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World > France > Cannes
City Guide Cannes
General Information
Cannes has its glorious time in May when the whole world looks at the glamour of the International Film festival. Actually, many people only know Cannes from the TV screen with movie stars strolling over the red carpet. It cannot be denied that this enormous event shapes the city’s reputation in the world, but it should not be overlooked that Cannes is actually France’s second important city when it comes to business tourism. No congress, no festival or season is not suitable enough for Cannes. Throughout the year business people come for a diversity of events like the MIDEM (Music Business) in January, the MIPIM (International Real-Estate Market) in March or the Tax Free World Exhibition in October. Therefore it is hard to imagine that Cannes grew from a small fishing town. Still today the fishing tradition is alive at Vieux Port wshere fishermen sell their fresh fish at the Forville Market. In the 11 th century Cannes was owned by monks who expanded their territory to the nearby Island of St Honorat where they are still settled today. Due to the popularity of the town, the appearance of Cannes and its inhabitants is very fancy and glamorous. Sandy beaches and luxury cruise boats, palatial hotels and designer shops as well as the luminosity and gastronomy of the Côte d'Azur belong to the city life of this grandiose village. Appearances are important in this city of stars, and latest purchases are flaunted in the trendy bars and bistros.
Cannes is an ideal place when it comes to the weather since the temperatures are about 30 °C in summer (July – Sept) and only 12 to 18 °C in winter. Nevertheless, there is a high percentage of rainfall from March to early May. During the festival, temperatures range between 18 and 23 °C.
People in Cannes speak French with a southern accent. Until 1914 the inhabitants of Cannes spoke Cannois, a variant of Provençal-Maritime, which can still today be noticed in most place names. Today only a small group mainly from the fishing community speaks that typical accent from this branch of Provençal.
Most of the people in Cannes are Roman-Catholic but minor religious groups like Muslims and Jews exist equally.
The currency used in France is the Euro. Notes come in denominations of €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 and the coins in use are €2, €1, € 0.50, € 0.20, € 0.10, € 0.05, € 0.02 and € 0.01.
Service charges are included on all restaurant bills. However, it is standard to tip according to the level of service given. It is common practice to give a small tip to chambermaids and porters.
Sales tax is quite high at 18.6%, and is included in the shop prices. This tax can be refunded to tourists from outside of the EU whenever €175 or more is spent in the same shop. Most retailers will present you with a form to fill out in these cases, to give to customs officials at the airport. In other situations, however, tourists have to pay special taxes. While staying in France, visitors usually have to pay a tourism tax or a flat-rate tourism tax which is fixed by the local authority and ranges between 0,15 and 1,07 € per person per day, depending on the quality and the standard of the accommodation. The tax will be added to your hotel bill by the owner of the accommodation.
To call Cannes from abroad you first have to put the country code for France +33 and then 493 for Cannes. Public telephone boxes are widely available in France, but it is a good idea to buy a France Telecom telécarte at Métro or RER stations, post offices or newsagents rather than relying on cash. These phone cards are available in 50-unit and 120-unit versions. Many phone boxes don''t take coins, but some now accept credit cards.
Like most of the cities Cannes has a couple of internet cafes whose addresses are below: Dre@m Cyber-Café: 6 rue commandant vidal; +33 04 93 38 26 79 Ashe: 44 bd Carnot Webstation: 26 Rue Hoche,; +33 04 93 68 72 37 People who want to use their own devices can use the WiFi HotSpots in the city which are offered by some hotels ( InterHotel Orangers 06400 Cannes 1 rue des Orangers; Hotel de F 06400 Cannes 85 rue d Antibes; Noga Hilton Cannes 06400 Cannes 50 Boulevard de La Croisette; InterHotel Orangers 06400 Cannes 1 rue des Orangers ). But also many cafes offer an wireless access to the internet.
Emergency numbers
Police 17 Sea Police 93 68 91 92 Fire 18 Doctors 93 99 12 12 Ambulance 93 38 39 38 Hospital 93 69 91 33
Opening times
Shops are generally open from 9 or 9.30 am to 12.30 am and from 2 pm to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday. Most of the groceries, apart from supermarkets, do not open until 3 pm. Banks are open on weekdays from 9 to 12 am and from 2 to 5 pm as well as Saturdays from 12 am to 2 pm. The working hours for offices are 8.30 or 9 am – 12 or 12.30 am and from 2 – 6 pm on weekdays and for some offices 9 – 12 am on Saturdays.
Public holidays
On the following days, most shops, banks and museums will be closed, and public transport is likely to be more limited. 1st January, New Year’s Day Easter Sunday and Monday 30th April, Great Prayer Day 8th May, VE Day 14th July, Bastille Day 15th August, Feast of the Assumption 1st November, All Saints’ Day 11th November, Armistice Day 25th December, Christmas
Pick pocketing is the main problem during festival time in the high season. Travelling around strange areas can be quite risky. Also be alert when driving around in the city. It is better to have travel insurance just in case.
