Country: France
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Peak Season: May-August
Shoulder Season: January-April
Median Temperature: 11.60 C / 52.88 F
Main Languages: French, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, taxi, bicycle rental
Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $150.00/day
Tourist Passes: Cannes Film Festival screening ticket
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Cannes is known worldwide for its annual film festival and the snazzy lifestyle of locals and tourists, but the travelers who’ve been here known for a fact that the Riviera connection is not as superficial as most people claim. The extended sunshine makes up for prolonged stays at its fantastic beaches. The outlying Lérins Island also account for extended exploration. And, unbeknownst to many, the fringes of the city are a portal for hikes along the semi-treacherous Estérel Mountains that overlook the city.

We can’t discount how Cannes continues to cultivate the importance of performing arts, offering workshops and full-fledged shows whose discourses range from typical stage shows to avant-garde performances. The Cannes Film Festival confers the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) to the best director of the event. But to many aspiring film aficionados, just being nominated or invited to submit their piece to the illustrious event merits a life accomplishment.

One can choose to be thrifty or over-the-top in this small city. Either way, finding your clique is easy, as the tapestry this city has loomed is enough to suffice those who value substance over material and vice versa. The circuit of neighboring cities along the Côte d'azur are also prime itineraries if Cannes has piqued your curiosity enough.

Packing List

  • Essential medication (headache pills, sunscreen) and toiletries; bring snacks if you don’t intend to spend on restaurants—for those who forgot to pack their own meals, there’s still the cheap French bread
  • Converted currency and credit cards; it’s advisable to bring plastic even though you’re not going to splurge—credit cards are the main mode of payment, so process those bank forms to make sure
  • Decent apparel and beachwear; contrary to popular belief that one has to dress like a prince/princess in this side of France, the locals over at Cannes don’t really mind you’re sporting Prada or Hanes
  • The basic accessories to keep you blended with the crowds, such as bags, accessories and a quick make-up kit; you may want to sport sunglasses to hide those bloodshot eyes after late-night partying
  • A decent camera, plenty of film and batteries; like Paris, people seldom have the opportunity to go here and so capitalize on the great opportunity to strike a pose with actors/directors during the Film Festival

Things to Do

  • Hitting the beach of Plage de la Croisette, which is always crowded year long (and a playground for nudists); if longing for privacy, a few spacious, hotel-owned areas will cost you north of 30 euro
  • Experiencing local living at Le Suquet, just beside the Bay of Cannes; the cobblestone streets are lined with pretty boutiques, cafes and restaurants serving scrumptious seafood straight off the Bay
  • Entering the Notre Dame de l'Esperance, which is easily traceable thanks to its high clock tower; it is fondly known to locals as “des Pins” due to being shrouded with pine trees before urbanization
  • Departing from the mainland towards Ile Sainte-Marguerite, a rather small island; it is famous for being the setting of Alexandre Dumas’ protagonist in the The Man in the Iron Mask
  • Donning your purse bag and window-shopping along one of the most expensive streets in the world: Rue d'Antibes; the selections here range from personal effects to furniture

DON'T

  • Disgrace yourself by speaking the French language if you only know a few words and phrases; this also goes with the apparel—don’t wear (kitsch) dresses if they don’t match the couture for that season
  • Be too conscious about your appearance and physique—just be graceful and everything will be fine; notice how the actual people in the beaches aren’t that “slim” and “sexy” as those seen on TV?
  • Be too inclined to wear fashionable clothing if you’re male—casual wear does the job nicely; women, on the other hand, are obliged to keep up by picking out terrific dresses that don’t look droll and kitsch
  • Appear uninteresting and unworthy of Cannes; there are some tricks in the book to keep you interesting, like pretending to be occupied when traveling alone (reading a book, answering calls, etc)
  • Be clueless—read on Cannes before going there; topics of relative interest might be cinematography, the French language and socialite parlance—it helps to be “in” on the conversation to make it lasting