What to do in Antibes?
Are you planning to visit Antibes during your holidays on the French Riviera?
To help you organize your stay, I have put together this guide to the best things to do and see in Antibes. You will find all the must-see places of interest in this small seaside resort located between Nice and Cannes.
I have also prepared examples of itineraries for you to visit Antibes and its surroundings in 1, 2 or 3 days, ideal for a weekend in PACA, as well as a selection of the best hotels according to your budget.
So, what to do and see in Antibes?
Visit Antibes: the must-sees
1. The old town of Antibes
This is the essential place to see in Antibes: the old town.
This sector of the city, in the heart of the ramparts of the old fortified city, is very nice with its small streets lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. Most of the places of interest in Antibes that I mention in more detail in this guide are also grouped together in this part of the city.
The best way to discover old Antibes is to take a leisurely stroll through the shopping streets such as rue Sade, rue Clemenceau or rue Thuret.
For your visit to Antibes, you can book the Pass Côte d’Azur France which entitles you to 3 or 5 free activities. It is valid in more than 100 sites throughout the Côte d’Azur.
In Antibes, are included in the pass:
- A guided tour of Old Antibes offered by the Tourist Office
- A ride on the little train of Antibes – 40-minute tour with commentary
- A tour in a convertible minibus in Antibes and Juan-les-Pins
- Admission to Marineland Antibes
- A ticket for the Aquasplash, the water park
- A round of mini golf at Adventure Golf or a day at Kid’s Island
- The museum pass to visit all the museums of the city.
2. Port Vauban
If you are looking for the place to go in Antibes to admire beautiful boats, head to Port Vauban.
A stroll along the quays of the largest marina in Europe is the perfect opportunity to see the many ships and beautiful sailboats moored there.
Port Vauban is also known worldwide for its “quay of billionaires” where 19 berths have been created to accommodate the largest yachts in the world such as the Dilbar of Alicher Ousmanov, the Lady Moura of Nasser Al-Rashid or the Octopus of Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.
The creation of the quay cost 35 million euros which the owners of the boats paid in order to have their assigned place.
Just before the Quai des Billionaires, go and see the impressive sculpture “Le Nomade” by artist Jaume Piensa.
This monumental work represents a human silhouette about ten meters high, very airy because made with letters in white steel.
From there, you will also have a beautiful panoramic view of the ramparts of Antibes, the sea and the Fort Carré.
3. Fort Carre
Continuing your walk along Port Vauban, on the side opposite the Quai des Billionaires, you will reach Fort Carré.
Built in the second half of the 16th century by order of King Henry II, this military fort culminates at 26 meters above sea level. When it was built, the purpose was to monitor and deter attacks from the Duchy of Savoy.
Today, the Fort Carré, classified as a “Historic Monument” can be visited. The walkway, which you can take, offers a panoramic view of all of Antibes.
For security reasons, visits are guided only. They last about 30 minutes for 3€ per person (free for children) and allow you to discover the chapel, the kitchens, the soldiers’ rooms.
A must do during your stay in Antibes, if only to enjoy the view.
To reach Fort Carré, you have several options:
- On foot through Port Vauban and the seaside
- By car: free parking
- By free shuttle between the old town and the Fort.
To visit Antibes and its surroundings, if you don’t have a car or don’t want to bother with parking, the most practical option is to choose a bus tour with an opening roof.
This minibus works like a Hop-On Hop-Off bus and allows you to get on/off at 4 different stops : Place Guynemer in the old town, Fort Carré, Juan-les-Pins and Cap d’Antibes.
4. Notre-Dame-de-la-Platea Cathedral in Antibes
I continue this guide to Antibes by the cathedral, which is in the old town.
With its ocher colored facade and its stuccoes, it is a change from the churches that we are used to seeing in France.
To be seen mainly from the outside, because its rather austere interior is of no particular interest, apart from an altarpiece by Louis Brea from the 16th century.
5. The Picasso Museum
Right next to the cathedral, I suggest you continue through the Picasso museum.
