Cannes Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Cannes

Cannes is a sparkling resort city on the enduringly fabulous French Riveria. First, Ligurians occupied Cannes, then Phocaeans, Celts, and Romans. By the fourth century, Lérins monks settled the area. Napoleon camped here after his return from Elba. Lord Brougham built a villa here and popularized Cannes as an international resort destination in the 19th century. Today, the area is known for tourism and the Cannes Film Festival, along with its glitzy harbor with immaculate yachts and casinos.

No visit to Cannes would be complete without a stop at The Palace of Festivals and Congresses, the famous Cannes Film Festival site. If you miss the festival, don't worry--the palace runs continuous shows and concerts. The Film Festival has been held annually in Cannes since 1949.

The Old Port offers charming strolls and impressive yachts. Don't miss the Cannes Ferris Wheel in the summer.

Throughout Cannes, visitors will find a series of murals or painted walls. These murals feature movie stars and favorite movie scenes from 100 years of filmmaking. If you miss the Cannes Film Festival, you can still enjoy movie-star glamour and fun.

A visit to Our Lady of Hope Church provides visitors gorgeous views of the bustling city below. Visitors can admire the ancient and impressive architecture while taking a break from the crowds.

The Museum of World Exploration features a stunning collection of ancient art and artifacts housed in historic buildings. Enjoy the gardens, the exhibits, or climb the tower to appreciate the views.

For fresh produce, fish, and meats, don't miss the Forville Market. Immerse yourself in the famous French Riveria cuisine and try something different.

On Meynadier Street, you'll continue the culinary delights with gourmet food boutiques offering arrays of cheeses, spices, candies, and baked goods. Antibes Street is a shoppers delight, and visitors won't want to miss iconic Croisette Boulevard with luxurious seaside hotels, restaurants, and shops.

Take this self-guided tour to immerse yourself in the culture and charm of Cannes.
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Cannes Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Cannes Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: France » Cannes (See other walking tours in Cannes)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: Helen
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (Palace of Festivals and Congresses)
  • Vieux Port (Old Port)
  • Les Murs Peints (Painted Wall)
  • Notre Dame d'Esperance (Our Lady of Hope Church)
  • Musée des Explorations du Monde (Museum of World Explorations)
  • Marche Forville (Forville Market)
  • Rue Meynadier (Meynadier Street)
  • Rue d'Antibes (Antibes Street)
  • Boulevard de la Croisette (Croisette Boulevard)
1
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (Palace of Festivals and Congresses)

1) Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (Palace of Festivals and Congresses) (must see)

The Palace of Festivals and Congresses was built to host the Cannes Film Festival. This first building was constructed in 1949. However, the Film Festival continued to grow, and businesses were looking for a larger meeting center to hold conventions, so a new Palace was built. The new Palace of Festivals and Congresses opened in 1982 and was further expanded in 1999.

The palace continues to host the Cannes Film Festival, which draws celebrities, movie stars, producers, and fans from all over the world. The convention center has 18 auditoriums and has 35,000 square meters of space available for exhibitions.

The palace hosts cultural events such as Summer in Cannes and Going Out in Cannes. Popular festivals held here include Jazz at Domergue, the Festival of Russian Art, and the Cannes Shopping Festival. The convention center has continuous offerings, and visitors might catch a theatre show, dance event, concert, opera, or a magic show.
2
Vieux Port (Old Port)

2) Vieux Port (Old Port)

The Old Port of Cannes offers both a historical site and a modern delight. You'll see classic sailboats at anchor and modern yachts hosting celebrities. Visitors can wander through the marina and admire the luxury yachts.

The port has been an important part of Cannes' history. It was used as a fishing village and a port of call between the Lerins islands millennia ago. First, ancient Italians occupied this area, and then the Romans. As the primary source of transportation was shipping, the port was constantly in use, bringing settlers and providing the economic heart of the area.

The Cannes Ferris Wheel is set up each summer, and visitors can enjoy a relaxing ride while taking in spectacular views.

The Laubeuf and du Large seawalls were renovated in 2018 and re-christened as the Joséphine Baker jetty. Baker was an inspiring artist from the World War II era.

This lovely jetty offers families and walkers a fantastic way to enjoy a 360-degree view of the incomparable Bay of Cannes. Visitors can also see the Lérins Islands. This jetty is accessible so guests with reduced mobility can enjoy this special place.

