Program - Sightseeing - Nice - France
Vieille Ville

The charming Old Town in Nice

The Old Town of Nice (Vieille Ville), also called Old Nice (Vieux Nice) is made up of tall tenement houses lined up along narrow and shadowed streets. It lies just below Castle Hill. To the south it borders on the Promenade des Anglais, while to the north it touches the Paillon River, or rather the Promenade of Paillon, because the river has been flowing through the city in an underground channel since 1972. The names of streets in the Old Town are written in two versions: in French and in the local Nissart dialect (niçart).

It takes just a mention of Nice to conjure up an image of elegant charm, chic style and fashionable boutiques. A walk through the narrow and shaded streets allows you to, almost, go back in time and feel the spirit of Old Nice. You just need to know where to look for it. The most famous building is the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, which honors the patron saint of Nice, a young girl who was arrested for her Christian faith. Another example of beautiful baroque architecture is the 17th-century mansion Palais Lascaris, known for its paintings, tapestries and luxurious decorations. The mansion now serves as a museum of musical instruments, some of which are extremely rare and important to music history. Along the way, you will pass the Opera House and Patisserie Henri Auer – a chocolate and candied fruit workshop that has been operating here since 1820. Queen Victoria of England personally bought her favorite chocolates here. Every Monday at the Cours Saleya is a flea market here, which moves to the Old Port of Nice on other days. Here it is worth trying a traditional pancake made from chickpea flour called Socca.

Nice is full of restaurants, shops, and the galleries of local artists. You can buy everything here, from Provencal spices to hand-made jewelry and cosmetics. Just go in and let yourself be carried away by the past, which is still very much present here.