Best Things To Do in Antibes
Like other cities along the French Riviera, Antibes affords travelers breathtaking beaches. This city also holds a charming Old Town (like medieval, old), the vibrant Marché Provençal, and a couple of well-regarded museums, including one devoted to one-time resident, Picasso. Yachting about the Mediterranean is also très populaire, as is living it up in the bars and casinos of Juan-les-Pins.
Updated January 18, 2019
- #1View all PhotosfreeAntibes Old Town#1 in AntibesShopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDShopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Described by visitors as "enchanting" and "lovely," the Old Town of Antibes, or vielle ville, is filled with quintessential cobblestone streets, small storefronts and charming cafes. Many past visitors said you should set aside half a day to get lost among Old Town's charming alleyways, stopping for a delicious crepe and some entertaining people-watching as you please.
- #2View all Photos#2 in AntibesCastles/Palaces, MuseumsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDCastles/Palaces, MuseumsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
This museum, which hangs nearly 250 of Picasso's works, is actually a former castle, the Château Grimaldi. The artist ventured upon it in 1946 and started using it as his studio – but he also employed his artistic flair to decorating the interior of the rather grim-looking chateau. Although the vast majority of art – including painting, lithographs, ceramics and more – are Picasso's, you can also see works by other contemporary artists, such as Germaine Richier, Joan Miró, Bernard Pagès, Anne and Patrick Poirier.
Most visitors enjoyed the museum (particularly the castle itself), saying the collection is excellent and exquisite, even if it's not as vast as those housed in similar museums in Paris or Barcelona. However, a few say the admission price is too high.
- #3View all PhotosfreeAntibes Beaches#3 in AntibesBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
One of the main reasons to take a French Riviera vacation is to enjoy the beach. Some resorts stake out some private sand for their patrons, but you can also visit several beaches for free even if you're not staying at a seaside resort. Both the Plage du Ponteil and Plage de la Salis are very popular (read: very crowded) shorelines. From Old Town, you'll simply veer toward Port Vauban.
Recent visitors say the Plage du Ponteil beach is great for sunbathing and swimming with soft sand. Plage de la Salis also earns high praise for its soft sand, but both beaches can get crowded, according to recent sunbathers.
- #4View all Photos#4 in AntibesHiking, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDHiking, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
A popular walk for both locals and visitors, Le Sentier du Littoral, Cap d'Antibes is a narrow coastal trail that hugs the water, affording incredible, unobstructed views of the sea. The path is clear and well-marked with stairs to guide you and a small metal guard rail. It's a rocky path, but according to visitors, it's one you can't miss.
To access the trail, start at Plage de la Garoupe. From there, the trail is clearly marked. Along the way, there are several places to stop and sit on the rocks to enjoy a drink or picnic. To make the trek easier, heed the advice of past visitors and wear sturdy shoes. Some reported only needing an hour for the hike, but others suggested setting aside 90 minutes to allow yourself to stop and admire the views. The trail is open year-round, every day and is free to access, but it may be closed on especially windy days. Also, since there is little shade along the trail, you'll want to wear sunscreen and a hat and avoid the mid-day heat.
- #5View all PhotosfreeMarche Provencal#5 in AntibesShopping, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDShopping, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
One of the best markets along the Cote d'Azur, the Marche Provencal offers everything from seasonal vegetables to French cheeses to fresh meats, as well as Provencal-style cuisine and local olives, herbs and oils. Many visitors stopped here to gather ingredients for a picnic, and suggested you do the same. The bustling market is located at Cours Masséna.
Visitors highly recommend checking it out, calling it quaint, with wonderful foods to try. Many say it's better to visit early in the day (before 10 a.m.) to take advantage of the best produce. In addition, from September to mid-June on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, artists exhibit their work in the shade of the market hall starting at 3 p.m. From mid-June to the end of September, they sell their wares Tuesday through Sunday only.
- #6View all Photos#6 in AntibesSightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
While visitors aren't allowed to go inside this lighthouse, many still make the steep hike to enjoy its panoramic views. Reviewers described the views as "stunning" and "amazing," and called it a "must-see" spot. However, if it's raining, don't attempt the walk as it's too slippery to be safe.
To reach the lighthouse, walk a little less than a mile up the Chemin du Calvaire from the Plage de la Salis. There's also a small chapel nearby, which is listed as a historical monument if you want to pay a (free) visit. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors say it is lovely.
- #7View all Photos#7 in AntibesMonuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMonuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
For a 360-degree view of Antibes (and a dose of military history), head to Fort Carré. Commissioned by France's King Henry II in the second half of the 16th century, this fort was built for defense purposes, but was later used as a prison (Napoleon Bonaparte was briefly held here), as well as military barracks.
Standing 85 above sea level on the Saint-Roch peninsula, the fort is popular among shutterbugs and history buffs. Along with the incredible views, travelers can also learn about the history of the fort and Antibes, as well as what life was like for soldiers during that time.
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