Cannes, France – City Guide

16 Sights in Cannes recommended to visit.

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Cannes has earned the love and recognition of tourists, primarily because of its climate and reputation. It’s full of curious cultural attractions and interesting places where you can relax, indulge in gourmet food and watch French (and not only) bohemians. Here’s a walk through 16 of Cannes’ top attractions.

La Croisette

Promenade de la Croisette

La Croisette | Photo: Julien Magne / Flickr

Like the Promenade des Anglais, the main promenade in nearby Nice, the Croisette, which stretches along the chic coast of Cannes, is one of the most iconic streets in France.

Here are the most famous hotels of the city, many of which have their own beach, where you can rent a deck chair and even use the services of a waiter.

Walking along La Croisette you can watch the rich citizens of Cannes walking their dogs, jogging or just chatting on the sun loungers along the Promenade.

Address: Boulevard de la Croisette 06400 Cannes France.

Bonnard Museum

Bonnard Museum

Bonnard Museum.

As its name suggests, the core of the permanent exhibition of this art museum is the work of the neo-impressionist painter Pierre Bonnard, whose works are characterized by bright and saturated colors.

The museum occupies a recently renovated Belle Époque villa on the hillside in the Cannes suburb of Le Cannet about three kilometres north of the center of Cannes.

Bonnard moved to Le Cannet from Paris in 1910 and lived in the coastal villa with his wife Marthe until his death in 1947. It was during this period that Bonnard painted his most important works, including landscapes of Saint-Tropez, Antibes and other famous Riviera resorts.

Address: Musée Bonnard, Boulevard Sadi Carnot, Le Cannet, France.

Palais des Festivals et Congrès

Palais des Festivals et Congrès

Palace of Festivals and Congresses.

When you come to Cannes, don’t forget to take selfies on the stairs of the Palais des Festivals et Congrès, located on the western side of the Croisette.

The famous 24 “steps of fame” lead to the main entrance of the luxurious building, which annually hosts the most glamorous film festival in the world.

Then head to the “Walk of Stars” and stroll down the walkway with 46 celebrity handprints. The first print in front of the tourist office belongs to Meryl Streep.

The address is Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes, Boulevard Croisette, Cannes, France.

La Malmaison Art Center

La Malmaison Art Center.

The La Malmaison Art Center, located right on the Croisette, occupies the building of the former game and tea room of Cannes’ grandest hotel of the 1860s, the Grand Hôtel (opened in 1864, closed in 1950, then demolished and rebuilt in the 1960s).

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Today, contemporary art exhibitions are held here. The cost of admission varies depending on the type of exhibition.

Address: La Malmaison, Boulevard Croisette, Cannes, France.

Le Suquet.

View from Le Suquet

View from Le Suquet. | Photo: Tim Gage / Flickr.

Walking along rue St-Antoine, sooner or later you will reach the narrow streets of Le Suquet, the oldest district of Cannes, located on Mount Chevalier.

Here you can see the medieval castle, the 17th century Church of Our Lady of Good Hope, as well as stroll through the square of La Castre. You can climb the ramparts and enjoy a magnificent view of the bay.

Address: Le Suquet Le Suquet 06400 Cannes France.

Old Port

Old Port

Old port.

Old Port of Cannes is an interesting combination of traditional French charm and vulgar profligacy.

While sipping a cocktail in one of the cool bars by the water, you can watch huge yachts leisurely arrive in the city.

At sunrise and sunset, when the buildings by the port are painted in incredible colors, you can take a chic picture here for Instagram.

The address is Le Vieux Port, Jetée Albert Edouard, Cannes, France.

Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)

Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)

Hôtel de Ville (City Hall Building) | Photo: Bex Walton / Flickr.

The imposing four-story town hall, built in 1876, is one of Cannes’ most striking landmarks. It stands on the seafront between the Palais des Festivals and Le Suquet.

Address: Mairie de Cannes, Place Bernard Cornut Gentille, Cannes, France.

Croix de Garde Forest Park.

View from Croix de Garde Forest Park

View from the Croix des Gardes Forest Park.

When in the 19th century the little village of Cannes became quite popular among British holiday-makers an enterprising man decided to build a big chateau with luxurious gardens next to it.

The park has now become an 80-hectare public area with a giant metal cross on its highest point, which is commonly referred to as the “guardian of the park.” La Croix de Garde is a great place for picnics and hiking.

Address: La Croix des Gardes Cannes France.

Castres Castle Museum

Castel de Castre Museum

Castres Castle Museum.

This museum is located in a medieval castle that once housed the monks of the Abbey of Lerins. It overlooks the city and offers an amazing view of Cannes and its surroundings.

In the 19th century Baron François Lyclam donated his art collection, consisting of medieval artefacts, Asian musical instruments and unusual paintings. This collection forms the basis of the Château de Castres museum.

