photo by vpisteve

Once a small fishing village, Cannes is now a glamorous and expensive seaside town considered to be one of the social hubs of Europe. Its moment to shine arrives in May as the venue for the Cannes Film Festival, entertaining the rich and famous. During the festival, fans can see actors, celebrities, and directors up close and in person on the famous steps of the Palais des Festivals at the end of La Croisette. Although its nightlife, casinos and high end restaurants give Cannes a feel of exclusivity, Cannes does have alternatives to suit all types of budgets. Tourists can check out the beauty and architecture of Le Suquet, with its cobbled streets and breathtaking views, or sit at street side tables and enjoy the favoured hobby of people watching up and down the lovely marina.

Getting there

From the Airport

Most visitors bound for Cannes will arrive first at Nice International Airport. From here there are a number of travel options, the most cost effective being the half-hourly Express Coach to Cannes Centre via the A8 motorway, at a cost of around €15. Not the cheapest way in, but a lot less than Nice's notoriously expensive taxis at around €80. The cheapest way in is the TAM 200 bus that runs from Nice to Cannes via Nice Airport Terminal One ( a free shuttle operates to link Terminals One and Two). The journey is frustratingly long - it takes about 2 hours and stops every few hundred yards and has no special luggage facility. However the cost at only €1 is so low it attracts many travellers even though it may involve standing the whole journey.

By car

As with Antibes, Monaco and other towns on the French Riviera, access by road at popular times can be slow and frustrating. The coast roads are generally packed, and there are few ways to descend from inland. Locals do have some tricks, like the one described below, but they are complex and do not always work. Using the train to get in is probably better. You can park in Mougins or Mouans Sartoux and take the train to Cannes.

The obvious way to Cannes from the A8 Cannes/Grasse exit is often extremely slow; you end up descending the Boulevard Carnot, which has an endless stream of traffic lights. The simplest way to avoid this congestion is to bear right immediately after you have left the A8 at the first traffic light. Then, once you are off the main road, get into the right hand lane and stay there as the road turns into a normal two-way road.

After a sharp bend there is a traffic light. Continue straight on at the light. At the next major intersection (about 1km further), turn left following signs to Cannes.

You are now on the N85; you should stay on it, and not follow misleading signs to other bits of Cannes until you are at the bottom (a T junction with a French Telecom building on your left). Probably the easiest thing to do at this point is to turn left at this T junction and almost immediately left again. Then go into the first parking garage you can (Parking Fontville).

Another way down to the coast (this works for both Cannes and Juan les Pins/Antibes) is to go to Vallauris and descend to the coast on the D135 and then turn right (for Cannes) or left (for Antibes) when you get to the N7.

Getting Around

By foot Walking can quite often be the fastest mode of transport in Cannes. It also gives you the chance to stumble upon hidden sights that you may miss whilst being anchored to a bus or car.

Bus Getting around Cannes is not a problem at all. The city is well equipped with an efficient bus system (the only public transportation available in town) that provides service not only in the city but also to neighboring La Bocca, Le Cannet and Mandelieu-La Napoule. The bus companies include STU de Cannes Bus Azur, Bus Azur, CTM Cannes La Bocca and Beltrame. They all have scheduled services with a frequency of a bus every 15 minutes. Tickets can be purchased on the bus or at the bus stations and cost €1.25 per ride or you can purchase a Carte 10 which gives you 10 reduced-rate tickets.

Taxis can be hailed on the street or you can order them by phone calling Taxis de Cannes at +33 (04)929 9272. Fares are pre-established with an opening charge of €2.35 and subsequent charges of about €3.00 per mile.

Parking in Cannes Cannes has all the usual hire car rental establishments (Hertz, Avis, Budget) where you can rent a car if you wish. Parking is generally not an issue. Although you will have to pay, it is recommended that you use one of the off street parking garages as this is far better than searching fruitlessly for a parking lot on the street. Moreover Cannes has a truly horrible one-way system and it is much easier to walk. The Fontville parking gives good access to the port and old town.

If you are more interested in the Croisette and/or dislike walking, then there are other parking garages that are available, like the one by the station - one of the best is the one underneath the Palais des Festivales, and the one under the Grey d'Albion hotel in Rue des Serbes.


  • Old town— The usual narrow winding streets filled with restaurants and souvenir shops. The view from the castle ruins at the top is excellent.

  • Covered Market— For a spectacular eating and viewing food experience, no other market in Cannes beats this for scale and variety. The market itself is at the west end of rue Meynardiers, one of the Cote's best gourmand streets.

  • Palais des Festivals— Down La Croisette is the famous Palais des Festivals, where stars of the screen gather and watch films screened during the festival. Irresistible not to pose for a photograph on the 22 steps leading up to the entrance.

