Living in Antibes for a month this summer was the absolute highlight of my year. 

I’ve wanted to live in this charming little town ever since first visiting on a day trip back in 2017. 

There’s something about it that immediately drew me in and made me feel like I was at home. 

The people are friendly, the streets are adorable, the food is delicious (especially the gelato), and it’s got one of the best beaches on the riviera. 

Over my month in town, I made so many lifelong friends who I quickly bonded with over our shared opinion that this is the most magical place in the world.

In fact, out of all the cities I’ve lived in, there’s only two I’ve cried over leaving—New York City and Antibes. 

Below, you’ll find the best things to do in Antibes.

Whether you’re visiting on a day trip, or for a few days, my biggest piece of advice is do not skip the gelato. It’s truly the best I’ve ever had!

I hope your time in Antibes is as magical as mine was, and will be again—I’ve already got plans to return later this year.

Wander Around Old Town


You’ll feel as if you’re in the town from Beauty and the Beast when you wander around the charming cobblestone streets of Vieille Ville with all its adorable shops and friendly locals.

While I was living here, one of my favorite things to do was to walk around Old Town while eating pain au chocolat from my local boulangère, Boulangerie Veziano.

There’s something that feels so French about strolling around with a buttery, flaky, pastry as the town comes alive in the morning. 

In fact, I think it should be a crime to visit France and not indulge in all the delicious pastries every morning. 

You can easily spend hours just walking around browsing shops, relaxing at cafes, and looking at the beautiful old architecture and streets covered in beautiful flowers.  

Local’s Tip: Head to Nomads Coffee for the best espresso in town. They have a shop in Old Town, plus a coffee truck in Port Vauban during the summer months. 

Shop at Marché Provençal

Antibes Marche Aug. 2023 cheese fromage shop

The Marché Provençal is easily one of the best markets in the South of France. 

You’ll see colorful produce and spices, smell the divine scent of local lavender, and marvel at an array of meats and cheeses.

You’ll even get to sample a regional treat called socca, which is like a chickpea pancake with spices on it.

Most vendors take cards, but you’ll absolutely want to have some cash on hand. 

Visiting this market for my weekly groceries became such a pleasure.

I have to admit my mouth is watering just thinking about all the delicious cheeses and treats I’d indulge in while shopping (most stalls will let you sample their goods). 

It gets crowded, so if you want to avoid the chaos, I suggest going in the mornings.

Most stalls are open by 6:30 am and everything closes by 1pm. 

Visit the Nomad

Antibes, South of France - Le Nomad - Cote d'Azur

On a seawall overlooking the blue seas of the Mediterranean, you’ll find the famous Le Nomade sculpture. 

To get to the statue, you’ll walk along Les Remparts taking in views of the local beach, the sea, and all the boats floating in the port, including some seriously impressive mega-yachts. 

​​In the summers, they even have a little outdoor lounge set up next to the statue to compete with cocktails and appetizers. 

This giant white statue of a man gazing out at the sea, created by Bastion Saint Jaume, and is mesmerizing sight that you shouldn’t miss while exploring Antibes. 

Check Out the Boats in Port Vauban

Ally walking along Port Vauban in Antibes - French Riviera

Antibes is home to one of Europe’s largest marinas, so it attracts some seriously impressive luxury yachts. 

Most of us will never get the chance to board these impressive boats, but we can certainly wander around the port admiring them. 

The coolest part is that it’s found behind 16th century walls called ‘Les Remparts’ that were rebuilt by Henry II, Francois I and Henry IV. 

History buffs will absolutely appreciate wandering around this place.

The section of the marina, known as Saint Roch, was originally a place of trade when the area was a Greek city founded by the Phoenicians.

My friend gave me a tour and told me about all the old boats and artifacts, including gold coins from ancient ships that were found in the area over the years. 

Marvel at Musée Picasso

Ally at the picasso museum in antibes south of france aug. 2023

Visiting the Picasso Museum is the perfect way to spend the afternoon in Antibes, especially if the weather isn’t ideal.

Besides all the seriously impressive Picasso sketches, paintings, and sculptures, they also have impressive works by Mark Rothko and Nicolas de Staël.  

The coolest part is the history of the Grimaldi Castle, that houses all these works.

