Keywords: Cannes France
Description: Cannes is the "star" of the French Riviera, famous for the International Film Festival and the glitzy hotels, cars, beaches and visitors attracted here. Although it's probably the opposite of
Cannes is the "star" of the French Riviera, famous for the International Film Festival and the glitzy hotels, cars, beaches and visitors attracted here. Although it's probably the opposite of the Beyond type villages of the "arriére pays", it would be a shame to visit the South of France without experiencing the city for yourself.
Film producers (yea, sure!) and starlets for the festival in May. Tourists year-round and crowds of tourists in the summer. Exotic people and real people, and plenty of poodles (it is France, after all). The yachts and cruise ships float in the blue water, and you can't always tell which is which by the size.
The city of Cannes is centered around the old port, with the central part quite compact. The famous "Croisette" is the boulevard and the beach that extends around the bay to the east of the port, in the protected "Rade de Cannes". Out around the point at the west side of the port, the Boulevard Jean Hibert runs along the coast to the west, with even more fine sandy beaches. The Rue d'Antibes is the main street running east-west through the center of the city, becoming the Rue Félix Faure at the bottom end, past the Allée de la Liberté and the port. The Boulevard Carnot runs north out of the city, through residential-shopping areas, to the A8 autoroute, and inland towards Grasse.
Exotic cars abound: white-haired ladies drive Maseratis for shopping trips, Porsches blow through the streets like pollen, and only the very latest models of Lamborghini and Ferrari attract serious attention. This American snake (photo) is the hit of the moment.
If you're not busy shopping, eating or ogling, there are miles of beaches along the Golfe de la Napoule or along "La Croisette" in the Rade de Cannes. The beaches are all sandy here, as in Antibes and Juan-les-Pins.
Cannes is great for "upper-crust" shopping. You should be in Nice for serious or business shopping, while Cannes is a shopper's paradise for chic and expensive items. Although you might want to buy your yacht in Antibes, the Rolls-Royce dealer is in Cannes, and there's an endless collection of top-of-the-line jewelry shops, haute-couture clothing shops and art galleries.
Rue d'Antibes. This long street runs the length of Cannes, from the eastern edge to Rue Félix Faure at the port. Shops of all types are along here, including clothing boutiques and many places with fine gift items. Cannes' movie theaters are along the Rue d'Antibes as well.
Bvd de la Croisette. Along this famous boulevard and its many side streets are the art galleries, jewelry stores and the most exclusive clothing shops. If you're not on a budget, your hotel will probably be here as well.
Zone Piétonne - Walking Street. The Rue Meynadier runs parallel to the port, one block in from Rue Félix Faure. Roughly six blocks long, this street has markets and shops with things like produce, meat, groceries, clothes and gifts. There's a Pier One Imports shop with household items.
Forville. The main daily market is at Forville, two blocks north (inland) from the Hotel de Ville on Rue Félix Faure. This is a big, active covered market, that takes up a full, long block (photo). A flower market is at the west end of the covered area. On Mondays, Forville becomes a Marché Brocante (flea market).
Flea Market. A Marché Brocante is held every Saturday, "Sur Les Allées", opposite the old port, beneath the trees. This becomes a two-day market with the first Sunday of the month.
Place Gambetta. This is a smaller, but still sizable, daily market in the covered area in the center of the square. Place Gambetta is a block north of the Rue d'Antibes and a couple of blocks east of the train station.
A small "square" on the Le Suquet hill, just below the tower and ramparts, and places to sit amidst large oleander bushes and beneath lovely shade trees.
At the west end of "La Croisette", between the Palais des Festivals and the beach, is a shaded grassy park area with playground, including slides and things. You'll find a real carrousel there, or sometimes an even bigger one out on the esplanade in front of the "Palais".
At the east end of "La Croisette", just before the new Port Canto yacht harbor, is another park and playground. This one also has carnival-type rides for the bigger kids.
Beside the playground at the east end of "La Croisette" is the Jardin Alexandre III, a lovely big flower-garden park.
Many, many famous (and infamous) people have connections to Cannes, from movie characters to movie actors and others.
Dirk Bogarde was the first Briton to be named President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (1984). He was a member of the jury the following year.
Photogallery Cannes France:
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