Cannes is a cozy and lively town that’s situated by the beautiful Riviera in France. Even tough Cannes isn’t a big city, it still has much to offer its visitors.
It’s with its fantastic nightlife, luxury shopping, beautiful beaches and cozy atmosphere that Cannes attracts all sorts of travelers – a great mix of families, couples, and party people!
If you’re planning to go to Cannes, then this is the ultimate travel guide for you. Here I have gathered all my best tips and all the necessary information you need to know about the city – from the trendiest clubs to the best attractions and much much more!
|Food & Drinks||Good to Know|
Table of Contents
Things to do in Cannes
Cannes flashy port is a place where you can check out all the luxury yachts that’s owned by both millionaires and celebrities. Buy an ice cream and stroll along the harbor and admire the luxury yachts!
Festival de Cannes
The world’s most famous and largest film festival takes place in Cannes every year in the month of May. If you’re in town during this festival, you can count on to see a lot of familiar faces since many of the world’s most famous persons attend this event!
Stroll around Old Town
Above the harbor and the movie palace, you will find the cozy medieval district of Cannes. Between the narrow streets and beautiful old buildings lies several boutiques, excellent restaurants, and cozy cafés. When you’re in Cannes old town, you have to stop by the famous Clock Tower, Tour du Suquet, which is a hallmark of Cannes along with Palace de la Castre.
Iles de Lerins
Iles de Lérins is an island group of four that lies about 15 minutes by boat from La Croisette in central Cannes. These pristine islands are all natural and offer a beautiful environment with an unusual history. The two largest islands are Sainte-Marguerite and Saint Honorat.
You can smell the scent of pine and eucalyptus while exploring the island of Sainte-Marguerite. This is best done by following the marked passages that lead you to the most scenic and historic sights. The island also offers cozy restaurants, great picnic spots and stunning bays with crystal clear water. This island is perfect for those who want to relax and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of nature.
Saint Honorat is an island owned by the French monks. The monks live on this particular island all the year round and are also very active. Here the monks manufacture both liqueurs and wines and also offer delightful wine tasting tours and meditation for those who are interested.
Nightlife in Cannes
If it’s somethings that Cannes is famous for, then it’s for the lively nightlife that keeps going until the wee hours. The city has a wide selection of bars, pubs, and clubs that features everything from celebrity clubs to laid-back bars. If you’re looking for a more romantic environment, then you should head to the streets around Le Suquet, which is a perfect area for romance.
Baoli is a very trendy lounge bar and club among celebrities. Here the famous DJ’s and singers play music until the early morning. If you don’t want to be in the middle of the party zone, then you can hang out in the cozy garden area under the palm trees.
Address: Port Canto, Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes, France.
In July and August every year, Palais Club becomes the most trendy and fashionable club in the whole city. During these two months, you can see both singers and DJ’s perform such as Snoop Dog, David Guetta, Avicii and Chris Brown. Palais is the ultimate summer club that’s open until the wee hours and also offers a 1,500 square meter roof top terrace where you and your friends can hang out.
Address: Palais des Festivals, La Croisette, Cannes.
Gotha Club is only open during the summer and the famous film festival. Gotha Club is such a club where many celebrities tend to hang out and party at, but it’s also popular among tourists. The club is open every day from 9th of July to the 30th of August.
Address: Place Franklin Roosevelt, Cannes.
Beaches in Cannes
There are many beaches along the Riviera of Cannes. Many of these beaches are private and you have to pay a fee of around 30 Euros to access – but fortunately, the price also includes a beach bed and a towel. It cannot be more “Cannes” than visiting a private beach, so it can be worth trying out a day or two. L’Ecrin at the Palm Beach side of Port Canto is recommended, even for a drink. Bali Plage is also a popular beach, and Croisette Beach is an excellent place for lunch and some sunbathing.
Cannes doesn’t only have private beaches; the city also offers beaches that are open to the public. East and west of Cannes you can find beautiful beaches that you can access as much as you want. In central Cannes, just below Palais des Festivals lies a beautiful public beach called Plage du Casino. At this beach, you can also enjoy several water sports if you want a day full of adventures!
Shopping in Cannes
Besides the lively nightlife and the Cannes Film Festival, the party capital of the French Rivera also offers great opportunities for those who love to shop. Whether you are looking for diamonds at Cartier or local crafts from the town markets, Cannes has for sure what you’re looking for.
Along the famous boulevard La Croisette, you will find many luxurious and exclusive shops. Here you’ll only find the best and finest shops of them all.
Behind the boulevard lies Rue d’Antibes, which is an elegant and modern shopping street in Cannes. The street is known for its large selection of international stores and French shops, cafes and restaurants.
In the parallel street behind Rue d’Antibes lies Rue Meynadier, a street where you will find wonderful local souvenirs, clothes, bags and food in small shops along the street.
If you follow Rue Meynadier in the direction towards old town, you will find your way to Rue Louis Blanc. Every week, from Tuesday to Sunday is a beautiful Provencal market held. Forville Market on Rue Louis Blanc is a fun market where you can buy local products or just stroll around to have a look at what the locals offer.
How to get around in Cannes
Explore by foot
Getting around by foot in Cannes is both simple, convenient and secure. To explore the city by foot is an excellent way to breathe in the French atmosphere and to find all the hidden gems that Cannes has to offer.
Order a Taxi
You can either hail a taxi from the street or call and order one via Taxis de Cannes. The taximeter starts at € 2.35 and then it costs approximately € 3.00 per half-mile.
