Spend a few hours shopping for souvenirs in the colorful stalls of one of Nice’s most famous markets, which overflows with exotic flowers and local produce.
Alive with fragrance and color, Cours Saleya is a flower market in Nice’s Old Town. Browse its many stalls, which sell hundreds of varieties of plants, trees and flowers. The produce also includes fresh fruits and vegetables from the countryside around Nice.
Consider the city’s long history with flower markets. Back in 1897, Nice was the site of the first wholesale flower market in the world. Nice’s flowers quickly became popular across Europe, with the temperate climate of the Côte d’Azur perfect for cultivating colorful tropical plants.
Today, the market continues to thrive and is a great place to get a sense of everyday Niçois life. If you can, make a visit to the market your first activity of the day. Come for breakfast. There are many sidewalk cafés where you can pick up a café au lait (coffee with milk). Then, walk around the fruit stalls and taste samples of melon, pineapple, berries and exotic fruits.
If you’d rather eat something more substantial, look for the stall signposted Chez Thérésa. Here try socca, also known as farinata. This thin pancake made from chickpeas is popular in Italy and across the Côte d’Azur.
As you walk through the flower and vegetable market, admire the bright colors and strong scents emanating from quaint stalls with striped awnings. Souvenir shoppers will find plenty of stalls selling soap, olive oil and other goods you can easily take home with you.
The Cours Saleya market is free to enter and is open every day of the week except Monday. The market also closes on Sunday afternoons. There are a couple of public transportation options for getting to the market. If you’re traveling by tram, the nearest stop to Cours Saleya is Opéra-Vieille Ville. Alternatively, ride local buses to Albert 1er/Phocéens. Both the tram and bus stops are about a 5-minute walk from the market.