Cannes – the word conjures up luxurious getaways for the wealthy, star-studded red carpet premieres, quintessential French eateries and hotels, and yachts floating on the Mediterranean. Add all of it together and you have an interesting, vivid and altogether enviable Instagram shot. The flashing colours, flashy wealth and rich culture are what social media influencer dreams are made of. However, making your Cannes Instagram shots stand out from the pack isn’t always easy.

    Don’t let your Cannes vacay photos get lost in your friends’ feeds. Stand out with stellar Instagram posts featuring all the well-known sites, but also all the little hidden, photogenic gems, found throughout the popular French destination. Here are our top picks of the most Instagrammable places in Cannes.


    Vieux Port

    Nothing says luxury and wealth like the fleet of yachts floating in Cannes’s Old Port

    • Photo
    • Budget
    • History

    Vieux Port (Old Port or Port Cannes I) is easily accessible during your explorations of the city, as it lies at the foot of Le Suquet Hill. It’s near some of Cannes’s most historic neighbourhoods and sites, like the Marine Railway Station, as well as Rue Félix-Faure and Rue d’Antibes – Cannes’s premier shopping streets.

    Feel free to wander about the port to find a preferred photo spot. You can stick to the sidelines, as the tree-lined street bumping up next to the water offers plenty of views. You can also choose to stroll among the boats and yachts, watching the busy comings and goings of the vessels and their passengers.

    Location: Jetée Albert Edouard, 06400 Cannes, France

    Phone: 33 (0)4 93 21 72 17


    Croisette Boulevard

    Shop, people-watch, dine or drink by the beachfront

    Croisette Boulevard (Boulevard de la Croisette) is a luxury hub by the Mediterranean Sea. The street offers everything you could ever want or desire while travelling, with a touch of glitz and glamour. The prominent, 2-km boulevard follows the shoreline, giving you a view of the sea. You may have a difficult time watching the water as it's often busy with pedestrians. Celebs are no strangers to the street, as it hosts the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès and Cannes Film Festival.

    Whatever subject matter your Instagram account sticks to – food, fashion or travel in general – you’ll find something to fit your photo needs along Croisette Boulevard. Some of Cannes’s best restaurants, boutiques and nightlife spots are right here, too.

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    Location: Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France


    Hotel Martinez

    Picture yourself at one of the most famous luxury hotels in the world

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    • History
    • Luxury

    The famous Hotel Martinez has been a Cannes institution ever since it opened in 1929. In fact, as you scroll through your feed to find Instagrammable spots in Cannes, you’d probably have seen this art deco-style hotel quite a few times.

    Over the years, the property has played host to countless celebrities, but also several different military forces during WWII. Even after extensive renovation, all the art deco style and luxury the hotel is known for remain intact. If you’re staying elsewhere in Cannes but still want a photo, don’t feel shy about getting a few snaps of the property. Head inside for fine dining at the hotel restaurant, which boasts 2 Michelin stars, or drinks at one of its two onsite bars.

    Location: 73 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France

    Phone: +33 (0)4 93 90 12 34


    La Croix des Gardes

    Beautiful views and a bit of history high above Cannes

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    • Budget
    • History

    La Croix des Gardes is a neighbourhood high in the wooded hills overlooking Cannes. If you prefer your photo backdrop to be more view- and nature-focused, stop by the local nature park to find viewpoints overlooking both the Bay of Cannes and the Estérel Massif mountains.

    Beyond the views, luxurious villas are abundant throughout the neighbourhood – one, in particular, is of interest to curious cinephiles. Château de la Croix des Gardes, also known as Villa Perrier, served as the setting for the 1955 Alfred Hitchcock classic film To Catch a Thief. As you may have guessed by the villa’s nickname, this pricey home was once owned by the same family who founded the popular brand of sparkling water.

    Location: La Croix des Gardes, Cannes, France


    photo by Kazimierz Mendlik (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Lérins Abbey

    Drink in the views and the wine

    • Couples
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    • Budget
    • History

    Right off the Cannes shore, the island of Saint-Honorat is home to Lérins Abbey. A Cistercian monastery in existence since the 400s, the current buildings date back to 1073. While the history of the abbey itself is interesting and you’re sure to get some great shots with the centuries-old architecture in the background, make sure to join a guided tour of the area as well. 