The long, shop-studded stretch of La Croisette is Cannes’ central attraction, with 12km (7.5 miles) of beach. During the International Film Festival, stars and millionaires, who pose (friment) in restaurants and along the expensive private beaches of La Croisette, become a major attraction. La Croisette is best viewed from the highest point of Cannes’ Old Town, Le Suquet, where the remains of the fortified tower still stand, along with the 12th-century Chapel of St Anne. Le Suquet is a lovely place for tourists to stroll, with its winding streets, small boutiques and restaurants. At the end of La Croisette is the Palais des Festivals, whose endless Allées des Stars is imprinted with handprints and signatures of the famous. Just beyond, is the atmospheric Vieux Port, with its odd medley of luxury boats and tiny fishing vessels, its rows of palm trees and fragrant flower market of the Allées de la Liberté. Further west, along the seafront, are the free beaches, where the locals gather, along the Plages du Midi.
City tours
For a Whole Day Nice: 32km (20 miles) east along the coast, Nice is a museum Mecca. The Musée Matisse, 164 avenue des Arènes de Cimiez (tel: (04) 9381 0808) displays a rich collection of paintings and sculptures in the artist’s former home. The Musée National Message Biblique, avenue du Dr Ménard (tel: (04) 9353 8720) houses the enormous dreamscapes of Marc Chagall. Proud portraits of Napoleon and Josephine, religious art and Flemish and Germanic sculpture are displayed in the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, 65 rue de France (tel: (04) 9388 0622), located in the lush turn-of-the-century Palais Masséna. The prestigious Musée d''Art Moderne et d''Art Contemporain (MAMAC), Promenade des Arts (tel: (04) 9362 6162) displays French and American works from the 1960s to the present day. The New Museum of Asian Arts has just opened at 405 promenade des Anglais (tel: (04) 9229 3700). For a Half Day Grasse: The world capital of the perfume industry for over three centuries, Grasse is situated just 16km (ten miles) from Cannes. Four of its 300 perfume factories and the Musée International de la Parfumerie, 8 place du Cours, are open to the public. August brings the Fête du Jasmin, with a carnival atmosphere and floats of flowers. Other attractions include the fascinating Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Provence, 2 rue Mirabeau, Amiral de Grasse Museum and the 12th-century cathedral, which contains three Rubens. Rapide-Côte d’Azur buses to Grasse depart from the Cannes train station. The Grasse Tourist Office, Cours Honoré-Cresp (tel: (04) 9336 6666; fax: (04) 9336 8636), provides further information. Walking Tours Guided two-hour walking tours depart every Wednesday at 1430 from the Tourist Information Office, Palais des Festivals, Esplanade Georges Pompidou (tel: (04) 9339 2453). These cost €7 (free for children under the age of 12 years) and take in the Old Town (Suquet), the old port, rue d’Antibes and La Croisette. The most rewarding nature trails are to be found on the Lérins Islands. In the summer season, the Office National des Forêts (ONF) offers guided tours to the Ile Ste Marguerite. Outside of these times, visitors can follow the signposted botanical trail. Train Tours Les petit trains de la Croisette et du Suquet (tel: (06) 1409 4939) depart regularly from the Tourist Office, Palais des Festivals. The Le Suquet (Old Town) tour costs €6 (€3 children under ten years) and the La Croisette tour costs €5 (€2.5 children under ten years). Both trips last 30-40 minutes and include a multi-lingual commentary. Self-drive Tours Clearly sign-posted information points along the Route Napoléon recount the progress of Napoleon, after his escape from the Isle of Elba. The Action Nationale des Elus pour la Route Napoléon (tel: (04) 9340 1233; fax: (04) 9340 1233) provides further information.
Musée de la Castre (Castre Mus
The Castre Museum, on the hilltop of Le Suquet, is housed in the former chateau of the monks of the Lérins Isles and the 12th-century chapel of St Anne. Nineteenth-century paintings by local artists depict images of Cannes under rosy skies, with palm trees, fishing boats and ladies in voluminous skirts. There is also a fascinating collection of 200 musical instruments, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern antiquities and an ethnology display. Guided tours in English are available on request
Ile Ste Marguerite (St Marguer
It only takes a 15-minute boat ride from Cannes to get there but it took The Man in the Iron Mask 11 years to leave this tiny, forested island. The mysterious individual was believed to be of noble blood, however, his identity has never been proven. His cell can be visited in the Fort of St Marguerite, now renamed the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea). This museum also houses archaeological discoveries from shipwrecks off the coast of the island, including Roman (first century BC) and Saracen (tenth century AD) ceramics.There is a regular boat service from the mainland. Operators include Estérel Chanteclair (tel: (04) 9339 1182), Horizon 4 (tel: (04) 9298 7136), Maritime Cannoise (tel: (04) 9338 6633) and Trans Côte D’Azur (tel: (04) 9298 7130). Guided tours in English are available in summer.
Ile St Honorat (St Honorat Isl
Cistercian monks are the only inhabitants of the smaller, southern St Honorat Island. Monks have inhabited the island more or less continuously since AD410 and, at the height of their powers, owned Cannes, Mougins and Vallauris. Medieval vestiges remain in the stark church, which is open to the public, and in the ruins of the 11th-century monastery on the sea’s edge. The monks divide their time between prayer and producing red and white wines La Vendange des Moines, Lérina liqueur, honey, lavender oil and recently launched and very successful Marc Blanc. In summer, when tourist numbers increase, the monks retire to their cloistered monastery, the Abbey of Lérins. Although closed to the general public, the monastery welcomes guests for weeklong retreats. The Cistercian monks who inhabit St Honorat run the only boat trips to the island. Boats depart from Cannes’ main port, at the Jetée Edouard.