and pin cards