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Address: Musée de la Castre, rue de Castre, Cannes, France.

Church of Our Lady of Good Hope

Church of Our Lady of Good Hope

Church of Our Lady of Good Hope.

This wonderful church, built at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th centuries, is located on the top of a hill overlooking the city.

The church is in harmony with the nearby La Castre Museum, which was erected here several centuries earlier. This tandem forms the historical image of Cannes.

Address: Église Notre-Dame d’Espérance, rue de Castres, Cannes, France.

Île Saint-Honoré

View of the Île Saint-Honor

View of the Isle of Saint Honoré | Photo: Mark Fischer / Flickr.

On the second largest island off the coast of Cannes is an amazing Catholic monastery where the local monks still make wine-many centuries ago these monks owned much of Cannes. There’s also a wonderful fortress and a pretty port.

If you get tired of the hustle and bustle and luxury of Cannes, be sure to consider visiting this tranquil island and staying here overnight.

Address: Saint-Honorat Île Saint-Honorat 06400 Cannes France.

Île Saint Marguerite

Sainte Marguerite Island

Île Saint Marguerite | Photo: Bex Walton / Flickr.

St. Margaret Island is adjacent to the island of St. Honorat. In general, there are four separate islands next to the coast of Cannes, and this is the largest representative of the “quartet” (the two smallest islands can only be reached by private boat).

Île Sainte-Marguerite is distinguished by its wonderful beaches and ancient buildings, which you can explore for a break from the hustle and bustle of Cannes.

Address: Île Sainte-Marguerite, Cannes, France.

Hotel Carlton Rue Antibes

Hotel Carleton, Rue Antibes

Hotel Carlton Rue Antibes.

The Hotel Carlton is one of the most prestigious and legendary places in the city. It was built in the early 20th century during the reign of the architectural style known as the “Belle Epoque”.

It is believed that the domes of the building replicated the shape of the breasts of a famous local courtesan nicknamed the Beautiful Otero. Any distinguished guest of Cannes considers it his duty to stay in the rooms of this chic hotel.

Address: InterContinental Carlton Cannes, Boulevard Croisette, Cannes, France.

Rue Antibes.

Rue Antibes

Rue Antibes.

Cannes is well known to all fans of glamorous shopping, as it is home to some of the most chic stores and boutiques in the entire country.

Rue d’Antibes is the main shopping street of Cannes, literally “dotted” with outlets of the most famous brands of the world, where the super-rich guests and residents of the city love to shop.

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Address: Rue d’Antibes 06400 Cannes, France.

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

Beach Palm Beach. | Photo: Wade 48 / Flickr.

Cannes has many stunning public beaches where you can spend all day enjoying the local scenery and views of the azure coast.

If you’re looking for a quieter place to relax, we suggest heading to Palm Beach, located away from the madness of the promenade of La Croisette.

It’s an ideal place for families and windsurfing, as the bottom along the shoreline is fairly shallow.

Address: Palm Beach Palm Beach 06400 Cannes France.

Du Midi Beach

Du Midi Beach

Du Midi Beach | Photo: plb06 / Flickr.

Elsewhere in the city, again away from the Croisette, is another popular beach called “Du Midi” that is definitely worth a walk.

You can’t rent sun loungers here, so do as the locals do – fold a towel and throw it on a vacant spot (and don’t forget to watch your belongings – theft is not uncommon here).

Cannes

Cannes (France) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Cannes with descriptions, guides and maps.

City of Cannes (France)

Cannes is a city in southeastern France in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. It is one of the most famous French resorts and the site of the famous Cannes Film Festival. Cannes is one of the most expensive and fashionable cities of the Mediterranean with a special atmosphere of luxury and glamour: the marina with luxurious yachts, elegant boulevards with fashionable boutiques, luxury restaurants and expensive hotels. The historic center (Le Suquet) retains charming cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture. The old town centre (Le Suquet) retains its charming cobbled streets and beautiful architecture, where it is pleasant to stroll and admire the views or sit in charming pavement cafes and enjoy life and food.

What to do (Cannes):

The charm of the Côte d'Azur.

€416 per excursion

The allure of the Côte d’Azur

Visit famous resort towns on the French Riviera

The bohemians, flavors, and gastronomy of the Côte d'Azur.

€416 per excursion

Boheme, flavors, and gastronomy of the Côte d’Azur

The Provençal cultural diversity between Nice and Cannes.

Geography and climate

Cannes is located in a charming spot on the Côte d’Azur slightly west of Nice. The climate is warm Mediterranean. It is characterized by relatively hot summers, rainy autumns and mild winters. Cannes is known for its beaches, most of which are private. Public beaches (near the Palais des Festivals and at the far end of the promenade) are usually crowded. To enjoy a relaxing beach vacation, it is better to go to the Ile de Lerins.

