Attracting some of the wealthiest people in the world, the gentrified ambience of Cannes is backed up by its luxury accommodation, fine dining restaurants, and the ubiquitous designer shopping. The town is a popular stopover on European cruise itineraries, with passengers disembarking to take the opportunity to spend a day exploring and shopping. A true slice of Parisian elegance and opulence on the Côte d’Azur, Cannes keeps in well-heeled step with the most sought after high-end retail shopping districts in the world.
A Mini Mecca of Luxury Shopping
The compact centre of town makes it perfect for a short stopover, as you can take in all the most prestigious shopping precincts within an entirely walkable area. So serious are they about their luxury retail culture that Cannes dedicates an entire festival to it every year, in spring – with four fashion filled days of haute couture shows, entertainment and a slew of other related events.
The Cannes Shopping Festival is held every spring in March or April.
To start off your luxury shopping day in style, begin in the natural habitat of the wealthy jet set. Boulevard de La Croisette is home to a dizzying array of high-end designer shops tucked in between an equal number of famous and very exclusive hotels. The lovely 3km palm-lined promenade, set on the doorstep of the Bay of Cannes, is a true Mecca of luxury shopping – shoes and views, what more could you ask for? Along La Croisette all the big names in fashion, jewellery, and accessories jostle for your attention, many represented with flagship stores. Luxury brands include:
- Van Cleef and Arpels
- Jean Paul Gaultier
- Yves Saint Laurent
- Plenty more…
Set one street back, parallel to La Croisette, and with a distinctly French feel, Rue d’Antibes is a mixture of familiar High Street brands, super-chic interior design shops, teashops, and upmarket designer label boutiques. If you’re a serious retail devotee you could spend an entire day wandering from one end to the other without getting bored. With lots of popular young fashion labels, like Kookai, Agnes B, Kenzo and Tara Jarmon, it’s an excellent place to shop for gifts for fashionable relatives as well. The residents of Rue d’Antibes include:
- Trebaud (for Armani, Costume National and Dolce & Gabbana)
- Lalique (for stunning crystal)
- Vog (interiors)
- Max Mara
- L’Occitane en Provence
Tip: Rue d’Antibes can get pretty busy so if your energy levels are starting to lag stop for an espresso and to-die-for macaroon at l’Atelier de Jean Luc Pele 2, Rue d’Antibes.
For a very different kind of shopping experience with a very local feel, Marché Forville is the gastronomic heart of the town. Crowded with florists, fromageries, charcuteries, poissonniers, pâtisseries and every other kind of continental food vendor you care to imagine, the market is a magical symphony of colour, culture, and delicious aromas. Marché Forville closes early in the afternoon, so plan to visit before lunch – and then perhaps stop for lunch in one of the many bistros. Situated on Rue Marché Forville.
A short walk away (one block further in away from the promenade), the very trendy Rue Hoche offers a more relaxed version of Rue d’Antibes. A totally pedestrianised street, which adds to its relaxed ambience, it’s very close to the famous Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (most famous for hosting the Cannes Film Festival), and is lined with boutiques, cafes, interiors shops, and exclusive hair salons.
Time for a wine? Settle in for some serious people watching and a relaxing glass of wine at Le Cirque, outside on the pavement or upstairs overlooking the street. 30 Rue Hoche.
Another market, just off Rue Hoche, Marché Gambetta is famous for its shoes, silk, leather, and cashmere fashion goods. Wander through the covered market to browse the wonderful selection of exquisite cashmere scarves and chic printed blouses, then continue through to the grocery stalls selling traditional Provençal herbs and food stuffs – perfect for small, easy to carry gifts. Open every day except Monday.
The famous Parisian ‘grand magasin’ translates its chic style to the Côte d’Azur on Rue du Maréchal Foch. An upmarket department store, with everything from jewellery, hats, scarves, home ware, to fashion, lingerie and gourmet food, Galleries Lafayette also hosts regular fashion shows. If you missed picking up one of their signature cashmere sweaters on your stopover in Paris, now’s your chance to make amends.
Open every day 9.30am-19.30pm, late night to 20.00pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. 6 Rue du Maréchal Foch.
Opening hours tip: In general, Cannes follows the normal French opening times, which are Monday to Saturday between 10am-7pm, often closing for a couple of hours in the middle of the day for lunch. Some of the more tourist-focused boutiques will open on a Sunday, but not all.
While in some destinations you may want to spend a short cruise stopover taking in the more cultural or historical sites, Cannes is absolutely perfect for a more laidback experience, where you won’t feel pressured to pack too much into one day. (Although if you want to see more you’ll get some tips here.) It’s got it all: wonderful views, fabulous shopping, and that certain French, “je ne sais pas”!
Tip: For international cruise travellers, the boutiques and stores in Cannes offer duty free shopping benefits on luxury goods like perfume, alcohol, watches, electronics and jewellery.
How to get to Central Cannes From the Cruise Port
As the Cannes cruise port is too small to accommodate larger vessels, in most cases (unless it’s a very small vessel) you’ll dock in the bay and be transferred by water to the terminal at Le Vieux – the Old Port. While the distance in to the centre of town can be covered with a leisurely walk, if you’ve only got a limited amount of time, the easiest way to make the most of your luxury shopping day is by organising a private transfer.
Prebook one of Shuttle Direct’s convenient private transfers to Cannes and a friendly driver will meet you at the cruise terminal to transport you directly to La Croisette or wherever you’d like to start. The benefit of booking a private transfer is that you’ll also be able to book the return journey to the port, so you won’t be struggling with all your shopping bags at the end of the day.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is one of the most respected provider of shared and private airport and cruise port transfers throughout Europe and North Africa. With a friendly, affordable, and highly convenient service, our easy to navigate booking system allows you to prebook your shuttle transfers before you leave home. Take the hassle out of cruise and airport transfers with Shuttle Direct.