The distance between the two destinations of Nice and Cannes on the French Riviera is 16 miles (26 km), traveling southwest along the coast. The easiest way to make the trip is by train, which takes about 25-40 minutes and is not subject to traffic. Driving yourself in a rental car or hiring a private transfer are both convenient options, and the route takes only 30 minutes without traffic.
For a more memorable travel experience, consider taking a ferry or even chartering a private boat. By sea, the trip only takes one hour. Buses are the most economical choice but can take closer to 1.5 hours.
To get the most out of your time in the south of France, consider this "Like a Local” Tour in Provence and the French Riviera.
Duration: 25-40 minutes
Trains are the most logical method of transport, as they depart every 10 minutes from multiple stations in Nice, including Gare de Nice-Ville and Gare de Nice- St. Augustin, and take you directly to Gare de Cannes, Cannes' main train station. Taking the train also spares you any hold-ups due to traffic, which can be heavy, especially in warmer months.
Multiple companies run trains from Nice to Cannes. TER Breizhgo runs trains every 10 minutes, which make about nine stops on the way and take about 40 minutes. SNCF runs TER/TGV trains every 30 minutes or so, and they take just 25-35 minutes. Trains should be taken in the direction of Cannes La Bocca (just one stop after the main stop in Cannes) or Grasse, with some continuing all the way to Paris.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 30 minutes, more with stops
Having a car gives you the freedom to explore the route between Nice and Cannes and perhaps take a few side trips along the way. The fastest route brings you southwest on the A8 highway. For a quick pit-stop on this route, Cagnes-sur-Mer is a picturesque town known for its pebble beaches and horse races at its hippodrome.
The other option is to select the “avoid highways” option on your GPS. This will take you right along the coast the whole way (via D6007 or M6098). This will add about fifteen minutes to your journey, but open up other places to stop, like Juan-les Pins, a seaside town and resort next to Antibes.
For other route ideas, make sure to check out kimkim's Self-Drive Tour in Provence and French Riviera.
Rental car companies abound in Nice. Remember that non-EU driver's license holders must obtain an International Driver's Permit in order to drive in France. Alternatively, you can hire a private transfer or take a taxi. Uber tends to be less expensive than standard taxis and is readily available in Nice.
Duration: 1 hour
Few routes offer as many post-worthy moments as the sea. Taking a cruise along the French Riviera is an unforgettable experience, and the company Trans Côte D'Azur offers daily trips from Nice to Cannes in the summer months.
Yachts and catamarans are also available for charter or private cruises, with prices variable upon boat size and duration. Some of the pre-planned tours include stops at lesser-known spots, snorkeling excursions, drinks, or meals.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Lîgnes D'Azur runs buses from Parc Phoenix and Aéroport Promenade stops in Nice to Cannes about every 30 minutes, with less frequency on weekends. The bus does cost less than the train but takes over double the time.