Cannes is one of the fashionable resorts of the Cote d’Azur. Snow-white hotels and villas are lined up along the Croisette. Along the sea stretches a strip of beaches with specially brought here golden sand. If you come to Cannes, be sure to walk along the famous Croisette, where you will see the world famous luxury hotels – Carlton, Martinez, Majestic. Back in the early 19th century, Cannes was a small fishing village. In 1834, the English Lord Henry Brougham, fearing an epidemic of plague that erupted in the vicinity of Nice, stopped at Cannes. He was so fascinated by the surrounding beauty that he bought a plot of land here, built a villa and moved his winter residence to Cannes.
And already in the middle of the 19th century the famous Croisette was laid, along which luxurious hotels and villas grew. By the end of the 19th century, there were already three dozen hotels and two hundred villas.
World fame literally fell on Cannes after the Second World War – when the city became the venue for the famous film festival. Although Cannes is now firmly associated with the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals, the luxury of grandiose hotels and the gloss of the Croisette, the city has retained its face and remained true to its democratic past: it has not turned into a “reserve of the rich”, every tourist can find a hotel in his wallet here and pastime to your taste – this makes Cannes truly attractive. You can admire the Cannes Film Festival Palace, climb the famous main staircase and take a walk along the Avenue of Stars, where world-famous actors left their handprints.
Croisette (La Croisette) – a showcase of Cannes. Here are the boutiques of the most famous couturiers and manufacturers of luxury goods: Dior, Lacroix, Witton, Yves-St-Loraine, Chanel, Hermes. Since everything is quite expensive here, most tourists shop on rue d’Antibes. There are many boutiques, pharmacies, cafes.
In Forville quarter there are numerous boutiques accessible to everyone, which are located next to the markets of fruits, vegetables, flowers. The Provence spirit reigns here.
The fashionable neighborhoods of Cannes are located behind the Palais des Festivals, on the hill of Suquet, where you can get acquainted with the past of the city, visiting the remains of a medieval castle with a rich local history exhibition, and the Notre-Dame-de-l’Esperence church.
Quarter Suquet (Le Suques) – the old city is considered the soul of Cannes, where in the old days lived mainly fishermen. In the old town you can walk along the narrow cobbled streets, see the connection of the past and the present. In the old town, many restaurants do not have to invite visitors, since there are always many who want to try seafood a little cheaper than in the city center.
How to get to Cannes
You can get to Cannes in many ways, and most of them are quite convenient (although not everything can be attributed to the budget).
The easiest and most convenient option is Nice Airport. For example, an Austrian Airlines flight with a transfer in Vienna will cost half as much as Aeroflot). Direct from the airport, the express bus number 210 takes you to the Palais des Festivals in just 45 minutes, the ticket will cost you 22 EUR. Prices on the page are for May 2016.
Cannes has its own airport. Unfortunately, it is almost useless for the general tourist, as it does not serve regular flights, but if you have more money than time, your business jet will be gladly accepted there.
Since 2012, the city station has been accepting TGV trains. Now the journey from Paris to Cannes takes only 5 hours, and from Lyon. Tickets for high-speed trains in France usually cost a lot, but you can save a lot if you buy them in advance on the SNCF website – prices start there from 49 EUR for a 2nd-class ticket one way. The TER train from Marseille may turn out to be a convenient and budget option – the journey between the cities will take about 2 hours, and the tickets will cost a mere penny compared to the costs of the TGV.
Cannes is located off the A8 motorway, which runs along the Mediterranean coast, making it easy to get to the city from Spain and Italy. Unfortunately, this highway is paid, in addition, in the summer season, traffic jams are frequent on it. If you are coming from Paris, it makes sense to use the N85 road (it is also called the Napoleon road) – there are usually fewer cars on it, and tourist attractiveness is several times higher.
Cannes ceased to be a village only in the 19th century, so it is useless to look for the old city here – although the Suquet quarter is partially able to replace it: from Mount Chevalier there are wonderful views of the city and the harbor, and the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady of Hope, a rich exhibition of La Castres Museum and a watchtower Middle Ages – continue to be one of the main tourist sites of Cannes, despite the competition of the Palais des Festivals.
