So you’re attending the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, but what else is interesting off the red carpet? While Cannes is mainly appraised for its highly esteemed film festival, there is much more to be discovered in this trendy and posh French town.
As an attendee of the Festival, it is very likely you will take stroll along the famous Boulevard de la Croisette. This street stretches 2 kilometres along the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea, and is filled with many prestigious shops, restaurants and hotels. While on Blvd. la Croisette, you will also find one of Cannes nicest beaches, called plage de la Croisette. Although there is an entrance fee of 15 – 22 euros, you will receive a full day pass to the beach and all its conveniences, including a mattress, parasol, a ‘chaise longue’ (long chair), fresh water showers and a kiosk selling drinks. If high-end shopping and dining on la Croisette isn’t quite your bag, take a visit to la rue d’Antibes. Here, you can find an abundance of more moderately priced shops, boutiques and restaurants. Rue Meynardier is particularly known for its great priced dining and is surrounded by one of Cannes oldest residential areas.
Only a five-minute walk from plage de la Croisette, lays the historic neighbourhood le Suquet, another must see in Cannes. Wonder through the windingcobbled roads, packed with many restaurants, overlooking the Bay of Cannes itself. At the bottom of Le Suquet, on Rue Dr. P. Gayagnaire, you will find the Marche Forville. Here, you’ll find an authentic, French outdoors market, specializing in quality produce harvested by local farmers and vendors.
Got some time on your hands? The city of Cannes is close to a number of beautiful and well-known islands, and if you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a boat trip just off shore of the French Riviera to the nearby destinations. Ile Ste. Marguerite is home to the famous Fort Royal, which detained the mysterious prisoner, ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ for what is said to be 11 years of his life. Enjoy a tour of the prison, Musée de la Mer, and see for yourself the prisoner’s cells, all of which date back to the 17th century. Places such as Nice, and lavish island, St. Tropez, are no longer than an hours travel outside Cannes. Simply rent a car or take a bus trip to these southern getaways. A boat ride is necessary to travel to St. Tropez, but rest assured, this small island is packed with some of France’s finest and most luxurious amenities, and is truly worth the time!
Night time in Cannes is just as exciting as daytime, so if you’re more of a night owl, Cannes has a handful of lively spots where you and a friend can grab a drink and enjoy some great music. Bar 4 U, located on Rue des Frères Pradignac, (just off of la Croisette) is the spot for you if glam, fashion and costly drinks are your style, and hey - you may even spot a celebrity or two in this swank nightclub.
Looking for something a little more low-key and casual? Definitely check out Morrison’s, Cannes’ best Irish pub, located on rue Teisseire.
And last but not least, for any of you wine connoisseurs out there, (okay, you don’t actually have to be a wine connoisseur, but an appreciation helps) drop into Le Bar a Vin. Here, you’ll taste a variety of some fabulous French wines Cannes, (and don’t worry - you won’t pay an arm and a leg either!)
So, while you enjoy these upcoming weeks the perks and benefits of experiencing one of the world’s greatest annual film events – don’t shy away from exploring the many other impressive sights the South of France has to offer!
by Gabrielle Martin