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Cannes on the Côte d'Azur: The most beautiful sights & our tips

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We saved one highlight of our trip to the south of France for last: our personal journey through time. Incredible 14 It’s been years since we last pushed our way through the narrow streets of “Le Suquet” in Cannes and impressed the sailing yachts in Harbour have observed. Back then as a student on a language trip, today as a travel blogger on the road. We were therefore particularly looking forward to Cannes!

First of all: Cannes has retained its sympathetic, maritime charm. The town on the famous Côte d’Azur is just as beautiful as we remembered. In this blog article, we tell you which highlights you should not miss when traveling to Cannes. We also show you impressions of our trip to the wonderful island of Sainte-Marguerite.

1. Cannes on the Côte d’Azur: That’s what awaits you Cannes – or: If sea breeze and holiday feelings dominate a city break. Along with Nice and Saint Tropez, Cannes is one of the most popular travel destinations along the fashionable Côte d’Azur. The 70 .000 city is definitely the most vibrant destination on our road trip through southern France.

The fact that Cannes is not exactly known as a cheap place should be general be known. And if you admire the many sailing yachts in the harbor , then it quickly becomes clear that the density of celebrities and millionaires is relatively high here on the Côte d’Azur. Curious interim information: we have never seen so many helicopters in one city as in Cannes. And: In Cannes, the transport company Uber actually offered us a flight with a helicopter.

Anyway – the good news: As travelers we have Cannes compared to our other destinations in Southern France definitely not experienced exceptionally expensive. So don’t worry: with a little planning, a city trip to Cannes won’t eat a hole in your wallet! Requirement: You must stay away from the expensive hotels and luxury boutiques along the Croisette.

2. Things to see and do in Cannes To visit the main sights and highlights in Cannes, take about a whole day. Cannes should definitely not be reduced to classic sights. What makes this city so much more special in our opinion is its lively Mediterranean flair.

Marche Forville Our tip: Start your visit as early as possible in the morning at the Marché Forville, the most famous weekly market in Cannes. We are among those people who never get enough of the hustle and bustle of the market. If you are of the same breed then a visit to Marché Forville is a must!

In the surprisingly spacious market hall all sorts of delicacies from Provence are offered for sale, including fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, olives, cheese and and and. Would you like to try a specialty of the region? Then we have a recommendation for you: Socca – a kind of pancake made from chickpea flour, which is baked in a wood-fired oven and then sprinkled with pepper. Look for the red sign that says Socca’nnes. You will find the stand in the outermost aisle of the market opposite the Spar supermarket.

Opening hours: every day except Monday from 7 to 11 Watch

Address: 6 Rue du Marche Forville, 06400 Cannes

Le Suquet The old town of Cannes with the sounding name “Le Suquet” is a alley labyrinth straight out of a picture book. The bad news: souvenir shops and tour groups alternate. Le Suquet is pretty, pretty touristy. The good news: If you make a few turns, you can quickly avoid the turmoil. There are indeed alleys that you have all to yourself.

Le Suquet is built on a hill. So you will have to overcome a few meters of altitude and stairs. But we promise you: It’s worth it! By the way, we have marked where you can find these two beautiful graffitis on the map at the end of the article.

View from the Église Notre Dame d’Esperance While we’re on the subject of elevation gain, one walk we highly recommend is the one to the top of the hill to the Église Notre Dame d’Esperance. The Church from the 16. Century towers high above the old town and is one of the postcard motifs of Cannes. From up here you can enjoy a magnificent view over the bay of Cannes. The square in front of the church is very busy, but we really liked the holiday flair up here.

A small drop of bitterness: Unfortunately, some trees prevent an unclouded panoramic view. But we have a insider tip for you: Right next to the church is the entrance to the “Musée des Explorations du Monde”, which is located in a former castle. The museum shows all kinds of art objects and antiques, but the best is outside the museum walls: You can climb the museum tower and have a magnificent view in all directions from the top. For us, we wanted to take good photos in peace and quiet, this was clearly the best place for it.

Opening hours of the Musée des Explorations du Monde: can be found on the official Cannes website

Entrance to the Musée des Explorations du Monde: 6 euros for adults; for students (with ID) at 18 even for free

Palais des Festivals & “Walk of Fame” Cannes wouldn’t be Cannes without the Film Festival. Every year in May, film celebrities from all over the world meet on the Côte d’Azur. Since it is unlikely that you will be a guest in Cannes at the exact time of the film festival, we have a small consolation: you can visit the site of the world-famous spectacle – at least from the outside. Because the red carpet in front of the Palais des Festivals can be seen all year round and is therefore also an extremely popular photo spot.

In front of the Palais des Festivals you can marvel at a mini “Walk of Fame”. Some French and international celebrities have immortalized their handprints and autographs here.

Beaches in Cannes If you are looking for luxury, you will find it on the “Croisette”: Along the famous beach promenade the city’s most expensive hotels and posh boutiques are located here. Personally, we prefer the side of the Boulevard de la Croisette that faces the sea: the approximately three kilometer long stretch of beach is home to beach cafés, restaurants and a few beach clubs. “See and be seen” is the motto – so don’t be surprised if suddenly a luxury sleigh with a roaring engine comes roaring along. The same motto also applies to the beach clubs: model dimensions and six-packs are disproportionately represented here.

