Visiting the south of France should be on everyone’s bucket list. A gorgeous sunny coast with wonderful cities and well-known cuisine is every traveler’s dream. Read on to find out what are the best things to do in Cannes to create your own travel plan.
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1. Musee de la Castre
Musee de la Castre, located on top of the Suquet Hill, offers spectacular city views as well as a visit to a stone castle and church packed with antique antiquities. The museum is housed within a historic castle that used to be a medieval monastery.
It’s an incredible destination to visit, chock-full of history and informative displays that will entertain both adults and children. This is the place to go if you want to get some excellent photos of the city and the Mediterranean, or if you want to view historic ruins from all over the continent and beyond. No wonder why it is one of the most recommended things to do in Cannes.
The castle itself, a stunning historical structure going back over 1,000 years, is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Musée de la Castre in Cannes. In Saint Anne Chapel, you may witness an astonishing collection of musical instruments. Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Oceania are represented. You may also see a few rooms that have outstanding examples of 19th-century Provincial paintings.
Outside the museum, there are beautiful Mediterranean gardens with pine trees and native flora that have been meticulously maintained. From the observation tower, you may take photos of panoramic views of the entire city and the sea below you.
Ethnographers, history enthusiasts, and art lovers will like the Musée de la Castre in Cannes, but the contents are thrilling and engaging for just about everybody, including kids. There are guided tours available where you can learn more about all of the exhibits and artifacts as well as the building itself.
Website: https://www.cannes-destination.com/guided-tour/musee-castre-cannes Address: 6 Rue de la Castre, 06400 Cannes Hours: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Cost: $
2. Sailing in Cannes
Whether you’re fishing, sailing, or simply sitting on a deckchair with an ice glass of rose in your hand, getting out on the water will only enhance your vacation in the south of France.
If you’re looking to rent a boat for a day, a week, or even months, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding one that meets your specific requirements. There are several charter businesses in Cannes that provide sailing yachts, motor yachts, catamarans, and speedboats of all sizes and designs.
The weather is one of the most appealing aspects of the French Riviera. Light winds, minimum tides, calm seas, and sheltered anchorages provide for ideal sailing conditions in the summer, and yachts, kayaks, and dinghies are not unusual to see out on a nice mid-winter day.
Water temperatures in the summer range from 21 to 27 degrees Celsius, making it perfect for all forms of watersports. The south of France, on the other hand, is occasionally subjected to the powerful Mistral wind, which usually visits in the winter and spring.
The French Riviera is one of the world’s most popular yachting destinations, so it’s no wonder that the region can accommodate every charter request, from a small day boat to a superyacht.
The most important decision to make at first is whether you want a bareboat (uncrewed) or crewed charter. It all depends on how much you want to spend and if you would rather have a half-day excursion or a longer sailing experience with your family.
Keep in mind that superyachts are usually crewed, and only smaller and less costly vessels, notably sailboats, provide a bareboat alternative.
A bareboat charter is a fantastic experience in which everyone on board contributes to navigation, sailing, cooking, and cleaning. You can drop anchor whenever you wish.
Website: Top tours on Viator https://www.viator.com/Cannes-tours/Cruises-Sailing-and-Water-Tours/d786-g3 Hours: 24/7 Cost: $$-$$$
3. Antibes Land Theme Park
This huge amusement park, which is open from April to September, offers a wide selection of entertainment activities and rides, including mechanized thrill machines like roller coasters, train rides, water rides, and carnival games.
With so much to do for the whole family, this is a fantastic place to celebrate birthdays, celebrations, and other special occasions. They’ve been introducing new and exciting rides and themed activities to the Cote d’Azur for over 30 years, and it’s now the largest park on the coast.
Antibes Land is one of the largest amusement parks on the French Riviera. There are over 30 attractions for both young and elderly, allowing you to spend amazing moments. Don’t miss the park’s special attractions if you want to have a good time with your family or friends. Try the adrenaline coasters if you’re feeling brave.
Rides that kids love are Disney Adventure, Cars, Fantasia, Crazy Jump, Big Gliss, La Pomme, Pousse Pousse, Aquabulles, Safari Train, and more. Most of them accept kids 3 and older.
There are also exciting attractions that all ages love. Including Adventure River, 5D Simulator, Bumper Cars, Virtual Reality, Coco Bongo, Ice Palace, Turtle Coaster, Psychos, Paradise Island, Twister, and many more.
