3 Days in Cannes Itinerary: Best Things to do in a Weekend in Cannes

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There is nothing quite like visiting the French Riviera. With its seemingly endless sunshine, warm weather, and clear waters, who wouldn’t want to escape to this lovely destination? So, if you’re searching for the best 3 days in Cannes itinerary for the ultimate weekend getaway, I’ve got you covered.

Cannes is well known for the iconic Cannes Film Festival, a star-studded event. But even without the celebrities, this place draws a nice crowd for its sandy beaches, incredible shopping, and perfect location. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a weekend in Cannes, there are ample opportunities to enjoy the cuisine, weather, and culture of this part of the South of France. And I’m here to show you how!

Musee de la Castre in Cannes

3 Days in Cannes Itinerary Breakdown

Here is a quick look at the three days in Cannes itinerary. For more details, keep reading below.

Day 1: Arrive and Explore Cannes

  • Admire the local products at Marche Forville
  • Visit Vieux Port de Cannes
  • Wander along the Croisette Promenade
  • Shop (or window shop) at luxe stores
  • Walk up to Place de la Castre
  • Dinner and Drinks in the Suquet neighborhood

Day 2: Beach Day & a Movie

  • Grab breakfast
  • Relax all day at a fabulous beach club
  • Catch a movie at a cinema
  • Dinner in Suquet

Day 3: Day Trip of Your Choice

  • Pick from a myriad of day trip options

3 Days in Cannes Itinerary

Cannes with the beach

From the cinema to the beach, here is the best way to enjoy all that Cannes has to offer.

Day 1 of Your Cannes Itinerary: Arrive and Explore Cannes

Once you arrive in the city, it is time to start exploring! 

Start out your day by wandering over to the Marche Forville. This is a lovely market full of fresh produce, seafood, cheeses, flowers, and more. I personally always love visiting little markets like this, especially while in France. You can get some incredible local products and the atmosphere is always top-notch. 

Another bonus of exploring this market is that is it located next to a delightful cake shop that sells a famous pastry of the French Riviera: Tarte Tropezienne. Originally from Saint-Tropez, this cake is perfection. It consists of halved brioche filled with lemon and vanilla pastry cream and topped with sugar. 

Tarte Tropezienne in Cannes

And you can snag one of these at La Tarte Tropezienne to either enjoy now or later. 

After wandering around the market and cake shop for a bit, it is time to go explore Cannes along the sea. Heads over to the Vieux Port de Cannes, AKA the Old Port, to get a glimpse of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea as well as see several yachts, sailboats, and gorgeous buildings. 

Beautiful building in Cannes

You can also spot some stunning mountains in the distance. There are ample restaurants near the port as well to stop for lunch if you are there during that time. 

After wandering around the port, walk along the Croissette Promenade which is by the Mediterranean. Here you’ll be able to enjoy several views of the sea as well as the sandy Croissette Beach

This promenade stretches out for a long time, so you can walk as little or as much as you’d like. On one side of the street, you have the beach, and on the other side, you have tons of luxury shops. 

Croisette Beach in Cannes

So if you want to shop, this is the place for you. Designer stores like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, etc. line the street, making it a great opportunity for those who can afford it…and a fun place to window shop for the rest of us. 

But don’t worry, if designer goods aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other places to go shopping too if you wander away from Croissette Promenade and into the city. You can find both malls and stand-alone shops like Zara. 

After an afternoon of wandering around and shopping/window shopping, it is time to get ready for a nice evening on the town. 

Walk up to the Place de la Castre for some of the most beautiful views of the city and sea. This area has the Chateau de la Castre, the Cannes sign, and the beautiful Eglise Notre-Dame d’Esperance

Musee de la Castre in Cannes France - Things to do in Cannes
Notre Dame d’Esperance in Cannes

Explore this area and be sure to stick around for a stellar sunset. 

Then, it is time to walk around the Suquet neighborhood for dinner and drinks! This Medieval neighborhood has gorgeous cobblestone alleys and most of the action lies along Rue du Suquet. 

This is where you’ll find incredible restaurants and fun places to grab a drink. So head to this street for pre-dinner cocktails at places like Le Jardin Secret, Charly’s Wine Bar, or Charly’s Bar Club before a scrumptious dinner.

Jardin Secret in Cannes

Then, for dinner, really enjoyed Restaurant Mickaella, a cute spot run by a husband and wife serving up fresh seafood and great wine. 

This is the perfect spot to wind down your day before wandering back to your hotel. 

Day 2: Beach Day and a Movie in Cannes

After a day of exploring Cannes, it is time to relax. And what better way to relax than along a sandy beach in a nice chair with a glass of rose in hand? 

That’s right, today, you’re checking out a beach club in Cannes. Start your day off with a coffee and pastry from The Lady Coffee before walking down to Croissette Promenade. 

Beach at Croisette in Cannes

Remember before when I said you have views of the beach at Croissette Promenade? Well, just off the promenade are several entrances to beach clubs. And while there are public beaches to hang out and lie on the sand at, personally, I love a relaxing lounger with an umbrella and a person bringing me food and drinks. 

If you’re the same, then a beach club is a great option for this day. We loved La Plage du Festival. This place is open from 10 am-5 pm and you can walk up and rent a beach chair for the day. Prices start at around €40-50, which includes the chair, towel, and umbrella, but if you go in the off-season as we did in October, it was only €25. 

