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.
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!