Cannes Travel Guide: Top things to do and see


The French love to tell the incredible story of the transformation of a tiny fishing village into the most famous place on the Côte d’Azur. The whole reason is the plague epidemic that broke out in Nice in 1834 and the fears of the English Lord Gunry Brownham, because of which he decided to stay in Cannes. The ancient castle on the Chevalier hill and the streets of the old quarter of Suquet, sandy, deserted beaches did their job, and since then the aristocracy of France, England and Russia did not crawl out of Cannes.

And back in 1945, a bohemian thawed in the sun came up with the idea to hold a film festival in Cannes. And this event finally determined the fate of the small town. And the Croisette embankment and the Palais des Festivals with its red carpet, which became famous overnight, turned into an object of dreams of thousands of people on the planet.

Since then, once a year, the Croisette has been transformed into a catwalk, parking lots – into exhibitions of vintage cars and luxury cars, and the windows of boutiques with haute couture dresses pale in comparison with the outfits of the public strolling here.

Places to Visit | Cannes

Saint Margaret Island

Here a mysterious man in an iron mask languished in the towers of the medieval Fort Royal. Dozens of writers and historians struggled to find out who this incredibly educated and well-mannered prisoner was. Today, the fort houses the Museum of the Sea, but the cell of the world-famous prisoner has remained in the form in which it was several centuries ago: a small room with bars on the windows, from where you can see a piece of the blue sea.

Nowadays, the island does not look as intimidating as it did in the days of the man in the iron mask. Here you can walk for a long time in pine and eucalyptus groves, swim and sunbathe on the local secluded beaches, you can even go diving – there is a Sailing and Scuba Diving Center on the island. A few hours for all this will obviously not be enough.

Palace of Festivals and Congresses

Cannes Palais des Festivals and Congresses in France is considered the record holder for the number of events held within its walls, both political and cultural. And in this sense it is second only to Paris. But the most important event that brought fame to this place is, of course, the Cannes Festival. In May, there is no overcrowding here and the main thing is to be careful not to accidentally trample Brad Pete or Meryl Streep in a hurry to walk the red carpet or leave their handprint on the Avenue of Stars located nearby.

When international festivals come to an end, and the bohemia is leaving home, the Palace does not hang a barn lock on its doors, but turns into the Croisette casino. And, by the way, one of the best in the city. There are over 300 slot machines here. If you are not lucky enough to get to the Cannes Festival, you can at least hit a good jackpot by betting everything on English or French roulette.

Saint-Honorat Island

A good alternative to a beach holiday is to see Cannes from the sea and set foot on an ancient island belonging to an old monastic order. This place is so unlike the civilized Cannes that it seems as if it has fallen into the past. The abbey, which is 1600 years old, still exists today. The monks tend eucalyptus groves, grow vegetables and fruits and make the exclusive Lerina liqueur, the recipe of which is kept secret. The drink can be tasted right in the courtyard of the monastery.

And it will not be difficult to get around the island on foot – it is quite small, but very colorful. It is imperative to inspect all 7 chapels that border the island, and touch the heated stones of the fortress in the southern part of Saint Honore. These massive cobblestones have just turned 10 centuries old.

Cemetery Gran Jas

For France, it is considered quite normal when an old cemetery turns into a park. The same thing happened with the tombs of the Grand Jasse, where the first burials date back to 1866. Today, this abode of peace with architectural tricks, narrow paths, mysterious terraces and eucalyptus groves is considered the most beautiful park in the country.

People come here just for a walk, take a break from the noise of restless Cannes, think about life and death, or visit the graves of great people. Among them are the famous Faberge jeweler, Pablo Picasso’s beloved Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova, French writer Prosper Merimee. The place is truly enchanting.

At the entrance to the cemetery, everyone can receive a map of the tombs of Gran Jasse.

Suquet quarter

The old town in Cannes in plain sight. The ancient quarter of Suquet consists of several short and narrow stepped streets that climb the Chevalier hill directly to the castle of the 14th century. This postcard structure is seen from all over the place with a waving French flag from all the right angles. And in turn, from the observation deck of the castle tower, you can see the snow-white yachts in the bay, the Croisette and even the Lerins Islands in the sea.

The Church of Notre-Dame de l’Esperance, adhering to the castle, is a couple of centuries older, but in the color of the fortress it is not inferior. Directly opposite the entrance to the cathedral, concerts of classical music are held in summer, which have received the romantic name “Suquet Nights”.

Church of St. Michael the Archangel

The French architect Louis Nouveau so accurately captured the features of Russian Orthodox architecture that it seems that the blue dome of the church rises not in Cannes, but in some Russian outback.

A hundred years ago, under these vaults, the great dukes of the Romanovs often came to pray for Russia. Many donated family relics to the temple, ancient icons that adorn the cathedral to this day. And in the crypt of the temple there is a posthumous photograph of Emperor Alexander II and his military uniform.

Today the church has become a place of pilgrimage. People come here to touch the relics of the great saints – Seraphim of Sarov and John of Kronstadt.

Pierre Cardin’s villa

10 kilometers from Cannes, on the coral slopes of the tiny fishing village of Theoule-sur-Mer, stands something that resembles rounded hobbit houses, soap bubbles or space station compartments, but completely unlike human habitation. Meanwhile, the great futurist who once invented colored stockings and floral ties, fashion designer Pierre Cardin, comes here for a summer vacation.

This quaint villa was literally sculpted out of plastic, foam and polyester in 1989. It has 28 oval rooms. By special order, computer programs are installed in each bedroom that change the lighting depending on the time of day.

By the way, An excursion to a wonderful house can be arranged with the Tourism Centers in Cannes. They are not often held. And if you are suddenly unlucky, you can admire the villa from the side. It is located not far from the highway. The road is marked with signs.

If you can take your eyes off this incredible structure, then the eyes will have an even more breathtaking view of the four harbors of the Mediterranean Sea and the snow-covered tops of the Alps.

And further, You can look at other extraordinary buildings in the photo gallery “The most incredible buildings on the planet.”

Sailboat “Neptune”

In the port of Cannes, not disdaining the society of snow-white, brand new yachts, an old Spanish frigate sways on the waves. At least that’s how it looks. Although it was built in 1986 according to medieval drawings specifically for filming the historical film by Roman Polanski called “Pirates”.

True, there is one little problem. In the port of the Italian city of Genoa, there is exactly the same frigate. And the Italians foaming at the mouth prove to the French that it was their ship that was the main character of the movie “Pirates”. Be that as it may, both ships make a strong enough impression and cause an irresistible urge to descend the creaky blackened staircase into the hold in search of gold and diamonds.

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