Nice shopping can be excellent all over the city, but some areas have wonderful bargains, great local color with a taste of the city's history, and some of the top tourist attractions. You can find a traditional open air market in Nice France or trendy high-fashion boutiques.
At the top of the list for the best shopping in Nice is the Cours Saleya, the largest and most famous of the city's open-air markets. The pedestrian-only market is located just a couple blocks off the Promenade des Anglais on the southern edge of Old Nice (Vieux Nice), and is a bustling hive of colorful activity every day from 6:00 a.m. until early evening when it turns itself into the city's main nightlife district. The Flower Market operates on Tuesdays, Thursday, and Fridays for most of the day; you'll find the Fruit and Vegetable Market open every morning except Mondays; Mondays are reserved for the Antiques Market; and the Arts and Crafts Market operates every evening from June 1 to September 30.
This is the market in Nice France where the restaurant chefs buy produce, and is the perfect place for food shopping if you're staying in vacation rentals. Come as early in the morning as you can get up to see the market at its busiest. The Fish Market in Nice France is located in Place Saint Francois, a bit north of Palais Lascaris, and is open every morning except Mondays.
After you've done your morning Nice shopping as the locals do, stop in at one of the numerous sidewalk cafes for dining on local specialties. Do your sightseeing tours in Vieux Nice in the afternoon, and come back in the evening for the best shopping in Nice for arts and crafts and some nightlife. There are several nightclubs, bistros, and music bars in the Cours Saleya area.
There is excellent Nice shopping along the popular Promenade des Anglais, but you will find prices higher the closer you are to the beaches as well as some typical souvenir and t-shirt shops. However, as this is where several luxury hotels are located, there are also some high-end gift shops and boutiques. A bit to the northwest of Cours Saleya along the Avenue de Verdun and Rue de Suede, you will find many high-fashion shops, including Hermes, Faconnable, and Armand Thiery.
Some of the best shopping in Nice can be found just strolling through the city and finding your own hidden gems. Things to look for include traditional Provencal terra cotta pottery, jellied fruit candies, chocolates (the celebrated Geneva chocolatier Henri Auer, in operation since 1939 has a branch here), marmalade made from tangerines and rose petals, lavender-scented soaps and other products, sachets of the famous "herbes de Provence," and terra cotta figurines of little saints ("santons"). Santons are normally used to set up Nativity scenes, and have been a popular Provencal product since the French Revolution. Do note that many of the smaller shops close during the lunch hour, which is actually from about noon until 2 p.m. This is because that is when most of the traditional dining spots begin to set up tables and chairs on sidewalks outside their establishments.