The word souvenir in French means ‘memory’ or ‘to remember’. As you’d expect from a city so chic, Cannes on France’s famous Riviera offers up some fantastic gifts for its thousands of annual visitors to take back home. Here’s our list of where to buy gifts in Cannes, for whatever budget or whim, and from the kitsch and playful to the tasteful.
Spirit Of Cannes, rue Meynadier
The rue Meynadier in Cannes
is a major shopping street in the Old Town neighbourhood at the back of Le Vieux Port
(Cannes’ Old Port). The Spirit Of Cannes is a reliable tourist shop for trinkets, notably printed clothes bearing Cannes logos, alongside other gift items. If you’re after a t-shirt with a slogan or an apron from Provence for that foodie friend of yours, look no further.
CannOlive is a specialist olive oil shop that also sells wonderful lavender, honey and other local items. This is a family business that has been selling olive products for 130 years. They also stock wine from Lérins Abbey on the island of Saint-Honorat, just off the coast of Cannes. CannOlive has a great online component and sells fabrics from the region, as well as candles. They make pretty gift boxes that ship well, too, perfect for taking home presents.
La Porcelaine Blanche
This is a great place to take home some porcelain crockery or glassware. La Porcelaine Blanche has patterned and plain cups and saucers, as well as decorated items that celebrate the region. Provence is well-known for its ceramic-ware and, while lots of companies focus specifically on local crockery, La Porcelaine Blanche stands out with over 40 years of experience. You’ll also find items to decorate the home – look out for unique gifts to take back with you.
Bathroom Graffiti, rue d'Antibes
Bathroom Graffiti is a gift and homeware store on the rue d’Antibes. As well as lots of individual, interesting household items with modern flair, they have plenty of bags, vases and picture frames. They also have lots of great beach items, like cool flip-flops and cover-ups for the seaside. The store is part of a small chain of gift shops that operate across France – there are two in central Paris (in the 6th and 16th arrondissements) and one in Neuilly, a small district west of Paris.
La Maison d'Elisa
Head to La Maison d’Elisa (Elisa’s House) to find cute gifts for friends and family. You’ll find things like tins of chocolate, glasses cases, soaps and other toiletries including the ubiquitous Provençal lavender. The shop is right in the heart of the Old Town and just a moment’s walk from Le Vieux Port, which is a perfect place to gaze at the wonderfully big boats that come in to Cannes.
Aux Bonheurs du Suquet, Le Suquet
In the winding cobbled streets of the old fishing village of Le Suquet
, you’ll find this traditional gift shop. Le Suquet, one of the oldest parts of town and once home to local fishermen, is a must-see in Cannes. It’s where you’d expect to find some touristy shops, but the small neighbourhood also has a few beloved restaurants and small stores, like this one. Aux Bonheurs du Suquet (which translates as ‘Le Suquet’s Happiness’) sells everything you’d expect to find in a more touristy shop – postcards, posters, magnets, purses, and more.
It may be a major French brand, but it’s worth remembering that L’Occitane is from Provence and all of its perfumes, soaps and skincare ranges use products that come from the region. The company was founded not far from Cannes
, in the town of Manosque near the foothills of the Alps, and all the ingredients used are natural. The founder, Olivier Baussan, wanted to create a line of products that preserved the scents and fragrances of the local area, so when he was 23, he distilled his first perfume from rosemary, took it to the local market in his small truck and so the brand began.
For more places to buy gifts and souvenirs visit our article on the best flea markets and thrift stores in Cannes