Your Ultimate Cannes Travel Guide 2023
Cannes is a dazzling destination on the French Riviera that offers an array of attractions and experiences that will make any traveler’s stay unforgettable. From the bustling Promenade de la Croisette, which is lined with luxury boutiques and restaurants, to the iconic Cannes Film Festival, there is something for everyone in Cannes. In this post, we will provide you with an ultimate Cannes travel guide to help you make the most of your time in this stunning city. Whether you are looking for great restaurants, things to do, or some hidden gems, we have you covered! You may also want to check out our Paris travel guide.
Top 5 Things To See And Do In Cannes
- Visit The Palais Des Festivals Et Des Congrès: Cannes is well-known for its international film festival, which is held annually at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. Take a guided tour of the iconic building to learn about the festival’s history and see where the stars walk the famous red carpet.
- Stroll Along the Promenade De La Croisette: Take a leisurely walk along the scenic Promenade de la Croisette, which runs parallel to the Mediterranean Sea. This palm-lined avenue is home to some of the city’s best luxury boutiques, hotels, and restaurants.
- Explore Le Suquet: Cannes’ Old Town, also known as Le Suquet, is a charming area with winding cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and plenty of quaint cafes and shops. Visit the Notre-Dame de l’Espérance church and climb up to the top for stunning views of the city.
- Visit The Îles De Lérins: A short boat ride from Cannes, the Îles de Lérins are two small islands that are perfect for a day trip. Sainte-Marguerite is the larger of the two and is home to the Fort Royal, where the famous “Man in the Iron Mask” was held captive. Île Saint-Honorat is smaller but has a beautiful monastery that produces its own wine.
- Experience The Marché Forville: Cannes’ main market, the Marché Forville, is a bustling hub of fresh produce, flowers, and local specialties. Go early in the morning to see the vendors set up and grab some goodies for a picnic on the beach.
Where To Stay In Cannes
- Le Suquet: The Old Town of Cannes is a charming and picturesque neighborhood located on a hill overlooking the harbor. This area is known for its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and lively atmosphere. Here, you’ll find a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops.
- La Croisette: This is Cannes’ most famous neighborhood, located along the city’s main beachfront. La Croisette is home to many luxury hotels, upscale boutiques, and high-end restaurants. If you’re looking for a glamorous and trendy experience, this is the place to be.
- Cannes Centre: The city center is a great option for those looking for a central location close to everything. You’ll find a variety of hotels, shops, and restaurants in this area, and it’s a great base for exploring the city.
- Cannes Marina: This neighborhood is located to the west of the city center and is home to the Port of Cannes. Here, you’ll find a range of apartments and hotels, many of which offer views of the marina. It’s a great area if you’re looking for a quieter and more laid-back experience.
- La Bocca: Located to the east of Cannes, La Bocca is a more residential area. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a more affordable accommodation option and don’t mind being a bit further from the city center. There are several supermarkets and shops in the area, as well as a beach.
Top Cannes Hotels
- Hotel Martinez: The iconic Hotel Martinez is one of the most luxurious and prestigious hotels in Cannes. This hotel is located on the Croisette and offers a beautiful view of the Mediterranean sea. It has a private beach, a spa, a fitness center, and several gourmet restaurants. The rooms are spacious, elegant, and well-appointed, with modern amenities like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars.
- InterContinental Carlton Cannes: The InterContinental Carlton Cannes is a historic hotel that was built in 1911 and is one of the most recognizable buildings in Cannes. This hotel has a prime location on the Croisette, with stunning views of the Bay of Cannes. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites with classic French decor and modern amenities. It also has a private beach, a spa, a fitness center, and several restaurants.
- Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez: The Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez is a 5-star hotel located on the Croisette. This hotel has been completely renovated and offers contemporary rooms with stunning sea views. It also has a private beach, a spa, a fitness center, and several restaurants.
- JW Marriott Cannes: The JW Marriott Cannes is a luxurious hotel located on the Croisette, just a few steps from the Palais des Festivals. The hotel features elegant rooms with modern amenities, as well as a private beach, a spa, a fitness center, and several restaurants. The rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the Bay of Cannes.
- Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso Cannes: The Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso Cannes is a 5-star hotel located on the Old Port of Cannes. This hotel features modern rooms with stunning sea views, a thalassotherapy spa, a fitness center, and several restaurants. The rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the Bay of Cannes and the Old Port.
