One of Nice's great pleasures is wandering the outdoor markets along the Cours Saleya. Blooms of every color and shape burst to life. Row after row of spices beckon. There are grapes the size of golf balls and olives glimmering in the sun. Stalls provide shade even during the hottest summer day and you're surrounded by the streets of old Nice. Don't just take my word for it, the National Council for the Culinary Arts has ranked the Cours Saleya as one of the country's special markets.
Besides the vendors, shops, boutiques, and cafes line the sides. Buy hats, tableware, tacky souvenirs or sit on a pavement terrace and order a cafe au lait to sip.
The various markets feature something to appeal to nearly every taste: an antique market, arts and crafts market, discount stores, a fish market, and even a used and antique book market and an antique postcard market. You can find a market do browse every single day when you visit Nice.
The most famous market area is the Cours Selaya, between Place Massena and Vieux Nice (Old Town), and should be a part of your tour. Bustling any day of the week, this one can't be missed. It serves as a flower and produce market every day but Mondays, when it becomes an antique market. On summertime evenings, there is an arts and crafts market.
Here are the hours:
- Flower Market, Cours Saleya, runs 6 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, and 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays.
- Fruit & Vegetable Market, Cours Saleya, runs 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every day but Monday.
- Antiques Market, Cours Saleya, runs 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays (unless they are holidays or the eve of holidays).
- Flea Market (Marche au Puces), Port, Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.p.
- Arts & Crafts Market, Cours Saleya, from June 1 to Sept. 30, every day from 6 p.m. to midnight.
- Fish Market, Place Saint-Francois, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day but Monday.
- Used & Antique Book Market, La Place du Palais de Justice, every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Arts & Crafts Market, Place de Palais, second Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Antique Postcard Market, Place de Palais, fourth Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Evening Artisan Market, Cours Saleya, during the high season from mid-May to mid-September 6 p.m. to midnight.
If you fancy an in-depth experience of the market, then you should walk through the Cours Saleya, but to get the best out of it you'll have to start early!
If that doesn't satisfy your desire for markets, here is a list of other markets that operate throughout Nice. Each operates every day but Monday from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- La Libération, haut Malausséna, near the Tramway
- Ray, place Fontaine du Temple
- Saint-Roch, boulevard Virgile Barel
- Ariane, place de l'Ariane
- Pasteur, avenue Antonia-Augusta
- Cimiez, place du Commandant Jérôme
- St Augustin, bd Paul Montel
- Caucade, place de Caucade
Happy market-browsing. We wish you many great finds!
Markets Throughout France
Market shopping throughout France is a daily pleasure for many French. Particularly in towns, people still use the local market for their daily needs, leaving the big supermarket complexes for a once-a-week trip to fill up on ordinary household items.
Wherever you are, you're bound to find a market. Check with the local tourist office who will have a full list of what is going on in their towns, as well as maps. If you're in the south, you really are in luck. The summer sees the countryside bursting with fruit and vegetables. Don't miss my favorite, the daily covered market in Antibes, while over in the western part, in the Dordogne, Sarlat-la-Caneda has one of the biggest and best markets in that area.