Last Updated on January 11, 2023
France is a fascinating country – both in terms of culture and in terms of everything it can offer to its tourists. Although most people stop in Paris when it comes to visiting France, it is more than worth noting that there are a lot of places in France that deserve your attention.
Cannes is one of them.
What are the best things to do in Cannes? We have some tips for you – so if you’re wondering what to do in Cannes, then be sure to read on and find your inspiration for the next trip.
#1. Take a Walk on La Croisette
The French Riviera will make you feel instantly luxurious and posh – and, as one of the most important locations on the French Riviera, Cannes makes no exception. In fact, Cannes might just be the crown jewel of the entire French Riviera – and if you get there, La Croisette is one of the things to see in Cannes, no mistake.
Don’t expect this to be a river of diamonds or anything of the sort. La Croisette is stylish in its simple, yet absolutely stunning appearance. A promenade with the sea on one side and a park on the other one, surrounded by the classy architecture of Cannes and embraced by the elegance of the entire atmosphere here – this is how we suggest for you to start your trip to Cannes, for it will give you a very good sense of the place.
- Address: Boulevard de la Croisette
- How to get there: by bus and/or train: Bus 200 and Train LES ARCS/VINTIMILLE
- Price/ fee: Free, you simply have to take a walk here and allow the vibe of the place to impregnate your eyes and your soul
- Hours: any time of the day or evening
- Time needed: take your time, there’s no rush on the French Riviera
#2. Attend the Yachting Festival
When we said Cannes is elegant and fancy, we meant it: this is a place of utmost luxuriousness. It’s not the kind of dapper luxuriousness that will overwhelm you with its decorum and preciousness, but the kind of luxuriousness that embraces you in the softest, most candid way.
Cannes has a Yachting festival. Even if you’re not a big fan of yachts, you will definitely find this display of opulence to be inspiring, beautiful, and truly classy in the purest sense of the word. Definitely a must if you’re in Cannes in September! The Yachting Festival has been an ongoing tradition for more than 4 decades, so you will definitely love it!
- Address: Prom. de la Pantiero, 06400 Cannes, Franc
- How to get there: bus (L1, L2, or L3, depending on your starting point)
- Price/ fee: 15 Euros for general admittance
- Hours: 10 am to 7 pm on festival days
- Time needed: approximately 2 hours
#3. Get a Peek at the Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes Film Festival needs absolutely no introduction on our end – we are more than certain that you are familiar with it already.
Probably one of the biggest movie festivals in the world, the Cannes event takes place every year in late spring. Prepare yourself to see an array of celebrities walking the red carpet – this might not be the Emmy Awards or the Oscars, but it is one of the finest and most reputable events in quality cinematography, so there are a lot of important people who will partake in it every year.
The festival has been organized since 1946 – so it’s more than a tradition. It is custom so ingrained in French and European tradition that you simply cannot miss out on it if you’re in Cannes. By far, this is one of Cannes’s and France’s points of interest.
The bad news? General admission is not possible, and you can only get in with an invitation (which you might get if you work in the movie/ advertising industry).
- Address: Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, 1 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France
- How to get there: by bus and/or train: Bus 200 and Train LES ARCS/VINTIMILLE
- Price/ fee: N/A
- Hours: depending on the festival schedule
- Time needed: N/A
#4. Take Stunning Photos in the Old Port
There’s nothing quite as beautiful as old architecture in an old port. There’s a special perfume you will always associate with places like this – and Cannes is leaving this fragrance behind like nothing else is.
The Old Port in Cannes is equally fascinating as it is elegant. Take a few photos here and allow the perfume of this place to take over you and impregnate your memories with it. Such an exquisite experience!
- Address: Jetée Albert Edouard, 06400 Cannes, France
- How to get there: walk (16 minutes) or take a bus (Bus 21)
- Price/ fee: free
- Time needed: take your time and enjoy the vibes
#5. Get Lost in Le Suquet
Tiny cobbled streets are always charming – and thankfully, both France and the entirety of Europe are filled with these lovely places. Le Suquet is the cobbled street of Cannes – a place that traces its beginnings to the Roman Empire, but whose architecture is predominantly 18th and 19th century-esque. The pastel buildings, the mom and pop restaurants sprinkled here and there, the energy of this place – they will win your heart as nothing else can.
