24 Best Things to Do in Cannes, France

la croisette cannes

The stunning city of Cannes, located on the French Riviera, is a glamorous traveler’s paradise.

This international epicenter of glamour, elegance, and movie stars is perhaps best known for its annual Film Festival, which attracts droves of world-famous filmmakers and actors from around the globe.

Cannes is also gifted with a cosmopolitan atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Cote d’Azur coast. The town’s architecture ranges from elegant 19th-century mansions to designer boutiques and fashionable restaurants.

But that’s not everything: Cannes also has pristine beaches and picturesque fishing villages just a few miles from the city center.

Yes, as you can see, there are many wonderful reasons to fall in love with this city. Even though I live in Nice, I absolutely love heading to Cannes on the weekends and always end up finding new hidden gems and special places to explore.

Looking for the best things to do in Cannes? Here you will find a list of 24 unmissable activities and attractions during your visit, which are sure to make your stay all the more memorable.

Summary: Top 5 experiences to have in Cannes

Short on time? These are the top 5 experiences to have in Cannes:

Keep reading for a more detailed list of things to do and places to visit.

If you are using Nice as your base for exploring the riviera, make sure to read our guide on How to Get to Cannes From Nice as well.

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Best things to do in Cannes, France

1- Wander around Le Suquet

Le Suquet is Cannes’s oldest neighborhood and where the city was born.

From the sea-facing walkways and majestic bell tower, LaeSuquet’s combination of classic French charm and modern vibrancy makes it one of the best spots for visitors looking for an unforgettable experience in this picturesque port city.

You might also enjoy: Cannes or Antibes: Which one to choose

Exploring its narrow cobbled streets lined with colorful shops and eateries is like stepping back into the past; while admiring the invitingly blue Mediterranean Sea through its tall terraces is sure to provide a sense of peaceful tranquility.

2- Go for a walk in La Croisette

palm trees in cannes

La Croisette is the iconic and elegant promenade that stretches along Cannes’s seafront. Here, you will find lush palm trees, velvet-smooth beaches, designer boutiques, trendy cafes, and bars, as well as luxury hotels and casinos.

Take a leisurely stroll down this glamorous boulevard to admire its breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea or rent a bike and explore further.

3- Sail around the Bay of Cannes in a catamaran

Enjoy sailing on board a modern and fully equipped catamaran in the Bay of Cannes.

Admire the stunning scenery and swim, snorkel or just relax on board and soak up the sun with a glass of wine.

4- Visit Cannes’ wonderful museums

Cannes has several interesting museums worth visiting during your stay.

The Centre d’Art La Malmaison is housed in what used to be the Grand Hotel and is home to paintings by renowned 20th- and 21st-century artists such as Picasso and Chagall. 

Meanwhile, the Musée Des Explorations Du Monde is housed in a medieval castle and displays fascinating medical artifacts  Asian instruments, and 19th-century paintings. Also, it offers stunning views of La Croisette and the city!

Cost: 6 euros for adults

Website: Museums & expositions in Cannes

Guided tours: available at the museum

5- Try delicious fresh produce at Marché provençal Forville

marche fourville in cannes france

Marché Provençal Forville is a wonderful and authentic market to explore.

With its abundance of vibrant colors, tasty smells, and the liveliness of the atmosphere, visitors can wander through an experience filled with culture, cult dishes, and traditional produce from the region.

✈️ Need help planning your trip to the French Riviera?

Not only is Marché Provençal Forville a great place to do grocery shopping but it is also an ideal spot for people-watching and taking memorable pictures.

From specialty cheeses to freshly made baguettes, there are multiple options available to choose from in this fantastic market.

Cost: Free

Hours: From 7:30 am to 1 pm. Closed on Mondays.

6- Soak in the sun at Sainte Marguerite Island

St. Marguerite Island, located just off the coast of Cannes, is a beautiful nature reserve with miles of Mediterranean coastline along with unique birds, stunning landscapes, and plenty of peace and quiet.

Read: 22 Perfect Day Trips from Cannes, France

Take a boat ride over to this charming island for an invigorating swim in its crystal clear waters or spend your day exploring this enchanting destination on foot, taking in its breathtaking views and discovering some of its hidden secrets along the way.

7- Shop designer fashion (or just window shop) at La Croisette

La Croisette is arguably the most luxurious shopping street in Cannes filled with world-renowned designers such as Prada, Gucci, Dior, and many more.

Here, you’ll find everything from luxurious designer fashion to exquisite jewelry stores.

The street is also lined with art galleries, antique dealers, and fashionable boutiques where you can pick up the perfect souvenir to remember your trip.

