“Canua”, “The Hollywood of Europe”
Exactly one year ago since we flew on the same route to Nice to visit both that city and Monaco, but on this occasion to visit Cannes instead, not even 30 km away centre to centre, or just 20 km from Nice Cote d’Azur Airport. And why February again you may 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 break not a beach break, it’s the perfect time of the year to travel. It saves me lots of money and I can enjoy the places almost without any tourists, only locals and not being ripped off either.
Cannes, as opposed to Nice, is much smaller meaning 2 days is even 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 cheaper Nice, not to mention the amount of restaurants and bars in Nice cannot compete to those in Cannes.
The city is way “too posh”. But let me explain this phrase better. Yes, you do have real rich people who love to over-dress and show themselves; but on the other end you have the many wannabes. Just because their friends of people around them are posh, they consider themselves on the same level and act as such. Quite funny to see, as you can clearly distinguish between both types.
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. And of course should you be by the time when the Cannes Movie Festival is on it is highly likely you will see many movie stars and other celebrities.
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 a very good coffee nowadays as they use quality beans and good machines, specially if it is in a McCafe. Restaurants they all have pretty much the same prices, euro up or down, taking as an example mussels with fries is around 14 Euros and a pizza around 12. Surprisingly you will find more pizza places here than in an Italian city!
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 Is the avenue along the waterfront where the luxurious hotels such as Splendid, Carlton, Majestic, Miramar and Martinez are.
- 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 centre costs €15 per way and run every 30 minutes taking approximately 45 minute. I would personally never go for this expensive way. A cheaper option is the 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 6 for just 2 stops for €1.5. Trains run frequently and cost 11.60 Euros for a return.
The absolute cheapest option are local buses TAM 200, 210, 220 for only 1 Euro, but the journey can easily take 2 hours or longer.
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, Hotels Click, 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.