Festival du Plage in Cannes

And we took full advantage of having access here the whole day. We brought our Kindles, ordered food and drinks, and swam in the Mediterranean. The weather was actually pretty warm in early October, so it was a great time to go for fewer crowds at the beach club too! 

Spend a lazy day on your beach lounger or swimming in the lovely, clear waters of the Mediterranean to your heart’s content. 

Aperol Spritz in Cannes

Then, after you leave, it is time to clean up and enjoy another famous thing about Cannes, its theater scene. 

Yes, there are some great places to catch the latest Hollywood blockbusters as well as incredible French films. Places like Les Arcades Cinema and Cinema Olympia offer a lot of great options. This is actually a good opportunity to enjoy some French films during your 3 days in Cannes itinerary. 

Now, if you want live shows and music, you can also visit the famous Palais des Festivals, which is where the Cannes Film Festival takes place. 

After an evening at the Cinema, I recommend grabbing dinner again along the Rue du Suquet at the oldest restaurant in Cannes: Da Bouttau Provencal Inn. With tasty delicacies from bouillabaisse to cockerels cooked over a wood fire grill, this place has certainly earned its reputation for its food. 

Kat walking in Cannes

Day 3 of 3 Days in Cannes: Day Trip of Your Choice

At this point during your 3 days in Cannes itinerary, you have seen a lot of its fabulous highlights. So now, why not enjoy more of the South of France today?

Luckily, there are a whole plethora of options whether you want to see a lot of sites, relax, or explore other towns. 

South of France Itinerary - Nice

Here are some great options for some of the best day trips from Cannes:

  • Ferry to Ste. Marguerite Island: Not far from Cannes is the stunning island of Sainte-Marguerite. Enjoy the natural beauty, Fort Royal, and even an underwater sculpture museum. This is a great way to escape the crowds of Cannes. 
  • Explore Another Country: With both Monaco and Italy nearby, you can check another country off your list and take in more of the beauty of this area of the world. This is a great tour of the Italian Riviera from Cannes, and for those who want to try gambling or visit the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, you can take a train there. 
  • Visit More of the French Riviera: There are plenty of charming towns to visit on the French Riviera including Antibes and the city of Nice that would make for great day trips. These two places are connected by train. If you have a car, you could also easily visit Saint-Tropez or other smaller towns.

A day trip is truly a fantastic way to wrap up your time in Cannes and you’ll be back in time to enjoy dinner before you depart the following day. 

Where to Stay During Your Cannes Itinerary

Building with palm trees in Cannes

Cannes may be a destination for the rich and famous, but there are hotels to fit your budget. Here are some places to check out for 3 days in Cannes.

Budget: Novotel Suites Cannes Centre

Located about an 18-minute walk from the beach and 5-15 minutes or so from the main sites, this hotel is a great option for those on a budget. It has all the amenities you need like parking, air conditioning, and wifi, and is in a good location. 

Book it here!

Mid-Range: Hotel de Provence

This cute boutique hotel is located close to the shopping district and is less than a 10-minute walk to the beach. Aside from that, they have a lovely garden and offer things like an in-room massage and breakfast in the room.

Book it here!

Luxury: Hotel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

Located within steps of the beach and the famous Palais des Festivals, you’re in an ideal place for exploring Cannes. With multiple bars and restaurants (including its own beach club!), room service, and a pool with a view, you’ll fall in love with this luxe hotel in Cannes.

Book it here!

Getting to Cannes and Getting Around

Mural in Cannes

Getting to Cannes is easy thanks to its train station. So you can either fly into Nice, Marseille, or Paris and take the train to Cannes. From Paris, it is about 6 hours away via train. It takes about 38 minutes and just over 2 hours from Nice and Marseille, respectively. 

For flight prices, I love checking Skyscanner for deals! 

Also, you can rent a car to get to Cannes. That is how we got here as we included Cannes in our Provence road trip! I love checking Auto Europe for deals. 

Once you’re in Cannes, it is a fairly walkable city, especially if you’re staying around the city center. Aside from that, there are ample buses you can take around the city to get to where you need to be. 

Check here for bus and ticket information.

When to Visit Cannes

Cannes sign

Cannes is a great place to visit year-round. Even in the winter, you’ll find that temperatures may be cool, but not super cold. If you wish to visit for sunshine and warm weather on a beach day, then June through early October is a good time to go. 

However, it gets pretty busy between June through September for this reason. Therefore hotel prices increase and even beach space can be hard to come by. We visited Cannes in early October during our South of France road trip and not only was it warm enough for a swim and to lay out on the beach but there were hardly any crowds other than people here for a conference. 

If you want to come for star-spotting during the Cannes Film Festival, then you’ll want to plan your visit for May. It usually occurs during the month of May, but be sure to check the Cannes Film Festival website for exact dates and times. 

Just be sure to book in advance for hotels and things, otherwise, you may run out of options quickly! 

Things You’ll Need in Cannes

Rose on the beach in Cannes

Before you jet off to Cannes, here are a few things to remember to bring!

This is how to spend 3 days in Cannes including some fun day trips, time at the beach, and even time doing some retail therapy. Have a great visit! 

Which would you most like to do during your Cannes itinerary?

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