8- Admire the incredible Église Notre-Dame-d’Éspérance

eglise notre dame in cannes france

Église Notre-Dame-d’Éspérance is a magnificent Roman Catholic church and one of the most important sights in Cannes.

Built at the end of the 19th century, this incredible structure features breathtaking stained glass windows, beautiful sculptures, intricate stonework, and impressive frescoes.

The interior of the church also houses a number of religious artifacts and artworks that are very interesting to see.

9- Discover the Calanques of the Esterel

The Calanques of the Esterel is one of the best-kept secrets on the French Riviera.

This stunning series of limestone cliffs and coves which are located on the western side of Cannes and offers incredible views and plenty of opportunities for exploration.

10- See the Cannes’ Palais des Festivals & Walk of Stars

cannes palais des festivals

Of course, not any trip to Cannes would be complete without taking a look at the Palais des Festivals and admiring the red carpet and iconic Walk of Stars.

Although there is admittedly not much else to do, it’s worth stopping by.

11- Explore the local food scene

delicious pastry in cannes france

Cannes, France is a truly great foodie destination.

The city has a broad range of eateries, ranging from the finest Michelin-starred restaurants to more casual bistros.

Freshly caught seafood is a local specialty and every day one will find something different on each menu, as most places rely heavily on seasonal produce and make use of only the freshest ingredients.

Moreover, Cannes is home to some of Europe’s best chefs who bring creative dishes to the table that satisfy all tastes – from those who appreciate bold flavors to those looking for a lighter bite.

Not only is one easily able to find exceptional fare in this French gem, but also an unparalleled atmosphere with many outdoor tables set up overlooking the bay or nestled into charming cobblestoned laneways.

Where to eat:

  • Uva
  • L’Assiette Provencale
  • La Table du Chef
  • La Meissouniere

12 – Go on a private wine tour in the Provence region

ice wine from provence

A private Provence Wine Tour is an absolute must for those looking to explore the culinary delights of this region.

Visit some of the most famous wineries in France and sample world-renowned wines with a local guide.

Take a scenic drive through some of the country’s most beautiful countryside and learn all about French viticulture before enjoying a 3-course meal at one of the best wineries in Provence.

13- Take the ferry Ferry from Cannes to St Tropez

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St Tropez is one of the most famous luxury destinations in the world, and taking the ferry from Cannes to St Tropez is a great way to explore the area for a day.

Enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean as you sail toward this glamorous destination and spend your day wandering through the cobblestone streets and browsing all the high-end boutiques and galleries.

From lively nightlife to serene beaches, this beautiful town offers the perfect mix of experiences.

14- Have a bite to eat at Rue Meynadier

rue meynadier in cannes france

Rue Meynadier is a quaint cobblestone street filled with traditional bistros and cafes.

Here, you’ll find plenty of delicious eateries serving up some of the city’s best cuisine such as salade Niçoise, bouillabaisse, and ratatouille.

It’s also home to a number of specialty food stores offering up fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and local delicacies.

Where to eat:

  • La Farigoule
  • La Perle Restaurant
  • Chez Vincent et Nicolas
  • Aux Bons Enfants

15- Go hiking at Croix-Des Gardes

Croix-Des Gardes is a great place to explore Cannes’ surrounding lush landscapes and stunning views.

Enjoy a leisurely hike through the luscious parklands, taking in all the sights of this Mediterranean paradise. This is also one of the best spots for birdwatching in Cannes, making it a must-visit spot for nature lovers!

16- Walk around the port

port in cannes france

Cannes’ Port is a great spot for sun-seekers and people-watchers alike.

Take a stroll around the harbor, admiring all the luxurious yachts and boats moored in the water.

Stop off to watch the local fishermen at work or visit one of the vibrant restaurants for a bite to eat with panoramic views over the bay.

17- Visit the glorious Vila Domergue

Perched on the hillside above the bay, Vila Domergue is one of Cannes’ most beautiful mansions.

This historic building was built in the 1930s by renowned architect Jean-Gabriel Domergue and features art deco design throughout. Take a tour inside to admire all the exquisite details and get an insight into this luxurious lifestyle.

18- Go on a day trip

cobblestone street in eze
Èze, France

Cannes is a fantastic city to base yourself in when exploring the French Riviera.

Take the train and explore destinations like the Lerins Islands, Monaco, Menton, Nice, or Antibes. if you are short on time, you can also do a French Riviera full-day tour to see more than one place on the same day (which I highly recommend!).

Alternatively, take a trip out to Grasse and visit some of France’s best-known perfumeries.

