A Guide to the Best Shopping in Nice
The historic Marché aux Fleurs is a great place to start your shopping experience in Nice | © Inge Johnsson / Alamy Stock Photo
Given its long history as a playground for the rich and famous, it’s no surprise that Nice boasts some of the best shopping in France. But don’t worry if you’re on a tight budget. There’s more to this city than ludicrously luxe boutiques. Here are our picks of the best.
Technically, Trésor Publics is a gift shop, but it has about as much in common with your standard vendor of tourist tat as your local corner shop does with Harrods. It’s more like a gift shop reimagined by Wes Anderson, with every hand-crafted item beautifully presented and packaged. If you want to bring back something genuinely gorgeous for someone special, this is a good place to start.
Its main office might be in Paris, but Escales is the quintessence of a French Riviera clothing brand; its designs have a strong nautical theme, with tailoring so chic it hurts. Think Breton stripes, blue polo shirts, and smart, button-down Oxfords. There are branches of Escales in St Tropez and Cannes, but the Nice boutique, on the corner of Rue Paradis, just up from Chanel and Louis Vuitton, is the one to be seen in.
Marché aux Fleurs
You can’t visit Nice without stopping by the Marché aux Fleurs on Cours Saleya. This historic flower market has been selling blooms and blossoms to the public for more than a century, and its hustle and bustle have left an impression on everyone from penniless backpackers to the Russian Tsar. These days, fruit, vegetables and food are sold alongside the flowers in the morning. The market runs from 6am to 5.30pm every day except Mondays, when it’s replaced by an antiques market. It’s worth getting here early, however, especially in summer when it gets particularly crowded.
Café du Cycliste
Bikes are by far the best way to get around Nice, and they’re available for rent at this bike shop-cum-café, but that’s not the main reason it merits a visit. Rather, this offers a contemporary window on the rich cycling culture that’s existed in this part of France
for hundreds of years. You can buy Café du Cycliste high-end, own-brand cycling gear (think Rapha, with a Riviera twist), but the main thing they sell here is a cultural experience. That, and really good coffee.
Cave Bianchi Wine Shop
Wine Seller, Wine
Wine shops are two a penny in Nice, but there are very few that can hold a candle to the venerable Cave Bianchi. Family-run for more than 150 years, it stocks a huge variety of French wines, as well as carefully selected imports and olive oil. To get the proper experience, book a tasting via the website, and leave yourself a decent amount of time to soak up the atmosphere. Make sure you book in advance, though, as Cave Bianchi’s reputation means it’s become something of a tourist hotspot.
Crate-digging isn’t necessarily an activity you’d associate with Nice, but the city boasts several record shops, each offering distinct genres. Evrlst.inc, on Rue de Lycée, is the place to go for techno or electro, Sonic Import boasts a great jazz selection, and the eclectic buying policy at Crazy Rhythm means you can find almost anything in the wonkily stacked cardboard boxes. For our money however, the pick of the bunch is Kosimi Records, where the clear labelling and pared-back decor make it easy to find your place in a crate. The selection of world music – particularly from former French colonies, or overseas regions of France, such as Guadeloupe – is excellent.
These recommendations were updated on June 23, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.