La Croisette

sights / Architecture

La Croisette information

Cannes , France
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The multi-starred hotels and couture shops that line the famous bd de la Croisette (aka La Croisette) may be the preserve of the rich and famous, but anyone can enjoy the palm-shaded promenade and take in the atmosphere. In fact, it’s a favourite among Cannois (natives of Cannes), particularly at night when it is lit with bright colours.

There are great views of the bay and nearby Estérel mountains, and stunning art deco architecture from the seafront palaces, such as the Martinez or the legendary Carlton InterContinental ; its twin cupolas were modelled on the breasts of the courtesan La Belle Otéro, infamous for her string of lovers – Tsar Nicholas II and Britain’s King Edward VII among them.

Not so elegant but imposing nonetheless is the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès at the western end of the prom, host of the film festival. Climb the red carpet, walk down the auditorium, tread the stage and learn about cinema’s most glamorous event and its numerous anecdotes on a Palais des Festivals guided tour . The tourist-office-run tours take place several times a month, except in May. Check dates on the office website (visits in English are sometimes available). Tickets can only be booked in person at the tourist office.

After posing for a photograph on the 22 steps leading up to the cinema entrance, wander along allée des Étoiles du Cinéma, a path of celebrity hand imprints in the pavement.