The Boulevard de la Croisette, which sits in Cannes on France’s famous Riviera, was first suggested as an idea in 1853 and was finally approved in 1857. One of the most beloved boulevards in France, it is 2km long and home to many of Cannes’ greatest landmarks. It has protected status in France and is a must-see for every visitor. Here are our suggestions for how to spend an afternoon there.
At the eastern end of the Croisette is the Marché Forville, Cannes’ best loved market. It closes at lunchtime, so this is the place to have your pre-lunch nibbles. Head to see one of the vendors, like Julien Rostan, who is a specialist in organic vegetables. Buy some fresh olives or succulent tomatoes from him to munch as you walk, smell the fresh flowers and taste some local wine. Delicious.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun, 7am to 1pm. Closed Mondays.
An afternoon wouldn’t be Cannes without a trip to one of the most famous hotels on the strip. The hotel was made famous in the 50s by Alfred Hitchcock (it’s here that he filmed part of To Catch a Thief with Grace Kelly) and it plays host to celebrities every year during the Cannes Film Festival. After a walk around the hotel itself, arrive at your (pre-reserved) table for drinks. It’s the perfect place to dine, under the parasols, on tables on the beach, facing the sea. The service is excellent (it’s what you pay for) and the food is great. It’s heavy on the budget so if you can’t afford it, eat at one of the other beach clubs and have a drink here instead.
58 La Croisette, Cannes, +33 (0)4 93 06 40 06
After lunch, you’ll need to take a little walk to work off the food. Head to the port and up the cobbled streets to Le Suquet, the oldest part of Cannes. It’s not very big but perfect for a light walk. It overlooks La Croisette so take a few photos as souvenirs and then head back to the boulevard for late afternoon.
Boules is the national past-time, still, for many French men and increasingly, women. Buy an ice cream from one of the kiosks and watch them play. It’s a serious business (it’s called pétanque in French) and perfect to watch for half an hour while you eat dessert.
You might not want to be at the beach all day, so it’s a good idea to head there for sunset. Stroll along La Croisette, watching all of Cannes’ life and pick a sun lounger on a private Cannes beach for that all-important apéro, or lay out your towel on one of the many public beaches with some of the things you bought earlier at the market. Either way, it’s a perfect way to see the sun go down before you head back to your hotel for dinner.
In Cannes for the weekend? Make sure you read our guide on our pick of the 20 unmissable things to do during your visit.