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Best Things To Do in Cannes

Glamorous Cannes is more about resting than doing. Although you can visit a few museums and see some pretty architecture, the main tourist attraction is enjoying life at a leisurely pace. Do this on the beaches, nearby islands, the cafés, the boutiques along Rue Meynadier and Rue d'Antibes, and the casinos. 

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Cannes

Free
On La Croisette, a mile-long promenade that skirts the shore, you can lookout on the sparkling Mediterranean and the rolling Estérel hills.  You can also take in all the glamorous pedestrians, dressed in everything from designer apparel to skimpy bikinis and high heels.
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Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
La Croisette
On La Croisette, a mile-long promenade that skirts the shore, you can lookout on the sparkling Mediterranean and the rolling Estérel hills.  You can also take in all the glamorous pedestrians, dressed in everything from designer apparel to skimpy bikinis and high heels.
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#2

#2 in Cannes

Some travelers find these four islands, just a 15-minute ferry ride away, more interesting than Cannes itself. The two most popular are Île Ste-Marguerite and Île St-Honorat. You can visit Île Ste-Marguerite for the beach; you can also tour the Fort de l'Ile (where the real-life Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned) or the Musée de la Mer, which holds artifacts from the sea. Or you can head to the smaller Île St-Honorat and meditate at the working monastery, the Abbaye de St-Honorat. If you want some peace and quiet in the great outdoors, you’ll surely find it in this island's forest groves and sandy beaches.
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Neighborhood/Area Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Iles de Lerins
Some travelers find these four islands, just a 15-minute ferry ride away, more interesting than Cannes itself. The two most popular are Île Ste-Marguerite and Île St-Honorat. You can visit Île Ste-Marguerite for the beach; you can also tour the Fort de l'Ile (where the real-life Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned) or the Musée de la Mer, which holds artifacts from the sea. Or you can head to the smaller Île St-Honorat and meditate at the working monastery, the Abbaye de St-Honorat. If you want some peace and quiet in the great outdoors, you’ll surely find it in this island's forest groves and sandy beaches.
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#3

#3 in Cannes

Free
This rue (or road) is lined with charming 18th-century houses, which have been repurposed as boutiques, selling everything from trendy and (relatively inexpensive) clothing to wine and cheese. Recent travelers say the macaroons at L'Atelier Jean-Luc Pelé (at No. 36) are absolutely not to be missed.
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Shopping Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Rue Meynadier
This rue (or road) is lined with charming 18th-century houses, which have been repurposed as boutiques, selling everything from trendy and (relatively inexpensive) clothing to wine and cheese. Recent travelers say the macaroons at L'Atelier Jean-Luc Pelé (at No. 36) are absolutely not to be missed.
... more
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#4

#4 in Cannes

Free
Marché Forville (or Covered Market), located to the west of Rue Meynadier, is the city's most popular market. Open every day, you can purchase everything from fresh vegetables to pasta noodles. On Monday, however, the gourmand market turns into a flea market.
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Shopping Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Marche Forville
Marché Forville (or Covered Market), located to the west of Rue Meynadier, is the city's most popular market. Open every day, you can purchase everything from fresh vegetables to pasta noodles. On Monday, however, the gourmand market turns into a flea market.
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#5

#5 in Cannes

Fodor's calls the tiny Musée de la Castre is “Cannes's token cultural attraction.” Constructed by 11th-century monks in the Gothic style, the little château is a piece of art in its own right. Inside, you'll find everything from African drums to Provençal Impressionist paintings. According to one TripAdvisor user: “In a world where most museums are turning into big cultural Disneylands, this old museum in Cannes offers a rare reprieve in time and space.”
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Musee de la Castre
Fodor's calls the tiny Musée de la Castre is “Cannes's token cultural attraction.” Constructed by 11th-century monks in the Gothic style, the little château is a piece of art in its own right. Inside, you'll find everything from African drums to Provençal Impressionist paintings. According to one TripAdvisor user: “In a world where most museums are turning into big cultural Disneylands, this old museum in Cannes offers a rare reprieve in time and space.”
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#6