  • Port— Admire the yachts of the rich and possibly famous - though true mega-yachts will be found at the International Yacht Club down the coast in Antibes.

  • La Croisette— Cannes catwalk beside the sea, it is the center of the city's tourist activity and known for its luxury hotels and boutique shops.

  • Beaches— The beaches are mostly private and cost up to €30 for a day's use (including sunbed and shade). The public beaches are crowded, and are found at the far east and west of town. If you want a quieter beach, a better option is to go to the Îles de Lérins, see below. At night the beaches can be tranquil, but watch out for spectacular fireworks displays (see posters/ask at tourist info) in the bay, get to the beach early to get a good spot!

  • Îles de Lérins— Two islands in the bay that are definitely worth visiting. The smaller is Ste Honorat, which has a monastery and ruined castle. The monks sell monastery-made food/drink products like wine which make unique souvenirs. The larger island is Ste Marguerite which also has a castle, shops, bars, and restaurants. Find a quiet cove, some shade from palm trees, and a cheap snorkel before you swim around the rocky coves. A return ticket to either island is €11 with ferries departing every hour roughly from 7 in the morning until about 5:30 at night - ask for a timetable. The timetable and information is also available in a brochure kept in most hotel lobbies.

Things to do

  • Yacht charter and sailing - Windward Islands, one of the world's largest yacht charter companies, offers everything from bareboat to crewed trips in Cannes and French Riviera. Operating from 9 offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).

  • Trans Cotes d'Azur , Quai Laubeuf, Port de Cannes, Offers day cruises and excursions to Monaco, St Tropez, Iles de Porquerolles and other destinations. Main season only, mid-June to mid-September. Rates are subject to VAT, port charges, fuel, environmental protection.

  • Notre-Dame d'Esperance, Place de la Castre, Provençal Gothic church with wood paneling dating back to the 14th and 15th century. Also worth a look is the collection of 19th century paintings, which includes a fresco by George Roux that portrays the baptism of Christ. The church is situated on top of Suquet hill in old Cannes, the church offers visitors a fabulous view of the town and its bay.

  • Tour du Masque, 9, rue du Mont Chevalier, Cannes 06401, A popular attraction for history and literary buffs, the Tour du Masque is said to be haunted by the ghost of the mythical,mysterious figure known as the

  • Molinard, +33 (04) 9336-0162 , 60, boulevard Victor-Hugo, Grasse 06130, Follow your nose down this flower-strewn villa to learn how perfume is made and manufactured. It's a old factory and visual feast, as well as smelling some of the world's finest perfumes. Famous perfume bottles are also on display.

  • Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence, +33 (04)9705 5800 email=, 2 rue Mirabeau, The museum retraces everyday life in Provence from prehistoric times to the present day. The Provençal way of life is illustrated through furniture, pottery, paintings, traditional costumes and santons (Christmas crib figures). There's also an authentic formal garden for you to enjoy.

  • French Riviera, +33 (04) 9368-9898, CMC Cannes Riviera Gastronomie Maritime, Gare Maritime, jet Albert-Edouard, Cannes 06400, Enjoy the view of Cannes from this luxury ship. You can choose to do either a lunch tour or an evening dinner tour. For a one flat fee you receive lunch or dinner and a tour whilst enjoying live music. The tours run daily from 12:30PM-3PM, 8:30PM-11:30p.


Although it tends to get pretty pricey to eat out in Cannes, it is possible to get a delicious meal incorporating the mouth-watering, fresh regional produce sourced from the markets.

The most popular restaurants to eat at are all along the riverfront, although they are they are not particularly value for money. While the food is ok, it's overpriced, however the people watching and posing-potential is an important compensation.

The best areas for dining are the rue Meynadier, in the beautiful old district of Le Suquet, where you can dine outdoors with a stunning view of the town below, and in the backstreets of the Rue de Antibes, you can find some reasonable dining options.

Vegetarians have a bit of a rough time in France generally, in that most menus classify things as fish, meat and nothing else, and the French pride themselves in eating some fairly esoteric parts of animals not found in supermarkets back home - "testicules de mouton" for example. Traditional French cuisine is expensive at best, you could consider eating in some of the more Italian places.

The most romantic setting for dining in Cannes is away from the conference/ expense account circuit of central Cannes, in the historic quarter of Le Cannet, a northern suburb of Cannes some two kilometers away. Accessible by taxi or local buses, Vieux Le Cannet looks down over Cannes, and at its best vantage point is the large tree lined open square of Place Bellvue, tables alfresco, bounded by four or five quality restaurants patronized mainly by French "in the know". The Place Bellvue is on the main street rue St Sauver, home to artists ateliers and picture-postcard old French scenes. Well worth the extra effort.

