The French Riviera beach town of Antibes has long been a favorite vacation spot for the rich and famous. Located between Cannes and Nice, just 30 minutes from Nice airport, Antibes has far fewer crowds than glitzy, glamorous Cannes or St. Tropez. This coastal town with its 16th century ramparts has so much to offer. Here are some of my personal favorite things to do in Antibes.
Old Town Antibes, or Vielle Ville in French, has so many things to do. Walk along the narrow streets and alleyways to explore the exquisite shops, boutiques and restaurants. Obviously, my favorite thing to do in Antibes is to shop! Visit the Cathedral Notre Dame De la Platea d’Antibes. The pink facade is hard to miss and it’s conveniently located next door to the Musée Picasso. Art lovers should definitely visit the Picasso museum which is housed in the Chateau Grimaldi.
Hint: Cars are not allowed in Old Town, but there are plenty of parking garages within easy walking distance.
Food lovers rejoice! Gourmet food aficionados will find so many things to do in Antibes! Number one would be the Marché Provençal, located just inside Old Town by the harbor in Place Nationale Cours. I could spend all morning here, tasting samples and buying fresh produce, cheeses, spices, and, and, and! Seriously, check out the spread below!
The Marché Provençal is open daily from 6:00 am-1:00 pm in the Summer months of June through August. All other months it is open Tuesday-Sunday, same hours.
One of the best “free” things to do in Antibes is to visit the Port. The famous Port Vauban is the largest Marina in the Mediterranean with over 1800 boats! Located just outside Old Town it’s easy to access. Take a stroll to view the mega and super yachts of the glamorous celebrities who come to dock here. Better yet, charter a boat so you can immerse yourself into the yachting lifestyle! All sizes are available for hire from small boats to super yachts with a crew to you champagne and caviar on silver platters.
Just beyond the marina, on the Saint Roch Peninsula, lies the Fort Carré. Visit this bastion fort from the 16th century for some beautiful views over the city of Antibes and the bay. Take a leisurely stroll through the 43 hectare park surrounding the fort. Legend has it that Napoleon was briefly imprisoned at Fort Carré during the French Revolution. Look closely and you might recognize the fort as the villain Maximillian Largo’s lair in the Bond movie “Never Say Never Again”!
Antibes has several fabulous beaches to visit for those seeking some Vitamin D. Going to the beach of one of THE things to do in Antibes. Place de la Gravette is the closest to town, just beyond the port through an archway. It’s located in a sheltered cove, perfect and safe for families seeking a little fun in the sea. This is the beach you see from the ramparts surrounding Old Town.
Just south of town is the Plage de Salis, another gorgeous sandy beach. Dig your toes in the sand and splash in the Mediterranean waves. Some parts are organized with loungers and umbrellas and require a fee. Another beach to the South is Plage de Ponteil, located right next to the Yacht club. Here you can hire boats and kayaks to paddle around in the waves.
For a bit more luxury, head to Plage de la Graroupe, further south. Rent a lounge chair in one of the luxury clubs…drink service included! It’s the place to go to see and be seen. You might even spot some celebrities here.
Located a short 25-minute walk across the peninsula, lies the vibrant town of Juan-les-Pins. Stroll along the coastal promenade to view the Grand Plage beach, with rows and rows of sun loungers and beach restaurants. Juan-les-Pins is famous for its buzzing nightlife and partiers will love all of the nightclubs, casinos and bars. During its heydey in the Jazz Age, this town was very popular with the likes of Charlie Chaplin and F. Scot Fitzgerald. To this day, Jazz plays an important role in Juan-les-Pins with its annual Jazz à Juan festival in July.
There are so many things to do in Antibes, I’ve only touched on some of my favorites. Be sure to visit this amazing beach resort town next time you’re in the South of France. Check out Exploring Saint-Paul de Vence and 15 Souvenirs To Buy At French Riviera Markets before you go!