The Old Town has an alluring pull towards its red roof tiles, shady streets and hidden secrets from a thousand years of history. Not to mention its restaurants, markets, galleries and shopping delights! Here are some of my favourite things to do:
Cour Saleya – cafés
Start the day in typical French style with a coffee on the terrace. There are numerous cafés around this central market square, and you can watch the flower, local produce or antiques and bric-a-brac market depending on the day.
Shopping – small boutiques
Shopping in the Old Town is a treat. Mostly populated by small independent retailers there are some real gems scattered between the ubiquitous, but still quite intriguing, tourist shops. Glove Me, 5 rue du Marché, is a specialist leather glove shop where I first understood the term love at first sight. Bright colours, soft Italian leather… say no more. Caprice, 12 rue Droite, is another favourite, this is a fantastic vintage clothing store on two carefully filled floors.
You are spoilt for choice in the Old Town but just opposite Caprice is Le Petit Lascaris, 5 rue Droite. A charming, tiny restaurant with real homemade local produce. Al Taglio, at 42 rue Droite, is my favourite place to stop when I’m on the hop. They sell slices of pizza to takeaway, dripping in Mediterrenean flavours; buffalo mozzerella, truffle cream, grilled vegetables and bresaola (cured beef).
Museums & Galleries
Step back in time in Le Palais Lascaris. This is a stunning example of a noble house dating back to 1648 which now also features a fascinating musical instrument collection. There are also numerous small galleries of working artists around rue Droite, peer through the windows or step inside for a closer inspection. I also love visiting the exhibitions of contemporary artists in Galerie des Ponchettes and Galerie de la Marine right on the seafront through the archways, and you’ll love the window display at Transparence, 2 rue Jules Gilly on the way.
Just before sunset I like to get a balcony seat at 41 Quai des Etats-Unis. My favourite spot to watch the colours of the sky change whilst sipping a cocktail. The name of this bar can change but the view is forever.
A place I often take visitors to is Restaurant Acchiardo, a family-run Nicois restaurant of long-standing, offering refined local cuisine. Book ahead to not be disappointed. A place I go to indulge myself is Bistro d’Antoine, a gastronomic delight; but booking a table can sometimes take weeks! Perhaps you should stay a little longer?!
Guest article by local expert Zenna Marshall.
There are no hotels in the old town so if you want to experience all that Vieux Nice has to offer, plan your stay in one of our centrally located apartments at Stay YNA Nice…