Cannes tourist attractions include Promenade de la Croisette, Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, La Suquet Old Town, Musée de la Castre, and the Île Sainte-Marguerite.
Promenade de la Croisette is the most important street in the city, a mile long, world famous beach promenade, and for many, a symbol of the entire French Riviera.
La Croisette is especially well-known for its beautiful beaches, lined with world-class hotels, restaurants, cafes, and designer boutiques.
When the Cannes Film Festival takes place here, La Croisette is the best location to see some of the biggest movie stars in the world, as they come to shop at the street’s boutiques from the city’s private beaches.
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (www.palaisdesfestivals.com) convention center, meanwhile, is where the Cannes Film Festival is held at, also within the Promenade de la Croisette.
Thanks to the Cannes Film Festival, in fact, the convention center is the city’s most famous building, and when entering the palace, you’ll walk on the same red carpet that the stars use.
The building is surrounded by ‘Allée des Etoiles‘ (‘Walk of Stars’), which resembles the famous walkway in front of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, or the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong.
Top Cannes tourist attractions include La Suquet, the city’s Old Town, located within Suquet hill, overlooking the Bay of Cannes and the city’s port.
La Suquet is from where Cannes originated and expanded from, and it has been built (during the Middle Ages) on top of an ancient Roman military base.
The Old Town of Cannes consisted of the entire city up to 1834, when an English aristocrat fell in love with Cannes, and had a winter residence built to the city, which started the city’s reputation as a place for the rich and famous.
The most famous street within La Suquet is the cobblestoned rue St Antoine, lined with many idyllic local restaurants.
You can also find from the area the historic Marche Forville marketplace, a daily place to purchase fresh vegetables and other food products.
If you’re heading through the Old Town to its northern sections, from there, you’ll find Observatoire de Super-Cannes, a lookout tower 325 meters (1,066 ft) above the sea level, from where you’ll have spectacular views of the Côte d’Azur.
To get to the observatory, you can use a historic funicular (cable-rail) transportation that is available.
Of the Cannes tourist attractions, Musée de la Castre is located within the Old Town, at Château de la Castre, and contains an interesting collection of paintings, sculptures, and interior decoration related works of art.
Some of the interesting sub-collections at the museum include:
- Mediterranean antiquities,
- pre-Columbian potteries from South America, and
- historical musical instruments from around the world (located within the 12th century Saint Anne Chapel).
Another remarkable section of the collection are the local and Provencal paintings from the 19th century, spread into three separate exhibition halls, portraying sceneries from Cannes and the French Riviera.
The museum highlights include its 12th century, square-shaped tower, the top of which you can visit (with the ascend having a total of 109 steps).
From the tower, you’ll have excellent views over the most beautiful section of Cannes, a section known as La Californie, where, for example,Pablo Picasso lived in the 1950s.
Finally, Île Sainte-Marguerite is the largest island within the coastal Lérins islands archipelago, located just about 800 meters (874 yards) from the beach.
The island is famous for its fortress prison, whose most famous inmate (during the 17th century) was the legendary Iron Mask, whose tale gave inspiration for Alexandre Dumas to write, in the 1840s, his ‘The Three Musketeers‘ saga.
Today, the prison fortress contains a Museum of the Sea, which has exhibitions, for example, of artifacts rescued from ancient Roman period ship wrecks.
You can also tour the building’s prison cells, including the famous cell where Iron Mask was kept at.
A ferry trip from Cannes harbor to the island takes about 30 minutes.