- Address: Le Suquet, 06400, Cannes, France
- How to get there: walk (21 minutes) or bus (Bus 21)
- Price/ fee: free
- Time needed: 2 hours (or more, if you want to spend more time on these charming streets)
#6. Go Visit the Islands (Sainte Marguerite and Saint
Cannes is surrounded by a couple of islands that are just as charming as the city itself. Sure, they might not be exotic, but they will provide you with so much relaxation and classiness! Because, yes, needless to say, even the islands surrounding the jewel of the French Riviera are absolutely elegant!
Sainte Marguerite and Saint Honorat are both recommended for their uniqueness, for their Saveur, for their joie de vivre and for their absolute charm. Both of them are home to old buildings (among which a massive abbey too, on Sainte Marguerite) – so those of you in love with old architecture will definitely find them lovely.
- Address: N/A
- How to get there: a ferry ride
- Price/ fee: approximately 15 Euro
- Time needed: 3 hours for each (ferry ride and a tour of each island)
#7. Steal Inspiration from Centre d’Art La Malmaison
OK, you might not steal inspiration (unless you’re an artist, case in which every single place in the world can be an inspiration to you). But the Centre d’Art La Malmaison is a true gemstone – a place that may not be standing as tall as it used to (only part of it is still used), but which has maintained alive a spirit and an energy that are torn from a century ago. The temporary exhibitions here are quite inspiring in their own right, so don’t hesitate to visit the museum!
- Address: 47 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France
- How to get there: walk on the La Croisette (approximately 6 minutes)
- Price/ fee: approximately 6 Euros for a special exhibition
- Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm, Monday: closed
- Time needed: 1-2 hours
#8. Stay at the Carlton Hotel
If you want to travel to Cannes, and if you want to do it in style, you absolutely have to book a room at the InterContinental Carlton Hotel. There is nothing like it.
This entire building will transport you to an entirely different era – one of grace and absolutely stylishness, one of jewels and fashion that never dies, one where even services were so classy that it will feel almost impossible to believe that this place still exists and that it still maintains the same vibes as those of the Belle Epoque.
Yes, the rooms here don’t come cheap. But they are so worth it!
- Address: 58 Boulevard de la Croisette Cs 40052, 06414 Cannes, France
- How to get there: walk on La Croisette, approximately 4 minutes
- Price/ fee: approximately $200/ night
- Time needed: as many nights as you need
#9. Get Mesmerized by the View from Musee de la Castre
The entire French Riviera is sprinkled with such views – images that get embedded in your memory and in your heart, images you will always associate with a specific fragrance and very specific colors, and tastes.
Such is the view from Musee de la Castre. Guarding over the city, this medieval building used to belong to monks, but in the 19th century, its then-owner transformed it into an eclectic exhibition that included medieval artifacts, odd paintings, and unusual Asian instruments. Such an experience!
Plus, the museum itself offers plenty of interesting exhibitions for a price that is more than decent, so we strongly recommend you to walk inside and get lost among historical items that will transport you to another era.
- Address: 6 Rue de la Castre, 06400 Cannes, France
- How to get there: walk (25 minutes) or bus (Bus 8)
- Price/ fee: 6 Euros
- Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10 am – 1 pm, 2 pm – 6 pm, Monday: Closed
- Time needed: 1-2 hours
#10. Shop on the Rue d’Antibes
There’s no mall like the streets of France! Rue d’Antibes is sprinkled with some of the most fashionable boutiques in all of France and Europe, so it is nearly impossible not to find here something you will absolutely enjoy.
Definitely pay a visit, even if you don’t particularly want to shop for anything!