Where To Eat In Cannes
When it comes to dining in Cannes, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a fine dining experience, you won’t be disappointed. Here are the top 5 places to eat in Cannes:
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- La Palme d’Or: This restaurant is located inside the luxurious Grand Hotel Cannes and is run by chef Christian Sinicropi, who has been awarded three Michelin stars. The menu offers a mix of traditional French dishes and creative culinary creations.
- L’Affable: A cozy restaurant located in the heart of Cannes, L’Affable offers delicious and reasonably priced French cuisine. The menu changes regularly and features fresh and seasonal ingredients.
- Le Voilier: For seafood lovers, Le Voilier is a must-visit restaurant. Located in the Old Port of Cannes, this restaurant offers a great selection of fresh seafood dishes, including oysters, lobster, and crab.
- Bâoli: If you’re looking for a trendy and lively spot, Bâoli is the place to be. This restaurant and nightclub is located right on the beach and offers a mix of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine.
- Astoux Et Brun: This seafood restaurant has been serving up fresh and delicious dishes for over 60 years. The menu features a variety of seafood platters, fish dishes, and seafood soup.
No matter which restaurant you choose, make sure to pair your meal with a glass of local wine or a refreshing cocktail. Bon appétit!
How To Get Around Cannes
Getting around Cannes is relatively easy as the city has an efficient public transportation system. Here are the various ways to navigate Cannes:
- Walking: If you plan on exploring the city, walking is a great way to do so. Cannes is a compact city, and most of its major attractions are located within walking distance of each other. Walking also allows you to discover hidden gems that you might miss while using other means of transportation.
- Buses: Cannes has an extensive bus network, which covers the entire city and surrounding areas. Bus fares are relatively affordable, and the frequency of buses is quite high, especially during peak season. You can buy your tickets at the bus stations or from the bus driver.
- Trains: The train system in Cannes is efficient and links the city with other destinations in the region. The Cannes train station is located in the city center, and you can catch a train to Nice, Monaco, Marseille, and other nearby towns.
- Bikes: Cycling is a popular means of transportation in Cannes, especially during the summer months. The city has several bike rental shops, and you can rent a bike for a day or more. Cycling is a great way to explore the city, and you can easily reach places that are not accessible by other means of transportation.
- Car Rental: If you plan on visiting nearby towns or attractions that are not covered by public transportation, renting a car is a good option. Car rental companies have offices at the airport and train station, and you can choose from a range of vehicles.
- Taxis: Taxis are widely available in Cannes, and you can easily hail one on the street or book through a taxi app. Taxis are a bit expensive compared to other means of transportation, but they are convenient, especially if you have a lot of luggage.
Cannes is blessed with mild and pleasant weather throughout the year, thanks to its location on the Mediterranean coast. The weather in Cannes can be described as Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters.
- Spring (March – May): Spring is a wonderful time to visit Cannes, as the weather is mild and sunny with occasional rains. Average daytime temperatures range between 15°C to 20°C, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring the beautiful gardens and parks around the city.
- Summer (June – August): Summer is the peak season in Cannes, and the weather is warm and sunny with occasional showers. The average daytime temperature during summer ranges from 24°C to 27°C, similar to Tulum, making it ideal for beachgoers and water activities. It is recommended to carry sunscreen, a hat and a light jacket during the evenings.
- Fall (September – November): Fall is a great time to visit Cannes, as the weather is mild and comfortable. The average daytime temperature during fall ranges from 20°C to 24°C, and the humidity is lower, making it comfortable for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
- Winter (December – February): Winter is the off-season in Cannes, and the weather is cooler and sometimes wet. The average daytime temperature during winter ranges from 10°C to 15°C, making it suitable for indoor activities like museum hopping and shopping. It is recommended to carry warm clothes like jackets, sweaters and scarfs during the winter months.
Overall, the weather in Cannes is mild and comfortable throughout the year, and the best time to visit depends on individual preferences. Whether you’re a beach lover or a culture seeker, there’s something for everyone in this charming coastal city.
Best Time To Visit Cannes
Cannes is a popular travel destination all year round, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences. Here are some things to consider:
The high season in Cannes is during the summer months from June to August. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, and the city is buzzing with activity. However, this is also the busiest time of the year, and prices for hotels and flights are at their peak. If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere and don’t mind the crowds and high prices, then this is the best time to visit Cannes.
The shoulder seasons, which are from April to May and September to October, offer a great balance between good weather and fewer crowds. The temperatures during this time are still warm enough to enjoy the beach, and there are fewer tourists, which means you can enjoy the city’s attractions without the crowds. The prices for accommodation and flights are also more reasonable during this time.
