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The French riviera: Nice for bookworms – a bookstore guide

Traveling isn't always only about sightseeing, old monuments, pretty streets and sunbathing; it's also about never ending car rides and flights, about daydreaming and letting your imagination take unexplored paths. So what better way to unwind and to forget about time, than reading a good book?

One of my travel reading took me on the top of a hill in Genova, Italy. A wonderful baroque palazzo, with a large balcony with view on the marina, was my personal accommodation. I spent the weekend there and observed an elderly couple handling the daily routine, welcoming guests and taking long walks along the alley. At the end, I felt wistful – after all, it was not only the end of my trip, but also the last page of my book.

Books can have the same power as travels; they take you far away, make you forget about time and about negativity. Therefore, one of my personal 'musts' while traveling are bookstores: hidden, ugly, overstocked, small, big, antique – I like them all and I could spend days flicking through books. While on the French Riviera, in Nice, the bookstore fever got me again. Here are my top picks:

1. A la Sorbonne

Once you step into this small antique bookshop you’ll automatically travel back in time. Collector copies of Flaubert, Zola, Sartre are carefully piled up along old issues of French lifestyle & travel magazines, such as Le journal de plage, Désir de voyages or Paris Match. Leafing through those old copies – pure joy!

2. Jean Jaures

Also called "The dean of bookshops in Nice" is situated right in the city centre, not far from the fontaine du Soleil at Place Macena. Their focus lays on children’s literature, however there is a big selection of French and international novels and travel books.

3. La briqueterie

It’s surely not an average bookshop, it’s an independent concept store, that unites in a unique way books, design, art prints and records. Right after you did your grocery shopping at the marché Saleya or after a long stroll along the long boardwalk “Promenade des Anglais”, step into this bold place of culture and let yourself get inspired.

4. La Sorbonne

La Sorbonne is located on a side street in central Nice, a few meters away from Chez Alex, a tasty French café-restaurant offering a copious lunch platter. Perfect for the post-lunch relaxation and digestion, away from the city hustle, La Sorbonne has an inviting, clean design where one can forget about the Southern scorching heat. Their offering is extensive, reaching from the so called bande desinées (comic books) – very appreciated by young and old French people – to fiction, non-fiction and of course the good old travel guides.

Happy reads and happy travels!


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Profile photo of Pop Iris Alexandra

I am Iris, a twenty something bon vivant, born and raised in Transylvania, Romania, a splendid & savage place that waits to be explored. I am constantly curious and open for new voyages - I have lived, studied and worked in the US, France and Germany and finally settled in Hamburg, my current home base, where I am still discovering the city and its surroundings. I am constantly looking for variety and new inspiration feeds – monotony and never changing landscapes just aren’t for me! Traveling is there fore my cure and the one thing that always keeps me motivated. In my perfect world, there are no borders that need to be passed; there is only a strong desire of exploring, learning and embracing knowledge, culture, nature and people. I share my adventures and discoveries on Instagram: @iris_left_rnome: Iris Alexandra Pop



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