Is Cannes Worth Visiting? An Honest Review

Are you wondering if Cannes is worth visiting? Then I got the answer for you.

Before booking your vacation, you’ll want to make sure that your destination is actually worth going to. And Cannes is no exception to that.

First of all, yes – Cannes is definitely worth visiting. But the town is also smaller than expected, so you should get your expectations straight before you go.

In this post, I am sharing all my experiences from my trip to Cannes with you. I’ll talk about reasons to visit Cannes, and also some popular alternatives in the area.

Let’s get to it!

Is Cannes Worth Visiting? My Take On It

I have been to Cannes on a cruise, and I thought the city was definitely worth visiting. However, I would have not spent more than two days there, as there is not much to do.

You should definitely put Cannes on your vacation itinerary, but ideally, you combine it with other destinations or day trips on the French Riviera.

Cannes is beautiful – but small. There is not too much to do in the city itself. But it is a great starting point for day trips and excursions.

Cannes can also be a bit expensive, depending on the time of your trip. So you might want to stay somewhere more affordable and just visit Cannes for a day.

10 Reasons Why Cannes is Worth Visiting

1. Cannes is Home of the Annual Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is a big event that happens every year in May. It’s where movie stars and filmmakers from all over the world come to show their new films.

The best movies win awards, so it is very exciting. It’s a glamorous event with red carpets, fancy dresses, and lots of parties. It’s a great time to see famous people!

That is also the most expensive time to visit. But not to worry, there are lots of smaller glamorous events throughout the year as well.

cannes film festival house shot at sunset

2. Stunning Beaches and Beautiful Ocean

Cannes is located right on the Mediterranean Sea. The water is deep blue, and the quality is amazing.

Cannes is perfect for swimming, yachting, and sunbathing. Since it can get pretty warm in summer, a refreshing dip into the ocean is all you’ll need.

Plage du Midi is definitely the most impressive beach, but my favorite beach in Cannes is Plage de l’Aiguille. It is much more secluded.

Cannes Cruise Port stunning blue water with lots of smaller yachts an sailboats in the distance

3. Lots of Great Boutiques for Shopping

Cannes is great for shopping, and not just for luxurious things. There are lots of bigger and smaller boutiques around the city and you can find some really cool stuff.

The best shopping in Cannes is along the Croisette, but of course, that comes with a price tag. But a little splurging is part of vacation, right?

I love especially that you can get some one-of-a-kind things, and the focus is more on niche boutiques over chain stores.

street sign saying: boulevard de la croisette

4. Amazing Restaurants

Like any place in France, Cannes has some awesome restaurants. What I love about French restaurants it that they usually have a cheaper menu consisting of a couple of options.

If you want to eat with a view, grab a chair along the Croisette. My favorite restaurant there is the Palais Stephanie Beach.

Obviously, these places are pretty overrun. For a more intimate experience, check the Old Town area Le Saquet.

delicious french fine dining dish of asparagus with fish and green sauce

5. Great Base For Day Trips

Cannes is located nicely on the French Riviera. While the city itself does not have too much to offer, there are a couple of awesome spots nearby.

You can take the ferry to Saint Tropez, Saint Marguerite Island, or Lerins Islands. With the train, you can see Monaco or Nice.

Each one of these places is different, but all are charming in their own way. It is definitely nice to explore more of the area when in Cannes.

beautiful view of old port of nice

6. Charming Old Town and Port

If there is one thing I do not like when taking a city trip it is skyscrapers and character-less quarters. But Cannes has none of these.

Instead, Cannes offers a beautiful old city center with a charming Marche Forville (local market). The old port is extremely beautiful, with fisherboats floating in the distance.

Cannes is awesome for pictures, and I totally loved the atmosphere.

stunning shot of cannes old port with palm tree and flowers in foreground

7. Cannes Is Safe For Tourists

Unlike other French cities, Cannes is pretty safe for tourists.

There is not a lot of violent crime in the city and you don’t feel like you are walking through a ghetto or unsafe neighborhoods.

