We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we tell you that “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. How do I get from one terminal to the next? What are the best airport restaurants? Is there anything to do if I have a long layover?
If you’re anything like us, then these are probably the types of questions you have that perhaps you don’t get push notifications for. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to the world’s top airports. Today we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport (NCE).
About Nice Côte d’Azur Airport
Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport sits amidst one of the most beautiful corners of Europe, located waterfront on the French Riviera between Cannes and Nice. NCE is the third busiest airport in France, breaking its passenger record last year with more than 13 million passengers (Albeit far less than Paris Charles de Gaulle’s 70 million passengers.). Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is an operating base for EasyJet, and a focus city for Air France. More than 100 destinations are accessible from NCE on more than 50 airlines that operate out of two terminals.
Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is conveniently located just 4 miles (7 km) from Nice, making it easily accessible via taxi or bus, and soon accessible by Nice’s new tram line. Unique to NCE is helicopter service that transports guests between the airport and Monaco, Cannes, and Saint Tropez. If you plan on renting a car, rental company desks are located on the arrivals level of the airport.
Small as Nice Côte d’Azur Airport may be, it has a wide range of restaurants, including some from Michelin-starred chefs. This includes La Plage from star-rated Chef Thierry Marx, located in Terminal 1, and the new Estivale by Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco in Terminal 2. Colagreco was ranked last year as one of the world’s top chefs according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Other dining spots in Terminal 1 include the casual Trib’s Café, Pan Garni (also from Chef Thierry), a Prêt à Manger location, and Chez Pipo for socca, a traditional dish of Nice. Terminal 2 features a couple different concepts from British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, including Jamie’s Italian and Jamie’s Deli. Others include Eric Kayser, Bread & Co, Saleya, Koksi for gourmet couscous, Monsieur Albert for gourmet hot dogs, and Petrossian for caviar.
Many of NCE’s restaurants also double as great spots to grab a drink, such as Jamie’s Italian and La Plage. La Plage also has a Terminal 2 bar in addition to its Terminal 1 restaurant. For a truly European drink experience at the airport, enjoy a glass of French wine at Estivale, or pair a glass of wine with a selection of caviar at Petrossian. On a nice warm day, grab a beer or glass of wine at Chez Jean in Terminal 2 to enjoy on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace.
One of the best things about Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport is how close it is to one of Western Europe’s best cities. In just 10 minutes you could be in the heart of Nice, exploring places like the Castle of Nice or strolling the famous Promenade des Anglais. If you’re short on time, stick to the airport, discovering a number of shops from recognizable brands like Hermes, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Versace. For a literal taste of France, visit Saveurs de Provence, offering a selection of French gastronomy, including cheese, olive oil, Provence herbs, and fine French wine and champagne.
Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport has several lounges in both Terminal 1 and 2. In Terminal 1, passengers will find the Library VIP Lounge in the Schengen departure zone and the Canopy VIP Lounge in the international departure zone. Terminal 2 includes the Infinity VIP Lounge in the Schengen departure zone and the Levity VIP Lounge in the international departure zone. All lounges include a selection of food and drinks, while Levity also allows guests to order food and drinks from Petrossian.
Use TripIt’s interactive airport maps to discover shop, restaurant, and bar locations. You’ll also have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he’s not traveling, he’s perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.