Cannes, located on the French Riviera, is a glamorous and picturesque city renowned for its luxury, stunning beaches, and the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Cannes:
1. Promenade de la Croisette
This iconic waterfront promenade is the heart of Cannes. Stroll along the palm-lined boulevard, enjoy the scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea, and soak up the glamorous atmosphere. The promenade is dotted with upscale hotels, designer boutiques, and stylish cafes.
2. Cannes Film Festival
If you visit Cannes in May, don’t miss the world-famous Cannes Film Festival. Celebrities, filmmakers, and film enthusiasts from around the globe flock to the city during this time. Although attending a film premiere may be exclusive, you can still experience the excitement by exploring the festival area and attending public screenings.
3. Le Suquet
This historic neighborhood is the old town of Cannes, perched on a hill overlooking the city. Wander through narrow streets lined with charming houses and discover hidden squares. Visit the Notre-Dame de l’Espérance, a beautiful medieval church, and enjoy panoramic views from the top of the hill.
4. Île Sainte-Marguerite
Take a short boat trip from Cannes to Île Sainte-Marguerite, one of the Lérins Islands. Explore the island’s natural beauty, visit the Fort Royal, which once held the famous Man in the Iron Mask prisoner, and relax on the picturesque beaches.
5. Musée de la Castre
Housed in the medieval castle, Musée de la Castre offers a fascinating collection of art and historical artifacts. Climb to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of Cannes and the surrounding area. The museum also hosts occasional concerts and cultural events.
6. Lérins Islands
In addition to Île Sainte-Marguerite, you can also visit Île Saint-Honorat, the second-largest island in the Lérins archipelago. Explore the serene island, visit the ancient Monastery of Lérins, and sample the locally produced wines.
7. Marché Forville
Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the vibrant Marché Forville. This bustling market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, flowers, spices, and local delicacies. Take the opportunity to taste some Provençal specialties and experience the lively atmosphere.
8. Villa Domergue
Image Source: https://www.cannesconventionbureau.com/villa-domergue
This beautiful villa, surrounded by a lush garden, provides a unique cultural experience. It hosts art exhibitions and offers stunning views of the city and the bay. The combination of art, architecture, and natural beauty makes Villa Domergue a must-visit place in Cannes.
9. Day trips
Cannes serves as an excellent base for exploring the French Riviera. Take a short train ride to nearby cities like Nice, Antibes, or Saint-Tropez, and discover their unique charms. You can also venture further afield to explore the picturesque hilltop villages of Provence or visit the glamorous principality of Monaco.
10. Rue d’Antibes
If you’re a shopping enthusiast, head to Rue d’Antibes, the city’s main shopping street. Browse through a wide range of fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, and specialty shops. This vibrant street is perfect for indulging in some retail therapy and finding unique souvenirs.
11. Palais des Festivals et des Congrès
This iconic building is where the Cannes Film Festival takes place. Even outside the festival season, you can visit the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès and walk the famous red carpet. Capture a photo on the steps and feel the glamour associated with one of the world’s most prestigious film events.
12. Eglise Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage
Located near the train station, this beautiful church is worth a visit for its stunning architecture. Admire the intricate details of its façade and step inside to experience its peaceful atmosphere. The church is also known for hosting classical music concerts.
13. Musée de la Mer
Explore the underwater world at the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea) in Fort Royal on Île Sainte-Marguerite. Discover an impressive collection of maritime artifacts, including Roman pottery and ancient shipwreck remains. The museum also features a fascinating exhibition on the history of the Man in the Iron Mask.
14. Visit the Lerins Abbey
Located on Île Saint-Honorat, the Lerins Abbey is a peaceful and spiritual place to explore. This active monastery dates back to the 5th century and is inhabited by Cistercian monks. Enjoy the tranquil ambiance, stroll through the vineyards, and sample the renowned local wines produced by the monks.
15. Water Sports and Yachting
Cannes is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. You can try your hand at activities like jet skiing, parasailing, paddleboarding, or sailing. Many operators along the coast offer rentals and lessons to cater to all skill levels. For a luxurious experience, consider chartering a yacht and cruising along the French Riviera.
16. Nightlife in Cannes
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When the sun goes down, Cannes comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. From elegant cocktail bars to trendy nightclubs, there are plenty of options to enjoy a night out on the town. The area around Rue Commandant André and Rue Macé is known for its lively bars and clubs.
17. La Malmaison Art Center
Located in a beautiful mansion near the Croisette, La Malmaison hosts contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year. Immerse yourself in the world of modern art and discover works by renowned artists in this cultural hub.