  • Robertos, Boulevard de la Republique, just the other side of the Voie Rapide and Railway Line, Selling the tastiest thin based pizzas, handmade by Roberto. Other delicious dishes include lavish servings of pasta and provincial Italian cuisine. Roberto will start with a glass of sugar rimmed Campari and always finishes the meal with a glass of Amaretto. The prices are very reasonable, nay cheap for a superb meal.

  • 24 Suquet Restaurant , +33 (04) 9338 7522, 24 rue du Suquet, Located in the old town of Cannes, this chic and cosy restaurant serves fine Provincial cuisine in an atmosphere that is as welcoming as it is becoming.

  • Le Caveau 30 , (04) 9339 0633, 45 rue Félix Faure, Fresh seafood and produce worth coming back for, at this upscale restaurant that tends to get quite crowded in the summer months. Impressive wine list to go with the varied menu options and the staff are always attentive and professional.

  • Palm Square, 04) 9306 7827, 1 allées de la Liberté, Chic and ultra trendy, the Palm Square is the place to eat tasty food surrounded by a group of friends, in a gorgeous setting. Cuisine is mostly modern French, although the chef does mix it up with splashes of Indian or Thai flavorings.

  • La Palme d'Or, Hôtel Martinez, 73 boulevard de la Croisette, With it's ideal location overlooking the bay of Cannes, La Palme d'Or represents the best in Cannes. Food is of an extremely high standard, the stylish and contemporary decor impresses and the service is impeccable. Two Michelin stars have been awarded to this restaurant, ranking it as one of the finest eating establishments in the world. Truly spectacular.

  • Le Restaurant Arménien, (04) 9394 0058, 82 boulevard de la Croisette, For genuine Armenian food served in a charming and atmospheric setting. Popular restaurant that also offers Mediterranean inspired alternatives.

  • Authentic, 04 9348 3406, 92, Ave Francis Tonner, Cannes La Bocca, traveling west from Cannes, pass the market in La Bocca & it's on your right, one block further., No view (location isn't great), but this resto itself is simple but lovely. Even better, the food. For a really wonderful meal at 30% or less of prices in Cannes itself, check out this great little secret. Menus start under 20 Euros for dinner, and always begin with a little tasting. Very popular at noon, make a reservation during August for lunch or dinner. The chef is from Alsace, but uses local fare superbly, too.


  • Hôtel Alnea , +33 (04) 9368 7777, 20 rue Jean de Riouffe, Comfortable hotel that has basic features and is an affordable option, with satellite TV, telephone with internet connection and WiFi. Great location near the Palais des Festivals and the Croisette beaches.

  • Hôtel America Cannes , 13 rue Saint Honoré 06400, Tel: +33 (04) 9306 7575 Fax: +33 (04) 9368 0458. 28 rooms, including 4 junior suites, just behind the Majestic Hotel, at 200 ft from the Congress Center, La Croisette, the Beach and the shopping street. Very clean and comfortable. All rooms have flat-screen TV, high speed wireless internet connection. Laundry, wake-up call services, concierge services. No restaurant, only buffet breakfast or in-room breakfast.

  • Palais Stephanie , Unique business & leisure property with 234 rooms including 47 suites, 16 meeting rooms and a 820-seat auditorium (formerly Noga Hilton).

  • Claremont Hotel, 13 Rue Du Août, This quaint and charming hotel offers comfortable rooms for single or sharing occupancy. It provides breakfast, laundry and wakeup-call services, and transfers to and from the airport, and other towns along the Riviera.

  • 3.14 hotel , +33(04) 9299 7200, 5 rue François Einessy, Unique hotel with rooms designed from five continents, with each floor representing a continent, such as vibrant Asia or cultural Europe. All rooms have flat-screen TV, DVD player, broadband internet connection and WiFi access and the hotel even has its own private beach on La Croisette.

  • Le Mistral , 13 rue des Belges, Modern boutique hotel with art works on display in each of the rooms. The rooms are soundproofed and air conditioned and feature free WiFi access, cable TV and direct phones.

  • The InterContinental Carlton, +33 (04) 9306 4006, 58 boulevard de la Croisette, With its own private beach, the InterContinental offers guests comfort and convenience with two restaurants, two bars and a health club on site.

  • Hotel Martinez, +33 (04) 9298 7300, 73 boulevard de la Croisette, The only place to stay if you're an A-list celebrity, visiting President, or royalty, the Hotel Martinez is one of the Riviera's grand dames, with its own private beach and pool, a spa and fitness center, grand apartments, suites and well-appointed rooms. It also plays host to the Michelin awarded restaurant, La Palme d'Or.

