One of the nicest places to visit in Cannes where you can see the locals in shops, stores, and sitting at outdoor cafes is in the old town on the hill, Le Suquet. Taking the winding streets up the hill requires a little effort but is an ideal way to exercise the wonderful tastes of Cannes that you devoured at a bustling restaurant near the harbor before you decide to walk to the top of Le Suquet.
Once up on rue du Suquet, stop at one of the outdoor cafes and sip a coffee or a glass of wine while enjoying the sight of the easy stroll of passersby. Maybe a look inside a shop or two. It makes you feel like a local and you might get a better take on Cannes away from the mega yachts at the harbor. The view is one not to miss from the top looking down.
Wander the lanes and browse the little boutiques of the old town, set behind the Port. Le Suquet is crowned by a large church popular for weddings, a museum of ethnic bits and bobs in which the staff enjoy a very very long lunchtime closure. The panorama is probably the best in Cannes - looking out over the Palais des Festivals and the Croisette (often used as a backdrop for fashion photoshoots) all the way out to the Iles des Lerins, and westerly out to the Esterel.
There are a good number of mid-price restaurants on the upper approach roads which seem popular with locals as well as the odd tourist, though opening hours may be somewhat erratic. The main lower approaches from the Croisette host some very pricey restaurants popular with the laptop-and-blackberry crowd during conferences.
Le Suquet is Cannes' "old town." It presents a striking medieval contrast to the glamour and glitz of La Croisette. Here you will find a slower paced people and lifestyle and cuisine which will remind you more of other Mediterranean sites than the haute cuisine de Francais. Olive oil, garlic, fresh fish, and fresh vegetables are much more common here than in the cuisine found further north in France. Rose wine is much more likely to be the wine of choice here, as it is throughout Provence, than are the burgundies and bordeaux of western, central, and northern France.
I felt a bit disappointed climbing to the Château de la Castre. The streets on this hill called Suquet were less picturesque than what I expected remembering the old district of Nice for example.
Every house being a restaurant like at the rue du Suquet or rue Saint Antoine is certainly touristy but not necessarily picturesque at least how I understand this concept.
Fortunately arriving at the summit with the castle, church and garden the views were superb so that I did not regret the walk as to more that the streets were very quiet.
For the best views of Cannes make your way up to the Notre Dame de l' Esperance, which sits on hill overlooking the town. The best time to take in the views are mid to late afternoon as anytime before that the sun will be in your eyes making it hard to see. Plus your pictures will turn out dark, just like mine!
Le Suquet is the local name for the old city of Cannes which occupies the hill overlooking le Vieux Port. While possibly inhabited since pre-historic times, le Suquet traces its beginning to the 11th century when the land was donated to the abbey of îles de Lérins. Immediately afterwards, the construction of Château de la Castre, the fort on the hilltop, took place, and over time, a small town developed around the fort. Today, le Suquet is perhaps the most charming part of Cannes with its typically Mediterranean architecture. The streets of le Suquet are narrow, winding and hilly and lead up to the Château which offers great panoramic views of Cannes. Parts of le Suquet are very lively at night with some great restaurants to discover. For more pictures of these beautiful streets click on Le Suquet.
This is the old medieval historical part of Cannes
From the top you can enjoy the sight of Cannes and the Bay and the mountains, called l'Esterel.
I saw my first mummies in the Museum there specialised in mediteranean archeology.
Make your way up past restaurants and bijou terraced houses up to the top of Le Suquet for fine panoramic views over terracota rooftops over Cannes and towards Golfe Mandelieu, with the blue skylline of the Esterel drawing your eye towards St Raphael, Frejus and ultimately St Tropez.
Wouldn't you like to wake to this view every morning? Its why Riviera madness takes over so many , inject that azur blue directly into the veins.
When someone tells you they are a "house painter" they rarely mean this - the entire facade here is in the artists eye, painted onto the flat side of the building.
The fictitious Hotel de la Plage is one of the most ambitious trompe d'oeil executions on the Riviera.
Found in the lower slopes of Le Souquet. Don't you just love it when people just love the place they live? Not destroyed by brainless hooded youth set on graffiti to gain "respect" of which they deserve none.
View from on top of the hill near the
Church Notre Dame de l'Eserence
We really enjoyed all that you could
see. The day these pictures were
taken, it was warm and sunny, and
visibility was unlimited.
We saw all of Cannes, the harbor,
and up the coast ....
The closest thing to an "old town" is "Le Suquet"
overlooking the west end of the port. The 12th century
Tour de Mt. Chevalier, ramparts and 12th century
church Notre Dame de l'Esperence give a touch of
medieval flavor to the city. The Le Suquet area has
narrow streets climbing up and around the hill, with
a fine view from the top.
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Standing on the ancient rampart wall in front of the church, you can see east across
the city, the port and the bay to the Cap de la Croisette, and to the west across the
Gulf of La Napoule to the Massif de l'Esterel mountains.
Crowning the vantage point at Le Suquet Brilliant vantage point for panoramas to the east overlooking the town and beach, and to the west looking up the Golfe Madelieu towards the Esterel. Within the courtyard is the marble bench dedicated to one of Queen Victorias sons who died in Cannes. The museum appears permanently closed for lunch.
On the square of the Palais des Festivals, right in front of the beach, you will find two little touristic trains that will take you to discover Cannes' Croisette and Le Suquet, Cannes' old town. These are great when you are with children, tired of walking or simply without a car to explore. They leave about every hour from 10h to 23h and are narrated in 8 languages with earphones. The Suquet one stops at the top of the old town, to let you admire and enjoy the view on the bay of Cannes... just long enough to take a couple of pictures and note the openning hours to the Notre-Dame de l'Espérance church, for you will want to go back and visit. My advice is to try the Suquet one at night for splendid views of Cannes lit up in the evening, and the Croisette one during daytime to enjoy its liveliness to the maximum, as it will take you all the way East towards the Palm Beach Casino and back. If you purchase both rides at once you get a discount and can use the second ride within a couple of days appart.
Along the Boulevard de la Croisette one almost forgets that one is at the Cote d'Azur. History and culture fades away, glitter and glamour take over. This changes when one walks west from the Boulevard and curves along the old harbour and sees the "jeu de boules" players in the park. On the hillside two towers rise up. One from the old castle that once ruled over Cannes, the other showing the time: the belfry tower.
tiny narrow streets, cafes, restaurants, bistros all along these tiny narrow streets, and lots of shopping from boutiques to well-known stores, bakeries, wine shops, etc etc etc. so easy to get around, but you'd like to just get lost and spend an entire day just wandering around or sitting outside a restaurant watching everyone else wander around