#6 in Cannes

Established back in 1907, the Casino Croisette is France's most highly frequented casino. And its location — inside the Palais des Festivals, where much of the International Film Festival takes place — is an attraction itself. Also, it's a one-stop shop with a restaurant and the popular nightclub, Le Jimmyz Club; but remember to dress the part — men are required to wear jackets. For more information, visit the casino's website
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Casinos Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Casino Croisette
Established back in 1907, the Casino Croisette is France's most highly frequented casino. And its location — inside the Palais des Festivals, where much of the International Film Festival takes place — is an attraction itself. Also, it's a one-stop shop with a restaurant and the popular nightclub, Le Jimmyz Club; but remember to dress the part — men are required to wear jackets. For more information, visit the casino's website
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#7

#7 in Cannes

Free
For high-end shopping, you'll want to head to Rue d'Antibes, a road that runs parallel to La Croisette but lies a few blocks inland. You'll find designers like MaxMara, Agnes B and Missoni among other shops that sell perfume and jewelry and pastries. If you don't want to buy, you don't have to: Window-shopping and people-watching are nearly as enjoyable as credit card-swiping, but without all that buyer's remorse.
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Shopping Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Rue d'Antibes
For high-end shopping, you'll want to head to Rue d'Antibes, a road that runs parallel to La Croisette but lies a few blocks inland. You'll find designers like MaxMara, Agnes B and Missoni among other shops that sell perfume and jewelry and pastries. If you don't want to buy, you don't have to: Window-shopping and people-watching are nearly as enjoyable as credit card-swiping, but without all that buyer's remorse.
... more

#8

#8 in Cannes

Although you might not think “camp” when you think “Cannes,” you can take a hike just 20 minutes away in the Massif de l'Estérel, a range of mountains formed from red-rock volcanoes. To get there, travel west along the N98 highway. Serious hikers can ascend the heights (2,000 feet at its highest point), but Concierge.com suggests that casual hikers might be better off sticking to the paths that trace the coast.
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Hiking Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Massif de l'Esterel
Although you might not think “camp” when you think “Cannes,” you can take a hike just 20 minutes away in the Massif de l'Estérel, a range of mountains formed from red-rock volcanoes. To get there, travel west along the N98 highway. Serious hikers can ascend the heights (2,000 feet at its highest point), but Concierge.com suggests that casual hikers might be better off sticking to the paths that trace the coast.
... more
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#9

#9 in Cannes

Of course, Cannes's claim-to-fame these days is the film festival that swarms the city every spring. One of the oldest (1946) and most esteemed festivals, 20 "official selection" films are picked and then deliberated on by a jury, who will award the Palme d'Or (the Golden Palm) award to the best one. But don't misunderstand: the International Film Festival is a private one, frequented by actors, directors and the like — not the casual tourist. Fodor's says: "Cannes becomes virtually insane with more than 30,000 actors, producers, directors, and other accredited professionals of the seventh art, 3,500 journalists, and 200,000 tourists." If you're traveling to the area in May, you can expect to see large crowds and tents propped up on the beaches.
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Festivals Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
International Film Festival
Of course, Cannes's claim-to-fame these days is the film festival that swarms the city every spring. One of the oldest (1946) and most esteemed festivals, 20 "official selection" films are picked and then deliberated on by a jury, who will award the Palme d'Or (the Golden Palm) award to the best one. But don't misunderstand: the International Film Festival is a private one, frequented by actors, directors and the like — not the casual tourist. Fodor's says: "Cannes becomes virtually insane with more than 30,000 actors, producers, directors, and other accredited professionals of the seventh art, 3,500 journalists, and 200,000 tourists." If you're traveling to the area in May, you can expect to see large crowds and tents propped up on the beaches.
... more
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