There's little you can't buy in Nice from couture fashion to luxury olive oil to Asian spices. Plus there are colourful markets, quirky and trendy shops and the usual assortment of cheap souvenirs. For a range of fashion, you're better off in Cannes and Monaco is the king of luxury shopping of all kinds but it's hard to beat Nice for sheer variety.
Much improved since the advent of the tramway and being barred to cars, the shops here have taken on new life. Still, there are few small shops. You have an incredible selection of French music and DVDs at the megastores of Virgin Atlantic and Fnac or you can wander Galeries Lafayette, France's most prestigious department store. L'Etoile is Nice's only shopping mall with a variety of mid-range stores from Habitat to Etam. Also on Avenue Jean-Medecin the low-cost fashion emporium of Zara.
Avenue de la Republique
This is a good street to check out for small boutiques devoted to choose, women's fashion or objects for the home. It's far enough away from the tourist trail to keep prices down.
This street is fairly touristed as it's close to the beach and a number of high-end hotels. A few souvenir shops selling Provencale bric-a-brac are sandwiched between stores like Charles Jourdan and Foot Locker.
The 'Golden Triangle'
This little neighourhood consists of rue Paradis, avenue de Suede and avenue de Verdun. Bordering on rue Massena, here is where you find the designer shops to drool over: Sonia Rykiel, Kenzo, Hermes and Chanel are all present and accounted for.
Rue St Francois de Paule
Really an extension of the Cours Saleya, this little street is where you can pick up your souvenirs. From little pots of Provencale herbs, to the garish "Provencale" fabrics, this street screams "tourist trap!" Yet there are some truly typical local buys such as Alziari Olive Oil.
This is the most famous and colourful local market although the prices have climbed ever higher. Fruits, vegetables, candied fruit, olives, local cheese and delicious bread can tempt even the most dedicated dieter. In-the-know locals head for the little area that veers off the center of the street to find merchants selling true farm-fresh products. Fresh flowers are at the western end of the street. On Monday the entire space becomes a flea market. From June to September there's a night market of local handicrafts (i.e. more interesting souvenirs).
Open: Food market: 6am-1pm Tues-Sun
Flower market: 6am-5.30 or 6.30pm Tues-Sat; 6am-1.30pm Sun
Flea market: 7.30am-6pm Mon
Night market: 6pm-12.30am Tues-Sun June-September
On the northern end of ave Jean Medecin, this is the preferred market of local gourmands. From fresh herbs to local fruit to wild salmon, there is little you can't find here and the prices are cheaper than on the Cour Saleya.
Open: 6am-12.30pm Tues-Sun
It's out of the way on Flo Bravi in west Nice, but here is where to find organic produce.
Open: 6am-1pm Wednesday
Out of Town
Just over the border in Italy, this town seems to exist mainly for shopping! The open-air Friday market attracts hordes of tourists along with bargain-hunting French people and even some Italians. The food market is a heaven for foodies and there's stall after stall of clothing and household items. Leather jackets, bags and shoes are particularly good value.