Cannes is one of the most beautiful and the most famous cities on the French Riviera, usually associated with the rich and famous people. It is well known for hosting the annual Cannes Film Festival, but also for its luxurious hotels and restaurants, beautiful architecture, beaches, boutiques and weather. If you have only a couple of hours to visit it, you will probably have to avoid the irresistible charm of its restaurants and cafes.
This itinerary of mine could spare you some time, so that you can spend it, doing what you like best, instead of wandering.
- The Croisette
- The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès
- The Casino
- The Path of the Stars
- The Church of Our Lady of Good Voyage
- Rue d’Antibes
- Rue Meynadier
- The Marche Forville
- The Mairie de Cannes
- The Vieux Port
- Cannes Film Murals
- The Suquet
- Rue St-Antoine
- The Musèe de la Castre
The Croisette or The Promenade de la Croisette, is 2km long boulevard that stretches along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea with many prestigious stores, restaurants, and hotels on one side and a long beach with cafes, beach chairs and broad sun umbrellas on the other. Nice for the eyes but disastrous for the credit cards!
At the top of the Croisette there is the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (Palace of Festivals and Conferences), where the Cannes Film Festival is held.
The original convention hall was built in 1949 in a different location, but due to the huge success of the Cannes Film Festival, the Cannes Municipality started building a new hall in 1979 and it officially opened in 1982.
The new six-story building was built on the grounds of the Municipal Casino.
It has 35,000 square meters for exhibitions, numerous rooms and auditoriums, the largest of which has a capacity of 2,300.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take nice pictures on the famous red carpet.
Right in front of the Palais des Festivals you can find the Path of the Stars, handprints of famous people on the sidewalk.
Crossing the Croisette, on the opposite side of the Palace of Festivals, we will find the beautiful church Notre Dame de Bon Voyage (Our Lady of Good Voyage) that was the first stop of the Emperor Napoleon on his return from Elba on 1st March 1815.
In the 15th century it was just a small chapel and fishermen’s shelter, later it become Notre Dame of the Seaside, then Notre Dame of Bon Port and finally the church Notre Dame de Bon Voyage at the end of the 19th century.
During a restoration project undertaken between 2018 and 2019 its facade, stained glass, vaults, columns and the monumental chandelier, were cleaned and repaired, and the bells were returned to service.
Following Buttura St (Rue Buttura) not more than 100m, we will get to Rue d’Antibes, the ultimate shopper’s heaven.
There are so many stores and restaurants and cafes in this long street, ideal to sit down and enjoy its great atmosphere.
Turning left, and taking the second street on the right, we will get to another famous street of Cannes, Rue Meynadier, that is the best ‘bargain’ shopping street in town. It is narrow and shaded throughout the day, and its 18th-century houses, now repurposed as shops, offer plenty of excellent wine and cheese, chocolates, souvenirs and so much more!
In the end of this street, there is another heaven waiting, but this time for food lovers. Marche Forville is a typical Mediterranean market, very attractive both inside and out. Apart from on Mondays, when it becomes a massive antiques and collectors market, it’s a giant farmers market, with delicious little bit of everything for everyone, from snails to quails, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cheeses, bakery… The range of local food is excellent and at reasonable prices.
Going back towards the old port we will find the impressive City Hall of Cannes (Mairie de Cannes), a historic, well maintained building, beautifully restored to its original state. It has huge reception rooms with enormous windows overlooking the port.
Vieux Port, old town harbor, with plenty of yachts and surrounded by colorful houses, bars and restaurants is well worth seeing and an amazing place for a relaxing walk.
It is also the place where you will find the famous mural depicting 100 years of cinema, near the bus station. The movies are the theme of the 15 painted walls to be found throughout Cannes.
Following Rue St-Antoine, a cobbled lane lined with local bars, restaurants and shops, we will reach the Suquet hill, Cannes’ oldest quartier, offering fantastic views of the bay.
Le Suquet is formed of a labyrinth of winding streets and steep stairways, which climb up to the Church of Notre Dame de l’Esperence (Eglise Notre Dame d’Esperance), completed in 1648 and dedicated to Our Lady of Hope. Although it looks a bit uninviting from the outside, it is very attractive inside offering beautiful wood paneling and a collection of 19th century paintings.
Right next to it, there is the Musèe de la Castre, an art and history museum offering an interesting world tour, and displaying historic items from different world civilizations, collected and donated by wealthy local people.
The best part is actually walking through the old castle courtyard and climbing up into the tower. The 360 degree views of Cannes and the harbor are simply spectacular!