Cours Saleya , a pedestrian esplanade stretching from the base of the castle hill to the edge of the Nice Opera. Parallel to the Quai des Ponchettes which extends to Roba Capeu, the Promenade des Anglais . Saleya is lined with many bars and restaurants. As well as the local flower and produce market every morning. Of which provides souvenirs for tourists as well as antiques of a Monday.

But what is the history of this Mecca of Nice activities? A primary meeting place for both Niçois and foreigners.

In the second half of the 19th century, there was the famous Visconti bookshop , a reading room, and intellectual center where artists and passing writers met. Saleya included a library, an exhibition hall and a terrace overlooking the plaza.,The ideal place to watch the comings and goings of the Russian imperial family, English royalty, Belgian aristocracy, the King of Bavaria and other princes and princesses.

The origin of the name Saleya remains obscure. However, scholars believe it prevails from a historical point of view. Specifically from the period in which the sector belonged to the abbey of Saint-Pons where the monk in charge of the Abbey cellars was the “cellerie”. And his home was known as the ” cellaria or cellaya “, which gave way to ” saleya ” by deformation.

The “Vieux Nice” and the Cours Saleya

what does cours saleya mean baroque

Dating back to the 18th century, the market square was originally called “Lou Cour”. It wasn’t until the 19th century that its final name “Saleya” was assigned. Arranged from the gardens of the “Ducal” palace (now the Prefecture’s palace ), the demolition of the walls and the convent of the Dominicans, the Cours Saleya and the Place Pierre Gautier quickly became the pestigious area of Nice.

In 1861 the fruit and vegetable market moved from the original Place aux Herbes to its current location. The Cours Saleya was also the main route of Nice’s Carnival until the end of the 19th century.

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The south terraces date from the 18th and 19th centuries. They were open to the public until the 1960s before being sectioned off. However, the current municipality is considering the rehabilitation of these terraces.

Today, it is the jewel of the Baroque art, the chapel of Mercy of the black penitents , which sees to restore its facade.


About the Baroque in Nice

what does cours saleya mean chapel of mercy

Baroque art, born in Italy at the end of the 16th century, spread rapidly to all Catholic countries in Europe and also in South America, thanks to the Spanish colonization. Liguria is invaded by the baroque wave, while France, faithful to its classicism, refuses it. But since 1388 , the county of Nice, Monaco, and Menton, are part of the House of Savoy, with Turin being the capital, and are thus subject to Baroque influence.

In the County of Nice, the Baroque road goes up to the high valleys of Vésubie, Tinée and La Roya; on the coast, it follows the three Cornices from Nice to Menton, passing by Villefranche sur Mer, Eze or La Turbie; in Nice, it is the historic Old Nice which offers an invaluable Baroque heritage, with its palaces and religious buildings.

Today our stage is in Nice, the Chapel of Mercy, on Cours Saleya, between the palace of the Sardinian kings, and the Rauba Capéu wharf.

The Cours Saleya is undoubtedly the most touristy place in the city of Nice with the Promenade des Anglais.

This course is the nerve center of the city of Nice, it is here that is held the traditional market and the flower market, scheduled from 6 am to 17:30 every day of the week except Sunday afternoons and holidays.

The life of this place starts very early in the morning and continues until late at night. At any time of the day, there are things to do at Cours Saleya. Early in the morning, you can stroll through the market in search of a bargain or just for the pleasure of the eyes.

When there, do not miss Truffle olive caviar and the famous Socca, a culinary specialty typical of the region. At lunch time you only have the spoiled for choice to soothe your hunger. Restaurants, brasseries, pizzerias, pastries, everything is there.

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In the afternoon, stroll through the alleys of Old Nice and at around 6 pm return to Cours Saleya to browse the craft market.

At dusk, it’s up to you to choose the bar that tempts you. You can opt for plenty of bars and clubs, as well as karaoke and many music concerts.

Behind the seafront, a long rectangle parallel to the Bay of Angels: La Baie des Anges, in Nice From below, some arcades take us to the beach. Higher up, the azure sky is cut out in the alleys. Florists, plant or vegetable sellers set the scene. The Nice market , known throughout the Côte d’Azur, has a long tradition and for a long time, places are expensive.


Cours Saleya: Nice beating heart

Nice like a local

The Saleya courtyard extends at the foot of the castle on the very site of the ramparts destroyed in the 18th century. The square has become a strategic point of the old town.

After dark, it is the turn of the restaurants to ensure the show. Tourists and Niçois mix around local specialties. The beating heart of Nice, Cours Saleya has gone through history. It remains a meeting place for locals and allows tourists to better understand the identity of the city.


Going out in Nice: Vieux Nice and Cours Saleya

what does cours saleya mean at night

The Cours Saleya is renowned for its many restaurants, bars, but also for its flower market and flea markets. Sit on the terrace is the local sport! You will find institutions like the F, the Ponchettes but also many other places and some unique bars and clubs. Here are some iconic places in Nice in the area of the Vieux Nice and Cours Saleya so you can check for yourself.

The Granny’s: if you are looking for shade and calm, this address is for you. The owners are very friendly and affordable, the prices are right. Note that if you are with your family there is a wonderful toy store that all the little nuns love.

Gaglio: it is  located in old Nice towards Jean Jaurès street on the typical place Saint François. Quality service, correct prices and a sun terrace guaranteed.

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The Master Home: it is a place that I like a lot if there are still places in terraces. The tapas are amazing and we are well served! Getting there  Just next door you have the Wayne’s Bar very nice too.

The Manolans : true to its reputation as Irish Pub, you will never be disappointed if you want to find an English crowd.

El Merkado : it is a nice little bar, with a good atmosphere and tapas of madness.


Pub crawl in Nice on Cours Saleya

What to do in Nice, France

If you are looking for some of the best nights out in Nice, you should look at the best pub crawl in Nice such as Riviera Bar Crawl and Tours. This is a really nice way to meet new people and to hit some of the best bars and clubs in town.


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