Adrenaline junkies can try a big swing that sends you 60 meters into the air. The NASA Booster which is a dizzying rollercoaster that revolves 360 degrees at 110 km/h, Wild Mouse, etc.
When you get tired and hungry or just need a break, stop by one of the four eateries: Le Viking, Snack Land, Pizzeria, and Le Chalet.
Also available are the customary sweet and savory items such as fruit kebabs, churros, confectionery, barbe-à-papa, granitas, ice cream, pancakes, smoothies, milkshakes, and so on.
Website: https://www.antibesland.fr/ Address: 301 Rte de Biot, 06600 Antibes Hours: check website for hours Cost: $-$$
If you’re visiting Cannes with children, and want a break from the beach, Aquasplash water park is a great place to visit. It is one of the largest water parks on the French Riviera and is only 10 kilometers from the busy city of Cannes. It has over 2,000 meters of slides.
From June through September, it’s open every day of the week and caters to children of all ages. Swimming, water slides of all types, water wars, laziness, are all available for a fun family day.
Some of the favorite rides for families with kids are Rainbow Cannon, and Slide Winder. The little ones float blissfully on their buoy across the water on the Lazy River, while you can all relax by the water at the Lagoon when the sun gets too hot.
You can also visit the neighboring park, Marineland, which is home to penguins, dolphins, killer whales, and even two polar bears lounging out in their air-conditioned dogs, replete with real saltwater and ice caves. If you wish to bring your own lunch, both Aquasplash and Marineland have lots of picnic spaces.
Website: https://www.marineland.fr/parcs-marineland/aquasplash/ Address: 306 Av. Mozart, 06600 Antibes Hours: check website for hours Cost: $-$$
5. La Croix-Des Gardes
The natural legacy of Cannes is as fascinating as its history. A stroll around the Croix des Gardes park is the best way to admire the beauty of the Cannes scenery. The charming beach village has a lot to offer.
Less than a kilometer from the Croisette, the Croix des Gardes natural forest park. The only area remaining maintained in Cannes with the island of Sainte-Marguerite, is home to one of the most stunning mimosa woods on the coast.
The Croix des Gardes, which was given to the Conservatoire du Littoral to assure its permanent conservation, is a unique reserve for Provence’s wildlife and flora.
Take to the sky for a breathtaking view of the Cannes harbor, the Lérins Islands, and the surrounding mountains.
- Valmasque Park
The huge Valmasque Park, located in the direction of Mougins, provides a wide range of activities in a diverse natural setting. It invites you for activities, sports courses, and enjoyable walks, making it ideal for families.
- Montfleury Park
This new sports facility, located on avenue Beauséjour in the heart of eastern Cannes, offers a chance to enjoy and relax. A swimming pool, tennis courts, and a public garden are just a few of the activities available.
- Walk along the Siagne river
This pedestrian path along the banks of the Siagne river is great for families. You can stop along the way for kids to play or to rest and have a picnic.
- Belvedere walk
The Siagne Canal is a water supply system for the city of Cannes that was completed in 1868. It begins in Saint Cézaire and winds softly down the hillsides of the hinterland until arriving at Cannes. You can take a stroll along the canal and enjoy the views.
Address: 166 Bd Leader, 06400 Cannes Hours: 24/7 Cost: $
6. Medieval Village of Gourdon
Getting to Gourdon can be a perfect road trip if you decide to rent a car and go on an adventure with your family. In the summer, travel the route through the Gorges du Loup. Stop at the Saut du Loup waterfall for a break and photo opportunity.
You might walk up to Gourdon from there, following the historic “Chemin du Paradis,” which was once a mule road. Be careful, there’s a 500-meter climb ahead of you, but it’ll be worth it when you reach the top.
Alternatively, a less enthusiastic tourist may decide to stay in their car and just drive up to one of France’s most beautiful villages.
Gourdon has a breathtaking panoramic view stretching over more than 80 kilometers of coastline between Theoule sur mer and Nice. It also creates a surprisingly harmonic ensemble of white stone-built medieval buildings. All of which have been tastefully repaired and preserved, nestled around the feudal castle.
Counts of Provence owned this castle until the 13th century when it was handed down via the Grasse-Bar, Villeneuve-Flayosc, and Borriglione families. Practically all of whom were renowned aristocratic families.
