Cannes is known for its glitzy, star-studded film festival, but there are many more things to do in Cannes than just celebrating cinema. Nestled on the glorious stretch of French coastline that makes up the French Riviera, Cannes is situated between Nice and St Tropez on the coast with the home of French Perfume, Grasse, a short way inland. Cannes is easily accessible in a day trip from either city or for a longer stay.
Like many towns on the French Riviera, Cannes has been populated since the second century BC by various races including the Greeks, Romans and, of course, the French.
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How to get to Cannes
In order to make the most of exploring the French Riviera, I recommend choosing a home base and taking day trips around the various towns. For my money, basing yourself in the city of Nice makes sense as there are so many things to do, see and eat in Nice before even venturing out.
From Nice, the drive along the Cote d’Azur will take between 35 minutes to 1 hour depending on traffic. The drive from Nice will take you along a section of the Promenade des Anglais, past Cagnes-sur-Mer, before turning inland and bypassing Antibes and Juan les Pins.
One of the most efficient ways to get around the French Riviera is via the railway system. Cannes is serviced by a railway station that is only a short distance from the waterfront and trains from Nice run regularly.
From Nice-Ville, the main station in Nice, the trip will take between 25 and 40 minutes. If you can, try to time your departure to take one of the express trains which only stops at Antibes and Cannes to limit your travel time.
A one-way ticket from Nice to Cannes will cost around 6.10 euros. To ensure that you get the best price, book your train ticket in advance here.
The French Riviera bus lines are incredibly cheap and if you’re not in a hurry, they’re extremely effective. In this case, though, the price does not outweigh the time it takes to get to Cannes, and I’d definitely recommend the train as the best option.
However, if you want to take the bus, you can catch the 200 from rue Verdun or along the Promenade des Anglais and then ride it to Cannes for only 1.5 euros each way. Bear in mind it will take you 2-3 times the amount of time you’d spend on the train, so definitely consider spending the extra to cut down the travel time.
Where to stay in Cannes
As I mentioned above, staying put and basing yourself in a town on the French Riviera makes for a stress-free way to holiday in the region. Cannes has plenty of options when it comes to accommodation but note that the area is not known for skimping on luxury!
Find an apartment walking distance to the waterfront like one of these gorgeous Cannes accommodation options or search for one of your own.
Things to do in Cannes
Explore the old town
The beautiful old towns on the French Riviera promise hours of joy from just strolling through the laneways and exploring. Cannes’ old town, Le Suquet, is absolutely no exception to this rule. Visitors will be rewarded for making the trip up the hill to Le Suquet where Roman ruins can be spotted.
This part of Cannes is also home to the best views in the area, sweeping out across the Cote d’Azur and looking over towards the two small islands off the coast – Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Honorat.
Visit the Musée de la Castre
Part of your trip to Le Suquet has to include a trip up the many stairs (109 to be exact) to the Musée de la Castre where the best views of Cannes Bay can be sighted and the panoramic vista also allows visitors to look back over the beauty of the former fishing village. From here, the pastel coloured houses with their gorgeous window shutters offer perfect photo opportunities.
The Musée de la Castre can easily be spotted, thanks to its imposing tower and features French Riviera landscape art as well as antiques and musical instruments.
Promenade along La Croisette
Just like the Promenade des Anglais in neighbouring Nice, Cannes also has a gorgeous waterfront walk that runs parallel to the sandy beaches of the town. There’s plenty of luxury to be found along this route, with many of the town’s most luxe hotels featuring private sections of beach for their residents and guests.
If you’re willing to pay your way, pop in for a cocktail on a sun drenched beach lounge and watch the world go by.
Find your favourite actor’s handprints on the Allée des Étoiles du Cinéma.
Located on La Croisette around the Palais des Festivals, this tribute to the famous Cannes Film Festival and its yearly bevvy of celebrities that descend on the town reminds me of the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles where handprints are imprinted into the cement.
With over 150 celebrity prints in the area, you’re bound to find a few that belong to actors that you love!
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