Vacation on French Riviera; how about a Cannes for a day?

We will presume you came from a foreign country on a vacation on French Riviera. Let’s also presume you are staying in Nice – being the biggest and most beautiful city. You are staying here for five days and you want to explore as many cities as possible. High on your list is Cannes, but you don’t really know how to utilize the day to the maximum. Don’t worry, we got you covered! In this article, we give you are preposition of what to do in Cannes for a day.

Just to get you in the mood

Cannes is the third biggest city on French Riviera – after Nice and Antibes – counting some 73 000 inhabitants. This pearl of the Cote d’Azur is a perfect blend of the provincial charm of Provance and the glamour of the movie industry. Capital of cinema, the city of palms and white sandy beaches… What more do you need?

cannes for a day! experience more of french riviera

Rise and shine sunshine

You are on a vacation, so there’s no need to wake up early. Or if you want, there’s no need to leave your bed early. That is totally fine, but this article is written for you those who want to experience the ‘Cannes for a day’ to the fullest. So let’s say you leave your apartment in Nice at 8:30. Nice is not that big so the train station should be accessible in no more than 20 mins by foot. Worst case scenario – you take the 9:00 train from Nice to Cannes.

Welcome to Cannes!

cannes for a day! experience more of french riviera


Take a stroll through the Cannes Old Town in the morning

9:45 – You arrived at the train station and the first thing you have noticed is the cafe & boulangerie in the square. The smell of coffee and croissants is just overwhelming, so you decide to get some energy for the day. Cannes is pretty expensive, but here for less than 5 euros, you can have a black coffee, two croissants and one pain aux raisons.

10:00 – Fresh and energized, you start your tour in Cannes. Our advice is to go straight to the Old Town. Follow Rue Venizelos and you will come to Rue Meynadier. This is the busiest shopping street in the Old town. Don’t miss on Jean Luc-Pele’s artisan patisserie, it’s a real thing of beauty!

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10:30 – You arrive on the Marche Forville – the biggest market in Cannes. You admire local fruits, vegetables, and spices but the smell of fish is just too strong. It’s a good thing you already know fish soup is a specialty in Cannes, so you stop by one of the stands and eat a bowl of fish soup for around 7 euros.

cannes for a day! experience more of french riviera


A taste of Provincial charm

11:00 – The walk continues up the Rue Saint Antoine to the oldest district in Cannes – Le Suquet. You walk to the top of the hill and you spend some time in the most important church in Cannes, Eglise de Notre Dame d’Esperance. While you are at the highest point in the Old Town, you enjoy the panoramic views of the city, its countless villas, and its bays.

11:30 – You can not help but notice that there is a big watchtower on top of the hill. That is actually St Anne’s Chapell, and that big walled fortress around it is actually Cannes’s Old Castle. Nowadays, it’s only a museum called Musee de la Castre. It is surrounded by the beautiful Mediterranean garden and inside you can find paintings from famous artists, sculptures and intriguing masks from all over the world. It sounds like fun so you decide whether you want to check it out. The price is 6 euros for an adult and 3 euros for students or children!

Cannes for a Day! Experience more of French Riviera

Visit Lerins Island in the Afternoon

13:00 You get back to the city from the hill and you head straight to the Vieux Port. From there you can take the ferry Lignes Cote d’Azur and go to one of the Lerins islands – Saint Honorat or Saint Marguerite. Since you are here only a day we advise you to visit island Saint Marguerite. It is the bigger one and it is completely open to the public – unlike Saint Honorat.

13:30 It’s lunchtime! Directly from the port on the island, you can see the restaurant L’Escale. You decide to go there because you are hungry and this restaurant is near. If you have more time you are more than welcome to visit other restaurants, such as  L’Eponyme or La Guerite.

14:30 Well now that you eat some quality food, it’s time for an exercise. Gotta burn those calories! We advise you to take a long walk around the island. It is really beautiful so anywhere you go you will be fine. That said, the best part of the island is the Bali-like shallow protected blue lagoon, located in between the two Lerins islands. Board a boat and check that out. Perfect place for outstanding photos.

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16:30 The last ferry goes from the island at 16:30 so don’t miss it. The legend states that the ghost of the “Man in the Iron Mask” is still haunting the island. So you don’t want to stay there during the night.


The Glitz and the Glamour of Cannes

17:00 You are back in the Old Port of Cannes. Turn around and you’ll spot some paintings on the walls. Those are inspired by different movies and you can find 15 of them in Cannes! Our advice is to continue to Allée de la libertée Charles de Gaule. Along the way notice the market where local artists sell their variety of products, as well as a statue of Lord Brougham – former British chancellor who introduced British aristocracy to Cannes. Eventually, you will come to the Place du Charles de Gaule where you can see how Town Hall looks, and in front of it is a magnificent War Memorial, dedicated to victims of the both World Wars.

17:30 You arrived at the Palais des Festivals et Congress – a massive 40 000m2 building that hosts a lot of events, congresses, and of course – the Cannes Film Festival. Don’t worry if you are not in Cannes in the month of May for the film festival. This palace hosts a variety of events every month. Check out the official page of the Palais for more information. Spend some time looking at the Cannes Walk of the Fame and head to the Boulevard de la Croisette.


World’s finest – Boulevard de la Croisette 

18:00 Enjoy in the stunning views of the white sandy beach on the one side, and glamorous 5-star hotels on the other side. It is the definition of the glitz and the glamour. Continue walking on the Boulevard all the way to the Cap de la Croisette. It is some 2 km long walk but its enjoyable every second!

19:30 Well done amigo. You just spent an awesome day in Cannes. I know, it wasn’t the easiest day, but hey, nobody said it will be. After a tough day, you deserve a proper meal. If you’re interested in French authentic experience, check out Le Baoli. Other than that, you can go to L’Ecrin Plage or wherever your instinct guides you.

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Final note

This was our recommendation on what to do in Cannes for a day. The night has come, but in Cannes, it is not full of terrors. For Cannes tips during the night check out this article. For general information about the city of Cannes, visit the official page of the city. If you want to learn more about the Cannes Film Festival, click here.