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Old Town

Nice’s historic Old Town, or the Vieux Nice, is a magnet for tourists and property buyers alike. The Vieux Nice evokes rustic, Mediterranean charm and the lively atmosphere from the local bars and restaurants makes the Old Town and properties for sale in the old town, Nice undoubtedly one of the most popular areas.

Historically the Vieux Nice was separated from the rest of the city by the Paillon River, which gave the Old Town’s population a strong sense of community. The Old Town is idyllically nestled in the shadow of the ‘Chateau on the hill’, offering direct access to the Promenade des Anglais to the South. The Northern boundary is now defined by the tramline and the Promenade du Paillon. Opened in late 2013 the Promenade du Paillon offers a peaceful space in the heart of the city. With its beautiful water displays and games for children, the Promenade du Paillon has rejuvenated the area and added value to the property that overlooks it.

The Old Town offers excellent transport links. The city’s tramline has two Old Town stops and the nearby JC Bermond bus stop is a hub for local buses. From here one can easily access the whole of the city including the airport.

The Chateau on the hill was a fortress with panoramic views of the Riviera coastline. Demolished in 1706 under the orders of Louis XIV, the site and adjacent grounds are now home to a large park, a children’s playground, a picturesque waterfall and several view points which offer spectacular views of Nice’s Baie des Anges along with all its principal sites; the Promenade des Anglais, the Port and Place Massena. If you are feeling brave, you can climb the 213 stairs to reach the top, or alternatively take the public elevator for a small fee. The Petit Train, the white tourist train also weaves in and out of the narrow Vieux Nice streets and up to the Chateau, for a picturesque and informative visit.

In the Evening, the Old Town comes alive with its abundance of restaurants and late-night bars. From traditional French brasseries to lively Irish bars, flavourful Indian cuisine to Provencal gastronomy. Make a stop to admire the Palais de Justice (the court house) before heading to the bustling Cours Saleya, at the heart of the Vieux Nice. The Cours Saleya is filled with restaurants, bars, sprawling terraces, and street performers such as laid back buskers and back flipping Brazilians. Visitors also gather in this area daily for the excellent local markets.

Just down the road from the Cours Saleya is Nice’s Opera house, an architectural masterpiece in itself, which offers regular performances throughout the year.

Apartments for sale in the Old Town, Nice are varied and unique. From small studios to former palaces, the range of price, size and quality of apartments for sale here can be immense. Many buyers who purchase apartments for sale in the Old Town do so to rent on a weekly basis, capitalising on the strong demand in what is fast becoming a year-round destination. Prospective property buyers are charmed by the Vieux Nice, it’s easy to fall in love with the unique atmosphere which characterises the Old Town. Investors are increasingly turning to the Old Town for solid returns.

The Vieux Nice has seen some of the largest annual increases in prices over the last few years, but with prices still starting from 3,000 Euros per square metre, the Old Town remains very good value for money. The rental yield on apartments rented both short and long term is among the highest in Nice. A small studio in this sought after area could fetch from 450 Euros per month during the winter and between 500 and 550 Euros per week as a holiday rental in the summer months.

Apartments for sale in Nice’s Old Town often require some level of renovation which is frequently reflected in the sale prices.

The traditional style of most buildings and the fact that most are listed (their historical architecture is protected by planning laws), means that elevators, terraces and air conditioning are rare. However, there are many hidden gems to be found in the Vieux Nice. There are some magnificent former palaces containing exquisite apartments which come on the market from time to time. The Palais Lascaris, now a museum, is a fine example of the grandeur of these types of buildings.

The Southern edge of the Old Town, the Rue des Ponchettes, occupies a privileged location on the sea front and is unsurprisingly one of the most sought after addresses in Nice. The location offers it all; glorious sea views, seven kilometres of beach right on your doorstep and the historic Old Town just behind, it’s not difficult to imagine the phenomenal demand associated with this area of Nice. Apartment and villa prices tend to be slightly higher than the Promenade des Anglais ranging from 8,000 – 12,000 Euros per square metre.

The Vieux Nice is unique area of the city and as one of the French Riviera’s prime attractions it’s a must-see for any visitor. Steeped in history with its own unique ambiance, it is an excellent location for any investor or holidaymaker. For individuality and charm, no other neighbourhood in Nice comes close.

