Famous for the movie-star glamour of the International Film Festival that takes over this picturesque seaside town every May, Cannes lives up to its reputation of being fashionable, elegant and oh so very chic. Welcome to the French Riviera.
Step One: Take in the Market
Where: Marché Forville
Why: Open since 1934, this covered, bustling meat, produce and flower market is right in the center of Cannes and reminds you what’s really at the heart of the French joie de vivre: quality food. Whether you’re just looking to sample some of the South’s famous blue cheeses, searching for the best baguette, perusing the perfectly ripe fruit and vegetables, or seeking out a bottle of rosé, Marché Forville is sure to lure you in with sights, sounds, and most importantly, smells.
Step Two: Wander along the Promenade
Where: La Croisette
When: 11 am
Why: This famous stretch of walkway that curves around the harbor is the perfect way to take in the full Cannes atmosphere. From the swanky hotels where designer clad patrons are ushered into purring Ferraris, to the yachts that glimmer in the clear blue water beyond the white sands of the private beaches, you’ll also run into tourists, vendors, and celebrity impersonators looking for an audience along this world famous promenade.
Step Three: Relax on the Beach
Where: La Plage 45
Why: Although most beaches in Cannes are private, that doesn’t mean they’re off limits. One of the most famous ones, Plage Royal, belongs to the Grand Hotel, but for a price anyone can enjoy the amenities of Plage 45, their chic beach restaurant. Take a seat on one of the plush daybeds and just enjoy feeling fabulous. If you’re not into splashing out to splash about, both Plage La Bocca and Plage Du Midi are open to the public, have shallow waters and are family friendly.
Step Four: Get a New Look
Where: Boulevard De La Croisette and Rue D’Antibes
Why: When in Cannes, shopping is a must. If there’s one thing that the Cannes locals are, it’s effortlessly à la mode. From their shoes to their shirts, sunglasses, handbags, and watches, as much as the French love food, they also love to look good. It’s no secret designer duds come at a steep price, but being stylish does not. Despite the names like Celine and Dior on Boulevard de La Croisette, there are also plenty of smaller, chic boutiques on Rue D’Antibes.
Step Five: Be a Bon Vivant
Where: Au Bon Enfants, Mantel or Palme D’Or
Why: It’s easy to eat well in this city, but navigating the many restaurants is a bit more challenging. For something local and casual, head to Au Bon Enfants near marché Forville for classic french home cooking. They only take cash and if you want to book a table, you have to drop by in person since they don’t have a phone. Mantel, located in Suquet Hill, is slightly more upscale and offers a Mediterranean inspired menu in a contemporary atmosphere. For a special occasion, or to really indulge, Palme D’Or is the exquisite two Michelin Star restaurant in The Martinez Hotel. From the food to the wine, to the terrace overlooking the sea, Palme D’Or is Southern French dining at its very best.
Step Six Let the Good Times Roll
Where: Casino Le Croisette
Why: Cannes is just one of those places – when the sun goes down, the city lights up. Built into the Palais des Festivals, Casino Le Croisette will remind you of the glory days of gambling before sneakers replaced stilettos and guests dressed their best. With a bar overlooking the twinkling lights of the port, the casino is set up to be a one-stop party – on summer nights it’s open until 5am. Whether you’re hopping from table to table or just enjoying the spectacle, remember to bring your passport or they won’t let you in!
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