7 great things to do in Cannes

photo couverture blog rhh vue aérienne cannes

There’s more to Cannes than its Film Festival!  In Cannes and the surrounding area there is so much to discover, enjoy and take in.

The city is famous the world over and for good reason. Here, the team at Riviera Holiday Homes shares seven things they love about the city and explain why, whatever the season Cannes is the perfect holiday destination.

1 – Wandering aimlessly along la Croisette

Despite having wandered along la Croisette hundreds of times, it never ceases to amaze us.  

Whether it’s the sapphire-coloured water glistening in the sun, the huge silhouette of the Massif de l’Estérel watching over the city, or the Iles de Lérins nearby, whatever the time of day there’s always something to feast your eyes on the seafront.

Fancy a dip in the sea? Feel like watching the boats catch the light as they sail through the water? What about wandering along the Carlton pontoon to take in the sunset?

Everything about the Croisette is an experience. Even overhearing the multitude of languages spoken by the passing tourists, dressed up to the nines for the occasion!

The other side of the boulevard is lined with shops and luxury hotels where you can stop at the world’s finest shop fronts where luxury goods from across the globe can be found all in one place.

View of "La Croisette" Cannes

2 – While you’re at it, why not stop for a spot of lunch on one of the city’s beaches

I took some American friends to Cannes and do you know what they enjoyed most? Lunch on the the Hotel Carlton’s private beach, a few steps from the Mediterranean sea This gastronomic experience with a touch of pure glamour is perfect for anyone looking to completely unwind whilst enjoying simple, fresh food.

In Cannes you can relax under the shade of a parasol and enjoy restaurant-standard food without leaving the beach. Iconic hotels like the Martinez, the Majestic and the Carlton bring food from their restaurants right to your table.  And it’s not as expensive as you would think.

Whether you’ve been for a dip in the sea or just fancy a cocktail or coffee the beach bars are another tempting option.

Enjoy a moment of self-indulgence!

Visual of beach Cannes

3 – La Rue d’Antibes: the beating heart of luxury retail in Cannes.

If there is one street where the lure of shopping is impossible to resist, it’s la Rue d’Antibes, not far from la Croisette. 

Over a 3-kilometre stretch, exclusive stores engage in a charm offensive, displaying womenswear and menswear, including designer fashion, luxury brands and traditional clothing, high-end cobblers, homeware, fine perfumers, chocolate in their windows and bringing the “wow” factor to the shopping experience.

The presence of an exceptional number of fashion brands in a single location is what gives this street its appeal. Just imagine what it’s like when the sales are on.

shopping street Cannes

4 – Try fish and oysters at Astoux

Cannes boasts many excellent fine-dining restaurants. But it is Astoux (rue Félix Faure, at the end of rue d’Antibes) that has the best reputation in terms of the dining experience and the quality and freshness of the seafood on offer. Oysters are its speciality.

It is also a reputable fish restaurant and a popular post-theatre or post-movie eatery among Cannes locals.  From fresh mussels (Moules de bouchot) to roasted monk fish to sole meunière, all the bistro classics are on the menu.

Fancy staying in instead? They have a shop where you can buy oysters and shellfish

inside the restaurant at Astoux Antibes

5 – Stroll through the streets of the historic quarter

Cannesdates from the Roman conquest,Indeed its name comes from the word “Canensis” meaning reeds and before achieving global fame it was a port town.

The Vieux Port and the historic quarter have all the old-world charm you’d imagine for a city with Cannes’ history. With its little narrow streets and steep stairways, le “Suquet” represents the highest point of the city.

With fresh-water fountains at one corner, its small squares are typically Mediterranean in style. From the charm of its ancient doorways, to the aromas emanating from the brightly coloured shops, or the floral displays and peace and quiet off the beaten track, a walk through its streets is a journey of discovery, whatever the season.

Not to mention the iconic marché Forville, a quintessential Provençal market where stalls are filled to the brim with great local products. Mmmmm.

View of old port with a sunset

6 – Explore the Castre Museum housed in a Medieval castle

Built by the monks of Lérins island, the battlements of this 11th century castle have stood the test of time. The castle offers the perfect vantage from which to take in the picturesque views of the boats in the old port below.

A fairly strenuous climb will bring you to Notre Dame d’Espérance and the castle ruins in the shadow of an imposing stone keep.

In the permanent collections of le Musée des Explorations du Monde house you can discover stunning ancient and prehistoric artefacts from all continents, all within a building steeped in medieval history..

What’s more, as you leave the museum, whatever the time of day, you’ll be greeted with a view that is unique: The Bay of Cannes glistening in the sun. This exceptional vista more than makes up for the exertion on the way up.

Picture of Castle "Le Castre" with museum

7 – Climb up to Cannet, a village of artists

Cannet, the city’s creative quarter, sits at the top of Boulevard Carnot. With its orange and lemon groves, its Belle Epoque architecture and aristocratic villas, its lush gardens and the lovely Musée Bonnard which houses some of the artist’s finest masterpieces, it’s well worth the trek.

Don’t miss the particularly quaint streets behind the museum which are lined with artist studios and workshops.

Also, consider stopping for lunch in the shade of the huge plane trees on the appropriately named Place Bellevue if you have the time. You’ll feel like you are back in the time of Bonnard and other bohemian artists of the impressionist age..

panoramic visual of "Le Cannet" France

Whether during festival season or not, Cannes and the surrounding area (Mandelieu, Antibes) remain popular with holidaymakers as they offer the perfect blend of beauty and art de vivre.

To become fully immersed in everything they have to offer, we recommend renting an apartment or villa through a well-established local firm with a reputation for professionalism : Riviera Holiday Homes

Have a great trip!

You can also read our previous article : Two idyllic natural islands off the Côte d’Azur

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