19- Have a drink and enjoy the exclusivity of Cannes’s best beach clubs

beach club in cannes

Cannes is home to some of the most exclusive beach clubs in the world.

Enjoy a refreshing drink as you soak up the sun and take in the stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea.

Some of our favorites include Miramar Plage, La Plage du Martinez, and Riviera Beach,

20- See Cannes’s street art and murals

street art in cannes

Cannes has a thriving street art scene and is home to some of the most impressive murals in the world.

Wander through the city streets and discover hidden gems, from vibrant graffiti to intricate 3D street art.

Make sure you take your camera along with you for some spectacular photoshoots!

21 – Go on a Ferrari tour of Cannes

If you are looking for a truly luxurious once-in-a-lifetime experience, why not take a Ferrari tour around Cannes?

Take in the city’s landmarks and attractions from the comfort of your car with an experienced driver at the wheel. This is one of the best ways to explore Cannes in style!

For something less flashy, gyropod tours are also very fun and popular.

22 – Check out some local galleries

Cannes has an impressive array of art galleries that showcase amazing works by both local and international artists.

Visit these galleries to discover everything from charming landscape paintings to contemporary sculptures.

Some great galleries to visit are Galerie de Cannes, La Banane, and Francl Gallery.

23- Go for a swim at Plage du Midi

public beach in cannes

The Plage du Midi is one of the most popular spots for swimming in Cannes.

Take a dip in its crystal-clear waters or rent a paddleboard and explore the coastline.

24- Try your luck at Casino Barrière Le Croisette

cassino in cannes france

For those looking for a bit of excitement and glamour during their visit to Cannes, head over to the glamorous Casino Barrière Le Croisette.

This vibrant casino offers up plenty of gaming options including poker, Blackjack, Roulette, and more. With its elegant decor and luxurious atmosphere, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.

beautiful views in cannes france

Cannes Travel Guide & Frequently asked questions

How many days in Cannes?

Most people recommend spending at least 1-3 days in Cannes to fully explore the city and its surroundings (read: How Many Days in Cannes?).

However, if time is limited, one day is enough to get a feel for the atmosphere of this beautiful location.

What are the best places to stay in Cannes?

The best place to stay in Cannes depends on your budget and preferences.

If you’re looking for luxury accommodation, then the chic hotels along La Croisette are a good choice.

For more affordable options, there are plenty of Airbnb and boutique hotels located in the city center.

What is the best time to visit Cannes?

The best time to visit Cannes is from late spring to early autumn when temperatures are milder and the area is less crowded.

In July and August, temperatures can reach up to 30°C (86°F), which makes it perfect for sunbathing or enjoying the beach clubs.

Is Cannes worth visiting?

Yes, Cannes is definitely worth visiting.

Overall, Cannes is an amazing destination for those looking to experience a unique and luxurious atmosphere.

From its stunning beaches to its vibrant nightlife scene, there are plenty of things to do in this beautiful city.

How to get from Cannes to Nice?

The easiest way to get from Cannes to Nice is by taking a train.

The journey takes about 25 minutes and the tickets cost around €14 for an adult one-way ticket.

Alternatively, you can take a bus or book a private transfer which usually costs between €50-100 depending on the transport company.

How far is Monaco from Cannes?

Monaco is located approximately 33km (20 miles) away from Cannes and can be reached in less than an hour by car or bus.

There are regular services running between the two cities, so it’s easy to explore both destinations during your stay in France.

Is there Uber in Cannes?

Yes, Uber operates in Cannes.

How is Cannes pronounced?

Cannes is pronounced “Kahns”. The final “s” is silent, so the pronunciation should sound like “Kahn”.

If you are ever unsure of how to say something in French, try saying it out loud and listening for the phonetic differences. You’ll soon be a pro!

What airport for Cannes?

The closest airport to Cannes is the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, which is located approximately 32km (20 miles) away.

There are direct flights available from a variety of cities around Europe and North America. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from Paris or other major cities in France.

Is Cannes safe?

Cannes is considered a safe destination for visitors.

How expensive is Cannes?

Cannes is known for its luxurious lifestyle, so it’s no surprise that the city can be quite expensive, especially during summer and festival season.

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Conclusion: The best things to do in Cannes

That’s a wrap! Now that you know exactly what to do on your trip to the beautiful city of Cannes, I hope you have a wonderful trip. Au revoir! 🙂

Oh! And if you are visiting the South of France soon, join my Facebook group for more hidden gems and travel tips. Happy travels!

About Me

Camila Neves

Nice to meet you! My name is Cami and I am a full-time traveler and foodie. I live in Nice in the South of France and this blog is where I share my impressions and travel secrets.

Camila Neves