In certain parts of Cannes, the star-studded film festival is quite literally part of the scenery; whether it’s the celebrity handprints on the Allée des Etoiles du Cinéma or the faces of beloved movie characters immortalised on murals all over the sunlit town. However, if you’re spending a few days here this month and want to add a few non-cinematic activities to your itinerary, rest assured that this beautiful Côte d’Azur resort has plenty to offer away from the bustle of the annual film festival. Take a look at some of our top things to do in Cannes, during the film festival and at any time of year.

And if you’re on the search for somewhere to stay throughout the festival, check out our luxury villas in the South of France.

A Morning at the Market

things to do in cannes

A visit to the South of France isn’t complete without a panier full of local produce, and what better way to spend your morning than with a stroll through the Marché Forville, just off the La Croisette boardwalk? This market is a staple in Cannes, a bastion of Provençal tradition, always full of locals and tourists haggling to get the best price for golden peaches and sun-dried tomatoes grown just a few kilometres away. Forville’s huge indoor space is packed to the rafters with fresh fruit, herbs, and vegetables, dishes to take away, local delicacies, vibrant flowers and seafood still wet from the ocean. Since it’s open from as early as 7 am, we think it’s ideal for picking up breakfast.

An Afternoon at Sea

Before it became a hotspot for Hollywood darlings, Cannes was known as the home of some of the most infamous characters of the 17th century. These include the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask, who was incarcerated here for over a decade. A short ferry trip from the mainland brings you to Île Sainte Marguerite and its one-time prison. It now nestles up to the Musée de la Mer and its fascinating collection of artefacts from nearby shipwrecks. On the south side of the island, you’ll also find the Forêt Domaniale de l’île and its botanic garden, filled with orange, grapefruit, eucalyptus and fig trees. The rest of this southern coast is split into gorgeous beaches and coves with unsurpassed views of the nearby Île Saint-Honorat and the ocean beyond.

An Evening of Indulgence

things to do in cannes

The historic Vieux Port is a beautiful place to spend an evening, watching reflected lights from the stylish bars and restaurants dancing on the water. If you’re looking for somewhere a little more secluded, and a bit more classically French, head to Le Salon des Indépendants on Rue Louis Pérrissol. Just a short walk from the port, this family-run brasserie serves up some of the best traditional Provençal dishes in Cannes. Nightly musical performances accompany a menu of seasonal vegetables, locally-sourced meat and fish and the best pâté you’re ever likely to taste. Inclusive menus thoughtfully match starters with champagne, mains with a fantastic wine list, and desserts with delicately sweet aperitifs. 

Feeling inspired to explore Cannes this season? Time to find the perfect accommodation! Start by having a browse through our online collection of luxury villas in Cannes, and if you need any help with your search our concierge team are always on hand. 
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