Visiting the Nice flower market is a must if you are discovering Nice for the first time. Visit the Cours Saleya.
Close to the Old Port of Nice, the Marché aux Fleurs is a consumer flower sales outlet that has existed for more than 120 years. Today it is still one of the very first flower markets in France, selling delicious fruits and vegetables as well as flowers from the region. The inhabitants of Nice and its surroundings come to ask for advice on growing plants and visitors come to stroll through its alleys, photograph the brightly colored stalls and taste the local specialties.
What is the history of the flower market, what can you find there, what day of the week is it open?
History of the Cours Saleya Flower Market
If today’s market, located on Cours Saleya, at the entrance to the old town, is just as well known for its deliciously appetizing cuisine, it has kept its old name since its beginnings in 1897. Traditionally, peasants and farmers arrived from the surrounding area very early in the morning to sell to wholesalers, who then transported the flowers by train to the four corners of Europe. The Cours Saleya Flower Market in Nice has become a vital part of the local economy.
After each departure of the wholesalers in the morning, the market opened to individuals, as it does today (wholesalers now buy their flowers at a different market, reserved for professionals). It is said that the Russian Tsar Nicholas II was so attracted by the flower market that he decided to create one in St. Petersburg, with flowers bought in Nice and arriving by train after two days of transport.
What flowers can be found at the Nice flower market?
Most of the flower market in Cours Saleya is nowadays composed of colorful fruits and vegetables, often presented in a very artistic way.
But it will be difficult for you to miss the multicolored geraniums emblematic of the region, fuchsias with an intense mauve color, dahlias with anemone flowers, bright impatiens raised by the nurserymen. If you can’t take some home with you during your vacations in Nice, strolling through this market will give you a breath of scent, a myriad of colors, exotic plants and flowers.
And if it is simply floriculture advice that you are looking for, don’t hesitate to go and meet florists and horticulturists, who will be happy to advise you.
To be tested on the flower market: the Socca niçoise
The food stalls are as attractive as the flower stalls. The vendors attract people with beautiful homemade food and fresh fruits and vegetables. Sit at one of the neighbourhood tables under the brightly coloured canopies. You can test the stand at Chez Thérésa for example. Taste some local dishes: try the local specialty la Socca niçoise during a food tour, a very large and thin galette made of chickpea flour, and refresh yourself with a glass of local rosé wine.
Flower market of Nice: opening days and hours
The flower market is open until 5:30 pm but the food court closes just after lunch at 1:30 pm. There can be a lot of people in high season, so if you want to go there in summer, it is better to arrive early. It is also advisable to get there early to take advantage of the morning freshness. It’s a great place to stroll around, while having a coffee in one of the bars and cafes around you.
Opening hours : Opening hours :
Tuesday to Saturday from 6am to 5:30pm. Sunday, from 6am to 1:30pm. Closed on Mondays.
Flower market of Nice: map, address and access
The market takes place on the Cours Saleya, in the heart of Nice.
To see close to the Flower Market in Nice
This neighborhood is full of historical attractions. There is the Chapel of Mercy on Cours Saleya, with its unique architecture. The remarkable opera house in the rue Saint-François de Paule is worth a visit. If you head towards the east side of the Cours Saleya and turn left, you will be in the heart of Old Nice. This part of the city is made up of narrow streets with historical attractions, with pastries, fresh pasta stores and a wide range of boutiques.