Things to see in Cannes

Tourist offices

Cannes Tourist Office

Palais des Festivals, La Croisette, Cannes, France
Tel: (04) 9299 8422.


The Carte Musée or French Riviera Museum Pass (tel: (04) 9352 3325) allows free access to over 60 of the Riviera's museums, monuments and gardens including the Musée-Chapelle Bellini, Musée de la Castre, La Malmaison and Musée de la Mer. There is a three-day pass and a seven-day one. The card is available at participating museums, monuments and gardens, tourist offices, selected branches of Thomas Cook (Nice and Cannes) and FNAC department stores.

Ile St Marguerite (St Marguerite Island)

It only takes a 15-minute boat ride from Cannes to get there but it took The Man in the Iron Mask 11 years to leave this tiny, forested island. The mysterious individual was believed to be of noble blood, but his identity has never been proven. His cell can be visited in the Fort of St Marguerite, now renamed the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea) . This museum also houses archaeological discoveries from shipwrecks off the coast of the island, including Roman and Saracen ceramics. There is a regular boat service from the mainland. Guided tours in English are available in summer.

Opening Times: The first boat to Ile St Marguerite departs Cannes at 0730. The last boat off the island leaves at 1900. The museum is open Tues-Sun 1030-1315 and 1415-1645 (Oct-Mar); Tues-Sun 1030-1315 and 1415-1745 (Apr-May); daily 1000-1745 (Jun-Sept).
Admission Fees: Yes.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Ile Ste Marguerite, Cannes, France
Telephone: 04 9338 5526 (museum).
Musée de la Castre (Castre Museum)

The Musee de la Castre, on the hilltop of Le Suquet, is housed in the former chateau of the monks of the Lérins Isles and the 12th-century chapel of St Anne. Nineteenth-century paintings by local artists depict images of Cannes under rosy skies with palm trees, fishing boats and ladies in voluminous skirts. There is also a fascinating collection of 200 musical instruments, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern antiquities and an ethnology display. Guided tours in English are available on request.

Opening Times: Tues-Sun 1000-1300 and 1400-1700 (Oct-Mar); Tues-Sun 1000-1300 and 1400-1800 (Apr-Jun and Sep); daily 1000-1900 (Jul-Aug).
Admission Fees: Yes.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Le Souquet, Cannes, France
Telephone: (04) 9338 5526.
The Painted Walls of Cannes

Since 2002 the Municipality of Cannes has been commissioning artists to paint vast, film-related pictures on the side of local buildings. Today there are 14 paintings scattered around the city, which celebrate Cannes’ legendary connection with the glamorous world of cinema. Cannes Tourist Office can provide you with a map detailing their locations. A walk around these great pictures is an afternoon of free, easy-going entertainment.

Ile St Honorat (St Honorat Island)

Cistercian monks are the only inhabitants of the smaller, southern St Honorat Island. Monks have inhabited the island more or less continuously since AD410 and, at the height of their powers, owned Cannes, Mougins and Vallauris. Medieval vestiges remain in the stark church, which is open to the public, and in the ruins of the 11th-century monastery on the sea's edge. The monks divide their time between prayer and producing red and white wines, honey, lavender oil and Lérina

Opening Times: The first boat to Ile St Honorat departs Cannes at 0800 (Fri) or 0900 (Sat-Thurs). The last boat off the island leaves at 1700 (winter) or 1800 (summer).
Admission Fees: Yes.
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: a herbal liqueur. Although closed to the general public, with departures from Cannes jetée Edouard., France
Telephone: 04 9298 7138.
The Villas of Cannes

Nineteenth-century Cannes can still be seen in its grand villas, built to reflect the wealth and social standing of their owners and inspired by anything from medieval castles to Roman villas. Lord Brougham's Italianate Villa Eléonore Louise (one of the first great villas in Cannes) was built between 1835 and 1839. Also known as the Quartier des Anglais, this is the oldest residential area in Cannes and perfect for a stroll. Another famous landmark is the beautiful Villa Fiésole (known today as the Villa Domergue), so named as it was designed in the style of Fiesole, near Florence by Jean-Gabriel Domergue. The villas are not open to the public, but Villa Domergue may be visited by appointment.

Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No