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Things to do in Cannes

Things to do in  Cannes

Welcome to Cannes

The French Riviera, that sun-dappled stretch of the southern coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, delivers on its reputation for sophisticated relaxation, with sandy beaches and sidewalk cafes brimming with beautiful people. The resort town of Cannes certainly does the Côte d’Azur proud, with its own pristine beaches, luxury hotels, boutiques, and restaurants—many clustered on Promenade de la Croisette. The city is ideally situated for day trips around the area, including guided shore excursions. For travel to cities in the area, take a half- or full-day guided trip to see the well-known seaside destinations of nearby Nice or the independent city-state of Monaco. A continuation to the less-visited town of Èze offers commanding views over the French Riviera from its hilltop lookout. In the other direction along the coast, St. Tropez offers yet another chance to bask in the Mediterranean sun, while also visiting historic monuments such as the citadel, built in the early 17th century. Head into the hills to explore the town of Grasse—a capital of the perfume industry—where the scent of Provence lavender is in the air. Options include small-group and fully private tours for the ultimate in luxury, and yacht trips are another luxe alternative. And if it's celebrities you’re seeking, the best time for star-spotting is during the Cannes Film festival, which usually takes place in May.

Top 15 attractions in Cannes

Île Sainte-Marguerite

A 20-minute ferry ride across the waters of the Mediterranean Sea transports travelers from the high-class commotion of Cannes to the tranquil Île Sainte-Marguerite, a small island with more pine trees than people. Bring your walking shoes and your love for the great outdoors for the perfect day trip away from it all.More

Palais des Festivals et des Congrès

The colossal Film Festival Palace hosts high-profile media and business events, most notably, the Cannes Film Festival, which draws movie stars and media from all over the world for two dizzying weeks in May. Its privileged location, across from the sun-kissed Boulevard de la Croisette and the Mediterranean Sea, is appropriately glamorous.More

Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon)

With its dramatic limestone cliffs and azure waters, the Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon) is one of the French Riviera's most delightful secrets. Escape the manicured glamour of St. Tropez and Cannes in favor of the canyon, which provides opportunities to swim, sail, sunbathe, and rock climb on routes that stretch as far as the eye can see.More

La Croisette Boulevard (Boulevard de la Croisette)

The beating heart of Cannes, La Croisette Boulevard (Boulevard de la Croisette) is an oceanfront promenade lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, and thronged with both vacationers and glamorous locals. Whether you’re stopping for lunch, dinner, or people-watching as you walk along, a stroll along this iconic street is a must-do for Cannes visitors.More

Port of Cannes (Port de Cannes)

With a picturesque location on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the Port of Cannes (Port de Cannes) is a gateway to both the cinematic glamor of Cannes and the rest of the beautiful French Riviera. Disembark here to explore the pretty town of Cannes itself or head to glitzy enclaves such as Monte Carlo, St-Tropez, and Eze.More


Regularly ranked among France’s most beautiful villages, the medieval Gourdon is a sightseeing highlight of Provence’s craggy interior. Poised atop a dramatic, rocky spur, the village offers panoramic views stretching as far as the Mediterranean. Gourdon is also celebrated for its château and its elegant gardens.More

Port Grimaud

Just along the coast from St. Tropez, Port Grimaud is a chic village purpose-built in the 1960s by architect François Spoerry. The town was designed to resemble a mini Venice with its network of canals and brightly painted buildings, and today it is a popular destination for visitors to the Côte d’Azur.More

Gorges du Loup

Steep cliffs, waterfalls, and the turquoise hue of the Loup River make Gorges du Loup one of the most popular natural escapes from the French Riviera. The area is a hub for hikers, rock climbers, and outdoor adventurers.More

Le Suquet

On a hill overlooking Cannes, Le Suquet is the city’s historic district. The Romans built the soaring fortified settlement, and later in the 12th century, monks took ownership and built a castle, which is now a must-see museum. Exquisitely atmospheric, this ancient quarter has narrow cobblestone streets filled with picturesque cafés, restaurants, and shops.More

