Cannes

Cannes

Once a small fishing village on the French Riviera, Cannes is now a glamorous and expensive seaside town considered to be one of the social hubs of Europe.

Understand

Cannes 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.

Get in

By air

Most visitors bound for Cannes will arrive first at Nice's Côte d'Azur International Airport Terminals 1 & 2. A free shuttle operates to link Terminals One and Two and all other transit runs out of T1. From here there are a number of travel alternatives: coach, express coach, train, bus, and taxi. Be aware that during peak season (August) transportation should be booked in advance, as it will sell out. If traveling by public transit, two weeks before or after August, also be aware of the possibility of labor strikes. Strikes are common, anticipated, and highly publicized. Simply check (google) the French newspapers before purchasing your tickets. Marseille Provence Airport is also only 2 hours away by bus and train.

Coaches (Express) The commonly recommended and easiest transit is the Coaches or Express Coach. Coaches to Cannes Centre via the A8 motorway at a cost of around €17, runs every 30 minutes, 45 minute trip duration, no view.

Shared Airport to Hotel Shuttle Cannexpress.com run a "shared" door-2-door transfer service via the A8, between Nice Airport and your accommodation in Cannes. Departures are every 60 minutes and cost €24 per seat. http://www.cannexpress.com Reservations must be made in advance.

The cheapest way in (€1), although not recommended, is the TAM 200, 210, 220, ,etc.; via local roads which often experience traffic delays. This goes from Nice Airport (Terminal 1) to 2 stops in Cannes center. 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. More info here

Taxi services are the most convenient, but at an astronomical price of €80 minimum; or more, if they take the scenic route.

By train

The best cheaper alternative and frequently used by locals is the train (SNCF), between Nice's St. Augustine station and Cannes. Trains run every 30 minutes, 30 minutes trip duration, and cost €11-15 (round-trip). Not the mention the views are amazing, in comparison to the Coaches, as the train runs adjacent the beach. (Summer 2011) The tricky bit is between the train station and airport (terminal 1), which is a half mile away. From the airport (terminal 1) take the local bus #23, from bus bay 6, for 2 stops, for €1.4 (cash on bus, change for small bills only). The bus stop name is clearly marked as "Gare SNCF Saint-Augustine". Local bus info at: Nice local bus#23 map at: Then walk (100m) between the bus stop and train station, which is kitty corner the intersection; under the train rail overpass and to the right, up "Av. Edouard Grinda". The train station is on right. In reverse, from Cannes to airport, is the same. To repeat in reverse: Left out the station, down to intersection, left under overpass and across intersection. There is only one bus stop for #23, direction to the right, southwest, running parallel the train tracks. Train tickets can be purchased in advance by English speakers at or by French speakers at . Although the train runs early and late, in the day for local commuters, the ticketing station is only open normal business hours, so purchase tickets online in advance. Although on-board ticketing police are rare, the fine is stiff (minimum €100-300).

By car

Cannes

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 1 km 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.

Get 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 otherwise.

By 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 €1.50 per ride or you can purchase a Carte 10 which gives you 10 reduced-rate tickets at the bus office. But be careful which fare you buy as buses in Cannes can be very expensive.

By taxi

Taxis can be hailed on the street or you can order them by phone calling Taxis de Cannes at +33 4 929 9272. Fares are pre-established with an opening charge of €2.35 and subsequent charges of about €3.00 per mile.

By car

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.

See

La Croisette

Do

Cannes croix-des-gardes, hill and monumental cross by Jean-Yves Lechevallier

Learn

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.

Buy

Jean-Paul Gaultier store

Cannes is renowned for its luxury boutiques and designer fashion.

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 4 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).

Eat

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 back streets 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.

Sleep

Hotel Martinez

Go next

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:

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.