City Guide: Cannes

Cannes, a city in southern France is most famously known for the Cannes Film Festival taking place annually since 1946. On our trip to Southern France in mid-spring last year, we were able to spend a couple of hours in Cannes during the festival. We did not actually plan to be there during the festival, but timing somehow worked in our favour or against given that Cannes was completely overrun by people.

Moritz and I did, however, also have a chance to come back to Cannes for a weekend trip in November and were thus able to enjoy Cannes in a calmer, more relaxed situation. On this short trip we also visited Grasse, the perfume capital of France.

Port and Beach in Cannes

After arriving at Cannes train station from Marseille, we made our way towards the Boulevard de la Croisette. The beach here was, however, mainly private property of individual hotels and restaurants and thus closed off for private events. The same problem occurred around the Palais des Festivals, were many areas were only accessible for people with guest passes.

Nevertheless, we strolled along the old port and admired a few yachts. We then continued by passing the beautiful city hall towards a stretch of beach aside Boulevard du Midi Jean Hibert.

From here we also had a great view over the coastline of Cannes. Hereafter, we kind of left the busy streets of Cannes behind us and continued into the ‘hinterland’ of Cannes.

Villa Rothschild in Cannes

After walking up a street we reached the Villa Rothschild and its gardens. The villa is situated in a quarter called La Croix-des-Gardes and is owned by the city Cannes since 1947. It now hosts a library and mediatheque with a number of different events.

Originally the villa was build for Marie-Thérèse in 1881. It is surrounded by a beautiful park and exotic plants. The reading room can be accessed for free, the villa thus presents an ideal spot for working quietly. Opposite of the Villa Rothschild you can also see the Villa Vallombrosa, a little castle.

Old Town and Castle of Cannes

From the Villa we continued towards the old town of Cannes. The narrow streets and small houses were very beautiful and rarely any tourist found his way up here.

We then continued towards the Castle, from which you can enjoy a beautiful overview over the city’s port. Then we also had a look at the Church of Our Lady of Esperance, which is situated right at the top of the hill.

Picture-taking was a little difficult thought as several film crews and journalists were located here to present about the Film Festival.

Cannes Film Festival – Celebrity spotting

Lastly, we returned to the promenade, walked through the centre with the little restaurants and cafés to reach the InterContinental Carlton Cannes.

Cannes InterContinental

Cannes InterContinental

Here we suddenly saw a blonde women surronded by four bodyguards crossing the street to go to the beach bar – seconds later after she passed I realized it was Nicole Kidman, of course we failed to take a picture of her at that very moment!

Our impressions of Cannes

Overall we both thought that Cannes is a little over-hyped and definitely over-crowded during the Film Festival. Nonetheless during our latest stay in Cannes we fell in love with its coastline and the beautiful sunsets you can enjoy there. Nevertheless, apart from its charming old town and the little villa quarter there is not that much to see. In contrast, Nice has a lot more to offer sightseeing wise!


4 Comments on “City Guide: Cannes”

  1. I read your post because we are planning on trips around France and Europe from our base in Paris. Funny coincidence though about your seeing Nicole Kidman. Was that in November? We too saw her in Paris on November 9 when she was here to unveil the Christmas windows at the Printemps (the department store). Perhaps you saw her just before or after? Thanks for the info on Cannes!

    • Nice to hear from you! What trips have you planned so far?
      We actually saw her back in May during the Film Festival!

  2. So far, we are planning on going to Barcelona (March), Alps (not sure where and when but likely Chamonix), Bordeaux, Hungary Italy (not sure what of Tuscany/Florence/Cinque Terre), Sicily, and also possibly Greece (islands), Norway (fjords), Portugal and Ile de Re area of France. So many choices, so little time. We’ve been to London but are going back to visit Oxford during eights week. I would also love to do a kayaking tour off the coast of Croatia. Recommendations welcome!

    • Hey there, sorry for the late reply, we’re currently travelling in Asia! Your plans sound very good, these places are truly beautiful. When it comes to Hungary, I’d focus on Budapest, while in Italy I’d definitely go to Florence and Verona and maybe also Cinque Terre. I have only been to Verona, Milan and Venice in Italy so far, but will be going to Florence in two weeks to visit a friend, so can give you some recommmendations after my trip! Sicily sounds great, too, if you end up having enough time! Other than that, there are a couple of cities in France well worth visiting (the South of France, including Marseille and Nice, Strasbourg as well as Avignon, just to name a few). Those are also all easily reachable by train from Paris. As we are currently also living in Paris, we have done a number of weekend trips to different French cities and they are just so beautiful! But you are right, choices are endless so it is difficult to see everything in such little time. When going to Barcelona you could also go to Valencia which is not too far away from Barcelona and very nice as well, plus less touristy than Barcelona! I personally haven’t been to Greece or Norway (except for Oslo), but have heard great things about it and would definitely recommend you to visit the Fjords! Portugal is very lovely, the beaches are really nice in the Algarve and Lisbon is also a very beautiful city! You could easily spend a few days at the Algarve and then drive to Lisbon or do it the other way around. We just spend a couple of days in Portugal in December (flights from Paris were also very cheap for that!). I hope you enjoy your travels in Europe and don’t hesitate to ask for more information or check out any of our city guides!! 🙂

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