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Cannes Travel Guide

About Cannes

Cannes might be synonymous with A-list glamour but scratch the surface and you’ll discover a city rich in culture as well as one of the loveliest marinas in France.

A true Riviera town, life in Cannes revolves around the harbour which still boasts fishing boats as well as the super-yachts of the super-rich.

Celebrity is the other fuel that fires Cannes, with big names descending each summer for the town’s iconic film festival. Many will sun themselves on one of its beautiful beaches or aboard the seemingly endless yachts. As a result, the night scene tends towards the glitzy, while the boutiques off the main marina are eye-wateringly expensive.

Nevertheless, step back from the seafront and into Le Suquet, the picturesque old town, and you’ll be rewarded with a completely different side to the city – as well as stunning views over the Côte d’Azur. Sprawling its way up a precipitous hill, those who make it to the top will find the remains of a fortified tower and the 12th-century Chapel of St Anne.

And Cannes has plenty to recommend it offshore too, not least the islands of Ile St Marguerite and Ile St Honorat. The former is most famous for being the spot where the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask was incarcerated and although his identity has never been revealed, his cell at the in the Fort of St Marguerite remains.

Neighbouring St Honorat has been home to monks since AD410 and the ruins of the 11th century monastery can still be seen. The current group of ecclesiasts divide their time between prayer and wine production.

Wine is also to be found in Vieux Port, which sits just beyond the Allées des Stars, a street decorated with handprints left in the pavement by visiting actors. Rather more enchanting is the old port itself, with its odd medley of luxury boats and tiny fishing vessels, rows of palm trees and fragrant flower market.

Yes, Cannes can be all champagne and super cars, but the best things in the city are free - sun, sea, sand and celebrity spotting all included.

Key facts

Population:
72939
Latitude:
43.563516
Longitude:
7.018874

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Featured Hotels

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Le Mistral

This 2-star hotel offers 10 rooms on three floors just a minute's walk from the Palais des Festivals and rue d'Antibes. The interior design is modern and stylish, and art works are usually on display. The rooms are soundproofed and air-conditioned and feature free Wi-Fi and flatscreen TVs.

InterContinental Carlton Cannes

Old-world charm and modern convenience combine to great effect at the Carlton. The hotel has 343 rooms, including 39 suites, and there are two restaurants, two bars and a health club on the premises. The grande dame of La Croisette overlooks the Mediterranean and has its own private beach.

Hôtel Alnea

A basic, comfortable hotel located only a minute's walk from the Palais des Festivals and a short stroll from the Croisette beaches. The rooms are air-conditioned and soundproofed and come with flatscreen TVs and free Wi-Fi. It's a good cheap option with great service and some colourful paint schemes.

Hôtel Le Cavendish

Formerly the home of Lord Cavendish, the British aristocrat who discovered hydrogen, this belle époque building is a charming hotel just north of the railway station. All 34 rooms are serenely elegant, but try to get one in the rotunda. And make time for the free aperitifs every evening.

Hotel Novotel Suites Cannes Centre

The Novotel offers good-value rack rates and some of the best online specials in Cannes. This swish, modern, all-suite hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the railway station but still delivers spacious rooms that all have microwaves and kettles, as well as large working spaces and flatscreen TVs.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic

This belle époque palatial hotel along La Croisette fuses classic elegance with modern refinements. It has 349 sumptuous rooms, three Venetian-style lounges, five restaurants, two bars and a swimming pool. It has also hijacked part of the main beach, which means guests can enjoy bathing in private.