A walk in downtown Nice

Get up early and walk up to Colline du Château, the Castle Hill. You can either take the two hundred or so steps or the lift at the end of rue des Ponchettes. From the colline you have a stunning view over Baie des AngesQuai des Etats-Unis and Promenade des Anglais as well as the harbour on the other side.

Then wander down and stroll through Cours Saleya in Vieux Nice, the Old Town. In the morning the central part of Cours Saleya is a market. It can be a flower market, a fruit and vegetable market or a bric-a-brac market depending on the day. Cours Saleya is lined with reasonably priced restaurants. Many of these have upped their quality and often serve a nice plat du jour, dish of the day at lunchtime.

But today there’s time to head for lunch somewhere deeper in the Old Town following the narrow streets that almost whisper about history. The restaurants around Place Rossetti are great for people watching. In Jardin Auguste Icart, or Plassa de Gourdouloun in Nissart, there is La Mama which serves great dishes made according to the local culinary traditions, specialitèes nicoises. We choose a tasty poulpe, octopus, which in Nice is a popular late summer and early autumn dish.

After lunch head for Place Masséna and shopping. Of course you can start by browsing the small and inviting shops in the old town; they are also great for souvenirs.  Then wander through the newly renovated Promenade du Paillon which has become the locals’ and visitors’ favourite green spot.

Best shopping can be found in avenue Jean Médecin, rue du Paradis, rue de la Liberté, and rue Alphonse Karr, Galeries Lafayette and Nice-Etoile. The main shopping district in downtown Nice is actually quite compact.

After shopping relax at a café, for example at Place Magenta on the pedestrianised rue Masséna.