Restaurant in le Vieux Nice.

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Vieux Nice

Top choice in Nice

Getting lost among the dark, narrow, winding alleyways of Nice’s old town is a highlight. The layout has barely changed since the 1700s, and it’s now packed with delis, restaurants, boutiques and bars, but the centrepiece remains cours Saleya: a massive market square that’s permanently thronging in summer. The food market is perfect for fresh produce and foodie souvenirs, while the flower market is worth visiting just for the colours and fragrances. A flea market is held on Monday.

Baroque aficionados will adore architectural gems Cathédrale Ste-Réparate, honouring the city’s patron saint; exuberant 16th-century Chapelle de la Miséricorde; and 17th-century Palais Lascaris, a frescoed riot of Flemish tapestries, faience (tin-glazed earthenware), gloomy religious paintings and 18th-century pharmacy.

There’s also a lively – and very smelly – fish market on place St-François.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nice attractions

2. Plage Publique des Ponchettes

0.06 MILES

Right opposite Vieux Nice, this is generally the busiest beach of all, with oiled bodies either baking in the sun or punching a ball on the beach…

3. Cours Saleya Markets

0.07 MILES

Split between its beautiful flower market and rightly famous food market. On Mondays, flowers and food make way for a flea market.

5. Palais Lascaris

0.14 MILES

Baroque Palais Lascaris is a 17th-century mansion housing a frescoed orgy of Flemish tapestries, faience and gloomy religious paintings, along with a…

6. Promenade du Paillon

0.22 MILES

It’s hard to imagine that this beautifully landscaped park was once a bus station, a multistorey car park and an ill-loved square. Completed in October…

7. Colline du Château

0.22 MILES

For the best views over Nice’s red-tiled rooftops, climb the winding staircases up to this wooded outcrop on the eastern edge of the old town. It’s been…