France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Vieille Ville (Old Town), Nice, France
The heart of Nice, this wonderful area of narrow streets, hills, shops, and restaurants is both a tourist mecca and a vibrant town center for residents.





The Vieille Ville or Old Town of Nice is the traditional center, around which today's modern city has grown...and grown. On the water side, it is bordered by the Quai des États-Unis, along the lovely Baie des Anges. On the east it bumps up against the Colline du Château, or Castle Hill, home of a former fort and today a park with lovely views. On its northern flank is the Place Garibaldi, a bustling square with restaurants, shops, and tram lines.

For visitors, the charm of the Vieille Ville lies in its steep and narrow streets, and the colorful old buildings that line them. Just let yourself wander and you can go back in time.

The Vieille Ville is also a great place to find restaurants of all kinds and sizes—definitely something for everyone here. Cafés, bars, ice cream stands, formal restaurants: it's all there. More...

But a large part of the charm of the Vieille Ville also comes from the markets and shopping, most notably the Cours Saleya. Located just up from the beach, the Cours Saleya runs from the foot of the Colline to the Opera House, and it is lined with beautiful historic buildings in charming colors.

The Cours Saleya Market started in the 18th century and still thrives today. Most days it offers a wonderful collection of produce and flowers; on Mondays it is transformed to a Brocante, or antiques and collectibles market. Be sure to go in the morning, as the stalls close up by early to mid afternoon.

But the Cours Saleya is by no means empty in the afternoon and evening! It is lined with restaurants, offering a wide variety of dining choices.

Cours Saleya is not the only place to buy food in the Vieille Ville. A seafood market is set up not far from the cathedral of Ste-Réparate, and there are a number of butchers, cheese mongers, pastry shops, and other places. This is where many residents of Nice do their regular shopping, and it's fun to wander and see what's on offer.

In addition to markets, shops, and restaurants, the Vieille Ville is also home to the Town Hall and the Palais de Justice (Courthouse). In addition, the Opéra de Nice is located here and offers a range of operas, ballets, concerts, and other musical entertainment.

One of the museums of the city of Nice, the Palais Lascaris, is in the Old Town, just a couple of blocks from Ste-Réparate. It has a wonderful musical instrument collection and is housed in a lovely historic mansion. More...

Be sure to plan time in your itinerary to wander through the Vieille Ville. You can get a feel for Nice's history and what it used to be like centuries ago, while still having plenty of modern amenities.

About Nice

Nice Hotels

What to See & Do in Nice

Château Hill

Nice Restaurants

Food in Nice

Nice Transportation

Côte d'Azur


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