Please see here for apartments for sale in Nice’s Old Town

Old Town, Nice Restaurants

Fenocchio

Quite simply a Niçois institution; Fenocchio is known to every local and visitor to Nice for its sublime ice creams and sorbets. Previously voted the best ice-cream parlour in the world, no one can visit Nice without sampling a scoop or two. Choose from an array of flavours from the traditional chocolates and vanillas to the weirdly wonderful tomato and basil or Pastis.
Place Rossetti +334 93 62 88 80

Le Comptoir du Marché

Cosy French bistro and sister restaurant to the extremely popular Bistrot d’Antoine, Le Comptoir du Marché is an excellent choice for discerning diners looking to avoid Old Town tourist traps. Traditional, quality French cuisine is what attracts the masses night after night.
8 Rue du Marché +334 93 13 45 01

La Favola

A loud and busy Old Town favourite. The queues out of the door night after night serve as proof of its unfailing popularity. Despite the hustle and bustle of the atmosphere, diners flock here to sample some of Nice’s best pizzas and hearty antipasti and pasta dishes. Come early and with a big appetite!
13 Cours Saleya +334 93 04 45 23

ARK

Despite only opening in late 2013, this is already a popular spot for an aperitif or a full meal. Sit overlooking the Promenade and the beach across to sweeping views of the Baie des Anges or on hot days, opt for the comfy surroundings of the shaded terrace on the ground floor.
41-43 Quai des Etats-Unis +334 93 80 48 04

The Snug and Cellar

Friendly Irish pub which attracts both a local and expat crowd. If you’re feeling a little homesick, wander in for a pint or enjoy one of their delicious meals. On Sundays, a traditional roast with all the trimmings really hits the spot.
22 Rue Droite +339 63 08 02 12

Akathor

A traditional pub serving a selection of drinks and snacks. The real attraction of Akathor however, is its outdoor terrace, perfect for people watching or watching sport on the outdoor TV screens.
32 Cours Saleya +334 93 80 89 22

Oliviera

A unique restaurant in Nice, as the deliciously simple Niçois dishes serve mainly to showcase the exceptional olive oils on sale here. Everything is market-fresh and each dish is designed to complement its accompanying local olive oil. The service is friendly and welcoming and be sure to ask the owner about his olive oils, his passion and enthusiasm for them makes Oliviera a real gem.
. 8 Rue du Collet +334 93 13 06 45

La Merenda

Most people wouldn’t guess that this tiny, unassuming restaurant is actually home to the former Michelin starred head chef of the Negresco Hotel. Choosing a different path away from the glitz of fine dining, the chef serves up excellently prepared, true family-style Niçois cuisine. Book in advance to secure a table, but you will have to go in person as the Merenda has no phone! Also be aware, due to its excessive popularity during the week the restaurant (not needing to court the weekend crowd) is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
4 Rue Raoul Bosio

Shopping and what to visit in Old Town, Nice

Palais des Ducs de Savoie

Only open to visitors during rare special occasions, the Palais des Ducs de Savoie offers visitors a magnificent exterior to admire. This beautiful palace, once home to the Dukes of Savoie is now classed as a protected historical monument.
Place Pierre Gautier

Palais Lascaris

Fascinating historic palace right in the heart of the Old Town. From a relatively small entrance, take a step back in time and admire the extravagant décor and interior of this once prestigious residence of the Vintimille-Lascaris family.
15 Rue Droite +334 93 62 72 40

Marché aux Fleurs

Nice’s most famous market featuring local producers’ fruit, vegetables, flowers, cheeses and more. A picture perfect spot for a stroll and to pick up fresh, local produce.
Cours Saleya, Vieux Nice

Lou Froumai

The Vieux Nice is one of the best places to find homemade, quality, edible treats and Lou Froumai is no exception. A wide selection of French cheeses from all corners of the country, perfect for enjoying with a glass of red.
25 Rue de la Préfecture +336 33 88 69 48

La Compagnie de Provence

The well known Savon de Marseille enjoys great success and this shop stocks a variety of Provençal inspired toiletries, candles and more often using the oil rich Savon de Marseille as a base.
7 Rue Saint François de Paule +334 93 80 97 22

La Colline du Château

Take the lift at the end of the Quai des Etats-Unis or brave the stairs from Rue Rossetti, but don’t miss visiting the Château ruins and surrounding gardens. Perfect for a picnic or for children to play, but the main attraction is the breath-taking viewpoint, a photo opportunity not to be missed.

Opéra de Nice

One of the city’s architectural gems, the beautiful Belle Époque Opera house is a must see for any visitor to Nice. Book tickets to one of the regular performances to admire the interior too.
4 & 6 Rue Saint-François-de-Paule +334 92 17 40 00

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