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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.

Featured Hotels

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Hotel Novotel Suites Cannes Centre

The Novotel offers good-value rack rates and some of the best online specials in Cannes. This swish, modern, all-suite hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the railway station but still delivers spacious rooms that all have microwaves and kettles, as well as large working spaces and flatscreen TVs.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic

This belle époque palatial hotel along La Croisette fuses classic elegance with modern refinements. It has 349 sumptuous rooms, three Venetian-style lounges, five restaurants, two bars and a swimming pool. It has also hijacked part of the main beach, which means guests can enjoy bathing in private.

Hotel Colette

This 3-star stay is one of the most stylish hotels in Cannes. Its simple yet striking white colour scheme acts as a canvas for the hotel's lively blend of modern furniture, contemporary art and the odd antique. Its location opposite the railway station is convenient, albeit not the prettiest.

Hôtel Martinez

Situated on La Croisette, the 5-star Hôtel Martinez is one of the Riviera's grand palaces. Guests can take advantage of the private beach, swimming pool and spa while staying in the palatial apartments or well-appointed rooms. Its Michelin-starred restaurant, La Palme d'Or, has a reputation for exceptional cuisine.

Le Mistral

This 2-star hotel offers 10 rooms on three floors just a minute's walk from the Palais des Festivals and rue d'Antibes. The interior design is modern and stylish, and art works are usually on display. The rooms are soundproofed and air-conditioned and feature free Wi-Fi and flatscreen TVs.

InterContinental Carlton Cannes

Old-world charm and modern convenience combine to great effect at the Carlton. The hotel has 343 rooms, including 39 suites, and there are two restaurants, two bars and a health club on the premises. The grande dame of La Croisette overlooks the Mediterranean and has its own private beach.