You’ll love its towering round and square towers, arrow slits, Renaissance entry gate, cobbled inner courtyard, gargoyles, vaulted passageways, and huge 14th-century fireplace.
Inside, Versailles’ landscape gardener has created magnificent gardens. The grounds have centuries-old lime trees shading the main terraces. The apothecary’s garden consists of angelicas, columbine, ancient mints, and roses.
Hours: 24/7 Cost: $ - $$
7. Chateau de la Napoule
The sprawling Château de la Napoule spans along a Mediterranean coastline just minutes from Cannes. Its brick buildings, some of which originate from the 11th century, had long fallen into ruin when, beginning in 1918, rebuilding the site became a passion project for Henry Clews Jr. and his wife Marie.
Today, the château, which they made their home and completely renovated, provides public exhibits, residencies, and art courses. You can visit the gardens, walk by the see. And enjoy art and architecture on a tour of this stunning landmark.
Except for the art, kids can enjoy a marvelous treasure hunt in the gardens. Kids ages 3 to 11 can join a playful discovery. They can also join educational workshops, best enjoyed by kids 5 to 13 years old.
When you get hungry you can eat on the castle terrace with a sea view, Salon de Thé. Their menu consists of various french dishes, kid-friendly meals, desserts, and ice cream.
Website: http://www.chateau-lanapoule.com/ Address: 453 Av. Henry Clews, 06210 Mandelieu-la-Napoule Hours: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Cost: $
8. La Croisette Boulevard
This important promenade runs along to the seafront in Cannes and boasts good eating, posh hotels, and high-end shopping. The Palace of Festivals and Congresses is the home of the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival, and it is located on this boulevard.
The boulevard stretches for 1.24 miles, and it is one of France’s most visited and famous locations. It is lined with well-known landmarks and delicious eateries.
If you need a break from shopping and dining, bring a towel and enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and people-watching at the beach, which has several public access spots.
Locals and tourists like strolling down this street to take in the sights, breathe in the fresh sea air, and appreciate the big establishments, history, and culture of Cannes.
Take a detour to Le Suquet, which is high above the street. From here, you can get a bird’s eye view of the activity. Snap some postcard-worthy photos of Croisette Boulevard and the glistening Rivera.
Hours: 24/7 Cost: $-$$-$$$
9. Petit Train de Cannes
If your kiddos love trains, a ride on this small local train will be very amusing to them. You can choose from Croisette and History tours. Or choose both and join a Big Tour that lasts for one hour.
You will observe the surroundings while listening to a tour guide explaining the history and culture of the city. This type of tour is an excellent introduction to the city. Do it the first day of your visit, so you can get familiar with the main attractions.
On a History Tour, you will learn about lords and princes that have always loved and visited Cannes. You will also find out how Cannes became the Cité internationale de cinéma.
This little train will transport you through time and landscapes filled with tales. Some of the sites you will see are Palais des Festivals, the Provençal Forville market, the medieval city of le Suquet, the Castro, the midi beaches, and the port.
The Croisette Tour will take you to see luxury hotels, the most lavish of the Port Canto yachts, the most beautiful beaches. Boutiques of the most luxurious brands, Palm Beach, casinos, the street of Antibes, and finally the Palais des Festivals.
Website: http://www.cannes-petit-train.com/en/ Address: 6 Bd de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes Hours: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm Cost: $
10. Le Moulin de Forville (Musée Victor Tuby)
One of the greatest places to visit if you want to learn about Cannes’ history is the Musee Victor Tuby. It is great for visitors of all ages and mixes fun, history, and education. The museum is built within a 14th-century mill, which is alone a beautiful sight.
Victor Tuby was the creator of the Academy of Provence, a scientist, and an artist. He possessed a private collection of Provencal artifacts. Families can also see his sculpting studio and lab.
In the museum, you can see many Provencal antiquities, costumes, decorations. And a plethora of magnificent furniture, including chairs, tables, and other unusual woodwork.
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Moulin-Forville-Mus%C3%A9e-Victor-Tuby-222679517784765/ Address: Rue Forville, 06400 Cannes Hours: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Cost: $
There are so many things to do in Cannes that even two weeks would feel like a short time for this hot vacation spot. Your little ones will enjoy this trip as much as you will, especially after swimming in a warm Mediterranean sea.