The area they built the museum on was originally home to the Greek Acropolis of Antipolis.

It was later a fortified Roman fortress, then the home of the Grimaldi family, before eventually becoming the Grimaldi Museum. 

In 1946, Picasso took up residence in the museum, which was eventually renamed in his honor.

Fun Fact: The museum has 245 works by Picasso, most of which were donated by him or his wife Jacqueline. 

Indulge in Gelato

Gelateria Del Porto French Riviera Antibes

Literally, the first thing I’m doing when I get back to Antibes will be to order a giant helping of Nutella and pistachio gelato from Gelateria Del Porto.

I’d go here almost every day after the beach to indulge in a sweet treat.

In fact, I think I’ve tried just about every flavor of ice cream that they offer.

Trust me, this one spot you’ll want to visit even if the line to order is massive (which it normally is).

Local’s Tip: Order the Nutella gelato is out of this world! It’s almost like a hazelnut chocolate mousse.

Visit Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Platea

Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Platea in Antibes, South of France

After grabbing my daily gelato, I’d always walk up a nearby alleyway and end up passing this beautiful church.

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Platea is a protected historic monument that is home to some seriously old religious artifacts, including a crucifix from the 15th century.

The church has gone through many transformations over time, with the latest facade being rebuilt in 1747 after heavy bombardment during the War of the Austrian Succession

Fun Fact: They built the church on the site of a pagan temple. There’s also a tale of Saint Paul being arrested here on a journey to Spain in 63 AD.

Chill at the Local Beach


Most of the beaches on the riviera are the kind with either large rocks and dirt, or lots of pebbles. 

This is where the sandy beaches of Antibes really stand out amongst the ones of larger tourist destinations like Nice and Cannes.

If you want to relax and make friends with locals, just head to Plage de la Gravette. It’s a public beach, so fair warning it gets crowded.

Head there early to claim your spot if you’re there during the warmer months.

Local’s Tip: There’s a small truck that sells snacks and drinks near the entrance to the beach.

It’s also totally acceptable to bring alcohol with you if you really want to relax. 

Spend the Day Relaxing at a Beach Club

Beach Club in Antibes

If you’re looking for a more posh sunbathing experience, you can head to one of the many beach clubs in Antibes.

These are some of the most popular:

Grab a Bite to Eat


Antibes has some of the best restaurants around, and thanks to my new local friends, I’ve found a lot of little gems to share with you.

These are some places I can’t wait to eat at again:

Walk Along the Chemin des Douaniers


I’m not normally one for hiking, but with breathtaking views like the ones found along the Chemin des Douaniers, I’ll happily make an exception.

Just head to the southernmost point of Cap d’Antibes to find this stunning coastal path. 

You’ll want to wear good walking shoes, as some parts of the path involve lots of stairs and points that get tricky in sandals. 

Bonus points if you bring your beach gear, since there’s plenty of opportunities to take a dip along the trail. 

Check Out a Local Festival

Ally and her dad at Liberation Day Parade in Antibes South of France

Antibes has at least one festival every month, so if you plan just right, you should be able to enjoy one.

I was lucky last summer, my family and I got to see one of the Libération Day parade.

It was especially meaningful because my grandfather jumped behind enemy lines in the South during the WWII.

Stop by Chapelle Saint-Bernardin

Even if you aren’t into the religious aspect of visiting a church, this one is worth it just for the history and beautifully painted ceilings.

Chapelle Saint-Bernardin is in Old Antibes facing Rue Rostan. 

Above the entrance, you’ll notice a dragon being beaten down by Saints and Angels at the foot of the cross. The dragon represents Lucifer. 

Inside you’ll gaze at 16th century frescos representing the table of the Apostles. 

Don’t forget to check out the ceilings on the sides of the church, where you’ll see a gorgeous depiction of the starry night sky. 

Visit the Garoupe Lighthouse

Ally at the top of Garoupe Lighthouse

One of my local friends told me this is a spot they recommend everyone check out while in town.

The Garoupe Lighthouse easily has some of the best views in town, since it reaches 103 meters at its highest point.

On a crystal clear day, you can see the snowy Alps, and even all the way to Italy! 

The best part is that it’s free to go up. Just check in at the gate and they’ll give you a time to go.

