Things to do in Cannes France
by Daniel | Last Updated February 19th, 2020
Cannes, France, perhaps best known by the Cannes International Film Festival, is a vacation destination for many reasons, particularly its beauty.
Located along the French Riviera (Cote d'Azur) just southwest of Nice, Cannes is a place where you can relax or experience adventures, whatever you want on your holiday.
With so many things to do in Cannes, the resort town draws in tourists and visitors from around the world. With stunning white sand beaches, beautiful hotels, and delicious food, it is a place where a person can really let their hair down and relax.
The French version of a resort town is everything you could want – from unbelievable food to the art synonymous with France – visiting this unique town will give you an entirely different expectation of what a vacation in the Cote d'Azur should be.
Keep reading to find out some of the best things to do in Cannes.
Hotels in Cannes
There are many fantastic hotels in Cannes, but two hotels really stand out from the wealth of places offering accommodations for your time in the French Riviera.
The Intercontinental is iconic in Cannes, and it more than lives up to its reputation as one of the best hotels. Located along the Boulevard de la Croisette. It offers pretty much anything from a hotel you could want:
Things for the children
Most importantly, it will give you a way to relax and appreciate your stay and unforgettable memories. With the beautiful beaches just outside your window, the Hotel Intercontinental is one of the best places to stay on your visit to Cannes.
Hotel Martinez Cannes
At a glance, you will know exactly why so many people love the Hotel Martinez in Cannes. The stunning edifice lets all who see it know that it is a luxury hotel with more than the average amenities on offer. Built in the 1920s, this illustrious hotel is a combination of the best of the old world and the new.
The hotel effortlessly strikes a balance between the Mediterranean experience visitors expect with something that is uniquely French.
With friendly staff and plenty to do, you will thoroughly enjoy staying in this hotel. Whether you are on a business trip or vacation, there are amenities that will make your time there both enjoyable and memorable.
Restaurants - Where to eat in Cannes
Beyond the accommodations that help set the right tone for your stay, there are a wealth of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and eateries where you can try the French version of Mediterranean food. Both healthy and delicious, you will likely leave planning to return for the food alone.
Le Californie Restaurant
The atmosphere alone is very quaint. A lot of detail has gone into the setting just the right environment, from the art to the lighting to the furniture.
You can eat inside to soak in a comfortable atmosphere, or outside and take in the sights and smells of the Mediterranean. Their menu is absolutely amazing, offering something for any palate.
Their selection of drinks is incredibly tasteful – in both senses of the word. Have a relaxing drink with a tropical look while enjoying the interesting environment around you.
Situated on Boulevard de la Croisette, this amazing restaurant offers an excellent dining experience in a central part of the city.
Taking a minimalist vacation approach, there are no excess or distractions from you simply enjoying your meal in a peaceful environment.
Their menu includes a wealth of healthy options, as well as a few guilty pleasures. Indulge in a traditional French meal, or something with a bit more of a tropical taste, along with a glass of wine.
Laduree is one of the best places to go to get your dessert or pastry treats.
They cater to anyone who wants to experience the renowned French pastry experiences, and the environment inside will make you feel like you are in a specialty shop.
Just a short walk from the beach, you can take a break from the sand and sun to have something nice and sweet, something muted, or anything in between.
Just don’t get lost in looking at everything because you can spend a lot of time appreciating the artistic way the end store is laid out, making it that much more difficult to decide which to choose.
Old Town, Sightseeing and Attractions in Cannes
Regardless of why you go to Cannes, you should plan to spend at least a little time in Old Town. Beyond that, there is a lot that the city has to offer both vacationers and business travelers.
Though it is a fantastic city in the French Riviera, Cannes has an extensive history that shows just how much things have changed over the last few hundred years.
The oldest parts of the town were established during the 13th century, something that any history buff can appreciate. You can marvel at the architecture alone, knowing that all of it was done without the use of the kinds of machines we have today.
The castle located near the center was where the founding monks first made their homes when the town was founded. People were drawn to the remote castle, and with a harbor nearby, the city grew up around the monks. Inside the castle are many of the legacies and histories of the area, giving you a way to see what life was like.
One of the biggest draws to Cannes is probably the amazing gothic structure resting at the top of the hill – Notre Dame de l’Esperance. Another magnificent display of human ingenuity, this church was built during the 16 and 17th centuries.
Not to be confused with the famous Notre Dame in Paris, this is still a fantastic piece of human architecture as it still stands despite all of the wars, famines, and other misfortunes that struck this more remote part of France.
Also called le Suquet, Old Town is a place to explore if you want to feel like you have traveled back in time if only a little. Mixing the traditions of old with modern equipment, the narrow streets will give you an appreciation for just how far we have come over the last few centuries.
There are shops and stalls where you can purchase souvenirs and other items.
For those who love farmers’ markets, fresh foods are sold in the Rue Dr Pierre Gazagnaire. Called the Marche Forville, the market is open Tuesday to Sundays, so plan to make it on those days if you want some very fresh and delicious foods.
International Fireworks Festival
If you want to see something truly spectacular, plan your visit for July or August when six international pyrotechnic companies put on an unparalleled display of fireworks.
You will need to look at their schedule as firework displays are done on different nights of the week, typically about one show a week.
Each night has a theme that sets the tone and idea of what the artistic displays are meant to convey. It is truly something spectacular to watch if you plan to be in Cannes during these two summer months.
The Nearby Islands
One thing that you may feel is necessary during your holiday is an escape from all of the people. As amazing as Cannes is, sometimes what you really need is a little time in nature.
There are several islands about 15 minutes from the Cannes’ shore where you can escape to one of these islands for a picnic or a bit of time in a more private setting.
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My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.