10 things to do in Cannes, beyond the red carpet

We reveal our Cannes highlights: what to see and do in the Côte d’Azur city, as it prepares to welcome its annual film festival

In Cannes a picture showing actress Patricia Arquette's face during the 58th edition of the Cannes International Film Festival
Actor Patricia Arquette’s face peeps from behind palm trees during a past edition of the Cannes International Film Festival
(Image credit: Photography by Gerard Julien)

Since 1946, the summer season’s kick-off on the glamorous French Riviera has been inextricably linked to the legendary Cannes Film Festival, when the coveted Palme d’Or for cinematic excellence is awarded. Cannes then continues to attract crowds throughout the season for its azure beaches, Mediterranean climate and unmistakeable je ne sais quoi. Ahead of this year’s festival (14-25 May 2024), we reveal how to make the most of your time in Cannes with the first in our new series of travel guides.

10 unmissable things to do in Cannes

Stay at Hotel Belle Plage

Interior of Belle Plage hotel, a new Cannes hotel designed by Raphael Navot

(Image credit: Christophe Coenon)

Built in the 1930s, Hotel Belle Plage sits at the heart of Le Suquet, Cannes’ oldest neighbourhood. Revitalised by La Clé Group in 2022, the hotel boasts a modern and dreamlike design courtesy of French designer Raphael Navot in collaboration with FAAR Architecture Studio. Head to the rooftop where Israeli chef Eyal Shani, founder of Mizon Paris, focuses on regional specialities.

Hotel Belle Plage is located at 2 Rue Brougham, hotelbelleplage.fr

Visit La Croix des Gardes


(Image credit: Cannes)

A protected natural park of typical Provençal flora, The Croix des Gardes occupies over 80 hectares of woodland and displays over 40 varieties of Mimosa trees. From the highest point, it offers a magnificent view of the bay of Cannes, the Lérins islands and the surrounding mountains, the Estérel Massif and the French Prealps.

Quick stop at Galerie Hurtebize

Galerie Hurtebize Interior, Sculpture by Francis Guerrier

(Image credit: Courtesy of Galerie Hurtebize)

Galerie Hurtebize has been a specialist in Modern Art and several movements of French Abstraction, such as Lyrical Abstraction and Op Art, since 1992. Inside, a pared-back approach and neutral tones allow the paintings, drawings and sculptures within to take the spotlight. Bernard Buffet, Serge Poliakoff and Hans Hartung are only a few of the names the gallery supports.

Galerie Hurtebize is located at 17 Bd de la Croisette, galerie-hurtebize.com

Lunch at Table 22 par Noël Mantel

Table 22 par Noël Mantel Interior

(Image credit: Courtesy of Table 22 par Noël Mantel)

Table 22 par Noël Mantel, on 22 Rue Saint-Antoine, combines fine flavours thanks to the best of local Provençal produce and a love of art. A labour of love from chef Noël Mantel and his team, the menu has something for everyone; ask for the catch of the day served with seasonal vegetables from the nearby Marche Forville.

Table 22 par Noël Mantel is located at 22 Rue Saint-Antoine, restaurantmantel.com

Shop at Forte_Forte

Forte_forte Cannes

(Image credit: Photography by Danilo Scarpati)

Forte_Forte’s Cannes boutique stands out as much for its free-spirited ready-to-wear collections as for its Robert Vattilana-designed interiors. The space incorporates natural light by geometrising it through the entrance, which creates a distinctive play of reflections. Vattilana cleverly used a deep green hue inspired by the nearby Massif de l’Esterel mountain, donning the space with a jewel-like iridescent quality.

Forte_Forte is located at 27 Rue du Commandant André, forte-forte.com

Marvel at Maison Callaloo

Maison Callaloo Ceramics

(Image credit: Courtesy of Maison Callaloo)

After working in the fashion and interiors industries, Anne Eyssautier, a Cannes native, founded Maison Callaoo. The ceramics shop and studio artfully captures the Mediterranean tones of the city through clay, freeform shapes and a bold palette. Don’t leave the city without one of Eyssautier’s unique bowls, vases or serving platters, in hues from the yellow of the region’s Mimosa trees to the turquoise of the Côte d’Azur.

Maison Callaoo is located at 5 Rue Louis Nouveau, @maisoncallaloo

Drink at Le Bar à Vin

Sens Restaurant

(Image credit: Courtesy of Sens Restaurant)

Open since 1998, Le Bar à Vin is the oldest wine bar in Cannes. What began as a niche spot for dedicated wine connoisseurs has since evolved into a popular place of discovery for all tastes. Experience the bar’s seasonal pairings and authentic, regional charcuterie and cheese boards, amid its exposed brick and dark orange walls lined with barrels – almost like being in the depths of the wine cellar.

Le Bar à Vin is located at 10 Rue Marceau, @lebaravin_cannes

Dinner at Sens Restaurant

Sens Restaurant food

(Image credit: Courtesy of Sens Restaurant)

Sens Restaurant stands out in the Cannes culinary scene for its chefs-in-residence programme and selection of organic wines. Its interiors exude an artist’s residence-like energy, and include an open-plan, stainless steel kitchen and bar where seating places you right at the heart of the action. Cool-toned concrete flooring paired with dark chestnut tables and rounded midcentury chairs brings a feeling of new-age Paris to the beloved Côte d'Azur.

Sens Restaurant is located at 9 Rue d'Oran, sens-restaurant.fr

Relax at Spa Le C Club

Spa Le C Club at Carlton Cannes

(Image credit: Photography by Richard Haughton)

Inside the emblematic hotel Carlton Cannes, known for hosting some of the world’s leading film stars and situated on La Croisette Boulevard, lies the exclusive Le C Club Spa. The serene wellness centre is home to Barbara Sturm, Dr Burgener, SwissLine, Philip B and Wesak Paris treatments, which take place in a setting wrapped in white-mixed marble and furnished with deep tan massage chairs. Finish the experience at the edge of the property’s infinity pool.

Spa Le C Club at Carlton Cannes is located at 58 Bd de la Croisette, carltoncannes.com

See a film at Cinéum Cannes

Cinéum Cannes

(Image credit: Photograhy by Lisa Ricciotti)

Nestled in the western district of La Bocca, Cinéum Cannes stuns with a sculptural façade that fuses sleek lines and futuristic curves – the brainchild of French architect Rudy Ricciotti and Israeli designer Arik Levy. Cinéum is the first cinema in Europe to feature the state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos sound system. The complex further brings out the city’s love for cinema with an immersive gallery and exhibition space dedicated to showcasing the behind-the-scenes of movies.

Cinéum Cannes is located at 13 Av. Maurice Chevalier, cineum.fr

A version of this article appears in the June 2024 Travel Issue of Wallpaper*, available in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today.

Imogen Green is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer based in London. She focuses on finding the nuances of how lifestyle, art and culture are woven into the landscape of the places she visits. instagram.com/imogen.flw/