Located between Cannes and Nice, Antibes might not be familiar to most. The resort area offers great beaches and sights for its visitors. It is well known locally for its coasts and beautiful beaches. The hilly inlands offer a series of interesting sights for its visitors too. Very well liked by the locals as a summer vacation destination, Antibes is definitely a good choice for a summer holiday and a relaxing trip for family. Read on to learn a bout the best things to do in the city!
The coastal town of Antibes is one flocked by many travelers who enjoy the sea. See the luxurious side of this resort town and stay in Laval or La Pagne to experience undiscovered wonder.
Home to Musee Picasso and the historic Fort Carre, Laval is a rural area wherein travelers will have options to explore when it comes to sightseeing. This neighborhood sits by the sea, so expect to see many locals who come to frequent the farmers’ market in Marché provençal or the local beach at Cap d'Antibes. Travelers will find small homestays and seaside villas for accommodation options in this part of Antibes.
Consider La Pagane as your base when in Antibes. Known for its beaches, this area is ideal for those who enjoy being close to the water and those who plan on spending afternoons under the sun and in the sand. It boasts convenience since many villas and beach houses are within walking distance to the best restaurants and bars. The hotels are also frequented by tourists, which is a great option for visitors planning to do some sightseeing since a couple of cultural attractions are nearby.
For a top-notch vacation in Antibes, we recommend booking these amazing places to stay:
1. Vieil Antibes: old town of Antibes
Immerse yourself into the charms of this old Mediterranean city. The old town of Antibes is located within the city walls around the Chateau Grimaldi. Tourists to Antibes can enjoy exploring the narrow streets in this picturesque district. Many of Antibes’ best restaurants can be found in the old quarter. On market days, the old town square is filled with vendors selling fresh fruits, produce, and also other Provencal products for both locals and foreign tourists. This will be a good place to get some souvenirs to bring back home.
The cobblestone streets and squares, traditional French coastal architecture, and interesting shops and cafes make the old town a good spot for relaxation and also for photographs.
Address: 1 Rue Thuret
Website: Old Town Antibes
2. Cap d'Antibes and Juan-les-Pin Beaches
The Juan-les-Pin Beaches are picturesque and always the main attraction for visitors. The beautiful beach with clear blue seawater and fine sand is the main draw for sun seekers. Certain parts of the beach will require some fees to enter, which go towards the efforts to keep the beach clean.
Whether you are sun bathing of just want to take a break and sit by the beach, this is the place to be. Sun chairs and mats are readily available on loan. Stalls selling snacks and drinks are also around to keep you cool for a hot, sunny day
Cap d'Antibes and Juan-les-Pin Beaches
Address: Boulevard Charles Guillaumont, Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, France
3. Musee Picasso: Picasso Museum
This museum features works of art from the artist Picasso while he lived in Côte d'Azur. Although the amount of work from Picasso himself is not extensive, it shows his main works while living in this area. The museum also provides insight into the life and works of Picasso. It has an extensive range of contemporary art exhibits with works from other contemporary artists. The museum building offers scenic views facing the sea – another good photography spot. Tours are available in English and French.
Address: Chateau Grimaldi, Place du Chateau, 06600, Antibes, France
Website: Picasso Museum
4. Chemin des Douaniers
Enjoy this simple 5 km (3 mi) walk around the coast and be rewarded with beautiful scenery. The walk begins from the old town, bringing you to a route around the coast. Breathtaking views of the sea, its landforms, and also the town is experienced during this walk. Do not worry if you are not really a very active person since the walk is simple and the course is not rough; it’s easy for all visitors. Sunset is definitely the best time for this walk, with the beautiful sunset before you.
Chemin des Douaniers
Address: Chemin des douaniers, Etretat, France
5. Fort Carré
Bought by the city of Antibes in 1997 and opened to the public in 1998, Fort Carre is a scenic spot surrounded by gorgeous waterfront and nature. Presenting the best view of the town to the visitors, the fort itself is an impressive structure facing the sea. The structure itself can be seen from afar and is like a lone castle by the sea. Visitors will need to pay a nominal rate of about 3 EUR (~3.50 USD) to enter, and guided tours about the fort’s history are available for tourists. This is a great place for families to spend a nice afternoon out.
Address: 11 avenue du 11 Novembre, 06600, Antibes, France
Website: Fort Carre
6. Cathedral Notre-Dame
Cathedral Notre-Dame is the largest church in Antibes. The building is rose coloured and features Provencal Baroque architecture. The cathedral houses beautiful and intricate artwork, and the tranquil and quiet interior is a good place for you to keep your mind off of the busy outside world. The entrance to the cathedral is impressive and not to be missed, with its grand and outstanding architecture. Virgin of the Rosary of Louis Bréa (around 1513) is the main highlight of the cathedral. The cathedral is within the city centre and near the Picasso Museum.