The Old Port hosts the Yachting Festival each year, which turns this area into an even busier and more vibrant destination. Sparkling new mega yachts, electric boats, and multihulls are displayed in this one-of-a-kind location.
3
Les Murs Peints (Painted Wall)

3) Les Murs Peints (Painted Wall) (must see)

The Painted Walls of Cannes offers visitors a unique way to see depictions of their favorite movie stars and movie scenes. Since Cannes began hosting the Cannes Film Festival in 1949, Cannes has been synonymous with movie star glamour. Since 2002, artists have painted various murals to celebrate Cannes' cinema connection. Today, there are 15 different mural frescoes to view.

These inspired murals encourage visitors to stroll through Cannes, searching for the next mural. The Painted Walls offer a unique combination of a free outdoor art gallery and a treasure hunt.

As you stroll through the city, you'll find murals depicting Buster Keaton, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe. One mural depicts Pulp Fiction and another mural shows The Piano Lesson.

One of the most prominent murals features depictions of 100 years of movie stars. This impressive mural is next to the bus station near City Hall. This artwork celebrates cinematic greats such as Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Micky Mouse, and even memorable characters like Superman, Batman, and R2-D2.
4
Notre Dame d'Esperance (Our Lady of Hope Church)

4) Notre Dame d'Esperance (Our Lady of Hope Church) (must see)

Construction on this historic church began in 1521. After over a hundred years of work, it was completed in 1627 and dedicated to Our Lady of Hope in 1645.

The church's location at the top of Suquet Hill offers beautiful views of the city below.

The church is Gothic, while the porch is Renaissance-style. Our Lady of Hope Church has several chapels, including a chapel dedicated to the patron of Cannes, Saint Nicolas. In the Saint-Pierre chapel, visitors will find an elaborate carved wooden altar.

A beautiful 16th-century gilded wood statue of Our Lady of Hope stands above the high altar. A central stained glass window represents the Annunciation.

Visitors will find a rare Burgundy sculpture dating to the 14th century in the chapel baptismal font. A 15th-century statue represents Saint Anne. The grand Italian organ dates to 1857 and enthralls the faithful with its beautiful tones.

The bell tower features Romanesque architecture. Its five bells were all cast in 1921. Near the entrance to the church, visitors will find a gorgeous small garden, perfect for quiet contemplation.

Why You Should Visit

Our Lady of Hope Church offers beautiful architecture and a picturesque setting. Looking down to the Riveria, the view is stunning.

Tips

The climb up the church is steep, so be prepared. In July, the church is a venue for Suquet Music Nights, a magical event featuring classical music, piano players, and singers.
5
Musée des Explorations du Monde (Museum of World Explorations)

5) Musée des Explorations du Monde (Museum of World Explorations) (must see)

This museum was formerly known as the Castre Museum and re-named the Museum of World Explorations in 2021.

The Museum of World Explorations is situated in the medieval castle formerly used by the monks of Lérins. In 1877, Baron Tinco Martinus Lycklama to Nijeholt bequeathed his collection to the City of Cannes. The collection includes antiques and primitive art.

In 1919, the City of Cannes acquired buildings in Le Suquet to house the collection in the museum. The ancient buildings are the perfect setting to explore this treasured collection.

The collection includes art and artifacts from the Arctic, the Himalayas, and Oceania. Visitors will also find pre-Colombian ceramics and Mediterranean antiques.

Visitors can admire a beautiful Mediterranean garden. Once inside the museum, visitors can access the inner courtyard and the watchtower. Energetic view seekers can climb the 109 steps to the top of the tower. From the top, admire the 360-degree view of Cannes below.

In the 11th century Saint Anne Chapel, guests will find an exquisite collection of musical instruments from around the world. Instruments from Asia, Oceania, Africa, and the Americas are on display. Saint Anne Chapel also contains rooms with Oriental and Iranian art.

Operation hours: September, April - June: Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 6 pm (until 9 pm on Wednesday);
October - March: Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 1 pm and 2 pm - 5 pm.
July - August: Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 1 pm and 2 pm - 6 pm.
6
Marche Forville (Forville Market)

6) Marche Forville (Forville Market) (must see)

Forville Market is Cannes' favorite market and offers organic vegetables, local wine, fresh fish, and fresh flowers for the table. It's only open in the morning, so stop by before lunch.

The market is pedestrian-only, so it is a safe and easy place to walk through and focus on the goods instead of being distracted by traffic. Locals love to come here and buy up their daily produce.

