The resort town of Antibes is known for its beautiful coastline and pristine beaches. Situated between the more touristy Cannes and Nice, it may not seem familiar to most.
It is popular among locals as a summer destination and a more laid back alternative to its more popular neighbors. Antibes has a vibrant art scene and market culture and packed with interesting attractions.
If you’re heading this way on your next holiday, here are some of the best things to do in Antibes, France.
Things you'll find in this article
- 11 Best Things To Do In Antibes, France
- 1. Antibes’ old town
- 2. Fort Carré
- 3. Musee Picasso in the Chateau Grimaldi
- 4. Follow the Trail of Artists Around Antibes
- 5. Chapel Saint-Bernardin
- 6. The Musée de la Carte Postale
- 7. Nomade at the Bastion Saint-Jaume
- 8. Enjoy the Sights on the Cap d’Antibes
- 9. Hang out by the Port Vauban
- 10. The Safranier Free Commune
- 11. Stroll Through the Open-Air Markets
11 Best Things To Do In Antibes, France
1. Antibes’ old town
A good way to start is by wandering around the Old Town if Antibes. Surrounded by stone ramparts, this area seems unchanged over the centuries. Quaint and picturesque, it is made up of a maze of narrow cobbled streets.
Stroll through these streets and check out colorful buildings with brightly painted shutters. You’ll also find cafes, eateries, and shops that sell local artworks, glassware, herbs, and white cotton clothes.
There’s also a path along the edge of the ramparts where you can walk from the harbor to the southern beaches. One of the best things to do in Antibes, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the town and the coastline.
2. Fort Carré
The 16th century Fort Carré is known as the place where Napoleon was imprisoned during the French Revolution.
If you’re into Bond films, you might remember it as the villain’s lair from film Never Say Never Again. Fort Carré means square fort, but looking from maybe a helicopter, you’ll find that it is actually star-shaped. It was because of the additions made by military architect Vauban.
The added defensive walls created the four-pointed bastions.
The interiors of the fort are mostly bare but the walls provide gorgeous views of the town and surrounding areas such as Nice, Fort Carré is one of the best places to visit in Antibes for an insight into its local history.
3. Musee Picasso in the Chateau Grimaldi
The Chateau Grimaldi is easily among the most unique places to see in Antibes. It dominates the Antibes skyline and is home to the Musee Picasso. Pablo Picasso himself lived in the chateau in 1946 and clearly loved his time here.
Later on, he even gave a large number of his works to the town, with additions from his wife Jacqueline. Apart from Picasso’s body of work, the museum also has ceramics, works by Nicholas de Stael and other modern artists.
Adult: 8 €
Combined ticket: €10 Access to municipal museums over seven consecutive days
Address: Place Mariejol 06600 ANTIBES
4. Follow the Trail of Artists Around Antibes
Antibes was a favorite among artists, with a number of them either went on vacation or lived here. Most of these artists fell in love with the town that their work even depicts Antibes and the Mediterranean.
To celebrate these artists and their work, the town even has a map that visitors can follow. The map shows points where they’ll find original artworks as well as information about the artists.
Some of the masterpieces you’ll find along the way are the cast iron marketplace painted by Emile-Charles Dameron, “The Rocks of l’Ilette and the Fortifications” by Eugène Boudin, a Claude Monet rendition of Antibes during winter and of course, something from Pablo Picasso.
5. Chapel Saint-Bernardin
This Gothic Chapel Saint-Bernardin was constructed in the 16th century for the Brotherhood of the White Penitents of Saint Bernardin. It is home to various important artifacts and artworks which include a stunning 18th-century altarpiece.
It is one of the best attractions in Antibes, as it is very photogenic. It is one of the most recognizable structures in Antibes and having a photo here is a great way to document your trip.
Address: Rue du docteur Rostan 06600 ANTIBES
6. The Musée de la Carte Postale
A truly unique place to see in Antibes features thousands of old postcards. The Musée de la Carte Postale (Museum of the Postcard) in Antibes is a fascinating way to learn about how communication has changed over the past century or so.
From postcards that were heavily in use during the 20th century to the cellphone and high-speed internet.
In this museum, you can view thousands of postcards, local and international and from different eras. Both the temporary and permanent exhibitions feature the history of different modes of communications.
Tuesday- Sunday – 2 p.m.- 6 p.m.
€ 8 (free for children under 12).
Address: Postcard Museum, 4 avenues Tournelli 06600 Antibes – France
7. Nomade at the Bastion Saint-Jaume
You can’t miss this impressive sculpture facing the sea, which is among the best things to see in Antibes. This was created by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, who is famous for large scale cast iron artwork.
The iconic sculpture features a man looking out in the sea. The place is good for a nice view of the sea and the sculpture.
8. Enjoy the Sights on the Cap d’Antibes
There’s a lot to see in this part of Antibes that you might want to devote more time to it. Cap d’Antibes is on the southern part of Antibes, a long and narrow stretch that’s easy enough to navigate.
Cap d’Antibes is a lovely, hilly area, dotted with pretty villas down little lanes that have great views everywhere. It is packed with some of the most interesting structures and beautiful places in Antibes.
You won’t miss the elegant Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, and you must stop by the Naval and Napoleonic Museum.
If you love gardens, check put the Jardin Botanique de la Villa Thuret, created by the botanist Gustave Thuret in 1857. You may also want to see the little La Garoupe Sanctuary chapel with its interesting display ships and models. Cap d’Antibes also has the most powerful lighthouse on the coast.
The Phare de la Garoupe lighthouse’ beacon can be seen by boats for 25 miles out to sea. That seems like a lot of attractions all in one place, but a visit to Cap d’Antibes is one of the best things to do in Antibes on weekends.
9. Hang out by the Port Vauban
This Antibes harbor is crammed with nearly 2,000 boats and is the Mediterranean’s largest marina. It’s probably the most profitable also as the mooring fees cost about a million euros.
This natural harbor has been around for centuries and now filled with some of the world’s priciest yachts. If you want to experience a bit of the millionaire lifestyle, you can charter a small boat or even a superyacht.
Warning: fees probably equal your annual salary! If that’s too expensive for you, you can always just stroll along the harbor and do a bit of fantasy yacht shopping instead.
10. The Safranier Free Commune
An interesting activity to do in Antibes is to visit The Safranier Free Commune.
There are 129 free communes in France and Safranier is more like a village within a village. Safranier has been around since 1966, and their aim is “to do good and have fun”.
Stroll through the narrow streets of this area lined with restaurants and bars. It is quite cozy and interesting around here, and it’s a good place to learn something different.
11. Stroll Through the Open-Air Markets
A great way to experience local cultures is by visiting the markets. The one in Antibes are mostly housed in an old building, such as the Cours Masséna in the heart of Old Town.
It is a lovely sight, bright and colorful, with about 30 vendors selling their wares. Stock up on fruits and veggies for lunch or snacks ad you wander around Antibes. Buy cheese and spices to bring home.
In the afternoon Cours Massena becomes a haven for crafts. This is where you can find souvenirs to bring home, like paintings, ceramics and wood products.
Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. France remains special to me, however. From architecture, history, and arts – France is truly an amazing place.