The city center, which locals famously call “banana” for its shape, is the exact opposite of Suke. This is a quarter of gourmet boutiques and expensive restaurants located on and around Antibes.
Although robberies and robberies in Cannes are rare, there are enough cases of fraud and pickpocketing, especially in the city center – therefore, looking at the windows, do not forget about elementary caution.
The famous Croisette promenade connects the center of Cannes with the old port and the Palais des Festivals. During large events (Cannes Film Festival is just one of them) there is no crowding here, but on ordinary days it is a favorite place for walks by both locals and tourists.
The name of the quarter of La California evokes associations with the United States, and this is no coincidence: although in the 19th century English and Russian aristocrats chose it, today most of the luxury villas belong to American millionaires – this is one of the most luxurious “sleeping quarters” not only in France, but throughout Europe.
The houses of local residents are mainly located northwest of the city center, in the Petit Juras quarter. This is a quiet bourgeois district, devoid of special attractions, but possessing a kind of unobtainable charm – here you can walk thoughtfully and leisurely, taking a break from the city bustle.
Transport in Cannes
Despite world fame, Cannes is a small city. Its public transport system cannot be called particularly progressive and diverse, but it is difficult to get confused in it: the entire city and the nearest suburbs are served by one Palm Bus bus network – it has 36 day and 4 night routes, which more than covers the agglomeration needs. Ticket prices compared with Paris can be considered moderate: a one-time trip will cost 1.50 EUR, and a book of 10 tickets – 10 EUR. Buses travel in designated lanes, so even in the holiday season city traffic jams are not a hindrance. In addition to buses, small City Palm minibuses run through the city center.
They do not have fixed stops: in order to use this type of transport, you will have to vote, as when calling a taxi.
Actually, the Cannes taxi has an interesting feature: it is often used as a city transport rather than a city one (there is even a special hour-long route for sightseeing – for only 60 EUR a hurrying tourist can get an idea of the city). It is sometimes advantageous to use a taxi to transfer from Nice airport – the amount of 75 EUR, spread out for four, will cost less than 4 bus tickets.
If the idea of jostling with public transport disgusts you, you can use the fashionable service – renting bicycles with an electric motor. For 20 EUR per day, you will ensure full autonomy, and the auxiliary engine will help save energy.
Rent a Car in Cannes
Almost all major international car rental companies are represented in Cannes, therefore there will be no problems with renting cars, especially if you pre-attend to booking via the Internet: firstly, it will cost much cheaper than on the spot; secondly, the choice of models and rental offices is much larger. Mostly the rental offices are concentrated near the train station, and there is a business reason for this – in Cannes it makes sense to rent a car if you get to the city by train. If you arrive by plane via Nice, it’s more advisable to take the car directly to the airport – unlike Germany, French airport rental fees are minimal and have almost no effect on the price.
From a practical point of view, the use of cars in Cannes has a direct meaning: firstly, with the car you will be able to access the entire Cote d’Azur; secondly, traffic jams in the city are frequent only in the high season; thirdly, in Cannes there are practically no problems with parking.
Although parking in the city center is paid, you can spend your entire vacation in Cannes without paying a dime: the first hour even in underground parking is given as a “gift”, so you just need to choose the closest parking lot to the attraction and take no more than 50 minutes to visit.
Communication and Wi-Fi in Cannes
Unfortunately, Cannes cannot boast of a developed municipal network of free Wi-Fi points: the only place where you can connect to the Internet at a city expense is the garden near the city hall. True, there is no special need for such points, because free Wi-Fi has already become a tradition in the vast majority of French hotels, in addition to the Internet you can get hold of catering points (there are only a few McDonald’s in Cannes).
If the access point is locked with a password, look carefully at the check – as a rule, they print it there (and look for the access code for the toilet if it is locked).
If you need the Internet constantly, but you don’t want to pay crazy money for roaming, it makes sense to think about purchasing local SIM cards – the price per megabyte of data will vary significantly. For example, Orange, the leader of the French mobile market, offers a solution that is ideal for tourists: a SIM card with 2 Gb included in the Internet tariff will cost EUR 14.90, in the future you can replenish the balance – each additional 1 Gb will cost 10 EUR.
