Artists come to Nice for the light, foodies for the pastries, Glamazons pose on yachts up and down the Cote D’Azur, but for us shopaholics the biggest attraction in Nice is the markets.
Exploring the alleyways of the Old Town it seems they are a haven of patisseries, boulangeries and artists’ workshops. At all hours of the day there appeared to a queue of conversing locals spilling out of the butchers and onto the streets. The narrow alleys abruptly expand into squares containing clusters of vendors, fish or vegetable markets.
In the centre of the Old Town is the Cours Saleya, an atmospheric square where the cobbles are covered with colourful stalls of flowers and food, surrounded on all sides by cafes and restaurants with outdoor patios. Every Monday the flower and vegetable vendors take the day off and their stalls are replaced with antique dealers selling treasures ranging from furniture to jewellery and Chanel handbags.
Although not the biggest antique market I have visited in Europe it was one of the friendliest, and the range of items of offer means its perfect for those of us who enjoy a good rummage. Goods aren’t cheap – they are more investment pieces than bargain basement second hand goods. All the vendors appeared to be professional antique dealers, as were many of the browsers.
I visited Nice in January and despite the less than warm weather all stalls were still in full swing. I spent a good hour wandering the aisles with damp feet, if I was to return in summer I’d wander here all day.
Getting there: from Nice airport a bus runs along the Promenade des Anglais all the way to the Old Town and fares cost just 4 Euros. From the bus stop on the waterfront the Cours Saleya is a max 5 minute walk, follow the signs or ask for directions if necessary.