Fort du Mont Alban

For visitors to Nice, a stroll up to the top of Castle Hill offers extraordinary views of the city from the Old Town straight on to the airport. And with such beautiful weather being the norm, getting a bird's eye view of the Cote d'Azur can be addictive! For those who want to see even more from up high, Fort du Mont Alban is a must.Built in the mid-1500s for military defense, Fort du Mont Alban is located close to Nice in Mont Boron Park, just outside of Col-de-Villefranche. Although it suffered some damage in WWII, the fort is in excellent condition and was declared a national monument in the early 20th century.While tours of the fort are available only by appointment, the grounds are open to the public and free to enter. From the top there are sweeping views from Italy to Antibes – and after a rain, when the skies are clear, those with binoculars can even see Corsica!More

International Perfume Museum (Musée International de la Parfumerie)

Housed in the former Hugues-Aîné perfumery, the International Museum of Perfume in Grasse takes a deep dive into the world of perfume with fun interactive touches. It’s a great place to learn about the history of perfume-making, in France and around the world.More


Opio, just a half-hour's drive inland from Cannes, puts visitors in the middle of the many things to see and do in the Alpes-Maritimes department. From world-class golfing to a Club Med, Grasse perfume makers and of course the Cote d'Azur, there is something for everyone. And as usual when it comes to this region, there is plenty of history as well.Traces of the Iron Age and the Roman era have been found in Opio; in addition, there are records of Opio being a part of Antibes and Grasse through the French Revolution. The only thing to see in the village, the 12th-century St-Trophisme Church, is an indication of its vast history. Yes, the village really is that small – just a few houses, really! But the larger surrounding area is where all the fun is.While in the area, visitors particularly enjoy the many olive oil mills. There are tours, tastings, and of course shops with many olive oil products for sale. Outdoor activities are also popular, with hiking and horseback riding in the nearby countryside.More

Castre Museum (Musée de la Castre)

Housed in a medieval castle atop Le Suquet—the charming old town of Cannes—Castre Museum features a compact but fascinating collection of ancient artifacts and artworks from Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and the Americas. Come for an eclectic array of objects and art, from antiquities to 19th-century landscape paintings, peaceful gardens, and a panoramic view of the city.More

L'Occitane Factory

Aromatic bunches of lavender, rosemary, and thyme welcome visitors to the L’Occitane factory in the heart of Provence. Tours of the factory floor and laboratory show how those Mediterranean plants are transformed into organic products that have won a global audience. An on-site boutique features the whole line, plus hits from the past.More
Massif des Maures

Massif des Maures

Those looking for an outdoor experience on the Cote d'Azur will find what they're looking for in the Massif des Maures. This mountain range sits back from the coast and runs from east of Toulon to west of Cannes; the peninsula on which St-Tropez lies, roughly halfway between, is also a part of the Massif. Even casual hikers find its forests, vineyards, and rolling plains yielding wild orchids and strawberries a welcome change from the sometimes frenetic energy of the Riviera in high season.The Massif des Maures roughly translates to “the Moorish Mountains,” and its highest point (2,559 feet; 780 meters) is called Le Signal de la Sauvette. While its steep contours and isolated pockets leave much of the mountain range pristine, the villages of La Garde Freinet and Collobrieres can show visitors what life is like here. They're known mostly for their cork tree harvests and a wide variety of food made from local chestnuts; autumn sees several festivals in the area celebrating these longtime traditions.More

Trip ideas

Provence Day Trips From Cannes

Provence Day Trips From Cannes

How to Spend 3 Days in Cannes

How to Spend 3 Days in Cannes

Monaco Tours from Cannes

Monaco Tours from Cannes

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Recent reviews from experiences in Cannes

