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Where to shop in Nice

28/08/2013

A guide to the top spots for spending sprees. Ooh la la!

Dried lavender

Whether you're buying presents, looking for a unique outfit for your cruise or hoping to sample some local delicacies, Nice offers a dynamic mix of shops that give its glam neighbours, Cannes and Monaco, a run for their money.

Here’s our pick of the best.


Cours Saleya flower market

Nice’s famous flower market is an unmissable riot of colour. Admittedly, there’s little point in buying flowers for yourself while on holiday, but stallholders can arrange international delivery. Provence is famous for its fields of fragrant flowers and Nice's distinctive smell is bottled in the city’s own perfume, Eau de Nice.

On Mondays, the flower market becomes the Marché à la Brocante, a flea market where you can buy antiques, paintings of the Mediterranean and handmade jewellery. Foodies shouldn’t go home without a bottle of olive oil (considered to be the best in the Mediterranean), or trying the local marmalade, made from rose petals and tangerines. Food lovers should also try the crystallised fruit from Henri Auer (7, rue Saint-François de Paule), whose family has been making it since 1820.


Vieux-Nice, the Old Town

Don’t be afraid to get lost in the maze of tiny streets as you’re likely to stumble across a hidden treasure. Nice was home to both Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse at various times, and its rich artistic heritage is reflected in the many ateliers of rue Droite, where artists and crafts people sell paintings, postcards and pottery. Look out for l’Atelier des Cigales for modern versions of traditional terracotta crockery, and l’Atelier Contre-Jour for hand-painted posters and silk lampshades. Inside L'église du Gesù, a Roman Catholic church, visitors can buy religious icons called santons, made from local terracotta. There are also several boutiques selling fabric and clothes, and a string of vintage shops including Caprice on rue Droite. To the north of the old town, antique shops spill out onto the pavements.


The New Town

The wide boulevards and open squares of Nice’s New Town are the perfect contrast to the haphazard Old Town. The two big malls, Nice Étoile and Galeries Lafayette, sell everything from sun cream to socks – perfect if you’ve forgotten any holiday essentials. For chic, couture shopping, head to rue Paradis in the heart of the area known colloquially as Carré-d’Or (the Golden Square). There are many boutiques in the area selling designer goods and, if you’re feeling flush, avenue de Suède has a Louis Vuitton outlet. Alternatively, if you’re feeling thrifty, rue de France is home to Madamoiselle, a boutique that sells preloved designer clothes. For a tremendous Breakfast at Tiffany’s-style moment, peer inside the jewellery shops on the Avenue de Verdun.


Vive la France memorabilia

Tourists don’t tend to venture to the harbour as much as they should. It’s atmospheric, fun and home to a Saint James’ Boutique. The iconic blue and white striped sweaters, made famous by French fishermen, hail from Brittany, but Saint James’ was the first to produce them commercially. And, let’s face it, if you want to bring home one thing that really says ‘vive la France’, this is it.

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