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Cannes

Cannes

The best time to visit Cannes and, in principle, any other place on the Côte d’Azur is September. This month is characterized by warm sea, comfortable weather and a relatively smaller number of tourists. The highest season is July and August. May and June is not the best time for beach holidays (despite the warm comfortable weather). The water in the sea, although clean, but pretty cool.

Information for tourists

  1. The population is more than 70 thousand people.
  2. The area is 19.62 km2 .
  3. The language is French.
  4. Currency – euros.
  5. Visa – Schengen.
  6. Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
  7. The Cannes Film Festival is held at the end of May.
  8. Cannes is known as one of the shopping centers. Most of the fashionable boutiques and brand stores are concentrated between La Croisette and Rue d’Antibes.
  9. The city is famous for its restaurants, which, by the way, are quite expensive. The best establishments are located along the promenade. Also great places to eat can be found in the area of streets Meynadier and de Antibes.

Old Streets in Cannes

Old Streets in Cannes

The nearest international airport is in nearby Nice, from where Cannes can be reached by both train and bus.

History

In ancient times there was a fishermen’s settlement Aegithna and a small port. Exactly who and when it was founded is not known. One version is that it was founded by the Romans in 42 BC, another by the Ligures in the 2nd century BC. In the 1st century Cannes was the scene of fierce battles between candidates for the role of emperor of the Roman Empire.

In the 9th century, the city was conquered by the Saracens. Cannes was under their rule until the end of the 10th century. The city later belonged to the Church, from which it was possible to get rid of its power only in the 16th century.

Cannes in the evening

Cannes in the evening

In fact, Cannes was a small provincial town until the 19th century. That all changed in 1834, when the former English Chancellor Henry Peter Broom was forced to stay there for a while. He liked the atmosphere of the town so much that he decided to build a house here. His example was later followed by many English and European aristocrats. And rather quickly Cannes acquired the status of a fashionable resort.

Attractions

Old Town

Old Town

Le Suquet is a tangle of charming narrow streets, old houses, cozy courtyards and historical artifacts of the past centuries (such as fragments of city fortifications). The historic center of Cannes is located on the hillside of Mont Chevalier and retains the provincial atmosphere of a fishing village.

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Old Castle

The Old Castle

At the top of the hill dominates the old town a medieval castle which was also a monastery. This fortress was founded in the 11th century and is now surrounded by a Mediterranean garden. The castle now houses a museum with a superb collection of Mediterranean antiquities, pre-Columbian primitive art, and landscape paintings by 19th-century Provençal artists.

The tower of the Mont Chevalier.

Tower du Mont Chevalier

One of the most notable features of the chateau is the medieval watchtower of du Mont Chevalier, built in the 11th century. Its summit offers a superb panorama of Cannes.

Notre Dame de l'Ouest

Notre-Dame de l’Esperance

Notre-Dame de l’Espérance is the most important church in Cannes, built in late Gothic architectural style in the 16th century. The building has an impressive Gothic interior, a 19th-century altar and organ.

Old Port

Old Port

The Old Port is one of the symbols of Cannes. It is a place with a superb Mediterranean atmosphere, filled with hundreds of luxury yachts and fishing boats. Its oldest parts date back to 1838. To the north of the port is a picturesque alley of shady plane trees.

Boulevard de la Croisette

Boulevard de la Croisette

The Boulevard de la Croisette is one of the most fashionable streets of the Côte d’Azur and a vibrant hub of city life. The boulevard has a magnificent French Art Nouveau architecture and is filled with luxury hotels, stores and restaurants. The Croisette extends to La Roseraie park with its magnificent private beaches. Beyond the park are several pretty ports and marinas.

Palais des Festivals et Congrès

Palais des Festivals et Congrès

The Palais des Festivals et Congrès is the venue for the most famous event on the Côte d’Azur, the Cannes Film Festival. The building was built in 1982 and has an area of 25 000 square meters.

La Californie

La Californie

La Californie is a glamorous district with magnificent villas surrounded by gardens and palm trees. This charming place is perfect for leisurely strolls.

Bellini Chapel

Chapel of Bellini

The Bellini Chapel is a museum of the artist of the same name. It was once part of a luxurious Florentine style villa.

Interesting tours

Old town magic and cinematic glamour.

€190 for a guided tour

Magic of the old town and cinematic glamour

Cannes history in old palaces, high-end hotels and seafront promenades

The Palais des festivals de Cannes and the Lérins Islands

The Palais des Festivals in Cannes and the Lérins Islands

Walk the red carpet, learn about the inhabitants of Lérins Abbey and swim on a secluded island

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