The pre-Christmas period is one of the busisest times of the year for shopping in France. Although many shopping malls, department stores and larger chain stores are open on Sunday throughout the year on the French Riviera, this is not the case for all shops. However, in the run up to Christmas, there are many stores that will open, albeit with shorter hours, on a Sunday.
In Cannes, most shops will be open on Sunday from now until the 18th December. In addition, the Rue d’Antibes will be pedestrianised on Sundays, and on 24 and 31 December, making it much easier for shoppers to get about.
Chain stores along the RN7 in Villeneuve-Loubet are also open on Sundays during the Christmas period. Most stores in Les Tourrades, Mandelieu, and near the motorway in Antibes, should also be open.
In Menton, all car parks are free at weekends until Christmas.
In smaller towns, shops may be open on Sundays, but it’s best to ask the local tourist office if there are any specific shopping hours or late-night shopping dates in the run up to Christmas.
Christmas Villages and Markets
Most towns have a Christmas market over at least one weekend before Christmas, and larger towns have a Christmas Village (Village de Noël) open every day until the beginning of January. These generally have a Christmas market, entertainment for the kids and some even have a small ice-skating rink.
In Nice, the Christmas Village by the Place Masséna and Jardin Albert 1er is open from 11:00-20:00 everyday, and until 21:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. The market runs from 2 December until 1 January. In additional to the many chalets selling Christmas goods, there is a big wheel, skating rink, entertainment for the kids and pony rides. The full programme is on the Nice Tourisme website.
In Antibes the Village de Noël starts on 12 December and runs until 3 January. There will be a small ice-skating rink, a big wheel and plenty of entertainment for kids. There are events taking place throughout the town on Place Nationale, Place de Gaulle, and the market itself will be on the Esplanade Du Pré-Aux-Pêcheurs.
In Cannes the Christmas market is already open on the Allées de la Liberté, and will remain open until 2 January. In addition to the many chalets selling gastronomic goods, decorations and gifts, there is also a skating rink.The full programme can be found on Cannes.com.
Find a full programme of Christmas markets across the French Riviera in the Events section.