As a city of festivals, snow-white villas, and architectural monuments, Cannes is a world-famous resort on the Cote d'Azur. This magnificent city, which has been visited by the majority of movie stars and world celebrities, is a real decoration of the Riviera. Perfect beaches, luxury hotels, impeccable promenades are the reasons why Cannes is considered as one of the best resorts in the world. However, the city is famous not only for its cultural events and beach vacation. In Cannes, tourists can find various examples of magnificent architecture, interesting art galleries, and museums. The beautiful city is simply fascinating with its sophistication and luxury.
Districts of Cannes
You can see the sights in any part of the city. But the following areas of the city are considered the most attractive for tourists:
- The center. The streets of this part of Cannes are home to the chicest boutiques and luxury restaurants.
- Le Suquet. This area will appeal to lovers of antiquity. Here you can see the majestic Cathedral of Our Lady of Hope, a medieval watchtower, La Castre Museum.
- Croisette. It is in this area that the city's world-famous waterfront is located.
- La Californie. It is a favorite residence of the European aristocracy. Here you can admire the luxurious mansions, villas, and beautiful landscapes.
The magnificent promenades and parks, the ideal beaches, the Cannes Walk Of Fame, the cobbled streets of the old quarter, the majestic castles and Gothic churches — Cannes has it all in store for visitors. Not to be confused by all the sights, plan ahead for a tourist itinerary around this amazing city.
In the XI century, monks settled here and built a fortress to protect the region from the raids of robbers. In the middle of the XVI century, the city managed to get out from under the church's authority and gain relative independence.
Cannes remained a little-known settlement until the first half of the XIX century. The beginning of the city's prosperity is associated with the name of the English Lord Henry Peter Brougham. The high-ranking Englishman was on his way to Italy but was forced to stop in Cannes because of a cholera epidemic. The lord liked the small town, its climate, and beautiful landscape so much that he decided to build a villa here. Gradually, the mansions of many representatives of the European aristocracy appeared in the city.
The XX century became a period of Cannes' heyday and its transformation into a magnificent expensive resort. First held here in 1946, a famous film festival brought even more popularity to the city.
Ideal conditions for a beach holiday, luxury villas, boutiques, ancient monuments, numerous festivals made Cannes a tourist Mecca of Europe.
The best time to visit Cannes
Every summer, visitors from around the world flock to Cannes to watch the enormous Festival of Fireworks. The festival is an unforgettable spectacle that delights children and adults alike. Musical and pyrotechnic performances by renowned masters of fireworks unfold before the amazed spectators.
There are two free beaches in town near the Croisette — Plage Zamenhoff and Plage Mace. The first is at the end of the promenade, and the second is near the Palais des Festivals. Two other free beaches are near the city port — Palm Beach and Bijou Plage. Public beaches are patrolled by lifeguards and doctors, with free changing rooms and showers. However, you have to pay €6.70 per day for a sun lounger.
Tips are included in the total bill in many cafes and restaurants. This is noted by a special marking "service compris". If there is no such mark, it is customary to leave the waiter a tip, usually 10% of the bill.
If you want to save money on accommodation, choose hostels or hotels with 1 - 2 stars. The average price for a night in them is about $67. The price of a room at three-star hotels starts at $119, four-star — $170, and luxury rooms start at $325 per night.
Prices for food in Cannes are quite high. For example, a basic meal at a McDonald's will cost $9, lunch for one at a cheap cafe starts at $18, dinner for two with spirits at a restaurant costs at least $60.
Things to do in Cannes
The city, famous for its many festivals, has many beautiful sights that not all tourists know about. You need to visit the most beautiful places in Cannes to enjoy its beauty fully.
- Take a stroll along the famous Croisette. The magnificent three-kilometer-long promenade is a favorite promenade for locals and visitors. It has a beautiful view of the sea, the scent of pine trees, luxurious hotels, and a motley crowd — it's all about the Croisette. If the walk is tiring, you can rest on comfortable chairs under the pine trees while admiring the enchanting panorama.
- Visit the Cannes Walk Of Fame. One of the city's main attractions, the walkway with metal handprints of celebrities, is located not far from the Palais des Festivals. The palm alley holds the handprints of more than 400 famous artists, directors, screenwriters, and other members of film art.
- Delve into the antiquity of the charming Suquet neighborhood and discover the true Provence of old Cannes. The narrow cobblestone streets, small elegant houses with tracery balconies, ancient lanterns on the facades of buildings — the charm of the resort town is everywhere. Sit in a cozy cafe with a cup of coffee and enjoy every minute of a relaxing vacation.
- Admire the oldest and most beautiful church in town, the Church of Our Lady of Hope. The church was constructed in the XVII century in Provencal Gothic style. Pay attention to the gorgeous gilded wooden décor of the temple and admire the unique frescos of the XIX century.
- Explore the history of the city in the Musée de la Castre. The medieval square tower of the castle is clearly visible from any point of the promenade. The fortified structure was founded back in the XI century and has been repeatedly demolished since then. You can realize the grandeur of the ancient castle by seeing the remains of the fortress walls and the watchtower. Museum halls offer visitors the most interesting exhibits from ancient times of Rome, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. If you go to the chapel of St. Anne, located in the castle, you can see a magnificent collection of musical instruments from around the world. Do you want to admire the beautiful panorama? Climb to the top of the tower, but be prepared to climb 119 stone steps.
- Admire the monumentality of the Fort Royal, which the French founded in the XVII century on the site of Roman fortifications. At the time of King Louis XIV, there was a prison, the famous prisoner of which was the "man in the iron mask." Until now, it is not known who was hiding under the mysterious mask of the prisoner. You can see the cell in which the mysterious prisoner spent twelve years. There is a Maritime Museum with unique exhibits, including artifacts from sunken ships.
- Appreciate the splendor of the famous Villa Domergue. The luxurious mansion belonged to the artist Jean-Gabriel Domergue and his wife, Odette. The building in the Italian style delights with the refinement of the interior. The entire design of the villa is made by sketches of the famous artist. The lush park, which stretches near the mansion, was laid out according to the plan of Odette. You can admire the beautiful sculptures, sit in the coolness of the wonderful fountains, watch the majestic waterfalls.
- Take a tour of the La Malmaison Center for the Arts. The elegant snow-white building of the XIX century, located on the Croisette, was originally a part of the luxurious "Grand Hotel." It now hosts exhibitions of the most famous artists in the world. In the Art Center, you can see the paintings of not only the famous masters of the past but also talented contemporary artists and sculptors.
- Spend a day in the luxurious Croix de Gardes Park. The woodland park covers 80 hectares and has long been a favorite destination for city dwellers. Admire the fields of lavender, wild marigold, mimosa, and wisteria. If you want to see a stunning panorama of Cannes and the Alpes Maritimes, climb to the park's highest point, where there is a metal cross.
- Check out the colorful Forville Market. The bazaar, where famous chefs buy their products, is located in the Old Town. Here you can find everything you want: fresh fish and seafood, meat, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and seasonings. The market itself is a picturesque place thanks to the colorfully decorated counters.
- Try the Provencal dishes, known for their special taste, thanks to the addition to them of fragrant local herbs. Try soupe de poisson (pureed fish soup), moules marinière (mussels in wine sauce), caillettes (pork shoulder and liver cakes filled with spinach and juniper berries). Sweet tooths will love tropezienne (biscuits with air cream), calissons d'Aix (almond cakes with melon pieces), oreillettes (puff pastry).