It’s more comfortable on the other side of the bay on the beach called Gazagnaire to. Although this public beach is relatively narrow and fairly close to the road, it is good for swimming.

We settled at the northern end of the beach at Cannes Jeunesse a Kayak borrowed and paddled out to sea with it. Compared to our quiet tours at the Pont du Gard and in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, the trip on the open sea was quite an adventurous experience. A two-seater kayak costs 18 Euro per hour.

West of the Croisette there are also some recommended beaches. The beach called “Rochers de la Bocca” is said to be particularly beautiful. Characteristic of this beach are its impressive rock formations, which give this place a rather wild and natural flair.

3. Excursion to the island of Sainte-Marguerite A few hundred meters off the mainland of Cannes rises a tiny archipelago from the water, the “Îles de Lérins”. Sainte-Marguerite, the largest of the four islands, is a popular destination in the summer season. The rugged, natural bathing bays rightly attract visitors magically.

And now it comes: Have you ever read a novel and then visited its settings? No? Then let me tell you at this point that this is a pretty cool thing. The best thing in our case: The crime author Christine Cazon personally accompanied us. Namely – you guessed it – on the island of Sainte-Marguerite, because this is where her novel “Stormy Côte d’Azur” is set. It wasn’t stormy on the day of our visit (it would have been warmer than midsummer), but it was a very special experience to follow in the footsteps of the characters in the novel.

What you can experience on the island of Sainte-Marguerite Many come for a swimming afternoon to Sainte-Marguerite. The coves, cliffs and azure waters are to die for and if you search a bit you can always find a quiet spot in the shade of the Pine trees. A little advance warning: In the high season, dozens of boats frolic along the coast. Unfortunately, Sainte-Marguerite is by no means an insider tip.

If you are more into sightseeing, then the short walk to Fort Royal (entrance fee : 6 euros). You can reach it in about ten minutes on foot from the boat dock. Part of the fort served as a state prison for centuries. The mysterious “Man in the Iron Mask” was imprisoned here for eleven years. You can still visit his cell today, because the oldest part of the site now houses a museum. Archaeological finds are on display. If you walk through the premises of the temporary exhibitions, you will reach a great panoramic terrace.

How to get to Sainte-Marguerite The crossing from Cannes to the island of Sainte-Marguerite takes about 15 until 20 minutes. We ourselves were traveling with the boat company “Trans Côte d’Azur”. Boats run approximately every 1 to 2 hours year-round, with the interval increasing in high season. The boats depart from Port de Cannes (Port de Cannes, quai Laubeuf 2018 Cannes).

On Sainte-Marguerite itself there is no car traffic or public buses. Considering the size of the island, it doesn’t need it either. So you simply cover the distances on foot.

You can book your ticket for the boat trip in advance here: Ticket Sainte-Marguerite (Return)

4. Restaurant and café tips for Cannes With the large restaurant scene in Cannes, it’s easy to lose track of things. Therefore, in this chapter we will tell you where we have eaten ourselves and also pass on a few tips that Christine Cazon gave us (many thanks at this point).

Lunch with a view of the Sea? Yes, please! The Riviera Beach is a beach club, bar and restaurant in one (address: Boulevard du Midi Jean Hibert). It is located directly on the beach and is very comfortably furnished – a place to feel good. As expected, the price level is not exactly low, but for Cannes and the location it is absolutely reasonable: main courses cost about 20 Euro. There are many fish and meat dishes on the menu, as well as great salad creations.

The Restaurant Tredici was recommended to us by many people, which we unfortunately couldn’t visit. It’s run by young people and we’re pretty sure it’s great. The Tredici is located directly in the Suquet, i.e. in the old town of Cannes (address: 13 Rue Louis Perrissol ). The menu features Italian-inspired dishes. You should definitely stop by there when you are in Cannes!

If you are looking for a great café, then Fleur & Chloé might be for you you (address: 10 Avenue de Lyon). This “salon de thé” is located outside of the city center very close to our hotel (more on that in a moment). The interior is puristic, but very comfortable. The Fleur & Chloé is known for its delicious pâtisserie, but they also have a small lunch menu.

Finally, a tip if you want to dine in class in the old town: The Relais des Semailles serves fine cuisine in the heart of the Suquet (address: 9-11 Rue Saint-Antoine). The ambience in this winding restaurant is dignified and definitely something special. The evening menu (3 courses) costs 30 Euro.

5. Our hotel tip for Cannes We stayed at the Hotel Oxford, which is outside the old town. The hotel is housed in a historic, charming villa. The rooms are tiny, but we personally didn’t mind. A plus is the free parking. The only disadvantage: Unfortunately, it is almost on foot Minutes to the old town. Conclusion: The price-performance ratio is definitely right and the Hotel Ofxord is an affordable alternative to the hotels along the Croisette.

You can book the hotel here: Hotel Oxford

Transparency: {Advertisement} For this blog article we have collaborated with the French National Tourist Board (Atout France). As part of the #facesoffrance nature campaign, we were allowed to travel through southern France for two weeks – including to Cannes on the Côte d’Azur. Of course, this cooperation has no influence on our opinion.

This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to Cannes or the Côte d’Azur? If you have any more tips or questions, please leave us a comment!