  • Résidence Pierre & Vacances Cannes Beach , In the spirit of Cannes, the 7- to 8-floor residence is shaped like a “P” and spread out around a large patio with exotic vegetation. The apartments are equipped with terraces or balconies. The residence is in the Cannes-La-Bocca shopping quarter. It has a fitness room and a restaurant. If you get tired of your private beach (unlikely) then the public sand beach is a 50-m walk away.

  • Shared-house.com , Listing of private apartments rented out directly by the owners.


Renowned for its luxury boutiques and designer fashion, forgetting your credit card would be a big mistake when visiting Cannes.

The shops in Cannes are concentrated between La Croisette and rue d'Antibes - a distance easily covered on foot. Here you'll find all the luxury boutiques you could possibly desire as well as other shops selling products at a more affordable price range. The old town has any number of shops selling souvenirs as well.

Stroll, or stop by, the wide array of international designer shops that line La Croisette, which include Chanel, Dior, and Gucci. Check out the l`enfant terrible of French fashion, Jean Paul Gaultier in the Gray d'Albion arcade at number 17.

For those with a sweet tooth, get your fix on Rue d'Antibes, which has the best chocolatiers and delicatessens, including Chez Bruno, 51 rue d'Antibes (crystallised fruit and marrons glacés), and Maiffret, 31 rue d'Antibes (chocolates made on the premises).

If you are getting desperate to read something in English then the Cannes English Bookshop (11 rue Bivouac Napoléon, just by the Palais des Festivals tel: +33(04) 9399-4008) can help.

A great street to grab yourself a bargain is on the Rue Meynadier, with a vibrant market atmosphere. Taste some sharp cheese at Ceneri, on 22 rue Meynadier, while quality wines are found at La Cave Forville, at 3 Forville Market.

A souvenir from the monastery on Ste Honorat is a good way to distinguish yourself from the other tourists toting bags of the same souvenirs.

Standard shopping hours are Monday to Saturday 10AM-12PM and 2:30PM-7:30PM. In high season, many shops do not close for lunch. Sales tax varies between 5.5% (food) to 19.6% (luxury goods).


Residential camps for teens in Cannes (vacation courses) are proposed by ESL-Ecole Suisse de Langues during the Summer. International students from 14 to 17 years follow sessions of 1 to 5 weeks.

Get out

Returning to the airport you are advised not to rely on the TAM 200 bus. The traffic between Antibes and Cagnes sur Mer is imfamous for snarl-ups, jams, and nose-to-tail queues which regularly put travellers at risk of missing flights. When running seriously late, the 200 drivers are sometimes inclined to miss out that part of their schedule which involves dropping of travellers at the airport terminus itself, instead dropping them off at the roadside passing the airport.

The more costly express coach bypasses the local roads for the toll-paying motorway, which is generally a good and reliable service, but nothing is 100% reliable. It is best to leave a good healthy margin of time for safety. Note driving to drop off car-rentals is prone to the same traffic problems as the bus.

Though trains have their own issues, like ocassional strikes and late running, it is possible to avoid roads altogether in favour of the SNCF train service, choosing a "arret toutes les gares" train (not a TGV or semi-direct to Nice)and get off at the little station, Nice St Augustin, the stop before Nice Gare Ville. This is situated about a half kilometre from the airport and you can access the airport on foot from there, or pick up the T1/ T2 free Navette to take straight into the terminals from a bus stop nearby.

If you fancy a change of scenery from Cannes or just want to make the most of its location then you can make a day trip to other beautiful and famous cities. A few to note are:

  • Nice, France (18.8 miles)

  • St. Tropez, France (29 miles)

  • Aix-en-Provence, France (97.3 miles)

  • Monte Carlo, Monaco (28.1 miles)

Contact & location

Be the first one to add a review

Already have an account? Log In
Will never be displayed

The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

vpisteve, olivier bareau, yves Tennevin, Tucuman900, Arthur Caranta

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Claus Hansen, David, Colin Jensen, Lao Watson-Smith, Andreas Bjärlestam, Stacy Hall, Andrew Haggard, Evan Prodromou, alain vadi, Julien, Tim Sandell, Todd VerBeek, Ian Bolland, Masha and David Le Brun, Texugo, Inas, Lpring9, MarinaK, NiceLife, Novemberish, Beenthere, Echoytx, Episteme, Aquarius Rising, Nikai and Dirty Dingus

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

Share this:

My lists

People who've been here (3)

Going to Cannes?
... and need recommendations

Ask your friends on Facebook

Ask on Twitter