Although it’s most famous for the annual glamour-fest known as the Cannes Film Festival, Cannes is also popular among tourists for its beaches, sights and shopping streets.
Where is Cannes?
Located on the southeastern coast of France, Cannes is the gateway to the French Alps, Monaco, Italy and Provence. It’s one of the best known cities on the French Riviera, famous for its glamorous hotels, beaches and famous visitors.
How to get to Cannes
Since traffic can be slow and frustrating during summer months, getting to Cannes by train is the best choice. You can take the TGV from Paris, which goes either through Montpellier or Nice. If you’re coming along the coast, this guide to taking the train from Barcelona to Nice will help you out.
Alternatively, you can fly into Nice (there are direct flights from New York’s JFK Airport, as well as many European low-cost airlines that go to Nice) and then rent a car or take the train to get to Cannes.
The Weather in Cannes
Cannes has typical Mediterranean weather. During summer (May to September) the city enjoys 12 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures regularly hitting 40 C / 104 F. Average temperature is 25 C / 77 F.
Things to do in Cannes
Don’t miss visiting the Old Town. Its narrow streets are filled with restaurants and souvenir shops. Climb up to the hilltop to enjoy the view from the castle ruins.
Hit the beaches! Most are private, and cost €30 per day to use – but for your buck, you get a lot of bang in the way of cushy beach lounge chairs, table service and, of course, the feeling of being a jet-setter. The public beaches are crowded in high season, but there’s always a spot for you.
Visit the Îles de Lérins, two islands located in the bay. The smaller one, Ste Honorat, is home to a monastery and ruin castle. The bigger one, Ste Marguerite, also has a castle but there you can find shops, bars and restaurants.
La Croisette is one of the most popular shopping streets in Cannes, running along the shoreline. Prices are fit for the upscale kind of shopping you can do here, but it costs nothing to window shop and dream.
You should not miss Forville Market (Marche Forville). It’s perfect for picking up some snacks for the beach, or for day trip picnics along the French Riviera.
Excellent cuisine can be found all over France, of course, and Cannes is no exception. Because of its location, the best dishes to try are seafood, such as escalope de mérou au citron or cod in garlic sauce.
Cannes is also popular for its nightlife. Clubs such as Morrisons Lounge, Le Cat-Corner, Jane’s Club, and Le Vogue (gay club) draw party lovers every night during the high season.
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