Cannes - French Riviera - Cote d'Azur

SEP 10,2015 - SEP 10,2015 (1 DAYS)

Citywalk

Cannes - French Riviera - Cote d'Azur:

Attractions: Promenade de la Pantiero, Rue Saint-Antoine, le Suquet, Eglise Notre-Dame de l’Espérance, Musée de la Castre, Marché Forville, Rue Meynadier, the Palais des Festivals et des Congrés, Promenade de la Croisette, La Malmaison Museum, La Rosarie, Old Port (Vieux Port), Port Pierre Canto, Place Verdun, Place du Général de Gaulle, Rue d'Antibes.

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Start & End: Gare de Cannes.

Orientation: we start our visit in Cannes with our face to the west and back to the east. We head to the old quarter Le Suquet by climbing up the hill through the narrow roads leading to the Eglise Notre Dame d'Esperance - beautiful old church at the top of Le Suquet. Reserve the morning for a very plesant and authentic walk in this medieval quarter. You will have to be in good shape to reach it by walking, lots of stairs. A good chance that you'll face high temperatures. Bring WATER and food. On the second half of the day we walk along La Croisette - The world-famous street, which runs along the shoreline of Cannes. It is full of upscale shopping opportunities.

Duration: one day.

How to arrive from Nice to Cannes:

Line 200 bus: Departs from Nice Albert 1er in Nice Promenade. The Cannes bus stops are the Gare Routiere (near Hôtel de Ville and the port), and outside the train station (the 200 stop is opposite Hotel Ligure). BETTER, drop off at (2nd option) (in front of) the SNCF station. Approx. 1hrs 30 min. Very slow option. These buses are painfully slow, they make multiple stops, and they are subject to traffic congestion. Bus #200 to Antibes and Cannes may be a bargain at just 1.50 €, but between the traffic and all the stops along the route, the trip takes 2 to 3 times as long as the train. Especially if you’re going from Nice to Cannes, I recommend spending a couple of extra euros to take the train and saving a lot of time. Route: Bus #200 leaves from the rue Verdun/Albert 1ere bus stop, which is between the Meridian Hotel and the start of the Promenade du Paillon gardens. The bus goes down the Promenade des Anglais, passing by the Cap 3000 Shopping Center, Saint Laurent du Var, Cagnes-sur-mer, Villeneuve Loubet, Antibes, Vallauris, Golfe Juan/Juan les Pins, and finally Cannes, finishing at the Port. Timing: Bus 200 leaves every 15-20 minutes daily, and every 30 minutes on Sunday and French holidays. Tickets: The ticket costs 1.50 € and you can buy your ticket from the driver as you board, but note that if you are using a Nice day pass/week pass/or ten-trip card, they will only be accepted on this bus for destinations up to Cagnes-sur-mer; if you are going further you will have to buy a new ticket. You can also go to the Ligne d’Azur office ahead of time (across from the Promenade du Paillon just off Place Garibaldi, or across from the Train Station) and buy a Ticket Azur for 1.50 €, which is good from Monaco to Cannes and far inland, and works for one transfer within 2 1/2 hours. This is worth the trouble only if you plan to take the Nice tramway or another bus before going to Cannes, and will save you buying two tickets when you could just by one Ticket Azur. Getting back: The bus 200 stops running its regular route at around 20.30, so after that it’s best to take the train (but note that the last one leaves at just after 23.00). The exception is Thursday/Friday/Saturday when there is a special 200 Night Bus leaving from the Cannes bus station in the Port at 122.00, 23.30, 01.00 and 02.30. Even then this night bus will only take you as far as the Nice Airport, except for the final run at 02.30, which is authorized to drop you off at Place Massena if you ask.

Train: Departs Gare de Nice Ville (Gare SNCF Saint-Augustine), Line Regional-Express. Hourly. Arrives to Gare de Cannes (SNCF). Approx. 30 min. With the TGV trains - reservation is mandatory. Approx 7 euros and €11-15 round-trip. The views are amazing, in comparison to the buses/coaches, as the train runs adjacent to the beach.