Hop on the train
Cannes is one of the stops on the route of the TGV high-speed train. From Cannes train station you can go directly to Nice, Paris, and Marseille. The train station is situated on Rue Jean Jaures – five blocks north of Palais des Festivals by the harbor. At Palais des Festivals there is also a tourist office where you can get tips and advice on how to get to the nearby destinations.
Rent a car
If you have plans to travel to nearby areas, then a car can be a real freedom. If you’re only going to stay in central Cannes, then a car is unnecessary. There are many one-way streets, and it can be tough to find a parking lot.
If you’re planning to rent a car, then there are two garages that’re good to know about; The garage by Palais des Festivals and the parking at Grey d’Albion hotel that’s located on Rue des Serbes.
Take the bus
Traveling by bus in Cannes is pretty easy. The city is well equipped with a bus system that will take you around Cannes and also nearby destinations such as; La Bocca, Le Cannet and Mandelieu – La Napoule.
STU de Cannes Bus Azur, CTM Cannes La Bocca, and Beltrame are some of the bus companies. The buses depart every 15 minutes and you can purchase the ticket at the bus station or directly on the bus. You will find the main bus station by the famous building with the Cinema Cannes wall painting in central Cannes!
Order an Uber
Uber is far the best option if you don’t want to walk or take the bus in Cannes. It’s both cheap and convenient, and you don’t have to worry about having cash on you since you always pay with your card. If you register via the link below you will get 5 euros in travel credit on your first ride with Uber!
Recommended hotels in Cannes
Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez
Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez is one of the most affordable luxury hotels in Cannes. Grand Hyatt lies on a private beach in the city center and is equipped with a full-service spa, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. Grand Hyatt has everything you need for a successful holiday. The hotel lies within walking distance of Palais des Festivals and La Croisette. The staff is top-notch and the rooms are both classic and clean with comfortable beds guaranteed to offer a good night’s sleep.
Hotel De Provence
A family-friendly hotel in the heart of Cannes, close to Palais des Festivals and La Croisette. This hotel is a great option if you rather spend your money on activities, shopping and eating out. The staff speaks English and can help you to book guided tours and excursions.
7 Art Hotel Cannes
An excellent budget hotel in the city center within walking distance of Palais des Festivals and La Croisette. The hotel is small and cozy and offers free Wi-Fi. The staff is both helpful and friendly.
Alternative and cheaper accommodations
If you have a strict budget to follow or rather spend your money on tours and activities, then it can be smart to look at other types of accommodation than hotels. Hostels can be found in several places in and around Cannes with simple private rooms. These are significantly cheaper than a standard hotel room and provides in many cases also a kitchen where you can cook food to save more money.
Airbnb is another option that has recently become very popular around the world, and it has also become one of my favorite ways to find accommodation while traveling. On Airbnb, you can rent an apartment, a room in someone’s home and even entire houses.
Sign up through this link below, and you will get 40 euros in travel credit on Airbnb that you can use on your first stay!
Food and drinks in Cannes
Eating out in Cannes can be expensive, particularly in the restaurants that are situated along the waterfront. The food is foremost okay, and most restaurants charge excessive prices, but it compensates with the people-watching and a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Ocean. The best places in Cannes for a good bite to eat is the area around Rue Meynadier and also in the old district where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
The French people are very proud of their cuisine, which includes animals and some parts of animals that you might not are used to back home. “Testicules the mounton” for example, is a popular dish in France containing testicles from a sheep cooked in wine.
In my opinion, some dishes that are worth to try are; Moules Frites, Ratatouille, Coq Au Vin and the sweet dessert Crepes.
On the fifth floor of the five-star hotel Sea Sens, lies this beautiful restaurant. Sea Sens has received a Michelin star for its delicious food and excellent service. Here you’ll get the latest food sensation with flavors from the French and Asian cuisine. Except the delicious food, the guests of Sea Sens can also enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
Le Salon des Independants
Le Salon des Independants is a very cozy restaurant with an atmosphere and a service that’s always top-notch. The staff makes you feel like home, and of course, the food is also super delicious!
At Le Manoir, you can enjoy exquisite priceworthy French food. This restaurant does also offer dishes for children and has a staff that speaks good English!
A cozy and charming restaurant that serves all French classics like tartare de boeuf and breaded fish along with a good selection of wines.
Good to know about Cannes
Cannes has a Mediterranean climate with dry and warm summers and mild winters. Their warm season extends from May/June to September and has an average temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius. The cold season in Cannes last from October/November until March/April and has an average temperature of 16 degrees Celsius.
Currency and debit cards
In France, they use Euro as their currency. ATM’s are available all around town and most shops, cafés, hotels, and restaurants accept credit cards. Avoid unnecessary costs and exchange fees by using an ATM card that is suited for travel.
Mobile and Internet
You’ll find Wi-Fi in many hotels, cafés, and restaurants around Cannes. If you want to have Wi-Fi during your whole trip, then I suggest you bring along an unlocked phone or an unlocked pocket wifi router. In Cannes, you can buy a sim card at a local phone store and load it with as many calls and internet data that you need during your stay. The two largest mobile operators are Orange and SFR.
Passport & Visa
Most countries in Europe (from the Schengen agreement) has 90 days without a visa in France with a valid ID-card or passport. Visitors from the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand can also enter France for 90 days without a visa, but one must have a valid passport during the whole trip. All other visitors are required to get a tourist visa, which can be obtained from the French embassy in your home country.
220 volts. France uses the European plug (with two plugs). If you’re like me and travel a lot, then I can highly recommend you to buy a travel adapter. You can buy my favorite adapter HERE.
Tap water is safe to drink, but the French themselves prefer mineral water.