The low season in Cannes is from November to March when the weather is cooler and less sunny. This is the best time to visit Cannes if you’re looking for a more peaceful and relaxing vacation. The prices for hotels and flights are also significantly lower during this time. Ultimately, the best time to visit Cannes depends on your preferences and what you’re looking to experience. Consider your travel budget, weather preferences, and preferred crowd levels before making your decision.
How To Stay Safe In Cannes
As with any destination, safety should be a top priority when visiting Cannes. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while exploring the city:
- Keep An Eye On Your Belongings: Pickpocketing is a common issue in tourist areas, so be sure to keep your belongings close to you at all times. Consider carrying a cross-body bag instead of a shoulder bag or backpack.
- Use Official Transportation: When traveling around Cannes, it’s best to use official transportation such as taxis or buses. Avoid unmarked or unlicensed vehicles as they may not be safe or trustworthy.
- Be Aware Of Your Surroundings: Always pay attention to your surroundings and stay aware of any suspicious behavior or situations.
- Avoid Dark Or Isolated Areas At Night: If you’re out and about after dark, stick to well-lit and populated areas. Avoid dark or isolated areas as they can be dangerous.
- Follow Local Laws And Customs: Be respectful of local laws and customs in Cannes. Dress appropriately when visiting religious sites and avoid engaging in any illegal activities.
By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Cannes. Remember to always use common sense and trust your instincts when it comes to your safety.
Cannes Customs and Etiquette
When traveling to Cannes, it’s important to be aware of the local customs and etiquette to ensure a positive experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Dress Code: Cannes is known for its glamour and elegance, so it’s best to dress up for dinner and nightlife. It’s also important to cover up when visiting religious sites.
- Greetings: French is the official language in Cannes, so it’s polite to greet locals with a “Bonjour” (hello) or “Bonsoir” (good evening). A simple “merci” (thank you) or “au revoir” (goodbye) is also appreciated.
- Tipping: Tipping in Cannes is not expected, but leaving a small amount (10%) for exceptional service is appreciated.
- Punctuality: Arriving on time is considered important in Cannes, so make sure to be punctual for appointments and meetings.
- Respect For Culture: Respect the local customs and traditions. For example, refrain from eating on the street during Ramadan.
- Public Behavior: Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon in Cannes. Also, be mindful of noise levels, especially at night.
- Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public spaces in France, including bars and restaurants.
By following these customs and etiquette tips, you’ll show respect to the local culture and make the most out of your time in Cannes.
Other Things To Know About Cannes
Before you embark on your journey to this breathtaking city, there are a few more things you need to know about Cannes. Firstly, Cannes is located in the southeastern part of France, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The official language of Cannes, and the entire country of France, is French. However, you’ll find that many people also speak English, especially in the tourist areas.
The currency used in Cannes, and in France, is the Euro (EUR). Make sure to exchange your currency beforehand, or withdraw cash from ATMs once you arrive. It’s also important to note that credit and debit cards are widely accepted in most places.
Cannes is in the Central European Time zone (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1). If you’re coming from a different time zone, make sure to adjust your schedule accordingly.
It’s also worth mentioning that Cannes has a rich cultural heritage, which can be seen in its many museums, galleries, and historic landmarks. From the Musée de la Castre to the famous Boulevard de la Croisette, there’s something for everyone to explore in this city. So be sure to take the time to immerse yourself in Cannes’ culture and history.
Lastly, keep in mind that Cannes is a relatively safe city. However, it’s always wise to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially when travelling alone or at night. It’s also important to respect the local customs and etiquette, such as dressing modestly when visiting religious sites. With these tips in mind, you’re all set to make the most of your time in Cannes and experience everything this stunning city has to offer.
Cannes Travel Costs
When planning a trip to Cannes, it’s important to factor in the costs to ensure that your travel budget is reasonable and that you don’t run out of money midway through your vacation. Here is a breakdown of the typical costs you can expect to incur when traveling to Cannes:
- Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in Cannes can vary greatly depending on the time of year you’re visiting. During peak season (June to August), expect to pay higher rates for hotels and vacation rentals. On average, you can expect to pay between $150-$400 per night for a hotel room.
- Food And Drink: Eating out in Cannes can be expensive, especially in the tourist areas. Expect to pay around $25 for a simple meal at a mid-range restaurant. For a more upscale dining experience, you could be looking at prices upwards of $100 per person.