Trains run every 30 minutes, 30 minutes trip duration: weekdays: 07.45 (TER), 08.04 (TGV - expensive), 08.08 (TER), 08.33 (TER),  08.55 (TER), 09.05 (TGV, expensive), 09.08 (TER), 09.32 (TER), 10.04 (TGV, expensive).

The Itinerary:

From the Gare de Cannes (with our back to the station building and our face to Place Pierre Semard) we turn right (WEST), 40 m onto Place de la Gare. Walk west 170 m. Turn left onto Place du 18 Juin, 15 m. Turn right to stay on Place du 18 Juin and turn left onto Rue du Maréchal Joffre (cross lights), 20 m. You face  the 7Art, 3 Rue du Maréchal Joffre with an impressive frescoe on its front facade:
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We walk south along Rue du Maréchal Joffre for 350 m. In the beginning of our walk - this nice building, from La Belle Epoque, is on our right:

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You cross Rue Venizelos (on your right and left) and the next one to cross: Rue d'Antibes on your left and Rue Félix Faure on your right. We turn RIGHT (WEST) to Blvd. de la Pantiero - when the white building of Hotel Splendid is on our right side (north-east). Adjacent to the hotel (more to the east) is a pool and Lord Brougham statue (a British statesman who became Lord Chancellor of Great Britain):

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Further west on Blvd./Promenade de la Pantiero - an orchestra band:

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You walk approx. 350 m. WEST (the sun on your back, in the east) along Prom. de la Pantiero. You pass Rue Louis Blanc on your right, the next square, on your right, is Place Bernard Cornut Gentille. On the third road on your right - you turn right (north) to a steep road climbing to the Old Town of Cannes - Rue Saint Antoine. Note: there are two road with this name in Cannes (the other one one if far more to the east). You'll see, on your right, an old wall with a promenade (pedestrians-only road climbing road to the old town. Leave it behind.

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Continue more to the west and turn to the Old Town through the narrow, steep Rue Saint Antoine). You will see, opposite the steep alley of Saint Antoine, on Prom. de la Pantiero (Place Cornut-Gentille - 2 quai Saint-Pierre) - a big fresco (painted wall) of the bus station. Based on film-related themes, this is one of the murals paying homage to the long and fruitful love story between Cannes and the cinema industry (Baster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire dancing, Batman, Suprman, Bourville, Jean Paul Belmondo and Jerard Depardieu):

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Climb along Rue Saint Antoine - probably best known to tourists as the climbing, winding cobbled lane lined with local restaurants:

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until you arrive to Place du Suquet. It is approx. 210 m. to climb from the promenade/the beach to this little square in the old town: climbing up along Saint Antoine and continuing in the same road, which changes its name to Rue du Suquet. Access notes: Wheelchair bound or tourists with reduced mobility can still visit the top to enjoy the views, though the streets are steep! Follow rue Saint-Antoine, rue du Suquet, rue du Pré then rue Louis Perrisol and rue de la Castre. The following route follows paved flat roads and avoid the many stairways in Le Suquet. Or jump on board of the white Petit Train tourist train that departs from near the Palais des Festivals as it chugs it way up there too.

"Suquet" - means hill. It is full of restaurants around the Rue Saint Antoine and the Rue du Suquet. This area is the original fishermans' residential area of Cannes. The houses are all very old. The streets were laid out at least 400 years ago. Most of the area is pedestrianized and is a major tourist attraction for visitors to Cannes. The rue du Suquet is the original main road into Cannes. It came in below the walls of the castle. Suquet hill was the cradle of the city. Le Suquet and the Rue St Antoine are a step back in time to an older slower paced Cannes. The whole area is full with remains of the Middle Ages, picturesque atmosphere and cultural events. It offers an incredible contrast to the glamor of the modern part of the city. Every year in July, the Suquet is devoted to a festival of classical music. The Nuits Musicales du Suquet celebrated their fortieth anniversary in 2015. They offer young talents as established artists to an open-air stages. Another event of the quarter, Le Suquet Arts, multi-cultural event was, first, introduced in August 2014. The program includes painting, sculpture, floral art, theater and music in purpose to live the historic district of Cannes. There are free water fountains dotted around Place du Suquet:

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There are 4 roads that divert from this little square. Take the short, sloping down, SOUTH road of Rue du Pré. From Rue du Pré we turn LEFT to rue Louis Percisol and follow the signs of Museum de la Castre and on our left another painted wall.

