The 7 must-do things in Antibes

Visiting Antibes: what are the best things to do and see on a stopover between Cannes and Nice?

As the second-largest town in the Alpes-Maritimes region, many holidaymakers dream of visiting Antibes, waiting for their vacation to come and enjoy the Mediterranean, a land bursting with sunshine and a clear, even turquoise sea. The first traces of human activity in Antibes date back to the early Iron Age – around 1100 BC – but trade developed under the influence of the Phocaeans from Marseille.

In the 5th century BC, the Greeks established a trading post – called Antipolis – between Fort Carré and the old town. Thanks to its history, its cultural heritage and its location, Antibes is a city not to be missed, with so many enticing attractions that you won’t know what to do when you arrive.

Antibes boasts a rich cultural heritage, and you won’t be able to decide what to do in Antibes: the historic center, the marina, the Provencal market, Antibes museums, Cap d’Antibes via the customs trail, the Baie des Anges, Juan-les-Pins, and finally, the Marineland children’s theme park… Here are just a few of the things to do when you visit Antibes.

1. The old town

Vieille-Ville d'Antibes

Photo credit: Flickr – Juan Salmoral

Sheltered from the hustle and bustle of Cannes and Nice, Antibes, between sea and mountains, is a charming little town where life is good. Discover its narrow streets, little squares and craftsmen’s workshops as you wander around. The old town is surrounded by fortifications built by Vauban, bearing witness to a rich military past.

On the Saint-Roch peninsula, the Fort Carré is a must-see. Built in the 16th century to protect Provence from the Duchy of Savoy, it was renovated by Vauban a century after its construction and is now listed as a historic monument.

2. The Provencal market

Cours Masséna, Antibes

Photo credit: Riviera Kitchen

Every morning, the market brings you a festival of scents and fresh local produce: mountain cold meats and cheeses, specialities, spices, bouquets of cut or dried flowers, the tasty results of the work of producers and the generosity of nature. Under the covered market on Cours Masséna, you won’t want to miss this early-morning rendezvous if you’re visiting Antibes.

Why is this so? Because the picturesque Provencal market is a showcase for the preservation of popular Provence at a time when high-end products are invading the region!

3. The Picasso Museum

Musée Picasso, Antibes

Photo credit: Flickr – Heather Cowper

In the Château des Grimaldi, a listed historic monument since 1928, discover the canvases created by the famous painter when he lived in Antibes during the post-war years. In these galleries, his painting « La Joie de vivre » is emblematic of the painter’s life in Antibes. In addition, there are works by Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman, as well as a rich collection of modern art.

4. Marineland theme park

Marineland, Antibes

Photo credit: Flickr – Chuckas_McFly

This is Europe’s largest marine zoo. A magical place for your children, who will marvel at the shows featuring orcas, dolphins and sea lions… Founded in 1970 and spread over 26 hectares, it welcomes over a million visitors a year.

5. Cap d’Antibes

cap d'Antibes

Photo credit: Flickr – Alessandro Baffa

Punctuate your stopover to visit Antibes with the famous Cap d’Antibes, a little corner of paradise that’s a must-see along the « chemin des contrebandiers », with its castles and dream villas.

On the Cape coast, enjoy 25 km of coastline with a succession of pebble and fine sand beaches, and unforgettable bathing. But beware of the tourist crowds: it may be difficult to find a rectangle of sand to lay your towel on in the middle of summer!

6. A boat trip

Balade en bateau à Antibes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – dvoevnore

Visiting Antibes also means taking advantage of its coastline. In fact, there are some very nice excursions to be made by boat, such as those leading to Cap d’Antibes or the Îles de Lérins.

So it would be a shame not to rent a boat in Antibes, and miss out on the Mediterranean setting to get there.

Find a boat to rent in Antibes

7. Other ideas for visits in and around Antibes

  • See Le Nomade, by Jaume Plensa, a statue in Antibes harbor
  • Stop off at Juan-les-Pins on your way to Cap d’Antibes
  • Rendezvous in Vallauris and Biot, two inland villages
  • Antibes is also a good base for visiting Nice and Cannes and the rest of the Côte d’Azur.

How to get to Antibes

The nearest airport to Antibes is Nice, about 30 minutes away. To find a cheap flight to Antibes, please use our partner website Skyscanner.

Where to stay in Antibes?

Whether in Antibes, Juan-les-Pins or Cap d’Antibes, you’ll find a wide range of hotels and apartments to rent in Antibes. You can find a cheap hotel in Antibes by making a search on this hotel comparator.

Map of hotels and accommodation – Nice,fr