The latter is located in the Château Grimaldi, which owes its name to the fact that the Monegasque family lived there in the 14th century. The building is listed as a Historic Monument.
Successively becoming the residence of the King’s governor, town hall and then a barracks, it was in 1946 that Pablo Picasso set up his studios there for 2 months.
He will produce many works there and will even leave to the city, about twenty paintings and drawings. Among the most famous we can note: “Le Gobeur d’Oursins”, “La Joie de Vivre” or “La Femme aux urchins”.
It was in 1966 that the Picasso Museum was created in his honour: it is also the very first dedicated to him!
In addition to works by Picasso, the museum exhibits paintings by Nicolas de Staël as well as a large collection of modern art.
The Picasso Museum in Antibes is open every day except Mondays and the entrance ticket costs 8€.
Access is included in the Pass Côte d’Azur France.
6. The Provençal market
Among the tourist attractions in Antibes, you also have the Provençal market, one of the most popular in the region.
Do not hesitate to go there if you want to buy some fruit and vegetables from the local market gardeners, but also good cheeses or charcuterie. There is even a stand of Corsican products and another of various spices.
The market is on the Cours Massena, in the heart of old Antibes. It takes place every morning in summer and from Tuesday to Sunday the other months of the year.
7. The Saint-Bernardin chapel
We continue this circuit in the old Antibes with a short visit to the Saint-Bernardin chapel.
Built in the 16th century, this recently restored Gothic-style church houses beautiful frescoes, some of which (in the apse and the south wall) are original. In addition to the services celebrated there, the chapel regularly organizes exhibitions and concerts.
The chapel is located rue Rostan. Free entry.
8. Other museums to visit in Antibes
During your trip to Antibes, in addition to the Picasso Museum, you can visit:
- The Peynet and humorous drawing museum: which exhibits the works of Raymond Peynet, a French illustrator, creator of the famous couple of “Lovers” and who lived in Antibes.
- The tower museum, on the history of Provence, with objects and costumes from the 19th century to the present day. Guided tour on request only (8 people minimum).
- The archeology museum is located in the Bastion Saint-André. It presents remains updated during land and underwater excavations such as coins or amphoras.
- The Postcard Museum and its thousands of cards from all countries and all eras.
As in many cities, the museums of Antibes are closed on Mondays.
The Pass Côte d’Azur France allows you to visit the city’s museums for free.
9. The Promenade of the Admiral of Grasse
Visiting Antibes also means taking the time to stroll along the Admiral de Grasse promenade.
While walking on top of the ramparts made by Vauban, you will enjoy a beautiful view of the city and the sea.
10. Antibes Marineland and Aquasplash
Going to Marineland is one of the popular activities during a family stay in Antibes.
It is located north of the city, about fifteen minutes by car from old Antibes.
Marineland, one of the largest water parks in Europe, allows you to observe killer whales, dolphins and even polar bears. Shows are also held at regular intervals. It also includes aquariums with sharks, rays, seahorses…
This kind of park is currently facing many controversies, especially on the conditions of captivity of orcas. It is nonetheless the most visited tourist site in the region, hence its presence in the top things to do in Antibes.
Marineland also includes other facilities:
- a miniature golf
- Kid’s Island, where young children can approach farm animals
- The Marineland Resort hotel: a brand new hotel in the heart of the park. Reservations here!
To visit the Marineland of Antibes, it is better to book your places in advance: they are also on sale when buying online at the moment!
You can buy the official tickets online at the best price here.
Marineland also includes a water park with slides and wave pool, the Aquasplash. But beware, the entrance ticket for the Aquasplash is in addition to Marineland.
You must therefore reserve it separately by clicking here.
You can choose to visit Marineland and Aquasplash with your Pass Côte d’Azur France.
If you want to visit Marineland and Aquasplash, I advise you to book the combined ticket to save money.
You do not have to do the 2 parks on the same day, the ticket can be used over 2 days.
11. The beaches of Antibes
If you want to go swimming in Antibes, here is the list of beaches:
- La Gravette beach, accessible from the port, below the ramparts. A small sandy beach well protected from the wind and supervised. Ideal with children.
