Nice – a Mediterranean jewel ….
The gateway to the Côte d’Azur is a shopping delight.***
Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is an exciting airport to arrive at and depart from because the runway is surrounded by sea on three sides giving the effect of landing on water. In addition, the flight paths in and out often allow breathtaking views of the French Riviera and the Alps beyond.The airport itself is practically at the end of Nice’s famous and extensive Promenade des Anglais on the waterfront, so it is very easy to get in and out of town. It has also been steadily renovated over a number of years and has facilities that would rival some larger international hubs.
Being the gateway to the Riviera with some of the richest residents in Europe living in the vicinity, in towns like Antibes, Cannes, Monaco and St Tropez, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has a shopping offer that may appear out of place for a regional airport: luxury boutiques are very visible and well used!
For fashion and accessories there is no shortage of ideas in departures. In Terminal 1 French department store Printemps has a wide selection of high-end and popular brands from Lacoste to Sonia Rykiel, while Your Fashion Store, which also has a landside presence, features brands that range from Spain’s Desigual and Guess, to France’s Repetto, Longchamp, Lancel and Furla. A centrepiece Hermès store completes the fashion offer.
In T1 landside, which is accessible to anyone, there is also the Grand Prix boutique which sells Ferrari, Porsche and Renault branded clothing and other products given that the airport is the main air access route to the Monaco Formula 1 race, plus a Serge Blanco store selling the brand’s recognisable casualwear.
Terminal 2 is equally fashion focused. Another Hermès unit exists here along with Emporio Armani and Lancel stores while a multi-brand outlet has a wider selection of mostly leather goods from brands like Longchamp, Guess and Juicy Couture, plus clothing from Hugo Boss. Landside there is Celio, a more price accessible brand where you can buy everything from jeans and T-shirts to business suits.
Another area in which Nice Airport excels is fine foods, as you might expect. In T1, Hediard has all manner of luxury gifts for foodies from hampers and gourmet treats to teas, fruit jellies and delicious compotes. In T2 Saveurs de Provence offers the best of French gastronomy including foie gras, cheeses, wines and champagne. Local products such as olive oil, herbs de Provence, and various condiments (olive paste, anchovy paste, pesto etc) plus an array of confectionery items, souvenirs, and even perfumes and tableware are also available. In the public area of T2 is La Cure Gourmande where you can buy traditional biscuits, chocolates, sweets, caramels and calissons, plus some fantastic old-fashioned biscuit tins and cans.Unusually the airport also has no less than five watch stores, all under the Hour Passion brand which is owned by Swatch Group. They include one in the business aviation terminal at Nice Airport, reserved for the super-rich and CEO-types. This unit focuses on only the best marques like Breguet, Blancpain, Jaquet Droz, Tiffany and Omega but the others are more varied in their offer and price ranges.Depending on the location of the unit (airside or landside) you can also find everything from Swatch, Flik Flak, CK Watch and jewellery lines, Ti Sento and Tissot, to Breitling, Chopard, Chaumet, Montblanc, Rado and Tag Heuer.
And of course for the standard duty free products of beauty and wines & spirits there are four main stores in both terminals in which you will find all the leading international brand as well as some freestanding boutiques. L’Occitane has one for example, not surprising given that its heritage is rooted in the Provence region.
So whether you are using T1 or T2, considering the size of this airport, the shopping experience here is a pleasant surprise, throwing up some unexpected delights!
Nice Côte d’Azur Airport Factfile
- Terminals: Two passenger terminal almost equal in size with 25 and 29 gates and a total capacity of 13 million (4.5 million in T1 and 8.5 million in T2).
- Airlines: Around 65 (scheduled and seasonal) serving 105 destinations. The biggest carriers (by number of routes) are Air France and partner carriers, EasyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Iberia/Air Nostrum, Scandinavian Airlines and Tunisair.
- Worth knowing: Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the only regional airport in France to offer a daily flight to New York and Dubai while its low-cost services transported over 3.4 million passengers via 17 carriers in 2011.
See our general airport shopping guide to …