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The best local markets in Nice

A trip to France is never complete without browsing through a local market, and a visit to Nice is no exception.

Practical supermarkets, retail chains and webshops may be monopolizing today’s shopping habits in France as elsewhere in the world, but local markets still have a loyal following. Who can resist the satisfaction of buying fresh fish from the market fishmonger, artisanal cheese and charcuterie or vegetables that have been organically grown less than 30km away.

In France, the market is more than a place to do shopping. It’s here where people gather, socialize, stroll and browse. And for the visitor, there’s no better way to brush up on your rusty French than by heading to where the locals congregate. The Nicoise are generally friendlier than big-city Parisians and are happy to chat and share their opinions – even with strangers. 

After shopping, grab a seat at a café or bar facing the market and watch the action while you sip a glass of rosé. The markets at Cours Saleya and Liberation are lined with popular restaurants, bars and cafes. Or, better still, take your purchases and head over to the beaches on the Promenade des Anglais, the Promenade du Paillon park, or the Parc de la Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill) above the old town, for an unforgettable picnic with a view.

Weekends are definitely the best days to hit a market, but in Nice, there’s a market for every day of the week.

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Action-packed in the old town

This colorful market area on Cours Saleya is actually a collection of markets under its striped awnings – a flower market, a market for fruits and vegetables and stalls that sell everything from creamy cheeses, local mushrooms and olives, to typical souvenirs like lavender sachets, soaps and ceramics. This market also has the crowds, especially when the tourists arrive on weekends. Stop at Theresa’s for a typical Nicoise Socca, a pancake-like local specialty made from chickpea flour, or watch the action from one of the many cafes and restaurants that line the stalls.

Cours Saleya market

1 Cours Saleya, Nice

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Regular hours are Tuesday-Sunday 6:00 – 5:00 pm. Open to midnight in July and August.

Attic treasures in Antibes

Looking for a typical French flea market or massive yard sale? These tend to pop up a little bit here and there, so keep an eye out for times and locations. Vide Grenier Antibes is normally held just outside central Antibes in a massive lot full of indoor and outdoor stalls, as well as trucks offering everything from antique furniture to food and second-hand clothing and toys from the neighbor’s attic. It’s open all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Vide Grenier Antibes

31 Avenue de Nice, Nice

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Saturdays and Sundays, Open 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

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Brocante Saleya offers Monday market browsing when most other markets are closed. The flea market, with antiques and collectibles, basically takes over the square vacated by the regular Cours Saleya market in old Nice. It can be a little pricey, but no one will object to polite bargaining, and, who knows, you might find that antique lamp of your grandmother’s you’ve been searching for.

Brocante Saleya

1 Cours Saleya, Nice

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Mondays 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Puces by the Port

At this market it’s all about “brocante” or secondhand goods. It’s fun to browse around the little cluster of antique shops that spill onto the sidewalk with stands brimming with unusual objects and antiques. The small community of antique dealers might be sharing a coffee when you arrive but will always welcome your questions and conversation.

Marché aux Puces

12 Quai Papacino, Nice

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Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Local flavor

Give me Libération any day! This is where the Nicoise go when they go to market. The stalls congregate around the Place Charles de Gaulle but sprawl out along Avenue Malausséna and Rue Raibert. There’s also a covered market, Cité Marchande Docks de La Riviera, on Rue Raibert with its cheese store, a bakery and a place to buy your “triperie” (tripe) should you so desire. Hop on the streetcar going north (€1.50 one way) from the city center and get off at the Liberation stop, which drops you in the middle of the action, near the Brasserie Le Gambetta, which is always hopping.

Marché de la Libération

Av Malausséna – Place du Général de Gaulle

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Tuesday-Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:30 pm

Time warp

There aren’t too many stalls left in the covered Marché de la Buffa market from 1925, but the aging locals still like to buy their fresh products here. And with good reason. Benji & Steph’s sells organic fruit and vegetables from the owner’s garden. They, like everyone else at this market have been here for years, but no one knows what the fate of this neglected market will be. Go for a genuine glimpse of the past – and the fresh, inexpensive produce.

Marché de la Buffa

54 Rue de la Buffa, Nice

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Tuesday-Sunday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

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