- Address: Rue d’Antibes
- How to get there: walk from the La Croisette (approximately 11 minutes) or take Bus 8 and Bus 18
- Price/ fee: as much as you want to spend here
- Time needed: 2 – 3 hours (or more)
#11. Sunbathe on Plage du Midi
Bathing on a Cannes beach is definitely among the things to do in Cannes. Our recommendation is Plage du Midi for the way in which it manages to be simple, unequivocally beautiful, and yet so luxurious at the same time (especially for a public beach). It’s not that you will see expensive bars here – it’s just that the entire energy of Cannes speaks about opulence and richness of class, style, and culture.
Plage du Midi is a bit more affordable than beaches on the La Croisette, and you will find plenty of places that offer food and drinks (they pop every 100 meters or so) – so you don’t have to pack anything. While these shops might not offer an exquisite culinary experience, they do stick to the basics and they are all very good, so you will definitely enjoy your day at the beach.
- Address: Plage du Midi
- How to get there: walk from the La Croisette (30 minutes) or take Bus 8
- Price/ fee: approximately 10 Euros for 4 hours of parking (if you come by car)
- Time needed: as much as you need
Without doubt, Cannes is a precious jewel on the French Riviera – some might even call it the Crown Jewel, especially given the abundance of cultural events that happen here. A place that breathes elegance and refinement through every single pore, and yet, manages to stay simple – so simple you won’t feel out of place if you are not used to this kind of place.
There are charm and perfume in Cannes, and if you book a trip there, we guarantee you will not be disappointed by the unique fragrance and beauty of this place.
Regardless of whether you are a history buff, an art connoisseur, or you simply want to live the good life by hanging out at the beach, watch yachting shows, and eat delicious food, Cannes will offer it to you – and it will offer it to you in the classiest, most sophisticated way there is.
There is simply no way not to love Cannes and the French Riviera, for they truly live up to their fame in every single respect. Come here and allow yourself to be embraced by the gorgeous beauty of the place, by the spotless services, by the positive energy, and by the classy environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I spend a day at Cannes?
Take a stroll along the Croisette, Visit the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Go shopping in the old town, Le Suquet, and Take a boat tour of the French Riviera and see the beautiful coastline from the water.
What is Cannes best known for?
Cannes is best known for its annual Cannes Film Festival, which is one of the most prestigious and high-profile events in the film industry. The festival takes place in May and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world, including film actors, directors, producers, and other industry professionals.
Which is nicer Nice or Cannes?
Nice is known for its Old Town, which is home to the famous Promenade des Anglais, a long seafront promenade, as well as the colorful Cours Saleya flower market. Cannes is known for its annual Cannes Film Festival and its beautiful beaches.
Is Cannes a walkable city?
Yes, Cannes is a relatively walkable city, especially if you are staying in the city center or the Croisette, Cannes’ famous seafront promenade. The city center is relatively small and compact, and many of the main tourist attractions, such as the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (the venue for the Cannes Film Festival) and the beaches, are within easy walking distance of each other.
How many days in Cannes is enough?
If you are planning to visit in May (when the Cannes film festival happens) then make a good plan of 10-15 days. You can meet many of your favorite film celebrities roaming around the city. During other odd months, 4-5 days are good enough to have fun in Cannes.
Can ordinary people go to Cannes?
Yes, this is just like any other cities in the world and they are very welcoming for the people from all nationalities.
What is red carpet at Cannes?
The red carpet at Cannes refers to the long red carpet that is laid out in front of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, the venue for the Cannes Film Festival, for the opening and closing ceremonies and some of the other special events during the festival. The red carpet is a traditional feature of many film festivals and other high-profile events, and it is used as a backdrop for photographers and journalists to take pictures of the celebrities and other guests as they arrive.
Is there a hop on hop off bus in Cannes?
There are many bus services in Cannes which offer hop on hop off facility.
Do you need a car in Cannes?
There are many things to explore in Cannes so you’ll have to use a lot of public transports to roam around. Having a car is always a good idea to save time and have more fun.
What is the most popular food in Cannes?
Some of the famous food in Cannes are Bouillabaisse, Ratatouille, Pissaladière, and Salad niçoise. Try any one of the them to have a good taste of local food.