18. Explore the Lerins Islands by Kayak
Rent a kayak and embark on a scenic adventure around the Lerins Islands. Paddle through crystal-clear waters, explore hidden coves, and enjoy the serenity of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a fantastic way to discover the natural beauty of the islands at your own pace.
19. Visit the Musée Picasso in Antibes
Just a short distance from Cannes, Antibes is home to the Musée Picasso. This museum showcases an extensive collection of artworks by the renowned artist Pablo Picasso. Explore his paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and sketches while admiring the stunning views of the Mediterranean from the museum.
20. Discover the Esterel Mountains
Escape the city and venture into the nearby Esterel Mountains. Hike along scenic trails, marvel at the dramatic red rocks, and enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline. It’s an excellent opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the stunning landscapes that surround Cannes.
21. Experience the Cannes Pyrotechnic Art Festival
If you visit Cannes in July or August, don’t miss the Cannes Pyrotechnic Art Festival. This annual event features spectacular firework displays by renowned international pyrotechnic companies. Find a comfortable spot along the coastline and witness the stunning pyrotechnic performances lighting up the night sky.
22. Golfing in Cannes
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Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at one of the several golf courses in the region. Hit the links and tee off amidst beautiful landscapes and coastal views. Some courses even offer panoramic vistas of Cannes, providing a unique golfing experience.
23. Take a Helicopter Tour
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For a truly memorable experience, consider taking a helicopter tour over Cannes and the French Riviera. Admire the breathtaking aerial views of the coastline, the turquoise waters, and the charming towns nestled along the shore. It’s an exhilarating way to see the beauty of the region from a different perspective.
24. Visit the Musée International de la Parfumerie
Located in the nearby town of Grasse, known as the perfume capital of the world, this museum offers a fascinating journey into the history and art of perfume making. Learn about the intricate process of creating fragrances and discover the rich heritage of the perfume industry.
25. Attend a Music Festival
Cannes hosts various music festivals throughout the year, showcasing a diverse range of genres and artists. From jazz and classical music to contemporary and electronic sounds, these festivals offer a vibrant atmosphere and unforgettable performances. Check the event calendar to see if any festivals coincide with your visit.
26. Discover the Provençal Countryside
Take a break from the coast and venture into the charming Provençal countryside surrounding Cannes. Rent a car and explore picturesque villages such as Mougins, Valbonne, and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Experience the rustic beauty, indulge in regional cuisine, and immerse yourself in the relaxed Provençal way of life.
27. Visit the Musée de la Photographie
Situated in a beautiful 19th-century villa, the Musée de la Photographie showcases a collection of historic and contemporary photography. Discover the works of renowned photographers and gain insights into the art and evolution of photography as an expressive medium.
28. Enjoy a Wine Tasting Experience
Cannes is surrounded by vineyards that produce exceptional wines. Take a wine tour to the nearby wine regions of Provence, such as the Côtes de Provence, and indulge in wine tastings at local wineries. Sample a variety of wines, learn about the winemaking process, and appreciate the flavors of the region.
29. Dine at Michelin-Starred Restaurants
Cannes boasts several Michelin-starred restaurants, offering culinary delights for discerning food lovers. Treat yourself to a gourmet dining experience and savor the creations of talented chefs. From traditional French cuisine to innovative gastronomic experiences, Cannes offers a wealth of dining options to satisfy your palate.
30. Sunset Cruise
Embark on a romantic sunset cruise along the coast of Cannes. Watch as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant colors. Relax on deck, sip champagne, and take in the magical ambiance of the French Riviera at dusk.
31. Attend a Film Screening at Cinéma Olympia
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Experience the magic of cinema by attending a film screening at the historic Cinéma Olympia. This Art Deco theater offers a charming ambiance and showcases a selection of international films. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the art of storytelling on the big screen.
32. Relax at the Plage de la Bocca
If you’re looking for a quieter beach experience away from the bustling Croisette, head to Plage de la Bocca. This sandy beach offers a more relaxed atmosphere and is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or enjoying a picnic. The nearby Boulevard Jean Hibert is lined with beachfront restaurants and cafes.
32. Take a Leisurely Bike Ride
Rent a bike and explore Cannes at a leisurely pace. Cruise along the waterfront promenade, cycle through the city’s charming streets, and soak up the coastal ambiance. Biking offers a convenient and eco-friendly way to explore the city while enjoying the pleasant Mediterranean climate.
33. Plage de la Croisette
This is the main public beach in Cannes, stretching along the famous Boulevard de la Croisette. It offers a wide expanse of golden sand and clear turquoise waters. The beach is equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas for rent, and there are facilities such as showers and restrooms available. It’s a bustling beach with a lively atmosphere, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and people-watching.
Places and Things To Do