I have lived in Cannes, France for almost 3 months now, and it is safe to say that I have spent more weekends traveling around Europe than I have in my own city. Although having the chance to explore tons of new places is amazing, it is important to remember that great memories can also be made without having to leave home. One of my best memories abroad has not only been discovering my favorite parts of Cannes, but also sharing them with my friends and family.
After spending a weekend being tour guide for my sister, Kaela, and some friends, I thought of my top five suggested things to do for a weekend in Cannes.
1. Cannes Sign and Musée de la Castre
The famous Cannes sign and Musée de la Castre in the heights of le Suquet should be one of the first stops you make while showing family and friends around Cannes. Here you have a beautiful view of la Croisette, le Vieux port, and Îles de Lérins, perfect for taking touristy pictures and getting a better look at the city.
2. Le Marché Forville
France has some of the most amazing food markets, and le Marché Forville is no different. Taking friends and family to the market is a perfect way to give them a taste of true French culture. The market has everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to authentic French foods like tapenade, charcuterie, and best of all – cheese. We decided to take all of the food we bought and have a picnic in a park near the beach, and it was honestly the best meal I’ve eaten while in Cannes!
3. Wander the Streets
During all of the traveling I’ve done over the past three months, I’ve found that the best way to discover a new city is to let yourself wander. Guided tours are great, but wandering the city yourself can take you to hidden gems and places that you may have never found on a tour. Of course it is important to hit the highlights like Le Palais des Festivals (where the Cannes film festival is held), Rue d’Antibes, Rue Meynadier, and le Vieux Port, but my favorite place to wander in Cannes is Rue du Suquet. It is a small, hilly road that was part of old Cannes. I really enjoy taking friends and family here most because it is the most unique part of Cannes. It is picturesque and windy, and it is close to impossible to find this kind of beauty at home.
4. Go to the Beach
Kaela and her friends are studying abroad in Aix en Provence, France and the weather there has been mostly cold and windy, so they were excited come to the French Riviera with its sunny, warm weather and blue beaches. The beaches in Cannes are great for taking a break after a lot of walking, and there are tons of cafés and food stands near by to get coffee or gelato.
5. Go to Your Favorite Café or Restaurant
One of the goals I made before coming abroad was to become a regular at a café, and I am happy to say that I quickly checked that off my list. Being a coffee addict, I can’t go without an espresso in the morning to keep me awake in class, so I became a regular at the café across the street from the college. It was great to take Kaela and her friends there because I felt like they were getting to experience more of what I do day-to-day while living in Cannes.
I‘ve had amazing experiences during all of my weekend travels in Europe this semester and made tons of great memories, but the weekend I spent in Cannes with my sister was one of my favorite weekends and will be the one I remember most. It is important to remember that helping others experience a new place can be just as memorable as experiencing a new place yourself!
This post was contributed by Natalie Smyth, who is studying abroad with AIFS in Cannes, France.