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Shopping in Cannes

It’s easy to haemorrhage money in Cannes’ designer boutiques; after all this is the Côte d’Azur. But although the town is a magnet for dedicated followers of fashion, there are plenty of affordable shops lurking down the side streets for those with less money/more sense.

Shopkeepers who have signed the Cannes Prestige charter will reimburse VAT, accept payment in the most commonly used currencies (at the exchange rate published in the Nice Matin newspaper, plus a maximum of 5%) and have at least one assistant who speaks fluent English.

Key areas

A wide array of international designer shops line La Croisette, including Chanel, Dior and Gucci. Rue d'Antibes has the best confiseries, chocolatiers and delicatessens, including Chez Bruno, 51 rue d'Antibes (crystallised fruit and marrons glacés), and Maiffret, 31 rue d'Antibes (chocolates made on the premises).

At the other end of the scale is rue Meynadier, a bustling street with a market atmosphere and the very antithesis to the exclusive boutiques along La Croisette. This lively shopping district is lined with affordable clothes shops and artisan food stores like Ceneri, 22 rue Meynadier, which are the purveyors of some of the finest cheeses in Cannes.

Markets

Marché Forville is a large covered market situated between the town hall and the railway tracks. Here you can buy locally grown flowers, freshly caught fish and regional fruit and vegetables. Forville Market is open Tuesday to Sunday 0700-1300. Nearby there is the vibrant flower market, on allées de la Liberté, that’s worth a visit for the aromas alone.

Shopping centres

Galerie Gray d’Albion is Cannes’ largest shopping centre, a place where many a credit card has been melted. Packed full of chic boutiques and designer stores it is located at 17 Gray Street, near La Croisette.

For more affordable shopping head west to Cannes La Bocca; there are numerous superstores and shopping malls here, which sell clothing, furniture and electronic goods from the big names.

Opening hours

Standard shopping hours are Monday to Saturday 1000-1200 and 1430-1930. In high season, many shops do not close for lunch. Sales tax varies between 5.5% (food) to 19.6% (luxury goods). Visitors from outside the European Union can claim a refund upon departure for each purchase over €175.

Souvenirs

Predictably, a large proportion of the souvenirs in Cannes have a film festival theme and the gift shops peddling such wares are scattered around the town, although mostly along boulevard de la Croisette and rue Meynadier.

The narrow cobbled streets leading up to Le Suquet sell some more original souvenirs. If you’re after film festival posters then look no further than Ciné-Folie, 14 rue des Frères Pradignac.

For edible souvenirs such as olives, oils and cheese, rue Meynadier will probably be your best bet. If it’s booze you’re after then hop on a boat to the island of Ile St Honorat, where the resident monks produce wonderful homemade wines and liqueurs. You can also buy bottles of this local tipple at La Cave Forville, 3 Marché Forville, although the journey there is not nearly as exciting.