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We climb up along Percisol until it meets rue de la Castre. We turn LEFT and climb gently along rue de la Castre. After 5 minutes we arrive to (on our right) the Church (Eglise) Notre-Dame de l’Espérance, (Church of Our Lady of Hope), (16-17th c.), 1 Rue de la Castre.

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When the church walls are on your right - walk left to the parking lot and the viewing balcony - for stunning views of Cannes and its distant beaches and shoreline.

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Enjoy magnificent views of the Mediterranean, Canne's Bay, harbours and quarters and make wonderful photos. This nice place is where you can get the best panoramic views of the whole city and where you can get the best photos:

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Built in the 16th century by the monks of Lérins. The view from the castle ruins at the top is excellent. The views from the top are some of the best in the area stretching across Cannes, the Lerins Islands and the Esterels. At the top of the Suquet hill the Church of Notre-Dame de l'Espérance and its famous clock tower (Tour du Mont Chevalier) have become the symbol of Old Cannes. This monument looks more like a fortress than a church in late Gothic style. The bell tower (16th c.) was part of the ancient hedging wall. The vaulted opening in the tower joins the square at the entrance of the church with the garden along the castle. This clock tower is nice and lit up at night as well as the tower of the castle. Both are the beacons of Cannes. Each year in July during the "Nuits Musicales du Suquet" classical music is played on the square outside the church - at Place de la Castre. There is also an old cemetery that dates back to the 16th century. During the Second World War, the church was temporarily used as a hospital. Today, the church is still a place of religious worship.

So, with the face to the church walls and the tower and your back to the viewing balcony - climb the stairs and enter the church courtyard and (plain) garden.

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Once in the courtyard of the castle, you can can choose what to do first from two things: Climb to the clock tower (steep climb !) (110 steps !) to see the best views: it offers an amazing 360 degree view of Cannes or enjoying the breathtaking landscapes from the castle ramparts or walls:

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In summer until mid September on Thursdays and Sundays there are guided tours of about one and half hours including entry to the museum. It includes the former castle, the dungeon, the tower, and a walk through the old streets plus places normally closed to the public, such as the house and gardens of Victor Tuby, before returning to the museum. From the top of the watchtower, there is a wonderful panoramic outlook onto the beach and the bay all the way out to the Lérins Islands. From the ancient rampart walls in front of the church, you can see east across the town, the port and the bay to the Cap de la Croisette, and to the west across the Gulf of La Napoule to the Esterel mountains. Again, WONDERFUL SPOTS of scenery, tranquility, history and stunning 270 degree views around.

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View to the harbour from the castle ramparts and walls:

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Inside the church one can see that this was a fisherman church from the boat models at the feet of saints' statues. On the High Altar stands a notable 17th c. statue of a "Vierge Couronnée" Virgin with a crown holding a ship anchor. Its charm lies in its wood-paneling, which dates back to the 14th and 15th Century. Also worth a look is the collection of 19th-Century paintings, which includes a fresco by George Roux that portrays the baptism of Christ. Statues of Saint Anne and Notre-Dame d'Espérance (both in gilded wood) from the 15th and 18th Centuries are worth checking out. Inside, there is also an organ that was installed in 1857 and has been recently renovated. The church is open daily and admission is free:

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While you are up there - visit La Castre Museum, Musee de la Castre (the Museum of the castle) (free first Sunday of every month) where, besides an art gallery featuring views of Cannes, you can walk amongst ancient artifacts of the classical world.  The museum is, actually, housed in the historical, medieval castle monument adjacent to the church. It occupies a former medieval monastery that is now classified as a historic monument. Its collection was established thanks to funds donated to the City in 1877 by Baron Lycklama, a discerning traveler, 19 century dutch nobleman, exceptional collector and honoray citizen of Cannes. It contains a rich collection of primitive art, Mediterranean antiquities and is also renowned for its musical instruments from around the world and its Provencal and local paintings of the 19th century. Several small rooms feature exotic art objects from Oceania and the Himalayas. I think the museum/castle contains some interesting artifacts and great paintings. I especially liked the ones of how Cannes looked in its early days. Opening hours: May -September:TUE - SUN 10.00 - 13.00, 14.00 - 17.00, October - March: WED - MON. Prices: Adults €6, youth (under 25 years) €3, groups of ten people €3 per person, free on the first Sunday of every month and for children and youth under 18 years. Guided tours: €9,20 (in English) June 15 - September 15 on Fridays at 14.30:

