Best Things To Do in Cannes
Though it's known internationally for its film festival, there's much more to do in Cannes than gaze at the silver screen. Indulge in the glamour of Cannes by window-shopping along Rue d'Antibes or testing Lady Luck at Casino Barrière Les Princes. Strolling the famous La Croisette is also a must, as is lazing along the crowded beaches. For a dose of Cannes culture, spend a few hours exploring the Musée de la Castre or shop like a local in the Marché Forville.
Updated February 10, 2020
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You won't want to miss La Croisette on a visit to Cannes. This famous promenade bursts with upscale shops and hotels like the InterContinental Carlton Cannes and the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic, as well as beaches from end to end. Once a dirt road surrounded by sand dunes, La Croisette was transformed into a promenade at the end of the 19th century, slowly turning into the elegant destination that it is today.
Recent visitors say it's a great place to take a walk thanks to the fantastic views, high-end shopping and great people-watching. However, others warned that the beach can get quite crowded.
- #2View all PhotosfreeMarché Forville#2 in CannesShopping, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDShopping, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Forville Market, located near Rue Meynadier, is the oldest market in Cannes. You can purchase everything from fresh vegetables and flowers to Mediterranean fish, and you just may stumble upon one of the area's top chefs also doing his or her weekly shopping.
Past visitors said the food is top quality and that there are a variety of options to suit any taste. Others recommended stopping by if you're on the hunt for a unique souvenir, such as jarred sauces. Reviewers also noted that the market is a great place to find provisions for a picnic.
- #3View all Photos#3 in CannesCasinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDCasinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Along with its annual film festival, Cannes is also famous for its casinos. What's more, it's the only place in France with three casinos. If you're in the mood to test Lady Luck during your trip, consider paying a visit to Casino Barrière Les Princes. In addition to its 21 tables games, the Casino Barrière Les Princes is a one-stop shop with a restaurant and two bars, but remember to dress the part; no shorts, tank tops or swimsuits are allowed.
Recent visitors said the casino is small but has a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff.
- #4View all Photos#4 in CannesSightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
If you're a fan of film, take some time to admire the Painted Walls of Cannes. Found throughout the city, these walls pay a tribute to cinema with depictions of famous actors, actresses and movie scenes. Among the walls, you'll find paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Buster Keaton, James Dean and many others. For help locating the various murals, download this brochure from the Cannes Tourist Office for a full list with addresses.
According to recent visitors, the murals are a fun and interesting addition to the city (they've been around since 2004).
- #5View all Photos#5 in CannesMonuments and Memorials, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMonuments and Memorials, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Cruise over to Fort Royal on Île Sainte-Marguerite (part of the Lérins Islands) to see this historic structure. Built in the early 17th century to defend the entrance to Cannes, the fort later became a state prison in 1685 and housed the mysterious "man in the iron mask" – a famous prisoner whose face was always hidden and whose true identity is still debated among historians to this day. But before the island sheltered the fort, it was occupied by the Romans.
Reviewers said the fort has an interesting history and offers great views of Cannes. Others recommended perusing the Museum of the Sea, which displays a variety of exhibits detailing ship wrecks that were discovered off the shores of the Islands of Lérins, as well as a model of the ancient Roman water reservoir system.
- #6View all Photos#6 in CannesMuseumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Set inside a medieval chateau – once the home of Lérins monks – the museum features artifacts hailing from five continents. Among the items on display are musical instruments, artwork, masks and antiques. Aside from the artifacts, perhaps the museum's biggest draw is its location in a medieval tower that offers spectacular views overlooking the Bay of Cannes.
Visitors say views from the museum are spectacular and that the collections are interesting. Though you'll have to climb more than 100 steps to reach the panoramic views, you'll be happy to hear reviewers say it doesn't require much effort.
- #7View all PhotosfreeRue d'Antibes#7 in CannesShopping, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDShopping, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
For retail therapy, you'll want to head to Rue d'Antibes, a road that runs parallel to La Croisette but lies a few blocks inland. Once a road that linked Toulon to Antibes, the Rue d'Antibes is a close competitor to La Croisette. Today, it's home to stores for moderately priced brands, such as Zara and Mango, as well as the former Cannes theater. Even if you're not interested in shopping, reviewers say Rue d'Antibes is worth a stroll to admire the architecture – many of the buildings date to the 19th century with ironwork and sculptures by Pellegrini.
According to recent visitors, the Rue d'Antibes offers great shopping and even better people-watching. Visit this shopping district anytime the mood strikes; stores operate their own hours.
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