Travel guides love to write about kilometers of pure white sand on Cannes beaches. It sounds beautiful and gives the impression that with something, and with a place for swimming in the city there are no problems. In fact, everything is not so cloudless: firstly, in the holiday season the “population” of the city doubles, and there are not enough municipal beaches for everyone. Secondly, although the gentle entry into the water on most of them is convenient for swimming with children, there is practically no special children’s infrastructure (except for a small carousel on the Croisette). Thirdly, the most comfortable and well-equipped beaches are either closed (owned by hotels) or paid, and this is not so much a sign of greed of the city authorities as a bitter necessity – maintaining an overloaded coastal strip is expensive.
However, there is an alternative for economical tourists: there are as many as 13 free beaches within the city limits! Of course, they are less prestigious and do not imply the same level of service as the famous private beaches of the Martinez Hotel, where a world star can easily be in the next sun lounger, or the Festival and Ondin beaches located in the most popular places on the Croisette – but you don’t have to pay entrance fees from 20 to 30 EUR.
The cleanliness of city beaches is carefully monitored, the quality of sand and water on paid and free beaches is practically the same (especially in the mornings).
There is a third option for sea bathing: the so-called “beaches under city management.”
There are two of them in Cannes, “Mase” and “Zamenhof,” they are interesting in that they are an intermediate option between paid and free beaches – they have free entrance, but for additional services (sun lounger, sun umbrella, etc.) will have to pay from 2 to 6 EUR.
Shopping in Cannes
Shopping in Cannes is not for the budget conscious. Prices in branded boutiques on the Croisette and Antibes can shock many Parisian and Milanese shopping enthusiasts, so you should look for clothes in other places. However, if time is short, but there is a lot of money, the assortment of Chanel and Dior, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, Lacroix and Gucci stores will please you – it is in no way inferior to Paris. It makes direct sense to go to the Gray d’Albion shopping center on Antibes Street, where you can save money, if not time, then most of the well-known brands are presented under one roof.
If the task is to buy not jeans, but souvenirs to remember the city, you should visit the Forville flea market – it works on Mondays from 8:00 to 18:00 (on the other days of the week it is a grocery market). What exactly you will take from there is impossible to predict, but the purchase is guaranteed to be unique.
Once in the capital of the film industry, it is difficult to resist buying appropriate souvenirs, especially since they are distinguished by ingenuity and variety at a reasonable price. In dozens of outlets, in addition to the mandatory trinkets and pens with the symbols of the Cannes festival, you will be offered to buy a movie clapperboard, antique posters and announcements of films of a century ago and portraits of pre-war stars.
What to try in Cannes
In the culinary tradition of Cannes, recipes of seaside cuisine and continental Provence are mixed, so both peasant-style dishes like roasted rabbit stew in rosemary and fishing soups like the famous “Buyabes” are equally popular in the city.
In Cannes, “buillabes” has a rival – soup from grated cod and herring. It is customary to add grated cheese and eat with croutons soaked in aioli sauce.
But oysters and mussels do not belong to the local cuisine for a long time, all modern mussels in France come from the Atlantic – this also applies to most other seafood such as lobsters, lobsters and shrimps.
Of the drinks, it is worth trying the rosé wine traditional for Provence, it is still not very popular outside France, so it’s worth taking a bottle or two home as a souvenir. A wonderful gift for relatives can be pastis. This drink has long become a real symbol of the south of France – in its pure form it is stronger than vodka, so it is customary to dilute it with water to a smoky gray color and drink in small sips.
Cafes and Restaurants in Cannes
It is almost impossible to stay hungry in Cannes: the city offers a huge selection of restaurants, cafes, eateries and fast food establishments such as Flunch and Subway.
An interesting feature of the culinary map of the city is its fairly clear regionalization: elite restaurants at five-star hotels are located along the Croisette and in the eastern part of Antibes. The price tag for lunch in such establishments starts from 150 EUR per person, and dinner will cost even more, but there is no end to those wishing to check out in these restaurants, and it is better to book tables there in advance – especially during the holiday season.
As you move towards the Suke quarter, the signs become more modest, and the prices are more humane – a plate of “buoyabesa” in an outdoor cafe will cost 20-25 EUR. Small restaurants will appeal to lovers of Provencal exoticism – you can spend more than one hour with a glass of “pastis” watching the resort bustle.
