Cannes is a fairly small town. Together with its neighbours, (Le Cannet, Mandelieu), it forms but one urban area.
The most iconic place in Cannes is the Croisette boulevard, going along the sea and the sand beaches from the old harbour, West, to the Palm Beach cape, East. The district between the Sea and the "voie rapide" (urban freeway) is the commercial district of the city with the Antibes street as a main street. The famous "Palais des Festivals" is located at the Croisette end, near the old harbour.
West of the old harbour, the Suquet hill, topped by a little church and the ruins of castle. This is where the old city is. It is nice to wander in these streets.
Further West, beyond the Suquet, other districts where you probably won't go unless you stay there, such as "La Bocca".
On this picture, the Croisette is in front of us. On our right (pan the camera), the famed Palais des Festivals with the "Stairs". Further right, after the unavoidable casino, the old harbour and, behind it, the Suquet hill. If you keep panning, you will see in the distance the city hall and the de Gaulle square. Pan some more and you will be looking in the direction of the shopping district before you face again the Croisette.
The Carnot boulevard heads Northward, towards le Cannet and the highway. It can be really jammed on some occasions and then, going to the highway or in the opposite direction can be a nightmare. If the road is not jammed, beware: the speed limit is 50km/h, even on the 4 lanes part near the highway.
It is a good idea to come to Cannes without a car. The train station is very close to the shopping district and the Croisette and the city can easily be visited by feet because of its size.
The bus station where the buses coming from other cities (Nice...) stop is next to the city hall and the old harbour, 2mn walk away from the Palais des Festivals.
The quality of the air in Cannes today, and the forecast for tomorrow :
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