Shopping in Nice
Nice is a paradise for shoppers and you don’t have to have a platinum card to enjoy the experience. Yes, it helps—some of the wares on offer in the city’s boutiques fetch a small fortune—but there are plenty of independent retailers, high street brands, and markets to cater for all budgets.
The so-called ‘golden triangle’ of posh boutiques defied the recent global financial crisis and it seems like business as usual on the high street as well, where bag-laden consumers keep up with the latest trends. Away from the commercialism of the city centre, traditional markets and independent retailers are thriving, especially in the leafy suburbs where you can pick up anything from antiques and local crafts to fruit, and flowers.
The Avenue Jean Medecin is Nice’s equivalent of London’s Oxford Street - you’ll find most major high street brands here. However, if money is burning a hole in your Louis Vuitton bag, then head to the ‘golden triangle,’ which is home to some of the city’s most exclusive boutiques and artisan food shops.
Scattered between Rue Paradis, Rue Alphonse, and Rue De Verdun, the ‘golden triangle’ is a good spot for people watching if nothing else; here, window-shopping tourists gaze aghast at the prices, while Nice’s beautiful people flutter between boutiques like butterflies.
Those looking to take home some quality wine should head for the renowned Cave 35 at 35 Rue de la Buffa.
Between Tuesday and Sunday, check out the Flower Market on Cours Saleya, which proliferates with bright and fragrant flowers as well as fruit and veg. Flowers can be delivered to any location in France as well as abroad. In summer there is a nightly arts and crafts market geared towards tourists in the same location.
There is also a great food market north of the station along Avenue Malaussena, which specialises in fresh fish, fruit and vegetables.
The two biggest shopping centres in Nice, Nicetoile and Galeries Lafayette can be found down Avenue Jean Médecin, along with a host of other mainstream retailers.
Generally speaking opening hours are between 0900 and 1900, but times vary depending on the retailer.
If you’re looking to pick up souvenirs, head to the Old Town in the evening. Street vendors sell a variety of arts and crafts, and the quality of their wares is surprisingly high – although so are the prices, as this is where most tourists descend. Expect to see plenty of arts and antiques. Atelier Contre-Jour on Rue du Pont Vieux sells silk lampshades, furniture, and hand-painted posters. L’Atelier des Cigales on Rue du Collet offers modern versions of traditional Provencal terra cotta cups and plates.
Alternatively, the gift shops in some of the city’s museums are great for arty souvenirs. So, if you can’t afford a genuine Matisse, then comfort yourself with a fridge magnet depicting his most famous work.
Shopping centres like the Galeries Lafayette have their own tax refund services, as do some of the boutiques.
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