Every May the most famous names in film descend on the French city of Cannes for one of the most renowned and glamorous film festivals of the year. If you’re heading to Cannes hoping for an encounter with your favourite film star you may be worried about the drain on your wallet, but it doesn't have to cost the earth. Follow our simple tips to holiday like a celebrity without the price tag!
Hotels in Cannes book up months before the festival, and even if by some miracle you do manage to find a room you would probably have to sell an organ to pay for it. A better option is staying down the coast in the scenic city of Nice, where rooms are plentiful and affordable. There are great public transport links between the two cities, with a 25-minute train ride costing as little as €6 each way.
The Croisette, Cannes’ main seafront promenade, is lined with attractive, upmarket restaurants, but don’t be drawn in. Take a wander through the smaller streets behind the Croisette and you will find a wide selection of eateries offering more authentic fare for a fraction of the cost. Alternatively you can pick up all your picnic essentials at Marche Forville, a market in the Cannes Old Town selling high quality local fruit, vegetables, cheese and cold meats.
The Film Festival screenings may be reserved for the star-studded elite, but you can still catch showings of Out of Competition films and Cannes classics at Cinéma de la Plage. This open-air cinema at Plage Macé has comfy deckchairs for the audience, with popcorn and drinks available, and is completely free. The screenings are extremely popular, so drop by the Tourist Office and pick up your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment!
At first glance, it will appear that the whole coastline is owned by hotels who will charge you a non-negotiable fee to use a deckchair, whether you want one or not. But this is not the case; if you venture slightly further afield you will find public beaches where you can spend the whole day soaking up the sun for free. Try Pointe de la Croisette, Plage du Midi or Plage de la Boca.
Cannes isn’t the only city worth seeing in the French Riviera. Nice is an extremely pretty town, with plenty of free attractions. Visit one of the many museums or art galleries on offer, or climb to the Parc du Château, 300ft above the Old Town, for sweeping views of the city. The Promenade des Anglais and the main square are great places to wander, with pedestrianized zones, outdoor cafes and street performers all contributing to the lively atmosphere.
By Kate Moxon – Content and Social Media Executive