Don’t worry if there’s a wait. There’s an adorable little garden to sit in, or you can grab a drink at the cafe nearby.

Fun Fact: The lighthouse’s light has the light intensity of over 2,300,000 candelas, making it one of the most powerful lighthouses on the Mediterranean.

Wander Around Musée Peynet

Have you ever heard of Raymond Peynet? 

Don’t worry, I did not know who he was until I stumbled upon Musée Peynet while visiting Antibes. 

He’s a French cartoonist from the 1940s, who created a famous cartoon called The Lovers.

Basically, it focuses on romance, tenderness, and humor. 

His work is really interesting, plus the museum is quick to visit. You’ll see his drawings, sketches of the war, and likely an exhibition of another cartoonist. 

If you’re in the area, this is a great way to spend an hour and the best part is it’s only a few euros to get in. 

Take a Tour of Fort Carré

24 hours in antibes - one day in antibes - photo of Ally in Antibes

One of my new local friends was sweet enough to give me a walking tour of the history of Antibes. 

We ended the tour by hiking up to Fort Carré, a 16th century fort that’s right outside of town. 

It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the tour of the interior was phenomenal. 

The fort was one of the first fortified strongholds to be built during the Renaissance. 

Inside, you’ll see where the soldiers slept and ate, plus where they would watch from all angles for signs of invasion. 

This fort is especially cool, because they built it like a star, so that they could keep watch over all directions.

It’s especially great today, because it will give you some seriously incredible views of the port, Old Antibes, and Nice.

Fun Fact: They shot a scene from the James Bond film, Never Say Never Again, at Fort Carré.

Stroll Around the Jardin Botanique de la Villa Thuret

If you’re looking for the perfect free non-beach activity, head to Jardin Botanique de la Villa Thuret

It’s a lovely garden with over 2,500 plants that was created in 1857 by renowned botanist Gustave Thuret.

The trees provide welcome shade from the sun and the paths are easy to wander around for a couple of hours.

Relax With a Drink

Absinthe Bar in Antibes, French Riviera

Antibes has plenty of solid options for grabbing a cocktail.

If you haven’t tried Pastis yet, give it a taste while you’re in town.

It’s a traditional French apéritif that tastes like black licorice.

The locals love it, and I have to agree with them. It’s a great drink, especially after a day at the beach. 

These are some of my favorite spots to hit up with friends:

Check Out the Architecture at Villa Eilenroc

If you’re into architecture and seriously stunning views, you’ve got to make plans to swing by Villa Eilenroc for a tour.

It’s designed by Charles Garnier, the same man who built the iconic Paris Opera House

The villa has had many famous owners and guests over it’s over 100 years on the cap.

The more notable ones include Leopold II of Belgium and King Farouk of Egypt. 

It’s also got some seriously gorgeous gardens. My favorite one to visit is the rose garden. The smell is heavenly when they’re in bloom. 

They’re typically only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so plan your visit accordingly.

If you’re not in town on those days, consider walking around Le Sentier du Littoral.

It’s a walking trail that runs just in front of the house, making it easy to glimpse its beauty. 

Fun Fact: Villa Eilenroc is an anagram of the name Cornélie. She was the original owner’s wife.

Visit the Musée d’Archéologie

This small museum offers a glimpse of ancient Roman coins, naval artifacts, pottery found from excavations in Antibes and the surrounding areas. 

You can see the entire museum in about 30 minutes, and it’s a quick way to learn all about the history of Antibes. 

Take a Day Trip


The train line runs along the coast, making most day trips a breeze!

My favorite part about taking the train is that you’ll get a killer view of the Mediterranean coastline as you travel. 

These cities are quick train ride away from Antibes:

  • Cannes
  • Nice
  • Monte Carlo
  • Eze
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer
  • Cap d’Ail
  • Mandelieu-la-Napoule
  • Menton
  • Saint-Paul-de-Vence
  • Grasse

Antibes is a town that will always have a special place in my heart. 

Getting to live there this summer for a month was truly a dream come true. 

I got to explore every spot in the town, and I made a bunch of new lifelong friends.

I hope you fall in love with Antibes just as much as I have.

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to checking out when you visit!


Leave a Comment