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20 Unmissable Attractions in Cannes

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 14 June 2017

Cannes is a great place to visit. With its wonderful climate and chic reputation, it has many unmissable attractions. Here’s our guide to the top 20.

La Croisette

Like the Promenade des Anglais in neighbouring Nice, La Croisette is one of the most iconic streets in France. It certainly dominates Cannes, running the length of the seafront. It’s where you’ll find all the smartest hotels and beaches.

La Croisette, Cannes

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Le Vieux Port

The Old Port in Cannes is a perfect place to take in the charm of Cannes. Watch the boats come in and out, grab a coffee and people-watch.

Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes

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The Yachting Festival

It takes place every September, when everyone can see the latest boats and luxury yachts. If you can’t afford the down payment on a boat, don’t worry. It’s a great opportunity to play out your tycoon fantasies in the flesh by visiting all the latest sleek sailing machines.

Marché Forville

It’s Cannes’ best-loved market, where you can find local, seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lovely homemade produce, like cured meats and stuffed peppers. The market’s opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 7am to 1pm. Be aware, it’s closed Mondays.

5-11 Rue Marché Forville, Cannes

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The Beaches

Cannes wouldn’t be Cannes without its stunning beaches. Plage de la Bocca, Plage du Midi and Palm Beach are keen favourites for everyone looking for a public beach where you don’t need to pay. If you want to hire a sunlounger and have waiters bring you food by the sea, head to Plage de Goeland.

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La Croix-des-Gardes

This is the national park just outside Cannes that has over 100 acres of paths and gardens to discover. It’s a perfect place to picnic.

La Croix-des-Gardes, Cannes

The statue of Atlante

The statue of Atlante was commissioned to celebrate the millennium in 2000. She’s a mermaid who’s made the land her home so she can protect the ocean. She watches over the coastline to remind locals and tourists to look after the sea.

Port Pierre Canto, Cannes

Le Suquet

Le Suquet is the oldest area in Cannes, where the fishermen used to live. It is a delight to stroll around through the pastel-coloured buildings.

Le Suquet, Cannes

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L’Auberge Pinchinat

This is the oldest pub in town, made famous by the ex-chancellor of England, Lord Brougham. He was travelling to Italy in the 1830s when a cholera outbreak forced him to stay in Cannes at this tavern. He fell so much in love with the place that he brought a huge plot of land and built a grand house, Château Eléonore.

Rue du Port, Cannes

Musée de la Castre

This is the Old Fortress, built to defend Cannes in the 12th century. It has amazing views over the city.

Musée de la Castre

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Villa Kazbeck

Built by a Russian duke, this grand house witnessed many wild parties. At one of them, Edward VII of England met Mrs Keppel –who would later become his mistress.

Avenue du Roi Albert 1er, Cannes

Notre-Dame D’Espérance

Built in the 14th and 15th centuries, this wonderful church sits at the top of the hill above Cannes and offers wonderful views over the town.

The Island of Sainte-Marguerite

The Island of Sainte-Marguerite is the largest of four small islands off the coast of Cannes, just a short ferry ride away. It has some lovely beaches and is great for a picnic.

Ile Sainte-Marguerite

Île sainte marguerite 🏝#landscape #beautiful #hiking👣 #sun☀️ #goodday#nofilter

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The Island of Saint-Honorat

The second largest island off the coast of Cannes has an amazing abbey, where the monks in residence still make wine under a vow of silence. It also has a wonderful fortress and a pretty port. Well worth a visit.

Île Saint-Honorat

#france🇫🇷 #ille #beautifuday 🌏☉🌏☉

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Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most famous international festivals, celebrating both art house and mainstream cinema. The city comes alive every May when everyone from the film world descends.

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InterContinental Carlton Hotel

This iconic hotel was built in 1911 by Charles Dalmas with 340 rooms. Its domes are said to be modeled on the breasts of a famous courtesan of the time. It featured in 1950s Alfred Hitchcock’s film with Grace Kelly, To Catch A Thief.

© Courtesy Carlton Cannes

La Malmaison

Cannes’ Centre of Modern Contemporary Art is on La Croisette. It’s in the site of the old Grand Hotel, which was built in the 19th century but was completely demolished except for the small pavilion, which now houses the gallery.

Chateau Scott

In 1868, a rich English tycoon started to build a huge mansion after buying lots of land in Cannes that reached down to the sea. He ran out of money, shares were sold to finish the property and it went through several people’s hands. The mansion was home to many wild parties, and the outbuildings are large homes in their own right.

151 avenue Maréchal Juin, Cannes

Rue d’Antibes

This is the place to go to window-shop or as the French call it, lécher les vitrines, to “lick the windows”. It has all the great designer stores, and some lovely chocolate shops.

Rue d’Antibes, Cannes

La Mairie (the Town Hall)

Louis Hourlier built the Town Hall over three years and construction was completed in 1877. Looking out over the port, it’s a wonderful example of architecture from the period.