Spreading along the French Riviera, Cannes is known worldwide for its famous annual film festival. The city is also a popular tourist resort due to its long beaches, palm tree waterfront, picturesque old quarter and upmarket boutiques and restaurants. Once a small fishing village, Cannes has grown into a sparkling cosmopolitan city. Beloved holiday destination of yachters and celebrities, the city offers some excellent dining choices and a few of the country’s top hotels.
Easily explored on foot, Cannes is better seen by walking along its glamorous waterfront and scenic alleys of the old town. Public transport is limited to frequent bus routes, which serve the inner city and the surrounding area. Taxis are widely available, while you can also book one by calling a local company. Several car-rental offices offer all sorts of vehicles, from scouters to limos.
Things to see and do in Cannes
Dazzling Croisette Boulevard dictates the name of the whole seaside area of Cannes, which is known as La Croisette. Maybe the most visited quarter of the city, La Croisette is lined with imposing Art Deco hotels and tropical palm trees. Walk down the scenic boulevard to come across Palais des Festivals, where the famous Cannes Film Festival is held. Guided tours of the building are available all year round, except in May, when the actual festival is on. If visiting in May though, it is a good opportunity to pass by for some celebrity-spotting. Close to Palais des Festivals lays Allée des Étoiles du Cinéma, where you can see a European miniature of Hollywood Walk of Fame, with dozens of celebrity hand imprints down the pavement.
Head west of Palais des Festivals to reach Vieux Port (the old port), where yachts are parked side by side with small boats at the marina. Follow St Antoine Street to climb up to Le Suquet, the city’s old quarter. Stroll around narrow stone-paved streets and picturesque old fishermen houses, while enjoying some great views of the bay below. An old castle at the top of the hill offers the best views. Inside the castle there is a small museum which exhibits antiquities from different parts of the globe. Dozens of charming restaurants are located around the area.
Head to Marché Forville by taking Gazagnaire Street from La Suquet. Marché Forville is a colourful and noisy covered market, which dates back to late 19th century. The market operates from Tuesday to Sunday, while a flea market is held on its spot on Mondays. Marché Forville specializes on eatable goods and delicacies, from asparagus to delicious French cheese. Mingle with the locals who come to shop for diner and try some yummy free samples to work your appetite.
Although no one visits Cannes for its museums, a visit to the city’s Muséed’Artetd’Histoire de Provence is worth it if you are interested in ethnographic displays and folk art. A series of educational exhibits present the daily life in Province from ancient times up to date. Ceramics, traditional dresses, antiques and local artworks show visitors the traditional customs and daily routine of the region. A small but lovely garden is also included within the museum’s grounds.
Opposite from Cannes sits Ste-Marguerite Isle,agreen island which only features a couple of restaurants and Fort Royal. The 17th-century fort is now turned into a small museum. Although the museum is called Museum of the Sea, it actually focuses on archaeological findings. There are also some displays on the fort’s history as well as a former state prison. The island is a nice choice for a half-day trip, to enjoy the fort and the lush greenery.