From fresh Provencal produce at the markets to chic jewellery boutiques and designer neighbourhoods, the shopping in Nice diverse. With major clothing chains, some excellent food stores and markets and a growing selection of boutique gift shops offering something a little different, there is plenty to peruse in Nice.
The main shopping strip can be found on Avenue Jean Medecin which runs through the city centre. The tram line runs straight down the middle so you can easily access it from end to end and of course there are always plenty of cafes and wine bars to punctuate your walk along!
There are also several daily markets in Nice. The large main outdoor market, Cours Saleya, is open every morning and is a great place to experience traditional day-to-day shopping. Vegetables, fruit, freshly caught fish, oysters, paté and olives are all available and very fresh. A flower market is also part of this area.
Where are the best shops?
Depending on what you are looking for one of the best and most compact shopping areas is the Vieille Ville, the Old Town. With narrow cobbled streets and lots of local food, clothing and arty shops you could easily find yourself going round in circles or lost down an alleyway...which is no bad thing!
For a more high street shopping experience the Avenue Jean Medecin is the place to go. With the Place Massena end of the street you can find the good quality and well priced French department store, Galeries Lafayette. Further north on the Avenue there are several small shopping malls, including Nice Etoile, and numerous high street brands such as Monoprix, Habitat and a H&M.
Luxury & designer
If you want something designer without leaving the city, Rue Paradis and Avenue de Verdon will be able to satiate most minor shopping urges. This is near the Place Massena and so along with the designer shops you can also find some small boutiques and great cafe's, bars and restaurants.
Nice's main outdoor market for fresh food & flowers takes place every morning (except Monday) in the Cours Saleya in Vieux Nice. Here you will find the very best of local and organic seasonal produce, fresh seafood (although the waters around Nice do not supply a lot of it) and plenty of locally produced olive oils and pistou's.
Close by is the bustling daily fish market, also in Nice's Old Town. It starts at 6am and runs all morning - or until the fish run out. You might need to battle with the seagulls for the fish though as they are very persistent!
These two markets are just the tip of the iceberg however as Nice hosts a variety of monthly and bi-weekly markets that include arts & crafts, antiques, second-hand books and clothes and even a specialist postcard market.
Shop opening times
Normal shop opening times in France are Monday to Saturday between 10:00 and 19:00, although hours can vary, and Nice is no different. Many of the smaller shops will close for two hours during the middle of the day and again this is very typical of France as they enjoy a long lunch break to spend with family and friends. Some shops, particularly those that attract tourist trade, do open on a Sunday.