When we hear the word Cannes, we immediately think of that film festival or the glitz and glamor that this port city is famous for. As one of the top destinations for the jetsetters in the French Riviera it is obvious that almost everything in this town is expensive and chic. Luckily, ALMOST everything. The important question is how can you spend a day in Cannes on a low budget? Well, I may have some tips to do that!
Stay outside Cannes
Interestingly there are a wide range of hotels that lie just outside the city center with a reasonable price. Stay in at the apartments of Airbnb can also be a solution, but book a place in other cities near Cannes is better. Rent an apartment in Antibes or Nice. There you will save some euros and buy more macarons. I arranged my accommodation in Nice, pretty close to the station. This was for practical reason. We could slowly wake up then walked to the station, had breakfast and easy peasy, you step into the train. The train ticket from Nice to Cannes is not so expensive (a return ticket costs around € 14) and the journey takes about half an hour.
Cannes for yourself
The best time to go to Cannes on a low budget is between January – April or between September – November. The best day to go to Cannes is on a Sunday because it’s nice and quiet and you have the lovely city for yourself. Most shops are closed but chances are there are plenty of cafes, bar and tea / coffee houses that open on Sunday. From Gare du Cannes station you walk through the quiet shopping streets such as Rue d’ Antibes and Rue de Belges.
It may be that on a Sunday there are a few delicatessen shops open their stores, such as a chocolatier in Rue d’ Antibes. Fancy something sweet? The macarons from Cannes are an appropriate treat. It has a good value for your money. The French likes delicate taste and detail in their creations. No wonder that a very good macaron can reach the price of € 3 per one macaron. But no one eats 12 pieces of macarons in one time anyway, right? So one or two bits are enough to indulge the sweet treats temptation and to stay on a budget.
That famous building in Cannes
You’ve dreamed about it and put it on your bucket list: to be at the Cannes Film Festival. In the month where the festival begins, the hotels in and around Cannes are usually fully booked and the price is doubled. When in Cannes, a visit to the Palais des Festival et des Congrès where you can make your “grand entrance” on the famous red carpet of the auditorium Louis Lumière is a must. Pretend you’re Julia Roberts or George Clooney! Around the auditorium you can find the handprints of famous actors such as Angelina Jolie, Julie Andrews and Al Pacino. For movie goers Cannes is that little piece of Hollywood on European ground.
When there is a big festival or conference at that building, the whole surrounding is well secured and most of the time closed for tourists or pedestrians. During the low season you can easily stroll around the harbor, catch a glimpse of the luxurious life of the rich and famous who docks their yachts at the harbor, or just enjoy the nice sea breeze and Mediterranean sunshine. Walk along the beautiful Boulevard de la Croisette or have a picnic at the beach with Carlton Hotel as your background. In summer time this boulevard is the busiest street in Cannes. During the low season, for instance in March, you have the beach to yourself.
A little tired of walking? Go with the tourist train that departs from the Croisette. For the young active people this might be a bit boring, but when you have only one day in Cannes this is a quick solution to be able to see all of the important tourist attractions. The train stops at the top of the hill of Le Suquet. You’ve got to see the scenic view over the city from there and you can eventually visit the Musée de la Castre.
The area around Le Suquet hill is worth a stroll. Old houses with honey-colored bricks stands beautifully aside of the medieval ruins. When you walk down the hill towards Mairie de Cannes, take a turn left to Rue du Dr. Pierre Gazagnaire. Here you will find Marché Forville, a nice market where the locals do their groceries. When you are there you will finally be able to see that Cannes is not just about the “glitz and glamor” but also the classical and authentic French culture.
Have you ever been in Cannes and want to share your experience with me? Let me know! Or maybe you have any questions about Cannes? Leave your message below.