Spend some time in the place where the city got its start, Cannes Old Town. Amble along medieval cobblestone streets lined with restaurants and boutiques. These streets snake their way through this hilltop quarter, also known as Le Suquet. The genteel, peaceful neighborhood is a world away from the glitz and glamor of the city’s beaches, casinos, super yachts and film festival.
An enjoyable part of any visit to the old town is finding a perch to look down on the city below and the hive of activity around the harbor. For a really good viewpoint, go to the old castle and climb to the top of the tower. Take in sweeping vistas of the sea, the city and the mountains.
The castle is also the home of the Castre Museum. Browse its fascinating collections, which include 19th-century landscape paintings that reveal how Cannes looked many years ago. There is also a collection of musical instruments in the castle’s 12th-century chapel.
Next door to the castle is the Eglise Notre-Dame de l’Esperance, a Gothic church from the 17th century. Gaze up at its tall tower and then step inside the building to view its beautiful carved wooden pulpit and other pieces of religious art. Delight in more scenic vistas of Cannes by climbing up the steps to the top of the tower. If you are in the city at Christmas, view the church’s nativity scene. During the summer, watch open-air concerts in front of the entrance and in the courtyard of the castle.
Before you go up to the old quarter, check out some of the sights at the foot of the hill it sits on. Browse a fresh produce market and observe the super yachts docked in the harbor. Getting to Cannes Old Town involves a short stroll from the busy beach area. Parking is available, for a fee, in the garage near the harbor.