- Ponteil beach: a long sandy beach with shallow water. Supervised beach with toilets and showers.
- Salis beach: another long sandy beach, also equipped with a lifeguard and toilets and showers.
- Several pebble beaches to the east of Antibes, after Fort Carré. Be careful because the water is very deep there directly. Supervised beaches.
- The coves of Cap d’Antibes, which I mention below.
12. Nautical activities to do in Antibes
If you wish to practice nautical activities near Antibes, you will find what you are looking for near Cagnes-sur-Mer and Saint-Laurent-du-Var (10 km north of Antibes).
- An initiation to jet-skiing (just next to Marineland) from 15 min to 1 hour
- A 2h30 jet ski ride with 2 routes to choose from: 1 circuit passing the Cap d’Antibes and the Lérins Islands or the other towards Nice/Villefranche/Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
- Parasailing to rise 40 meters above the water
- You flyboard
- An initiation to kitesurfing course – Duration: 1/2 day or 1 full day
- A first dive to discover the Mediterranean seabed
- An exploration dive – Imperative to have a level 1 dive
- An introduction to snorkeling.
13. Visit Cap d’Antibes on Foot
For those who want to get away from the city a bit and take advantage of their trip to Antibes to walk, I advise you to discover Cap d’Antibes.
It is possible to go all around the Cap on foot by taking the Tirepoil path or “coastal path” which begins at the car park on Avenue André Sella, after Garoupe beach.
Entirely laid out by the sea, the path, 5 km long (2 hours walk) presents no difficulties, but there are several steps carved into the rock, so avoid flip flops!
You will also find several small coves with translucent water where you can take a dip to cool off. It really is a great place to go for a walk in Antibes!
The Cap d’Antibes is also home to very beautiful residences built by great fortunes from the middle of the 19th century. These include the Château de la Croe (former home of the Duke of Windsor) and Villa Eilenroc, at the end of Cap d’Antibes. The gardens of the latter are accessible to the public.
Still on the Cap d’Antibes peninsula, you can also take the Chemin du Calvaire which will take you to the Garoupe plateau.
There is a lighthouse, a chapel and a small oratory there but the place offers above all, in clear weather, a panoramic view of the Alps, Italy and sometimes even Corsica .
14. Visit Cap d’Antibes by boat or kayak
Another very nice activity idea that I advise you to do around the Cap d’Antibes: a sea kayaking trip.
For 2 to 6 hours, you will be accompanied by an instructor who will show you the most beautiful places on the cape.
To discover the Cap d’Antibes, you can also opt for a boat trip combined with a snorkeling trip.
For a whole day, enjoy a boat trip and admire the seabed by doing some snorkeling.
15. Take a boat trip from Antibes
In addition to the snorkeling trip to Cap d’Antibes that I told you about above, I recommend 2 other options that will allow you to discover the surroundings of Antibes by boat far from other tourists.
To enjoy a VIP experience, I suggest you:
1) Book a private boat trip from Antibes
In my opinion, this is the best way to make the most of your day at sea in Antibes!
You rent a boat with a skipper, and he will take you to the most beautiful corners of the Côte d’Azur.
Motor boat, sailboat, catamaran or even yacht : it’s up to you to choose the boat that suits you to spend a dream day!
2) Rent a boat and discover the surroundings of Antibes
If you have a boat license, the second solution for a superb day at sea is simply to rent a boat!
What to do around Antibes?
Now that you know what to do in Antibes, I recommend that you discover the surroundings.
From Antibes, you can easily access all the most popular cities of the French Riviera such as Cannes, Nice or Monaco.
A visit to Antibes is very often associated with a visit to the neighboring town: Juan-les-Pins.
It is in summer that the seaside resort is the busiest. There are many shops, cafes, restaurants and something to do in the evening with the Casino and the many nightclubs.
In addition to its beautiful sandy beach, during the day you can discover the Art Deco buildings, the Port Gallice, the Pinède Gould or the Explora park.