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Musical Instruments collection inside the Museum:

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Oceania:

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Adolphe Fioupou, Sight of Cannes, 1860:

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Ernest Buttura, Le Fort de l'île Sainte-Marguerite, 1880:

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Félix Pille, view of Le Suquet from la Croisette, 1906:

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Museum de la Castre garden:

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Views from Museum de la Castre garden:

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We return from the top of Suquet Hill to the Place de Suquet - but from a little different way. We take the Traverse de la Tour down the hill. With our back to the Castle and the Museum and our face to the outer viewing balcony - we take the right (east) alley sloping down (south) the hill. Walking down along Traverse de la Tour - you see splendid alleys to your right and left.

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In the end of this alley, you turn left to return to Place de la Suquet. You continue straight on, northward, along rue des Suisses, turn right to Blvd. Victor Tuby, and, again, a bit to the right to rue Forville. You walk down rue Forville and, almost, in its end - Marché Forville, 5, Rue du Marché Forville (red alongated building) where the market is held in the mornings and early afternoon. You can find, here, fresh fruits, cheeses, vegetables, meat, fish, sausages, Mediterranean delicacies, flowers and more at this old town market. There is a very good coffee house with a carefully picked selection of coffees and teas. Across from it, on the other side of the market, a very good Boulangerie with always smiling employees. No other market in Cannes beats this for scale and variety. Gourmet food for your mouth and eyes. On Mondays it turns to be antiques market. Most of the market stalls are open from 05.00 (!) till 13.00. On Sundays the market is packed. We were enthusiastic about the tomatoes...

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Orange Mushrooms (Girolle):

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Brown Mushrooms - Moville:

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Cross the market until its arched end (which is, actually, its formal entrance) - Porte Forville:

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With your back to the Forville Market and your face to the east - turn right to rue Louis Blanc and, immediately, left to rue Meynadier. Rue Meynadier is so lively, vibrant, lots of cheap shopping. Pedestrians only. It can get very crowded. Probably the best road in Cannes for shopping. Do not miss the cheese shop. Since it is packed with tourists - the prices are on the pricier side. Most of the road is shady - a good solution for the hot days. Not all the souvenirs are made in France... For the big brand names and products - look at the more southern, parallel road - Rue d'Antibes. Shopping hours generally seem to be from 10:00 to 12:30 then 14:30 to 19:00. Some are closed on Mondays and they are all closed on Sundays:

You start at # 53 in rue Meynadier (on your right):

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Rue Meynadier - Sweets Shop:

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Rue Meynadier - only few look and dress like pure, traditional French people...:

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Rue Meynadier - exceptional wooden toys shop:

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Rue Meynadier - specialty shop of sardines only:

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In this spot we leave Rue Meynadier and turn RIGHT (south) to rue Joffre:

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We walk until the end of rue Joffre and connect (eastward) with Blvd. de la Croisette. Turn slightly right onto Boulevard de la Croisette, 50 m and the Office du Tourisme du Palais des Festivals et des Congrés, 1 Boulevard de la Croisette is on our right. The Cannes Tourist Office is located right next to where the Cannes Film Festival is held annually. Very helpful staff and a must stop if only to get a map of Cannes. The office is very busy. Staff very friendly and professional and all have very good English.The next, adjacent building is the Cannes Casino.

