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Shopping in Nice

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Considered by many to be the heart of the French Riviera, Nice manages to live up to any number of expectations you might have about a place in such a spectacular location. Fancy boulevards and promenades lined with designer boutiques, street markets and antique shops make Nice every shopper's paradise. Just by leaving your Nice hotel you might encounter a great deal of shopping delights!

Cours Saleya by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Fashion
The central shopping area of Nice is Magenta Square and the streets surrounding it. It's located at the core of the historic centre of the city, so you might want to start you shopping tour of Nice with a relaxed stroll down the pedestranised alleys and promenades. After Paris, Nice is France's premier spot to see and be seen.

 

Here, fashion shopping is much more than just a process of walking from one shop to another -- it's a meticulously planned spectacle requiring a visit to every important establishment in the city centre.

  • Rue Paradis and Rue de Suède are home to the most famous fashion studios, including the original shop of popular brand Façonnable, today boasting hundreds of branches worldwide.
  • Rue Masséna has the enormous Galeries Lafayette, second in size only to its Parisian branch.
  • Avenue Jean-Médecin and Rue de Verdun are filled with the outlets of popular chains.

Nice is generally associated with shopping for exclusive chic clothes, but the multitude of boutiques and wide range of goods promise excellent bargains to all shoppers, regardless of the style and price-level they prefer.

Arts & Crafts
Art and antiques fans will be delighted with the little artistic studios and curiosities shops situated along the narrow streets around the Old Town Cathedral.

  • Atelier Contre-Jour on Rue du Pont Vieux sells silk lampshades, artfully carved furniture and hand-painted posters.
  • L’Atelier des Cigales on Rue du Collet is great for pottery collectors, offering modern versions of traditional Provencal terra cotta cups and plates.
  • Marché à la Brocante is an antiques market held on Mondays at Cours Saleya, a perfect place to admire interesting oil and water-colour painted scenes of the Mediterranean and handmade jewellery.

In summer, Nice hosts an interesting local arts and crafts fair that offers a unique chance to catch a glimpse of the quality and character of the locally produced decorative goods.


Antique market of Cours Saleya by Tim Lucas

Confectionery
Nice is home to several reputable candy shops selling delicious Provencal treats, such as fruits confits, or jellied fruit.

  • The Henri Auer Chocolaterie offers many varieties of this traditional treat. You can buy it crystallised in sugar or artfully wrapped in a chocolate coating.
  • Confiserie Florian du Vieux-Nice sells the famous local delights as well as some excellent and exotic local jams and marmalades well worth a taste.

Flowers
The most important Flower Market in Nice takes place from Tuesday to Sunday at Cours Saleya. The stalls are lost between cascades of yellow blooming mimosas, Nice's best-known flower, which is used to decorate boats during the carnival. Vendors offer cut flowers and a wide range of potted plants, such as miniature lemon trees and gardenias. It's also possible to have flowers sent to any location in France and even abroad.

Flower Market by Tristan Schmurr

Did you know... ?

1. The famous Henri Auer Chocolaterie has been selling jellied fruit since 1820.

2. Nice's Vegetable and Fruit Market has been recognised as one of the best in all of France by the National Council of Culinary Arts.

3. The traditional Provencal marmalade sold at food markets in Nice is made of rose petals and tangerines.

4. The confectionery shops in Nice sell crystallised rosebuds and violets.

5. There's an Antique Postcard Market every 4th Saturday of the month at Palais Square.

6. La Maison de la Presse is an excellent English bookstore at Massena Square.

7. In the Arrato jewellery shop, you need to take a numbered ticket and wait for your number to appear in a display window over the cash desk.

8. The small artistic studio of Sylvie T in the old town produces hand-painted postcards.

9. The Monday flea market at Cours Saleya has around 200 stalls.

10. Nicola Alziari is one of the oldest purveyors of olive oil in Nice.

Nice vegetable market by Alberto Perdomo

Shopping Tips

1. Avoid buying fruit in the supermarket. You’ll find it much fresher at the open-air markets.

2. When you go shopping at a market, make sure you have plenty of change, as the vendors often refuse to break a large bill.

3. Sales is Soldes is French.

4. Visit the extraordinary fish market that takes place Tuesday to Sunday at Saint-François Square.

5. Smaller shops in Nice close for lunch.

6. Use public transort when going shopping. Underground parking in the shopping malls often turns out to be quite expensive.

7. Avoid shopping in close proximity to the beach, where prices are a couple of times higher than in the other parts of Nice.

8. The cheapest place to do your grocery shopping in Nice is the centrally located Monoprix.

9. Nice has a number of second-hand designer clothing shops.

10. For traditional Provencal biscuits, visit La Cure Gourmande Bakery.

Place Massena by Shaun Merritt

Shop Review: Saint James

Located just beside the port, this small shop offers a wide range of smart-casual, nautical-themed clothing. The company was the first to produce the famous sweaters of Breton fishermen. This shop is probably the best place in Nice to buy the classic striped French T-shirt, as most of the clothes offered by the shop feature the characteristic white and navy-blue striped pattern. Prices range from 15 to 150 Euro.

Address: Ile de Beauté, 11
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 9 a.m-1 p.m. and 2 p.m-5 p.m.

Nicean soaps by Luca Nebuloni

Take Home

Eau de Nice
Nice's own brand of eau de toilette will let you carry the smell of the regional yellow mimosa flowers with you, wherever you go.

Lavender Soap
The lavender fields are a symbol of Provence; so are the fresh handmade bars of lavender soap available in natural cosmetics shops all over the old town.

Le Bellet Wine
The Bellet region around Nice is one of the smallest in Nice, yet it produces unique wines best enjoyed with local onion crust or grilled vegetables.

Olive Oil
Olives grown along the southern coast of France have a reputation of being the best in the Mediterranean.

Santons
These small terra cotta figurines of 'little saints' are mostly used for constructing nativity scenes. They're a traditional Provencal product that gained popularity during the French Revolution.

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