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What You Need To Know

Situated on the coast in the very heart of the French Riviera, Cannes is only 24km from the International airport in Nice, making it an easy city break for most European cities. It’s long seafront, or Promenade de la Croisette as it’s known, curves along the length of the Golfe de la Napoule. Penned in by the Cap de la Croisette and the Lerins Islands to the east, and by Theoule sur Mer and the Pointe de la Galere to the west.

Area:19.62 km²
Population:73,603 (2012)

Currency

  • The Euro is the official currency of France, and of most European Union member states, excluding the UK and the Czech Republic, among others. The Euro, symbolized by a “€,” has been in public circulation since January, 2002. The franc, the former official currency of France, is no longer accepted, however, you may see that some price tags in France give the price both in Euro and in francs, to help those who still think in terms of francs.

    There are 8 different Euro coin denominations and 7 different Euro bill denominations in circulation. Coins are denominated in 2 and 1 Euro, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. Each member state decorated their own coins, but all coins are interchangeable within the countries. Bills are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and they vary in color and size.

  • By far the easiest way to pay for things in France is simply to use an international credit card or debit card. Visa and Mastercard can be used all over France, and American Express cards and other international cards in a number of places. But obviously, there are situations in which paying with plastic is not an option. Visitors to France therefore need to have some Euros to hand, to pay for small or larger items and in cases where the trader does not accept cards.
  • So again, the simplest solution is to use your international credit card or debit card. You can withdraw money from cash-dispensers (ATMs) in France in exactly the same way as you would at home – except that you will be asked to select a sum in Euros. Your card company or bank will automatically debit your account in your usual currency, having converted the sum at the day’s exchange rate.

    However, there are some golden rules that you need to follow if you do not want to end up paying far more than necessary for this service, or running out of cash because you have reached your limit for withdrawals.

Weather

Cannes has a Mediterranean climate and the town enjoys at least 12 hours of sunshine per day during summer (May to September). In the winter (December to February) the weather is fairly mild. Both seasons have relatively low rainfall although you can expect the most rain during October and November, when approx 110 mm on average falls.
Cannes summers are long and warm, with summer daytime temperatures very often hitting 30°C, while average temperatures are about 25°C. Temperatures stay high from June to September, the busiest time of the year. Despite the hot daytime temperatures, the Mediterranean breeze helps keep the summer evenings more comfortable and cooler.

Language

French is the official language spoken in Cannes. As a hugely popular international tourist destination you may well find that in many restaurants, bars and hotels English is spoken.

However if you decide to do some travelling into the surrounding, more rural villages, or happen upon a restaurant off the beaten track then it’s a good idea to brush up on your French! If you are driving through the area or through France to reach your destination then a few handy phrases to ask directions will be a good idea.

Health and security

  • The French healthcare system relies on both public and private facilities, which cater to both residents and foreigners. Care is funded by a public health insurance scheme, which is financed by mandatory contributions to the state health system.

    This funding covers the majority of costs; however, in most situations the patient is liable for a fraction of the cost (usually around 30%). This remaining charge can be funded directly by the patient or through a supplementary private health insurance.

    Given the cost of treatment, it is advisable to take out supplementary cover. There are a number of insurers to choose from, some catering specifically to expats and English speakers living in Rennes while others are targeted to certain professions.

    Unlike in other countries, the French health system caters to all. Those without private health insurance are entitled to use the same facilities as everybody else, so you can take your pick of treatment facilities should you need them.

  • France is generally very safe, and has a have relatively low rate of violent crime, but as with visiting unfamiliar towns and cities, some neighborhoods in this town do merit a bit of extra caution. Overall crime in France has fallen in recent years, but visitors should be careful when on the move. And unfortunately petty crime has in fact, been on the rise, and typically tourists are at the greatest risk. The most common types of crimes are pickpockets at train stations, on buses and even at the airports.

DON’T

  • Don’t even think of driving in Cannes during the film festival !!! (Except if you know relatively well the place and know how to avoid the traffic jams).
    It’s better to catch a train from a quieter place to browse the streets of cannes and maybe catch a glimpse of a star.

     

  • Since most people go to Cannes during the Film Festival, they are mostly worried about spotting famous people, therefore they get distracted and pickpockets take action. If you are also hanging around Cannes with a huge camera around your neck, you might be a potential victim as well. If something happens to you, try to find a police officer.

DO

  • The old path of the small cross has become the most famous promenade of the French Riviera, La Croisette with its palm trees, its palaces, its luxury boutiques and its sumptuous Art Deco buildings, the boulevard opens a turquoise way on the bay of Cannes and on its two beauty spots, the Lérins Islands. Eternity of a maritime decor and posterity of the major of the cinema. Actors and directors have frozen their footprints on the path of the Stars in front of the Palais des Festivals and on the Esplanade Pompidou.
  • After the green lung, the historic heart of Cannes beats in Le Suquet, the oldest neighborhood in Cannes. It offers the most scenic panorama on the city, which starts Quai St. Pierre in the Old Port.