This is a great place to base yourself for a holiday in Nice - there are a number of good hotels, and nearly everything you’ll want to see can be reached in a ten-minute walk.
The area around Nice’s port is simply called ‘Le Port.’ Rather surprisingly, the city did not have a real port until the mid-18th century; before that, ships had to be run aground on the shore, or smaller boats would go out to meet arrivals and unload their cargo.
Count Amédée Castellamont decided in 1672 to establish a port on the site of Lympia, where it remains today as one of the most picturesque harbours in the Riviera. Local products such as olive oil, lemons, oranges, anchovies and tuna were exported from here; imports included salt, sugar, cocoa and coffee from the Americas.
Today, the Port area is full of interest (and good places to eat). It adjoins the 18th century square Place Garibaldi - which has excellent seafood restaurants - linking it to the Old Town. A stroll along the quays also offers a number of great eateries, and Lympia’s 18th century buildings are picture-perfect. Boat trips that operate from here include ferries to Corsica.
Place Arson, named after a local family, has a number of bowling greens and hosted great competitions in the heyday of boules between 1890 and 1930. The Quartier Antiquaire has earned comparisons to London’s Notting Hill thanks to its proliferation of antique and second-hand stores, and regular flea market. Le Port's old streets are crammed with history, including Rue Bonaparte, where a plaque commemorates Napoleon’s stay there before his Italian campaign.
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