    The monks are more than happy to answer your questions. They often produce wine and liqueur for you to sample as well. Restaurant La Tonnelle is Lérins Abbey's restaurant, which serves local cuisine using fresh seasonal produce and fish from the Mediterranean. 

    Location: Île Saint-Honorat, 06400 Cannes, France

    Phone: +33 (0)4 92 99 54 00


    photo by Alberto Fernandez Fernandez (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Palace of Festivals and Conferences

    Walk the red carpet like an A-list celeb

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    The Palace of Festivals and Conferences (Palais des Festivals et des Congrès) is located along Croisette Boulevard and is known for hosting the Cannes Film Festival and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. 

    The current building was built for the Cannes Film Festival specifically. The classic red stairs that you see celebs walking up during the festival on TV are there year-round for you to visit and take as many photos as you like. Tours of Palais des Festivals et des Congrès are also available.

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    Location: 1 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France

    Phone: +33 (0)4 92 99 84 00


    Take a selfie with the man who brought tourism to Cannes

    It wasn’t always such a hopping spot on the globe

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    • History

    In the 1800s, a successful Scottish businessman, barrister and member of parliament by the name of Henry Peter Brougham decided to travel a bit more in his advanced age. His destination of choice? Cannes. As Lord Brougham spent more and more time in Cannes, so did his friends, until eventually, the then-small city became a popular resort destination for the British elite.

    Lord Brougham is known for his influential work in the British abolition of slavery, but Cannes would always remember him for bringing tourism – a significant contributor to its economy – to the area. He is immortalised with a statue and monument in the centre of the city – a popular spot to take photos and selfies.

    Location: 1 Allees de la Liberte, 06400 Cannes, France


    photo by jimmyweee (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Cannes’s Little Train

    See the city’s top spots from its cutest public transport

    • Families
    • Photo

    Cannes’s Little Train (Le Petit Train de Cannes) offers rides around the city, providing guests with an hour-long tour of popular sites. The Little Train is just that – a miniature engine and open-air cars, giving you a full view of everything going on around you. It departs regularly from the Palais des Festivals.

    As you zip around the city, along the Croisette Boulevard boardwalk and around the Old Town, a guide provides interesting tidbits in 8 languages. Not only is a ride on the Little Train a great first-day activity once you arrive in the city, but it also provides plenty of photo ops.

    Location: 6 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +33 (0)6 22 61 25 76


    Esterel Massif

    The views are well worth the effort

    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    The Esterel Massif (Massif de l’Estérel) is a Mediterranean mountain range that stretches along the entire Côte d’Azur. However, arguably, one of the prettiest and most photogenic spots along the mountain range is found right near Cannes.

    Take the Corniche d’Or, a scenic tourist route, out of Cannes to explore the mountain range further. There are plenty of spots to stop off and take photos or just enjoy the view, or a hike further into the rocky shoreline or even down to the water. You’ll need a car to get around, but who wouldn’t want to rent a convertible to see the sites along the Côte d’Azur?

    Location: 83600 Fréjus, France


    Spot celebs at Baoli Nightclub

    Watch out for your favourite stars while dining and drinking in one of Cannes’s best hotspots

    • Food
    • Photo
    • Nightlife
    • Luxury

    A culinary and nightlife mecca in the middle of Cannes, Baoli has long been a favourite with visiting celebs. Dine on fine Mediterranean cuisine (great for Insta) in the early evening, before letting loose at dancefloor later on. You’ll want to be dressed to the nines for this party, which lasts well into the evening.

    The restaurant and nightclub’s prime location means you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Bay of Cannes. Check the nightclub’s calendar to find out about specially themed parties that take place on the regular. You can take great Instagram photos all around the property.

    Location: Port Pierre Canto, Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France

    Phone: +33 (0)4 93 43 03 43


    photo by Zemleanichnaya (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Holly Riddle | Contributing Writer

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