The Hollywood of Europe
At not long time ago since we flew on the same route to Nice in order to visit both that city and Monaco, it is this occasion we take for visiting Cannes instead at just merely 30 km away centre to centre, or just 20 km from Nice Cote d’Azur Airport. And why to travel in February again you might think; well, it’s the lowest season you can have and as such, finding a good air fare and cheap accommodation is really easy. Yes, cold; and if unlucky, rain; but for someone like me looking for a cultural weekend not a beach break, it’s the perfect time of the year to travel. It saves lots of money and you can enjoy the places almost without any tourists, only locals.
Cannes, as opposed to Nice, is much smaller meaning 2 days way too much time. You really need only one day to fully visit everything, any longer I consider it a sort of waste of time as you can instead spend it in bigger Nice, not to mention the amount of restaurants and bars in Nice cannot compete to those in Cannes. And going out in Cannes, no matter if to a bar, restaurant or disco that’s another level. This is one of the preferred destinations among the rich and famous, and should you be visiting the city during the Cannes Movie Festival days, then it is highly likely you will get to see many movie stars and other celebrities alike. In the other hand in Nice you have everything in a greater scale but a fraction of the cost.
Walking along the sea promenade, the Boulevard de la Croisette is the sight number one where you will see most of the grand hotels and the top of the class fashion and jewellery firms. The architecture of the grand buildings is very impressive and elegant, so is the care and efforts done in restoring such masterpieces.
Prices unfortunately are double than those in Nice for example. A simple normal coffee over 4 Euros, no wonder why McDonalds was so busy at all times and yes, McDonalds does have good coffee nowadays as they use quality beans and good machines. Restaurants, they all have pretty much the same prices, Euro up or down, taking as an example mussels with fries is around 16 Euros and a pizza around 12 (just the basic, a margarita). Not too bad considering you are in Cannes. Surprisingly you can find more pizza places here than most Italian cities of the same size or importance.
For more information about the city check Wikipedia and Wikitravel sites. France’s currency is the Euro (EUR). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do in Cannes
- Boulevard de la Croisette The avenue along the seafront, align with beautiful apartments blocks, hotels, mansions and palaces, plenty of palms and the beach.
- Grand Hotels Such as the Splendid, Carlton, Majestic, Miramar and Martinez. Architectural jewels no doubt.
- Palais des Festivals In Boulevard de la Croisette. Is the famous venue for the Cannes Movie Festival. Nothing special nor architecturally beautiful.
- Hôtel de Ville City Hall, on the same square as the Palais des Festivals.
- Le Suquet Is the old town which lies on a small hill, the main street is Rue St Antoine. For the best view of the hill with its castle and church on top you can go upstairs to the fist level only of the Casino at the Palais des Festivals. It is on the right hand side and almost unnoticeable.
-Castle Offers the best views from the top. Unfortunately you cannot just go to the tower, you need to pay a full admission ticket which also includes a small museum of the cultures. Entrances is 6 Euros, free on first Sunday of the month and if you are student under 25 years old.
-Covered Market Marche Forville, is the most famous market in the city, great for the selection of food stalls, flower shops and others.
Nice airport is 24km away from the city centre of Cannes. Coaches to Cannes costs €15 per way and run every 30 minutes taking approximately 45 minute. I would personally never go for this expensive way as there is a cheaper option by train. From airport you can easily walk for 10 minutes to the train station Gare Saint Augustine, or if you are with luggage or don’t want to walk the short way, take the local bus number 23 from bus bay number 6 for just 2 stops (1.5 Euros). Trains do also run very frequently and cost 11.60 Euros for a return.
As for the cheapest alternative, you have the local buses TAM 200, 210, 220 at just 1 Euro per way, however the journey could easily take 1.5 hours or even longer depending on the traffic, as they do a big journey with many stops along the way.
Within the city there is no need for any public transportation. Everywhere is walking distance to each other.
The choice is vast in this city, but unfortunately the costs can be very high since those are luxurious hotels by the sea promenade. But there are options for everyone, you don’t need to be in the first line of the sea where the super hotels are. A good point to start your search is by checking some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engines such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, LateRooms or Ebookers.
We stayed at the Azur Cannes le Romanesque, 10 Rue de Bateguier. Walking distance from the train station and parallel to Boulevard de la Croisette. Basically 3 minutes walking to the beach front. A simple 2* hotel but with all commodities needed. Very clean and comfortable right in the middle of many restaurants and pubs.