- Transportation: Cannes is a compact city, and many attractions can be easily accessed on foot. If you need to use public transport, a single ticket on the local bus costs around $1.50. Taxis are also readily available, with prices starting at $5.
- Activities: Cannes offers plenty of free activities, such as strolling along the Croisette and visiting the public beaches. However, there are also plenty of paid attractions to enjoy, including museums, boat trips, and sightseeing tours. Expect to pay between $10-$30 for most attractions.
Overall, a mid-range trip to Cannes could cost around $200-$300 per day per person. However, it’s always possible to find ways to save money, such as by opting for budget accommodation or cooking your own meals.
When planning your travel budget, don’t forget to include the cost of airfare, visas (if required), and travel insurance. It’s also a good idea to have some emergency cash on hand in case of unexpected expenses. By budgeting carefully and planning ahead, you can enjoy all that Cannes has to offer without breaking the bank.
Finding Affordable Flights To Cannes
Cannes may be a glamorous destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable flights to get there. Here are some tips on finding the best deals:
- Book In Advance: As with any travel plans, booking your flights in advance can often save you money. Aim to book at least a few months before your planned departure date.
- Be Flexible With Your Dates: If you can be flexible with your travel dates, you may be able to find cheaper flights. Try searching for flights on different days of the week or in different months to see if there are any significant differences in price.
- Use Price Comparison Sites: Websites like Skyscanner and Kayak allow you to compare flight prices from different airlines and travel agencies. Use these sites to find the cheapest flights available.
- Sign Up For Alerts: Many airlines, like Air France, and travel agencies offer email alerts when flight prices drop. Sign up for these alerts to stay informed and catch any deals as they become available.
- Consider Alternate Airports: The nearest major airport to Cannes is Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, but you may be able to find cheaper flights if you’re willing to fly into a different nearby airport, like Marseille or Toulon.
By following these tips, you can find affordable flights to Cannes and make your dream trip a reality.
Backpacking Cannes Suggested Budgets
Backpacking in Cannes can be a great option for those looking to explore this beautiful destination on a budget. Here are some suggested budgets for a backpacking trip to Cannes:
For a low-budget backpacking trip to Cannes, you can expect to spend around €40-50 per day. This would cover your accommodation in a hostel or budget hotel, meals at budget restaurants, and transportation costs such as buses and trains. You can also explore free attractions such as the beaches and parks, and walk around the city to admire the architecture.
For a mid-range backpacking trip to Cannes, you can expect to spend around €80-100 per day. This would cover a comfortable private room in a mid-range hotel or Airbnb, meals at mid-range restaurants, and transportation costs such as taxis and rental bikes. You can also enjoy paid attractions such as museums and galleries, and indulge in some shopping at local markets and boutiques.
For a high-budget backpacking trip to Cannes, you can expect to spend €150 or more per day. This would cover a luxurious hotel room with sea views, meals at high-end restaurants, and transportation costs such as private drivers and yacht rentals. You can also enjoy exclusive experiences such as private tours and VIP access to events.
Remember, these budgets are just a guideline, and actual costs may vary based on your preferences and travel style. Regardless of your budget, there are plenty of ways to experience the charm and glamour of Cannes while still staying within your means.
Cannes Money Saving Tips
Visiting Cannes can be an expensive affair, especially during peak tourist season. However, with some smart planning and savvy money-saving tips, you can enjoy your trip to Cannes without breaking the bank. Here are some Cannes money saving tips that can help you save some cash on your next trip:
- Travel Off-Season: The peak tourist season in Cannes is from June to August, which means prices for everything, including accommodation, transportation, and attractions, are higher. Traveling off-season, during spring or fall, can save you some money.
- Book In Advance: Whether it’s your flights, hotel, or rental car, booking in advance can save you a lot of money. Look for early bird deals or last-minute discounts, depending on your travel dates.
- Use Public Transportation: Cannes has an excellent public transportation system, including buses and trains. Using public transportation instead of taxis or private cars can save you a lot of money.
- Look For Free Activities: Cannes has plenty of free activities, including the Promenade de la Croisette, the Old Town of Cannes, and the beaches. You can also enjoy free music concerts and art exhibitions during the Cannes Film Festival.
- Buy A Cannes Pass: The Cannes Pass is a tourist card that offers free or discounted access to over 25 attractions, including museums, parks, and tours. It also includes free public transportation and discounts at some restaurants and shops.