I have never felt unsafe in Cannes, even as a young woman.

stunning church in cannes

8. Cannes Offers Museums and Culture

I am not a big museum person, but I try to include at least one on my trips. And Cannes has a lot to offer culture-wise.

The Musée de la Castre is in an old castle in the Le Suquet area. It has art from around the world, like paintings, sculptures, and musical instruments.

Also, the Centre d’art La Malmaison is on the famous Croisette boulevard and has changing exhibitions of modern art, showing works by famous artists.

beautiful museum with casino barriere in cannes with some palm trees in front of it, one of the spots that are worth visiting in cannes

9. Cannes Has Awesome Weather

Cannes has awesome weather because it’s in the South of France, right by the Mediterranean Sea. It gets a lot of sunshine, with around 300 sunny days a year, so there are lots of blue skies and perfect beach weather.

Even in winter, it’s not too cold, and the temperatures are usually mild. The summers are warm and sunny, perfect for swimming in the sea and relaxing on the beach.

Plus, the sea breeze keeps the air fresh and comfortable, even on hot days. We visited in August, and it was super nice.

stunning palm trees and view over french city are proof that cannes is worth visiting

10. See The Lifestyle Of The Rich and Famous

The French Riviera is definitely a main vacation spot for the rich and famous. You can see so many yachts in the marina every single day.

Isn’t it fun to people watch? With some luck, you’ll spot one or two celebrities sitting on their huge yachts.

monte carlo yacht port with lots of smaller yachts at sunset

Reasons Why Cannes Isn’t Worth It

Cannes Is Pretty Small

As I mentioned earlier, Cannes is quite small. If you just want to see the city, you’ll not be busy for more than 2 days.

Luckily, there is a lot nearby, so you can easily spend a week exploring the French Riviera from Cannes.

But, the city itself is not huge so don’t be disappointed. If you want big city life, maybe go to Nice instead.

Cannes Is Expensive

Cannes is full of rich and famous people. That makes it an incredibly expensive place to vacation. If you are looking for a budget vacation, Cannes is not the right spot.

Of course, you can travel off-season and avoid some of the most expensive times. However, restaurants and shops are still pretty pricey.

French People Are Not Super Welcoming

As with 90 % of French vacation destinations, the locals are not super warm and welcoming toward tourists. Sadly, I get that feeling anywhere in France.

If you want to go to France and meet friendly locals, try going to Alsace instead.

Cannes Is Pretentious

Sad but true, I got the vibe that Cannes is a bit pretentious. Of course, there are less fancy places in the city as well. But the majority of spots cater to fancy rich people. Not the vibe I love to relax.

Conclusion: Is Cannes Worth Seeing?

As you can see in this blog post, I think visiting Cannes is worth it. But I would not recommend it for a longer vacation unless you are planning on doing lots of day trips and excursions.

As far as downsides go, the city is expensive and pretentious.

Overall, I think the positive aspects, like the stunning beach and the cute old town, outweigh the negative.

If you are not sure yet if Cannes is the right spot for you, check out my other France content:

FAQ: Is Cannes Worth Visiting?

Is Cannes or Nice better?

Choosing between Cannes and Nice depends on your preferences. Cannes is famous for its film festival, luxury shopping, and glamorous vibe. Nice, on the other hand, has a more relaxed atmosphere, a beautiful old town, and a long promenade along the beach. If you prefer glitz and glamour, go for Cannes. If you like a laid-back vibe with more local charm, Nice is better. Personally, I preferred Cannes.

Is Cannes or Saint Tropez better?

Both Cannes and Saint-Tropez are amazing, but they offer different vibes. Cannes is known for its film festival, luxury shopping, and elegant atmosphere. Saint-Tropez is a bit more laid-back, with a charming old town, famous beaches, and vibrant nightlife. If you love movies and glamour, Cannes is the place for you. If you’re into a more relaxed beach vibe and party scene, Saint-Tropez might be better.

How many days do I need in Cannes?

I do not suggest spending more than two days in Cannes unless you want to explore more of the Riviera. The city is small and there is not too much to do. If you are planning on exploring other places in the area as well, you should stay for up to a week.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends most parts of the year abroad at various destinations with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.