The most famous attraction in Cannes is the Festival de Cannes, a yearly film festival that takes place in May, where celebrities inundate the city and thousands of films are screened. For a quiet swim, snorkeling and a chance to explore a monastery and castle ruins, check out the Îles de Lérins, two islands in the bay. Old Town houses restaurants, souvenir shops and a view of the castle ruins.
Most beaches are private, and most of the public beaches are crowded.
Cannes' best lodging choices are at the heart of downtown, close to the beach and a short walk from shops, restaurants and the marina. There are many high-end hotels in Cannes due to its popularity as a luxury destination, but budget hotels are available further from the city center. Beach hotels are also popular, offering views of the sea and a convenient walk to downtown.
Although many of the beach hotels are luxury hotels, there are surprisingly a few budget options for travelers willing to look for a deal.
Popular restaurants in Cannes include those located on the Rue Meynadier, which offers outdoor seating with excellent views of the surrounding town. Other more romantic settings include the restaurants at the Place Bellvue, just outside of town. Traditional French food and high-end cuisine is the standard in Cannes, but more affordable dining options are available near the Rue de Antibes.
Vegetarian options are limited in Cannes.
Party spots in Cannes focus around the Rue Commandant Andre, a district called the Golden Square. It's filled with bars, restaurants and dance clubs. Cannes is home to three casinos, with all-inclusive luxury restaurants, bars, private beaches and gambling. Many of the nightclubs feature international acts and performers.
Take It or Leave It:
Many clubs and bars have a dress code.
Cannes is famous for its luxury fashion stores, located between La Croisette and Rue d'Antibes. Rue d'Antibes also houses a number of shops specializing in chocolates and other sweets. Rue Meynadier has a market focusing on wine and cheese, while the monastery on Ste Honorat is where you can grab local souvenirs.
Take It or Leave It:
Sale taxes vary depending on what items you buy, and can be quite steep for luxury goods.