The heart of Nice beats in the Cours Saleya. The daily morning flower market offers much more than just cut flowers. Plants, cacti, fresh fruit, vegetables, delicatessen, bread, olives, socca, traditional glaced fruits, and on Mondays the flowers give way to antiques.
Many tourists of course pass through here - you will hear a lot of English and Italian spoken - but also this is where the Nicios also like to come and do their daily shopping. The fruit is from heaven - sweet clementines from Corsica, figs and grapes from Provence, exotic Kaki-fruit, lychee, or apples bursting with flavour. If its a bit touristy don't assume everything is marked up for tourists - it is terrific value and little different from the supermarket - only better quality.
You will also be introduced to the novelty of French pricing. For no discernable reason there will be wide differences in prices for the same fruit between different stalls. You will also discover the difference between the flavour of fruit picked a few days previously in Provence or Corsica, and the flavour of fruit which has spent the last month chilled in a distribution warehouse waiting for delivery to your home supermarket.
A little "insider tip": the fruit stall with consistently the best price and fruit fully ripe for eating the same day is on the left at the far end of the Cours, direction The Chateau. They bark out the patter at full throat - "deux euro un kilo!" They work hardest as the fruit won't keep, but it is at its very best: sweet and full flavoured.
Lined with restaurants and brasseries, the Cours is a great place to sit with a beer or coffee and people watch. Terrific atmosphere that is so magnetic everyone passes through here just for the sheer buzz.
You cannot miss the Flower Market!
I loved it because it reflects the idea of the "traditional market" concept that I've always had in my mind.
Beside flowers you'll also find spices, essential oils, seeds and soap: so pitoresque!
Obviously flowers are colourful, but they simply complete the atmosphere, they are natuarally meant to be there: the sea is just a few meters away, buildings are painted with lively colours, air is filled with perfume of lavander...
What are you still waiting for?
This market is held every day except Monday (when they have a flea market). Located in Le Vieux Nice, this market is full of flowers, foods and spices. Be sure to try out the anise bisquits.
Daily 6am - 5:30pm.