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Cannes France Monaco Cannes

Cannes France French Destinations

Cannes is the westernmost town on the stretch of the Cote d'Azur known as the French Riviera, which runs east from here to Menton, seventy kilometres towards the Italian border. Mass tourism in the 1950s turned what was previously an inhospitable coastline with little use as fishing or port territory, into one of the largest seafront promenades in the world, with hundreds of hotels, restaurants and beaches vying for the attention of the moneyed tourists.


Cannes is the modern culture capital of this stretch of coast, with the Cannes Film FestivalCannes Film Festival the highlight of the socialite's busy calendar in May, yet the town only possesses one museum. The only art you are likely to see is that of the plastic surgeon on the beaches, unless you dare venture into one of the exclusive looking boutique galleries.

Cannes airport information

In a place where a glass of water in a nightclub costs almost as much as the budget airline flight to get there, seeking out cheap activities and free pleasures is an industry in itself. You could wander up to the Musée de la Castre (+ €5), housed in a fortified chateau that was built in the 11th century and inhabited by monks, on top of the hill known as Le Suquet that also gives its name to the old town in Cannes. The museum has a collection of ethnological, archaeological, musical and artistic objects from all over the world. Walking, of course, is free, unless you try to walk onto one of the paying beaches near the boulevard de la Croisette. Here you will find Cannes' most exclusive hotels and their private beaches, full of budding celebrities and, especially during the film festival, the accompanying paparazzi.

You may think that these particular beachgoers are all wearing next to nothing, but in actual fact it is an extremely expensive nothing consisting of perfume, bikini, sunglasses, jewellery, sun cream and tiny sandals that they picked up in the boutiques on the rue d'Antibes and promenade de la Croisette earlier. Even the miniature dogs get bejewelled collars and bijoux names like Chérie Bébée.

The beaches to the west of the old port, Plages du Midi and Plages de la Bocca, along boulevards Jean Hibert and du Midi, are open to hoi polloi and wannabe star alike. And, seeing as sunbathing or wandering around are the only affordable activities in Cannes, you may as well get to this three metre wide, several kilometres long stretch of sandy beach early so that you can stake out your spot before the world, his wife, her miniature poodle and their tennis partners come to spoil the view out to the deep blue sea.