If there is little money, but you want hot food, small catering points will come to the rescue, which are mainly owned by immigrants from North Africa – a kebab with a side dish and a drink will cost you only 5-7 EUR. An alternative to these establishments is the numerous pizzerias. They are a little more expensive, but like “big” cafes they give you the opportunity to leisurely eat at a table on the veranda, enjoying the atmosphere of the Mediterranean.
Weather in Cannes
Gangnam was lucky with the climate: humid Mediterranean winters give way to sunny summer months with a moderate temperature for the south of France – the heat on the coast rarely reaches +30 ° С. The small Esterel mountain range partially covers Cannes from the main scourge of Provencal weather – the cold winter mistral. In summer, sometimes sirocco blows out and brings dust, heat and dryness with it – at this time, forest fires are especially frequent on the coast.
Due to the influence of the Mediterranean Sea, which gives off previously stored heat, the air temperature in Cannes in September is the same as in June, and the sea is much warmer. At the end of August, French vacationers return home, the beaches are empty, and prices in restaurants and hotels are falling – this is the perfect time to travel.
If not by quantity, then by the quality of hotels and the variety of choices, Cannes is quite capable of competing with Paris, and the prices of elite rooms sometimes even exceed the capital’s prices – especially during the days of the famous film festival. There is also a local specificity that should be taken into account when planning a vacation.
The most expensive hotels are located on the Croisette, while the price of rooms of the same class in the same hotel can vary significantly: in Cannes, you pay not only for the room, but also for the view from the windows – if the sea is not visible from the room, its value is low by definition. One of the main trump cards of luxury hotels in Cannes is its own beach (and attributes such as a deck chair and beach umbrella sometimes need to be booked in advance – and for extra money). The price of a room in such hotels is usually 500-600 EUR, but with the help of booking systems you can watch for substantial discounts.
In Cannes, seasonality of prices is more pronounced: in the beginning and middle of autumn, when the sea is still warm, and vacationers are already much less, the cost of rooms, even in luxury hotels, can be reduced by half or three. In this case, the rest can turn out even budget-friendly Spanish or Italian – a double room in Ibis or Kyriad networks will cost only 45-55 EUR per day.
Major Attractions in Cannes
In the cinematic capital, there are many different areas and places that are of interest to tourists. Despite the fact that Cannes is deprived of the luxury and excitement of Monte Carlo and the exceptional beauty of Saint-Tropez (St-Tropez), this city is rich in historical monuments.
Suquet hill is a small hill with a magnificent panorama – on the one hand, the red mountains of Esterel, on the other – the Cape of Antibes.
Nearby is Castre Castle built in the 12th century, which contains the third most important ethnographic collection. On Liberté Alley you can see the monument to Henry Broughham.
In Cannes there is the Russian Church of Michael the Archangel. Her bell tower with a blue poppy is visible from afar. Inside are many old icons. The temple is a reminder that Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of the Russian Tsar Alexander II, loved to spend the winter in Cannes. La Croisette is one of the most famous promenades in the world. This is a grand boulevard with majestic palm trees and elegant colorful gardens and parks. On one side of the promenade, sandy beaches extend, on the other, luxurious shops and cafes have settled.
The Palais des Festivals is a place where, in addition to the most famous Cannes Film Festival, the international music industry market, the international television festival and the international festival of audio-visual programs take place. There are 17 halls and auditoriums in this palace; the total area of exhibition halls is 17,000 sq.m.
Traditionally, many celebrities leave their handprints on the famous Avenue of Stars.
Antibes is the most chic street in Cannes. Luxurious boutiques with shoes, furs, jewelry, perfumes, and decor are located here. The street runs parallel to the beach and crosses the city from end to end. Lerin Islands is another attraction of the resort. Two islands – the larger one, Sant Marguerite, and the smaller one, Saint Honore, are located near Cannes and are famous for their eucalyptus forests and wonderful liquor, the secret of which is strictly guarded by local monks. On the island of St. Marguerite in the XVII century. Fort Royal fortress was built to protect the coast from pirate attacks. Today it houses the Museum of the Sea, as well as a scuba diving center.