Forville Market offers single-ingredient and prepared foods, so you can mix and match offerings to come up with a delicious picnic lunch or tasty dinner. If you're looking for cold meats, you'll find tripe sausages, ham, and dried sausage. If you're looking for a ready to eat to heat meal, try takeaway paella.

Visitors craving Italian food will also find plenty to celebrate. Ravioli Niçois and polenta are a few of the Italian foods you'll find. Fresh produce abounds. Shop for strawberries in spring, tomatoes in summer, and leeks in winter.

Tips

Locals like to arrive early and taste market offerings as they shop. The market opens at 7 am and gets busier and busier as the morning goes on.

On Mondays, the food market is replaced by an all-day flea market.
7
Rue Meynadier (Meynadier Street)

7) Rue Meynadier (Meynadier Street) (must see)

Meynadier Street was first laid out in the 18th century. Today, the 18th-century houses have been transformed into shops, boutiques, and restaurants. This narrow pedestrian-only street is a destination for specialty gourmet food boutiques.

Walking down Meynadier Street is a mouthwatering stroll. Stop by the Jean Luc Pelé shop for authentic and tasty macarons. Visitors will find delicious candies in one shop and incomparable cheeses in another shop.

Find exotic and unique spices, dried fruits, and butchers. Shop for chocolate or endless varieties of nougat. Many of the shops offer samples so you can choose from your favorites.

Since this is the French Riveria, you'll also find an array of wine shops. Meynadier Street also has cafes where you can enjoy coffee and deserts while people watching.

If you're looking for souvenirs, boutique clothing, or trendy sandals, you'll find them here. As a bonus, the narrow street is shaded, so it is a pleasant place to walk and soak in Cannes food and shopping culture.
8
Rue d'Antibes (Antibes Street)

8) Rue d'Antibes (Antibes Street) (must see)

Antibes Street is a delightful shopping destination. While you stroll, take time to admire the beautiful architecture along the street—many of the buildings here date to the 19th century.

Antibes Street used to link Toulon to Antibes. Today, it's a popular place to promenade and shop. It is 1.2 kilometers (3/4 mile) long and runs parallel to Croisette Boulevard. In comparison to Croisette Boulevard, the shops on Antibes Street tend to be more affordable.

The popular Gray d'Albion shopping center is located along Antibes. Don't miss Ladurée, one of France's favorite bakeries. Here you will find towers of inviting and scrumptious macaroons.

There are also shops featuring jewelry, fashion wear, shoes, and cosmetics. Shoppers will find brands such as Swatch and Zara as well as independent boutiques.
9
Boulevard de la Croisette (Croisette Boulevard)

9) Boulevard de la Croisette (Croisette Boulevard) (must see)

This vital road runs right along the Cannes seaside and features fine dining, swanky hotels, and expensive shops. The internationally known Cannes Film Festival is held here at the Palace of Festivals and Congresses convention center.

The drop-dead gorgeous location on France's legendary Rivieria began its life as a boulevard in 1857. The boulevard is two kilometers (1.24 miles) long. It's protected as part of French cultural heritage and is one of France's most visited and celebrated spots.

The street is bursting with iconic locations and good eats. The Carlton Beach Club is the place to go for a swanky lunch. Alfred Hitchcock filmed part of To Catch a Thief here. You can wander through the gorgeous hotel and then enjoy lunch on the beach.

The beach has many public access points, and if you need to break up your shopping and dining outing, you can bring a towel and enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and people-watching.

Why You Should Visit

Croisette Boulevard is the place to see and be seen. Locals love to promenade along this street, and tourists love to see the sights, enjoy the fresh sea air, and admire the grand establishments, history, and culture of Cannes.

Tips

Take a side trip walk to Le Suquet, which sits above the boulevard. From here, you can look down on the action and grab a few postcard-worthy pictures of Croisette Boulevard and the sparkling Riveria.

Walking Tours in Cannes, France

Create Your Own Walk in Cannes

Create Your Own Walk in Cannes

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cannes is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cannes Old Town Walking Tour

Cannes Old Town Walking Tour

Initially a Roman camp, Le Suquet is Cannes' old town quarter and the original site of the city. With its medieval buildings and a castle on top of the hill, it offers an incredible contrast to the glamor of the Croisette Boulevard. Take this self-guided walking tour to experience a bit of quiet and charming part of Cannes.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles