The Best Things to do in Cannes France
The city is known for the annual Cannes film festival and the many other festivals and events.
Like the entire Cote d’Azur, Cannes’ city has a reputation for being exclusive: Brigitte Bardot, the Stones, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, etc. – stars have been drawn to this region for decades, luxury shops, fancy restaurants, prestigious hotel, etc..
But there is much more to find out about Cannes and its people and history. Known in the past for the “man in the iron mask” locked down in Cannes’ tour, there are plenty of exciting places in this vibrant city that can easily discover with private tours.
From La Croisette promenade to the La Tour du Masque, Notre Dame, the local markets, and the fantastic beaches, we are taking you to discover the vibrant and glamorous Cannes on the French Riviera.
The city on the Cote d’Azur has around 75,000 inhabitants and is one of France’s most famous seaside resorts. It is also a popular destination for Mediterranean cruises in the western Mediterranean.
Cannes is known worldwide for the famous film festival. It takes place every year in May since 1946. Apart from that, the city as much more to offer.
Like most European cities, Cannes is better discovered by foot; and who could be best to take you around than a local tour guide?
Today, we start with a city tour through Cannes. The unique location with the Esterel Mountains’ mild climate on the beautiful bay of La Napoule makes Cannes one of the most popular cities internationally.
The city also impresses with many beautiful parks, elegant hotels, and exclusive shopping opportunities on the famous and Glamourous “Croisette.”
The Boulevard de la Croisette around the Carlton Hotel becomes the center of the film business during the festival. But for tourists, a stroll along the elegant promenade is a highlight all year round.
Behind the Vieux Port, small alleys wind up to the old town of Le Suquet. This is the former Roman city of Canois Castrum, with the Notre-Dame de l’Esperance church and the folklore museum of la Castre in a castle. It is where the city’s center is located.
From above, you have a beautiful view of Cannes and the offshore Lerins Islands. In the surrounding area, the Grasse (perfume), Nice, and Monaco – Monte Carlo also attract many visitors.
From Cannes, you can also easily take a boat to the southern island of Saint Honorer. Also to the Lérins islands with the Abbey, which was founded around the year 400. It is still inhabited by 30 monks. Some unique experiences on stunning islands.
Located on the French Riviera, between Nice and Monte Carlo, part of the French Maritime Alps, Cannes is home to the Cannes Film Festival, Midem, and the International Festival of Creativity of the Cannes Lions.
Made famous by Coco Chanel, Cannes is known for its connection with the rich and famous, its luxury hotels and restaurants, and multiple conferences. Its scandalously attractive and affluent environment characterizes the city.
Cannes can be explored very well on foot. The distances to the sights are not far, but it is hilly, especially in the old town.
Starting from the port, the walkable streets take you to the main touristic sights and some of Cannes’ best places. The train station is only 1.4 km away, the Palais des Festivals et des Congres at only 1km away along the harbor, the famous Carlton Hotel less than 2 km away, and the iconic Eglise Notre Dame d’Esperance is only 500m from the city center.
During your free walking tours, Cannes France – such as Rick Steves’ Cannes walking tour – you can stroll between the haute couture shops and the palaces of the promenade of La Croisette. It is also time to admire the Ferraris and Porsches, watch the people on the sunny beaches or the yachts. You will be amazed by Cannes’ natural beauty, the old town Le Suquet, the port, and the coastal islands.
Why should you visit Cannes?
- Overall a bit quieter outside of the festival time
- The charming old town with many restaurants right on the beach
- Unique food culture and specialties
- Very nice daily market
- A short journey to Grasse, Nice, Monte Carlo, and many neighboring cities
- Two islets off the coast, where you can switch off wonderfully
- The beaches are in the city