Fancy a jaunt to Europe’s movie capital? Then join the world’s biggest film stars in Cannes from May 13 to 24, for the 62th International Film Festival.
Where to sleep
Hotels in the centre of Cannes are always fully booked far in advance. They’ll be packed with actors, starlets, journalists, distributors, producers, directors and studio bigwigs.
You’re better off tracking down rooms in the towns around Cannes. If you’re on a very tight budget, try the Etap Hotel in Mougins, just three kilometres from Cannes famous promenade, the Croisette. Another cash-saving solution: Camping. Try Camping Parc Bellevue, which also offers mobile homes, and is a 20-minute bus ride from the Palais des Festivals.
Where to stargaze
You’ll be able to spot stars very easily: They’ll be the people surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards and staff as they approach the red-carpeted steps of the Palais des Festival building where the screenings take place. Whether they arrive by limousine or on foot (only the most courageous ones attempt the latter), most are happy to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
If you want to actually meet some A-listers, the nearest you’ll get to them is probably the pavement outside the luxury hotels where they stay — the Carlton, Martinez and the Majestic. These hotels become overprotected bunkers during the festival, so while it’s impossible to enter them without a professional badge, you can wait near the entrance, and catch stars on their way in or out.
Can I watch movies?
You’ll need professional accreditation to get into the official movie screenings. But if you’re not an upcoming movie star or film distributor, don’t panic. The festival shows a selection of movies every night at their Cinema de la Plage, an outdoor movie theatre on the beach.
Where to go out
After playing hide-and-seek with the stars and visiting the exhibitions all around the city, have a rest. If you’re hungry, go to the New Monaco — at 15, rue du 24 Août between the railway station and the Croisette — which is cheap and good. By night, be sure to have dinner at Le Petit Majestic (6, rue Tony-Allard), which is the place festival insiders reward themselves with a beer after a long, hard day.
If you’re looking for something a bit more stylish, the very select VIP Room is another place to be seen in Cannes by night. Run by nightlife star Jean Roch, the temporary nightclub opens in Cannes’ Palm Beach area during the festival, welcoming celebrities, stars and clubbers, with tunes mixed by the best DJs.
How to get there: The nearest airport is Nice International airport. A taxi takes about 50 minutes and costs about $125, and there’s a public bus service that costs about $16.
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