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Cannes, Monaco, Nice

What to pack for a summer in Southern France

I'm trying to pack for my trip to Cannes this summer (May, June, July) What's the weather like in the summer in the Cannes area? I'm obviously not a celebrity but don't want to stick out as a tacky tourist. What should I pack for a 7 week trip (I'm trying to pack really light!). I bought really comfortable white leather sandals.. that's about it so far. Any tips?

4 Answers

top answer by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Unfortunately, Cannes’s reputation as a super-glamorous place is more about PR than reality so I wouldn’t bother making too much of an effort here. That said, it is France and the French dress well so I would aim for something between dressed up and casual. It’s a place where you’ll do a lot of walking, probably not always on terribly well-paved streets so I would invest in a pair of good walking sandals which it looks like you've already done and maybe a couple of sundresses. I’d bring a couple of nice lightweight scarves to put on at night as it does get a bit cold there (and the above poster is correct—it rains a lot there!) and the French LOVE their scarves (by the time you come home you'll know 93 ways to tie them). 

In general, the French own fewer clothes than Americans but they're almost always of much better quality so you might want to think about that as you're packing. I think you'll be happier with say, one really great, classic blazer than three cheap-o ones that get pilly and worn. 

Definitely bring some kind of lightweight raincoat--every French woman owns a short trench and I can promise you you'll find the stores are full of then. 

What I wouldn’t wear are shorts—you’ll stand out as an American for sure. 

5 thanks

answered by
Clément from Nice

Hey Kay !

You're gonna love the weather of Cannes at this time. May and June will be the best : not too hot, not too cold, around 25-28°C all the time.

July will start being hot, and can get like, very hot. You'll probably face some days at 35°C ther. But the beach is never far away !

As for what to bring, the area will be crumbled with tourists, so don't worry about being spotted as one ! Anyway, don't forget your beach attire ! For the rest, I'd recommend light pants/shorts and light shirts. 

Cannes get very active and fancy at night. You can enjoy a club in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. If you're up for that (they bring the worlds best DJs in the summer) plan on bringing some fancy dresses ! There are also more low key events like "Les Plages Electroniques", which is basically 10 000 people dancing on the beach. No need to be fancy there though !

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (attraction)
  2. Les Plages Electroniques (attraction)
4 thanks

answered first by
Yoann from Antibes

Hi Kay,

Well, it seems like a kind of tradition to get a lot of rain during the Cannes Film Festival (14-25May this year), with hot and sunny weather starting right after
Be ready for quite hot weather (25-30°C) with some episodes of heavy rain, usually not lasting over a couple of hours.

The usual summer clothes should do the trick... Anyway Cannes is a funny place regarding clothing: you'll see everything from dirty T-shirts to haute-couture, and a lot of people more or less successfully trying to pretend they're someone else :), so you'd have a hard time sticking out.

Also absolutely pack a good pair of hiking shoes, there are wonderful landscapes to see and take a break from the crowded and noisy coastline all around (Massif de l'Esterel, Parc National du Mercantour, Gorges du Verdon...).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Massif de l'Esterel (attraction)
  2. Parc National du Mercantour (attraction)
  3. Gorges du Verdon (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Shauna from Vancouver

I'd bring some flowy dresses that's comfortable to wear in summer months and some cardigans/ scarves for layering at night. It's not as hyped up to be. Just aim to dress elegantly in an understated way, which in my opinion is how the French dresses. However, at the waterfront area - the Promenade de la Croisette a boulevard where all the haute couture stores like Chanel, YSL are located, you'll see high end cars parked on the streets by 5 star hotels, middle eastern ladies with their alligator Birkins, young girls toting designer duds from head to toe (ie. Chanel mini flaps, Hermes belt, Balenciaga sandals) while in their tank tops and denim shorts. The rest of the town seem pretty down to earth so I wouldn't worry being out of place in Cannes.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Promenade de la Croisette (attraction)
2 thanks

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