In July, Juan-les-Pins also hosts the International Jazz Festival where renowned artists from around the world perform.
Cannes is one of the most famous towns to visit around Antibes.
You can reach it in 30 minutes by car or 15 minutes by train.
What to do in Cannes?
- A walk along the Croisette admiring the emblematic palaces
- A photo on the steps and the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival
- Discover the Suquet district, the oldest in the city
- Go in search of the “painted walls” with the effigy of Charlie Chaplin or Marylin Monroe
- Shopping in luxury boutiques
I give you all the details to visit Cannes in my other article which is here: The 17 things to do in Cannes.
18. The Lérins Islands
Around Antibes, you can also treat yourself to a getaway to the Lérins Islands.
Boats depart from Juan-les-Pins, Golfe Juan or Cannes. Hours vary depending on the season.
The Lérins Islands archipelago is made up of 2 islands:
- Sainte-Marguerite Island is the largest. People come here to take a walk along the 8 km trail, have a picnic and swim. It’s a great idea for a family outing around Antibes!
- Saint-Honorat Island, which is smaller, is home to an abbey that is still occupied and some parts of which you can visit.
With your Côte d’Azur France Pass, you can take the boat for free to the Lérins Islands from Cannes.
I continue by the cities to see absolutely near Antibes by the most famous city of the French Riviera: Nice.
You can get to Nice by car in 40 minutes or by train in 15 minutes.
What to see in Nice?
- The Promenade des Anglais for a walk by the sea on one of the most famous boulevards in the South of France
- Old Nice and its narrow streets lined with shops and colorful houses
- The hill of the castle to afford a view from above of the city.
To know everything about Nice and prepare your stay, I strongly recommend that you read my dedicated article: Visiting Nice: The ultimate guide.
A little further, but still easily accessible from Antibes, I suggest you go and discover Monaco.
By car or train it takes about 1 hour between the two.
Places of interest to see in Monaco:
- Le Rocher, emblematic district where the Prince’s Palace and the cathedral are located
- The oceanographic museum, to observe lots of fish but also sharks or sea turtles – Ticket to buy online by clicking here!
- Monte-Carlo and its Casino
- The exotic garden and its hundreds of cacti + its cave
Even more things to do in Monaco can be found in my article: What to do in Monaco?
How many days to visit Antibes?
One day is enough to visit Antibes because the city is not very large.
In 2 days or more, you can visit the surroundings.
1 Day in Antibes
Here is the program that I propose for 1 day in Antibes:
- Visit of Fort Carré
- Walk along Port Vauban
- Discovery of Old Antibes with passage through the chapel, the cathedral and the Picasso museum (it’s up to you if you want to visit it)
- A short tour of the Provençal market
- Promenade of the Admiral of Grasse
- Relaxing on the beach or touring Cap d’Antibes
2 Days in Antibes
For a weekend in Antibes, repeat the schedule for day 1 and the next day add (your choice):
- A family day out at Marineland
- A day in the Lérins Islands
- The visit of Cannes, Nice or Monaco
3 Days in Antibes
If you stay 3 days in Antibes (or more!), dedicate a day to each of these ideas, and make the most of your stay on the French Riviera.
Where to stay in Antibes
I have prepared for you the list of the best hotels to stay in Antibes. Note that you can also choose to stay in Nice (the largest city on the French Riviera) and visit Antibes for 1 day from there.
This is why I am also including the selection of the best hotels to stay in Nice.
- Zenitude Hotel-Residences Le Maestria: located 5 km from Old Antibes. Studio and apartment from 58€. Most: the outdoor swimming pool, the friendly staff.
- Hotel Le Petit Castel: located 10 minutes walk from Cap d’Antibes and 600 meters from the beach. Modern and comfortable double room from 80€, breakfast at 10€. Most: calm, hearty breakfast, exemplary cleanliness. It is our favorite for its price/performance ratio in Antibes.
- Best Western Plus Antibes Riviera: located 1.6 km from the Picasso Museum. Bright and spacious double room with balcony from 120€. Most: free private parking, excellent bedding, large choice of breakfast.