Address: Rue Saint-Esprit, 06600, Antibes, France
Website: Cathedral Notre-Dame
7. Villa Thuret Botanic Gardens
Housing a wide range of flora, the gardens serves not only for tourists but also for researchers and academics. The gardens feature interesting plants that are not usually found in Europe including those from the Canary Islands, New Zealand, and South Africa. The interesting plants and trees are the main draw for visitors. The gardens feature special plants depending on the season. This is a must visit destination for nature and plant lovers.
Thuret Garden (Jardin Thuret )
Address: 62, boulevard du Cap, 06606, Antibes, France
Website: Jardin Thuret (in French)
8. Musee d'Archeologie
This archaeology museum contains artefacts excavated around the city and its waters, with many artefacts dating back to the Roman times. Although small, it presents history about ancient Greek and Roman culture. Near the coast, the museum is also a scenic spot for relaxing and taking good photographs. It has guided tours in French and English and during summer, the museum stays opens till late.
Address: Bastion Saint Andre, 06600, Antibes, France
Website: Musee d'Archeologie
9. Nomade at the Bastion Saint-Jaume
This is probably the most iconic item along the coast. As you walk along the Quai Henri Rambaud, you will be able to see this impressive sculpture facing the sea, created by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, who is well known for large scale cast iron artwork. This sculpture of the a man looking out in the sea is made up of jumbled letters and looks somewhat outstanding compared to the old buildings around. The place is good for a nice view of the sea and the sculpture.
Address: Bastion St Jaume, 06600, Antibes, France
Website: Le Nomade
10. Chapel Saint-Bernardin
This 16th-century Gothic church was built for the Brotherhood of the White Penitents of Saint Bernardin. Today, it houses many notable artworks and artefacts including a magnificent altar piece from the 18th century. Usually not noticed by tourists to Antibes, the chapel is a hidden gem providing many picturesque moments.
Address: 14 rue du Docteur Rostan, 06600, Antibes, France
Website: Chapelle Saint-Bernardin
11. Discover rich history from the 1700s at the Naval and Napoleonic Museum
The historic French monarchy started all the way back to Napoleon Bonaparte’s time, and in his significant rule on France, the rest of the country has followed suit on his influence. His naval contributions and discoveries have structured the way the French military is bred and trained to this day. In 1794, a 10-acre (4 hectares) park surrounds the museum and boasts rich historical pieces and mementos from the epic naval rule of Bonaparte. See the displays and souvenirs located at the Stella tower where the emperor and his family life and history are exhibited. Various military figurines, arms of honor, proclamations, and documents among other artifacts can also be found at the Stella tower.
Naval and Napoleonic Museum
Address:Batterie du Graillon boulevard J.F.Kennedy 06160 Antibes-Juan les Pins, France
Website: [Naval and Napoleonic Museum (http://www.cap-d-antibes.fr/fr/musees) Opening hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm, Tues-Sat
Contact: +33 (0)4 93 61 45 32
12. See adorable sea creatures at Marineland
Families traveling to Cote d'Azur can spend the day with kids and kids at heart at Marineland. This is France’s version of Sea World in California and promises a superb interactive experience for animal lovers and young fauna enthusiasts alike. Marineland features shows like Dolphins Performance, Killer Whales Performance, and Sea Lions Performance. What makes Marineland a great place to take your kids to is that it’s also an advocate for research and conservation of marine life. One of their ongoing conservation projects includes rescuing and rehabilitating mediterranean sea turtles until they are well enough to be released back into the ocean. Aside from animal rehabilitation, Marineland also takes initiative to eradicate plastic waste in the ocean through their beach cleanings which they organize monthly and invite locals and tourists to come to join. If you wish to learn more in-depth information on marine life and conservation in France, add Marineland off your itinerary right away.
Address: Route Nationale 7, 06600, Antibes, France
Opening hours: 10 am to 6pm, Sun to Sat
Price: 35.51 USD
Sea and culture
So when you are along the southern coast of France, do give Antibes a visit. Enjoy the sun and the sea as well as its cultural gems.
Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Antibes, France
1. What is Antibes known for?
Antibes is a resort town known as the yachting capital of the Mediterranean. It is also famous for its maze-like Old Town with exclusive villas.
2. What are the top attractions to visit in Antibes?
Aside from the beaches, there are plenty of must-visits here including the Picasso Museum that features numerous works of Picasso during his time in Côte d'Azur, and the Fort Carré, which looks like a castle from the sea.
3. What are the best outdoor activities in Antibes?
Antibes offers numerous pristine beaches that’s why the best outdoor activities here are mostly water activities, like kayaking, parasailing, surfing, jet skiing, and many more.
4. What are the best day trips from Antibes?
Antibes is a great jump-off point when you want to explore other places in the French Riviera. A few of the best day trips from Antibes include the cities of Cannes, Nice, and Saint-Tropez.
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