- Eat Like A Local: Avoid eating at touristy restaurants or cafes that charge exorbitant prices. Instead, look for local food markets, street food vendors, or family-owned restaurants that offer authentic local cuisine at affordable prices.
By using these money-saving tips, you can enjoy a fantastic trip to Cannes without spending a fortune. Remember to budget wisely, prioritize your spending, and plan ahead for the best experience.
What To Pack For Cannes
If you’re planning a trip to Cannes, it’s important to pack appropriately for the climate and the activities you plan on doing. Here are some essential items you should consider packing:
- Sunscreen And Sunglasses: Cannes is known for its sunny weather, so it’s important to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Don’t forget to bring a good pair of sunglasses as well.
- Comfortable Walking Shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking in Cannes, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes that you can wear for long periods of time.
- Light Clothing: In the summer months, temperatures can get quite high in Cannes, so pack light clothing that is breathable and comfortable.
- Formal Attire: If you plan on attending any of the upscale events or parties in Cannes, you’ll need to bring formal attire.
- Swimsuit And Beach Towel: Cannes has beautiful beaches, so don’t forget to bring a swimsuit and beach towel so you can enjoy some fun in the sun.
- Camera: With its beautiful scenery and glamorous events, Cannes is a great place to take photos. Bring a camera to capture all the special moments.
- Money Belt: It’s always a good idea to keep your valuables safe, so consider bringing a money belt to keep your cash, credit cards, and passport secure.
- Adapter: If you’re traveling from another country, don’t forget to bring an adapter so you can charge your electronics.
By packing these essential items, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your time in Cannes.
Can You Drink Tap Water In Cannes?
One of the most common questions asked by travelers is whether it is safe to drink tap water in their destination. In Cannes, the answer is a resounding yes! The tap water in Cannes is perfectly safe for drinking and even tastes great, thanks to the high-quality filtration system in place. You can save money on bottled water and help reduce plastic waste by refilling your water bottle with tap water. In fact, it is encouraged to do so by the city to promote sustainability.
However, if you are still unsure about drinking tap water, you can always opt for bottled water, which is readily available at convenience stores and supermarkets throughout the city. Just keep in mind that bottled water is more expensive than tap water and contributes to plastic pollution. Overall, drinking tap water in Cannes is not only safe but also a sustainable and cost-effective choice. So fill up your water bottle and stay hydrated as you explore all that Cannes has to offer!
Other Things To See And Do In Cannes
In addition to the top five attractions listed in our itinerary, Cannes offers a wealth of other experiences for visitors to enjoy. Here are a few suggestions for other things to see and do while you’re in town:
- Explore The Îles De Lérins: Take a ferry from Cannes to the nearby islands of Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Honorat, where you can wander through pine forests, tour historic forts, and sample local wines made by the monks who still live on Saint-Honorat.
- Visit The Marché Forville: This lively market is open every day except Monday and is the perfect place to browse for fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and flowers. It’s also a great spot to grab a quick lunch at one of the many food stalls.
- Tour The Musée De La Castre: Housed in a medieval castle overlooking Cannes, this museum showcases a fascinating collection of art and artifacts from around the world, including African masks, pre-Columbian ceramics, and medieval European weapons.
- Stroll Through The Suquet Neighborhood: Cannes’ old town is full of winding streets, charming cafes, and hidden gardens. Climb up to the top of the hill to visit the Notre-Dame de l’Espérance church and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the sea.
- Take A Day Trip To Antibes Or Nice: If you have some extra time, consider exploring one of the neighboring towns on the French Riviera. Antibes is known for its charming old town and the Picasso Museum, while Nice boasts a beautiful waterfront promenade and a colorful open-air market.
With so much to see and do in Cannes, you’re sure to have a memorable trip no matter what activities you choose. Don’t be afraid to explore off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems that this beautiful city has to offer.
The Bottom Line
Cannes is a magical destination that offers visitors a plethora of unique experiences, from its vibrant nightlife to its stunning beaches. It’s important to note that the city can be expensive, especially during peak travel seasons. However, with careful planning and budgeting, anyone can enjoy everything Cannes has to offer. Make sure to research the best time to visit based on your preferences, and pack accordingly. When it comes to accommodations, there are plenty of luxurious hotels to choose from, but budget travelers will be happy to know that there are also affordable hostels and guesthouses available. Don’t forget to take advantage of the city’s public transportation system, which is easy to navigate and relatively inexpensive. Overall, Cannes is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list, and with this ultimate travel guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your trip.