- Royal Antibes – Luxury Hotel, Residence, Beach & Spa: located 5 minutes walk from the old town, by the sea. Double room in a contemporary and very elegant style, some with sea view from 130€, breakfast at 15€. The pluses: free access to the Spa, the private beach, the location. One of the best choices where to stay in Antibes!
- Hotel & Spa Baie des Anges by Thalazur: located not far from Marineland. Design and cozy double room from €140, breakfast at €18. The pluses: the outdoor swimming pools, the Spa with heated swimming pool, the private car park, the view. The ideal place to stay in Antibes for a romantic weekend!
Where to stay in Nice
- Hotel Ozz by Happyculture : Located about 15 minutes from the beach on foot. Nice place and decoration, friendly staff, well placed and comfortable beds. We ask for no more! Only 20€ per night in dormitory. Double room at 55€. This is the best choice if you are looking for a hotel in Nice on a buget!
- Hotel Brice Garden : Located in the city center of Nice, 5 minutes walk from the beach and the Promenade des Anglais. Very well appointed and clean room from 80€ per night. Helpful and welcoming staff. The best value for money if you want to be in the city center. To book well in advance!
- Hôtel le Saint Paul : Located 50 meters from the port of Nice, quiet, breathtaking view of the sea. Large, bright room from €95 per night, buffet breakfast for €12. The plus: free private parking. Our big favorite in Nice!
- Hotel Le Royal Promenade des Anglais : Located right on the Promenade des Anglais in a historic building. Prestigious room decorated in a classic style, very bright from €135 per night, breakfast at €15.
- Hôtel Negresco: Located on the Promenade des Anglais, this palace with art deco architecture is quite simply the best in Nice. The rooms are sublime, the view is magnificent, the staff charming and the restaurant exceptional. This is the best choice for a luxury stay in Nice!
Where to eat in Antibes
- Le figuier de Saint-Esprit: located at 14 rue Saint-Esprit, this restaurant is recognized with 1 star in the Michelin Guide. Its chef Christian Morisset has made a specialty of revisiting the great classics of Provençal cuisine. Local products, very pleasant surroundings and gourmet cuisine, you are sure to have a great time.
- Romagna Mia: located at 3 Boulevard Dugommier. This typical Italian restaurant offers you delicious fresh homemade pasta, with the specialty of pasta with truffles. Everything is homemade with quality products.
- Côté Terroir: located on the Place de la Gare des Autobus. This restaurant with a limited number of places (reservation recommended) offers refined, very fine and hearty dishes cooked with good local products. The service is impeccable, the dishes are refined and the welcome very warm.
Antibes Tourist Map
To help you visualize the city a little better, I made you a tourist map of Antibes listing the places to visit that I talk about in this top 20 things to do in Antibes. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow.
FAQ: Questions about Antibes
What to do in Antibes with the family?
If you are planning to visit Antibes with your children, I recommend that you:
- Visit the old town of Antibes on foot
- Take the convertible minibus that goes around the city
- Go see the beautiful boats of Port Vauban
- Spend a day at Marineland Antibes
- Enjoy the Aquasplash water park
- Go to the beach: Gravette, Ponteil or Salis are ideal for families
- Take a walk on Cap d’Antibes
What to do in Antibes when it rains?
If unfortunately the rain prevents you from doing some sightseeing in Antibes, until it calms down, I advise you to:
- Visit the museums of Antibes such as the Picasso museum or the Peynet museum
- Visit Marineland (it’s for sure better when the weather is nice) but the shows are normally held in the rain
- Take a trip around Antibes : in a train ride, you can go to Nice – Maybe the sun will be there and if not you can enjoy the city’s museums, go to the cinema, bowling, make an escape game…
Where is the Antibes tourist office?
There are 3 tourist offices in Antibes:
- At 42 Avenue Robert Soleau, the closest to Antibes train station
- Place Guynemer, towards the old town
- Chemin des Sables, closer to Juan-les-Pins.
And you, what are you planning to do in Antibes?