In this blog I’m going to share with you my experience in Cannes. I’ve spent there a week with my parents. We went there mainly to relax and spend some time together – I’ve moved abroad but I’ve kept the habit of going on holiday with them every summer.
The festival of cinema
Cannes of course is famous for the festival of cinema. The golden palm is a true symbol of the city and you find it everywhere. Painted on the floor in front of the festival building, sculpted in the garden of the Carlton hotel and printed in various souvenirs.
The symbol of the golden palm comes from the city’s history. According to official website of the Cannes festival, the city’s motto is
Praemium palma victori
which means: The prize of victory is the palm. This may sound weird, but it comes from an ancient legend of Saint Honorat, You can read the story here.
Trompes d’œil (optical illusions) are common in most French cities. In Cannes, surprise surprise, they are almost entirely about cinema. I’m going to show you here the ones that I have photographed, but I can assure you that there are many more.
I don’t want to disclose where they are, as I think it’s quite fun to wander around and make a discovery by yourself. But if you really want to know, I’ve actually written where they are in an Instagram post.
If you love luxury travel, then Cannes is definitely the place for you. We are talking about serious luxury here. There are so many 5star and 4star hotels to choose from, if you have a lot of money to spend.
A famous one in particular is the Carlton Hotel. I would encourage you to stop and look at the facade. You will see a clock. Nothing weird so far, but look closer. You will see that there is a huge Rolex clock. Quite a statement, isn’t it?
But you don’t have to be super rich to have a nice time in Cannes. I stayed in a hotel/apartment calles Citadines Apart’hotel. It’s an interesting business model: basically you have a reception like in a hotel and you can have breakfast. The rooms, however, are small apartments with a kitchen, so you can also save some money by avoiding eating out all the time.
Also, if you want to spend time at beach, you have various options.
- Private beach clubs. Here you will pay on average 25€ for an umbrella and chaise longue. I went there with my parents and I can say it was not bad at all for you got
- Council beach club. This comes around a half cheaper and is a more basic service
- Free beach.
The old town
The old town is my favorite part of Cannes. As most medieval towns, is placed on top of a hill to be easier to defend. During the day it was a bit empty, no doubt because the heat doesn’t make the climb very attractive.
During the night, though, it changes completely. Full of crowded restaurants and shops, it’s great for a stroll after dinner. And when you reach the top, you will get a beautiful view over the city, the harbour, and the coast.
If you are really lazy you can also take a shuttle bus to reach the top.
Shops, food, and art in Cannes
There are 2 great streets for shopping:
- Rue d’Antibe. This is for clothes, accessories, and more and you will find mainly big international brands.
- Rue Meynadier. This is a pedestrian street full of local shops. You will find a lot of local products, which means a lot of food. I’m not a huge fan of French food (sorry my French readers, but I definitely prefer Italian). However, there are things the French are very good at making, above all sweets and cheese. I strongly advise you to try some of these!
At night, you may also find local markets selling art and other goods. I find this a great way to spend the evening and also a good way to buy presents and souvenirs rather than the touristy shops.
Speaking French in Cannes: the challenge
If the only language you speak is English, well, I don’t have good news for you. The French are a proud people and they don’t particularly like to speak English. In my experience at least, they will reply to you in French.
I speak some French and I got away with a mix of French, Italian, and gestures. Italy is very close to Cannes and there are so many Italians there that most every local would speak or at least understand.
I hope you enjoyed this blog! I had a very good time and I would recommend a visit for those who are looking for a relaxing holiday.