Top things to do in Cannes: what are the best things to do and see in the Cité des Festivals?
An ancient fishing village, a seaside resort for wealthy tourists since the 19th century, Cannes is world famous for its cinema festival, the Croisette and its luxury hotels. You are chilly to visit Cannes because of its reputation as a luxury seaside resort at exorbitant cost? Your prejudices will lose ground to see all that the city of Cannes conceals. Because Cannes is not only the Croisette and the obscene ostentation of wealth pushed to its climax. Visit Cannes allows you to explore the authenticity of an old center that has preserved its Provençal life, its picturesque markets, a splendid turquoise bay and much more.
What to do in Cannes? This city of 74,673 inhabitants, which sees its population triple in summer, has many things to do and see: art exhibitions, breathtaking landscapes to blaze in the sun, beautiful beaches, gourmet breaks, history museums of Cannes, etc. Here are some unmissable for those who really wonder what to do in Cannes.
1. Le Suquet, authentic old town
Photo credit: Flickr – plb06
In the old quarter, walk along the narrow streets of Le Suquet and enjoy the tranquility that seems to reign there, far from the tumult of La Croisette. A 360 ° panorama of the sea and the city will be offered to you by climbing to the top of the square tower of the castle. Visit the Church of Our Lady of Hope, a Gothic building of the 17th century. Take a picture of the famous buildings with colorful shutters of blue, emblematic of Provence. Missing more than a sprig of lavender at the windows!
2. The Forville Market
Photo Credit: Flickr – Alex Headrick
Located at the foot of Le Suquet, the Forville market has a reputation as a quality market, fresh produce and a wide variety of products. Because even the inhabitants of the neighboring communes come to stock there. It is a covered market, one of the most popular places in Suquet, where fishermen and market gardeners meet every morning. It is the social lung of the city. Smell the perfumes of fruits and vegetables, glean the specialties of small local producers and savor the freshness of the fish just caught. A Provençal specialty: Socca , a slab made from chickpea flour.
3. The art center La Malmaison
Photo credit: Flickr – bpmm
On the Croisette, here is a rich collection of photos of artists sometimes unknown but talented – such as Lee Miller and André Villers – and twenty sculptures: the art center La Malmaison, which will delight lovers of contemporary art and will offer an artistic and relaxing break in the middle of a comfortable anthill that is the Croisette.
4. The Castre Museum
Photo credit: Flickr – bpmm
Located on the heights, in an old castle listed on the list of Historical Monuments, the museum of Castre includes a collection of primitive art as well as many Mediterranean antiques. You will find paintings of 19th century landscapes representing the Côte d’Azur. The museum also displays a large collection of musical instruments from around the world. At the end of the visit, climb the 109 steps of the square tower, for a breathtaking view of the bay of Cannes.
5. The Palais des Festivals
Photo credit: Flickr – Marco Bernardini
A must-see for moviegoers visiting Cannes, the Palais des Festivals is the venue for the film festival in May. Set foot on the Walk of the Stars – and follow in the footsteps of the best-known actors: Mr. Monroe, C. Chaplin, B. Pitt, G. Clooney, R. De Niro, G. Depardieu, J Reno, L. de Funès, & c. The most famous movie buff climbed the stairs and the famous red carpet. Do the same and take yourself for an international star! The Palais des Festivals is obviously inaccessible in the Cannes festival period.
6. Other ideas for visiting Cannes
Photo credit: Flickr – Jeanne Menjoulet
- Stroll through the charming California – Pezou district and visit the Bellini Chapel Museum
- 15 minutes from Cannes by ferry, you can visit the Lerins Islands
- Take a hike in the Massif de l’Esterel, 20 minutes from Cannes by car
- Not to mention the beaches of Cannes
How to get to Cannes?
Cannes has its own airport, Cannes-Mandelieu Airport, but no airline offers flights. To get to Cannes by plane, it is necessary to aim for the Nice International Airport, served by most of the classic and low-cost airlines. A shuttle is then planned to transport you to Cannes.
It is of course possible to go to Cannes by train by direct route from Paris (or with connection to Marseille) and other cities.
Where to stay in Cannes
The Belle Epoque hotels and villas along the Boulevard de la Croisette are generally off budget if you want to visit Cannes a few days, especially during the beautiful days of April to October … To find more affordable hotels, look rather in the old- center for example around the Forville Market or in the streets around the Rue d’Antibes.