Cannes is one of the first congress destinations in Europe. It's a quite uninviting building at the start of the "Boulevard de la Croisette". Here the annual film festival takes place. The next Cannes Film Festival will be held from 11 to 22 May 2016. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrés welcomes every year around 120 shows representing more than 60 000 spectators and 45 professional events. It is a high level meeting place for events and culture and , after a long period of renovations, it adopted new technologies while being accessible, attractive and aesthetic. OPENING HOURS: the box office is opened from MON to SAT (except public holidays) from 10 am to 6 pm and 1 hour before each performance on the site of the show. Access through the Tourist Office. Tel.: +33 (0)4 92 98 62 77, Fax : +33 (0)4 92 99 84 51, e-mail:billetterie@palaisdesfestivals.com:

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Inside, It is comprised of mainly three areas:

• The Grand Auditorium Louis Lumière foyer:

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• The Grand Auditorium Louis Lumière:

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Approach the Palais just for the red carpet experience. Take some photos and posed like a famous star . During the weekdays, a good chance that you woold be able to have the red carpet on your own like Holywood stars do. Discover the pavement with hand-prints and the signatures of famous movie stars imprinted into the casts fitted into the ground. You'll find them in front of the Palace and in Place du Général de Gaulle: head west on Boulevard de la Croisette toward Square Mérimée 90 m, turn right onto Place du Général de Gaulle, 45 m.:

Palais des Festivals et des Congrés - Judy Foster hand-print and signature:

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Palais des Festivals et des Congrés - Sylvester Stallone hand-print and signature:

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We can have a glance at the beach - just behind the Palais de des Festivals et des Congrés:

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The Park opposite the Palais des Festivals et des Congrés:

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In the background: the bust of George Pompidu:

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Exactly, from this point we start walking from west to east along the Blvd. de la Croisette until its end. It is 2.7 km. walk from the Palais de Festivals until the Yacht Club de Cannes. On our walk - we shall pass through (on our LEFT, north) FOUR grandiose hotels. The Promenade de la Croisette (or Boulevard de la Croisette) stretches along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It goes completely along the coastline of Cannes. As we've seen before, the Croisette is mostly known for the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, where the Cannes Film Festival (Le Festival International du Film de Cannes) is held. The Boulevard includes many expensive shops, restaurants, and hotels: Carlton, Majestic, JW Marriott Cannes, and Martinez. Extremely pretty promenade (well, in a sunny day) with an abundance of designer and luxury brand shops (window shopping), posh restaurants, expensive bars and clubs, high end boutiques and famous hotels. Brilliant for people watching. On your right is the (mostly) PRIVATE beach (25-30 euros per person to use the facilities). The most well-known private beach is Midi Plage, a beautiful private beach with a gourmet restaurant at the water's edge. Very few sections are public. While many of the beaches in Cannes are private property owned by hotels, there are several beaches open to the public. These include the Macé Beach and the Zamenhof Beach, located off the Boulevard de la Croisette. These beaches charge a small fee (€4 - €7) for use of the lounge chairs and parasols. Hours are from 08.30 - 18.30 during the tourist season. Also available for public use (and free of charge) are the Plage de la Casino along the Boulevard de la Croisette, La Bocca Beach, a gorgeous beach with golden sand, and Mouré Rouge Beach near the fishing ports. You can see from the beach side of the promenade the Lérins Islands (composed of St Marguerite isle and St Honorat Isle) in the distance. Gorgeous blue sea, against the pebbled (some parts are clean soft sand), very crowded beach. A chance to rub elbows with famous celebrities and glamorous stars. However, parts of the Croisette promenade are a bit tacky in places. Totally worth walking during the day and at night time. Try to walk part of the avenue along the northern side (glamorous hotels and stores) and switch, in the other parts to the beach side. Totally, the promenade is 2.7 km. and it ends in the most southern end - in Place Franklin Roosevelt. The more you advance along the promenade with your back to the west - the avenue bends southward. The further you advance - La Croisette becomes more quiet, more leafy (pine trees) and more Mediterranean.

