Greentraveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Nice in the South of France.
Journey Time: from 8 hours 53 minutes
Sample timetable: Depart London 9.22am, arrive Nice 8.07pm
Transfer: Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare de Lyon
Frequency of Departures: 14/day
Carbon emissions: 15.51kg (flight would be 97.24kg)*
Car hire at Nice-Ville Railway Station: Yes
What's the journey like?
You have to change stations in Paris from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon, which can take about half an hour on the Paris RER line (it's only two stops, though we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer - you have about an hour and a quarter to get the connection). See our guide to How to transfer between train stations across Paris. At Gare de Lyon, you board a TGV high speed train to Nice-Ville station.
Stopover hotels to break the journey in Paris
If you want to break the journey and stay overnight to see a bit more of Paris while you're travelling through, there are lots of lovely places to stay near both Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon. Here are some examples of hotels that are conveniently near these stations:
Miss your connection in Paris?
Don’t panic. Railteam’s ‘Hop on the Next Available Train’ service means that if you have missed your connection between high speed trains because of a delay on the preceding leg of your journey, you’ll automatically be put on the next available high-speed train. NB Remember to get your ticket stamped by your Train Manager. Whenever you’re connecting, always remember to validate your onward train ticket at the machine on the platform before departing (these are often coloured yellow).
On arrival at Nice-Ville station
Bienvenue à Nice! The Grande Dame of the French Riviera, Nice enjoys a fine, sunsoaked Mediterranean climate and spectacular setting between the Alps and the sea. The famous sweep of its Baie des Anges has been drawing tourists for centuries and it is still a prime spot to come and experience the highlife of ritzy hotels, chic bars, fine dining, gambling, sunbathing and more. But Nice isn’t all glamour: it has a rich history and cultural heritage, boasting everything from Roman ruins to museums of the work of Matisse and Chagall; the old centre is well-preserved and atmospheric, and it is very much a bustling, diverse, 21st century port city. When you’ve had enough of city life, you can head to the spectacular beaches that spread out in both directions along the coast. There are plenty of hotels close to the station, see: Hotels near to Nice-Ville train station.
Getting around Nice
International and intercity trains pull into Nice-Ville, the city’s main railway station, on the northern edge of the city centre. Served by the city’s tramline, it is also a hub for many bus services. The old centre of Nice is relatively compact and walkable, but for the rest of the city (including the cultural district of Cimiez in the northern hills), and the surrounding area (including the neighbouring beach resorts), there is a good network of buses, as well as a tram and rail services.
Nice’s ultramodern tram service currently consists of one line, looping from the north-west, past Nice-Ville station, through the centre and up to the north-east. Three further lines are either planned or under construction, and you can find more information on the Nice tramway website (in French), and here is a map of the Nice tram network (the tram line is in red). Both the tram and the buses are covered by the same tickets (1,50€) - you can find out more information in English on the city’s tourist website. You can also purchase a French Riviera Pass for unlimited travel in the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis, as well as discounts and free entry at a variety of attractions.
Lignes d’Azur also offers information on public transport across the Nice area in English, including a zoomable map of bus routes and other transport across the city; and the tourist board’s website has information on useful train services for tourists around Nice.
An alternative to buses, particularly if you’re not heading up into the surrounding mountains, is to travel by bike: enabling you to feel the fresh sea breezes and sun on your skin as you take in the city. Like many cities, Nice has a self-service bike sharing scheme, called Vélo Bleu (site in French), which allows you to pick up a bike at one docking station and return it to another at your destination: the official tourist website has some information and a map in English, they also recommend some bike hire providers in Nice.
(Tickets provided by Trainline)