Interesting island
Sandra_S, Sep 2022
Ferry from Cannes to the island Ste Marguerite
Castle, nature hike, and snorkeling here are the attractions.
Brilliant way to see...
Timothy_O, Aug 2022
Excursion nautique - Estérel 2H30
Brilliant way to see Cannes, Alex our guide was super , stopped for 2 lovely snorkelling swims .
Quick ride, but limited communication.
Lucia_G, Aug 2022
Ferry from Cannes to the island Ste Marguerite
There were no explanations about where to go or what to see nor a schedule posted of return times.
Not to Hurried for all the Stops We Made - Great Day
Lucie_G, Nov 2022
Nice, Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze, 7H from Cannes port Small-Group Shore Excursion
First stop was Nice to see an impressive farmers market full of flowers, produce, cheese, herbs, hand milled soaps, etc.
A nice way to see Cannes
HildeCecilie_F, Jul 2022
Excursion nautique - Estérel 2H30
A great way to see cannes.
Canned Shore Excursion: Small-Group Monaco and Eze Half-Day Tour
CINDY O, Sep 2019
Monaco, Monte-Carlo, Eze Half-day from Cannes small-Group and Shore Excursion
The small group excursion was an excellent way to see Cannes, Monaco, Monte Carlo and Eze.
What an incredible day! We booked this...
Neil Y, Mar 2012
Provence Countryside Small-Group Day Trip from Cannes
We booked this trip because we wanted to see a side of southern France that cannot be seen in Cannes, and we certainly did.
The best way to see Monaco and Eze...
Ivy N, Jul 2017
Monaco, Monte-Carlo, Eze Half-day from Cannes small-Group and Shore Excursion
The best way to see Monaco and Eze when you are only in Cannes for a day!
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All about Cannes

When to visit

All eyes turn to Cannes for the world-famous Cannes Film Festival in May, but while the chances of a celebrity sighting are high, the resulting crowds and peak prices mean that non-festival goers might want to give it a miss. After a long and hot summer, the comparatively cooler temperatures of fall tempt travelers looking to avoid the masses.

A local’s pocket guide to Cannes

Jade Broggio

Jade was born in Cannes where she lived, laughed, and loved until she moved away after turning 20 to discover other parts of the world.

The first thing you should do in Cannes is...

take a stroll along the famous Croisette to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Mediterranean. Heading toward Palm Beach, you can see skaters practicing their tricks.

A perfect Saturday in Cannes...

involves lunch at San Telmo in the heart of the Rue Hoche, followed by shopping on Rue d'Antibes. Stop at Villfeu for an ice cream before going for a beer at Morrison's, Cannes’ most famous pub.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the Palais des Festivals and its red carpet. It’s always incredible to think of all the stars who’ve walked on the carpet.

To discover the "real" Cannes...

visit the markets—they’re the essence of the city and Marché Foreville is a perfect example. Located on a covered square near Le Suquet, it sells many of the region's local products.

For the best view of the city...

go to the Suquet, a charming and lesser-known part of the city. I love climbing to the castle in the morning for a breathtaking view of the city surrounded by the sea.

One thing people get wrong...

is equating Cannes with jetsetting luxury, when the town is also the cradle of Provençal traditions, home to handmade products and an active and dynamic local community.

People Also Ask

What is Cannes famous for?

The Cannes Film Festival is this French city’s claim to fame, along with the accompanying A-list glamour. While the festival happens yearly in May, Cannes is lively year-round, enticing starry crowds and those who like to party with the wealthy to its luxury hotels and chic beach clubs.

What is there to do in Cannes?

Stroll west on La Croisette Boulevard to soak up sea vistas on one side and pass swanky hotels on the other. After a photo stop by Palais des Festivals, site of the Cannes Film Festival, seek out Cannes’ calmer side with an amble through Le Suquet quarter; sweeping views await.

How much time do you need in Cannes?

The seaside city isn’t big, and a day can comfortably cover Cannes’ key sights as well as some beach time. Many overnight or weekend visitors combine a stay in the city with trips to nearby Nice, Monaco, or other Cote d’Azur hotspots.

Can you go to the beach in Cannes?

Yes. There’s a mix of both public and private beaches in Cannes, with the latter more prevalent, as you’d expect, around La Croisette. The stretches of public beach space are impressive though, offering soft sands and amenities for free. The private beaches come with loungers, parasols, and waiter service, too.

How is Cannes pronounced?

Skip the "es" and open up that "a" to pronounce Cannes in a way that’s acceptable to French ears and foreign tongues alike. If your Cannes comes out more like "kan" with the emphasis on the "n," you’re on the right track.

Is Cannes expensive to visit?

Yes. Cannes is a celebrity hangout, and it has the price tag to match. Hotels, restaurants, private beaches, and even taxis all have big spenders in mind. For a more affordable break, consider nearby Nice or Mandelieu-la-Napoule. Both offer Côte d’Azur charm without breaking the bank.


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