Blvd. de la Croisette - the beach opposite the Le Majestic Hotel (here, you find chemical restroom - with a small fee payment):

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Le Majestic Hotel:

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Blvd. de la Croisette - the beach opposite the Le Majestic Hotel - the white tourist train is waiting here for climbing to Old Cannes (Le Suquet):

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Blvd. de la Croisette - the beach opposite the Le Majestic Hotel - near La Plage - Majestic Barrière:

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Blvd. de la Croisette - Grand Hotel:

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Blvd. de la Croisette - Marriott Hotel:

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Note the La Malmaison Museum (Le Centre d'art La Malmaison) at the 47 Boulevard de la Croisette. Until it was bought by the City, the history of the Malmaison is closely linked to the Grand Hotel. Built in 1863 by architects Vianey and Blondel, the Grand Hotel was inhabited until the late 1950s, demolished and then rebuilt in 1963. Malmaison is the only section that remains of the original complex. As the game room and tea room of the Grand Hotel, the Malmaison was the setting of the first art exhibitions organized by Aimé Maeght in 1945. Restored into a museum in 1983 and renovated in 1993, the ground-garden of Malmaison now hosts two major exhibitions each year regularly honoroing famous painters such as Matisse, Picasso or Ozenfant - for which the Coast d'Azur was an inexhaustible source of inspiration - as well as artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries known internationally as Miró, Masson, Cesar and the Chinese painter Chu Teh-Chun. These prestigious and contemporary collections are enhanced by the intimate character of the place and its charming rooms. This small museum invites visitors on a wonderful discovery of contemporary art. The museum features temporary exhibits as well as grand expositions on an annual basis. Highlights include the exhibitions dedicated to Picasso, César, and Miró. Opening hours: May - June: closed. July - August: MON - SUN : 11.00 - 20.00. Friday till 21.00. September: MON - SUN: 10.00 - 19.00. October - April: MON - closed. TUE - SUN: 10.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 18.00. NO PHOTOS ALLOWED !!!

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Blvd. de la Croisette - Carlton Hotel:

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Sculpture in front of Carlton Hotel:

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Blvd. de la Croisette - Espace Miramar Hotel:

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Blvd. de la Croisette - Grand Hyatt Cannes - Hotel Martinez:

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Further south - the Square du 8 Mai 1945 or La Rosarie (Rose Garden) on your right:

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Here, Blvd. de la Croisette changes its direction and continue SOUTHWARD. Just before the promenade bends southward - when you'll see the the Old Port (Vieux Port) is on your right:

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Further south, at the eastern section of the boulevard is the idyllic Port Pierre Canto with its rows of luxury yachts docked at the harbor. Taking place in the beautiful setting of Cannes between the Vieux Port (Old Port) and Port Pierre Canto, the Cannes International Boat Show is the perfect event for boating enthusiasts and interested buyers alike - taking place every year in September (2nd week of the month):

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South to Port Pierre Canto (the south end of the park), within short walking distance is another harbor, the Port de la Pointe Croisette, the departure point for regattas organized by the Yacht Club of Cannes:

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Club Nautique:

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We end our walk along the Blvd. de la Croisette in Place Verdun. It a very aristocratic area with many posh buildings, ponds and fountains:

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In the northern side of Verdun Square there is a bus top. Catch here a DOUBLE-DECKER bus back to the city centre. It costs 1.5 euro and you'll enjoy a gorgeous experience sitting on the open second floor of the bus - taking photos of many splendid roads and houses (in particular - the above row of hotels) - on your way back to the Festivals Palace of Cannes:

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We get off from the bus near the Palais des Festivals et des Congrés. From Square Mérimée (opposite, north to the "Palace") - walk north, approx. 100 m. onto Place du Général de Gaulle. The Fountain in Square General de Gaulle was installed in the 19th century by the town for the inauguration of the arrival of water in Cannes by the Canal de la Siagne , it consists of a circular stone basin and a cast iron column adorned with St. Jacques shells:

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From here it is 650 m. walk back to the SNCF train station. From Place du Général de Gaulle head east toward Rue Bivouac Napoléon, 65 m. Turn left (north) onto Rue Jean de Riouffe, 45 m. Turn right onto Rue d'Antibes
400 m.  Rue d'Antibes is the main shopping street of Cannes:

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On the 6th road (on your left) - turn LEFT (north) onto rue Chabaud and arrive to the SNCF Gare de Cannes:

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SNCF Gare de Ville Nice:

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France

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