Ahead of both our Cannes workshop next week (still time to sign up) and the festival itself, we asked our friends at www.cannesorbust.com to give us some tips for getting into Cannes when you step off the plane. Here's what they said…
Picture this: you worked overnight to finish getting stuff ready, you got up early to catch a plane and you arrive at Nice airport in a blaze of sunshine and grope for your sunglasses in your bag. First reaction: slip your weary but glamorous derrière into a sleek Mercedes taxi and get ready to pay anything between €80-100 to get to Cannes.
Stop! If you are travelling with one or two people and budget is no problem (yeah, sure!), then go for it. But if you are travelling alone, on a budget and have a little time, there are three cheap ways to get to Cannes.
To determine which the best option is, think first about where you are actually staying.
• Cannes centre: the express bus and the train are the best options.
• Antibes, Golfe-Juan or Juan-les-Pins: the Golfe Juan express or train is the way to go.
• Cannes La Bocca or Mandelieu: go for the train (just check on a map how close your hotel is to the relevant stations).
Tip n° 1: The cheapest: the bus. The NoctamBus 200 to Cannes takes over from the express bus (see below) on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays only from 11.30pm. It leaves from Terminal 1 and costs the princely sum of €1. The journey takes about 90 minutes. It’s an interesting option if you are staying in Antibes or Juan-les-Pin. It’s the local bus, and your bags will be a nuisance. But it is cheap!
Tip n° 2: It’s a little-known secret that Nice airport has a railway station (relatively) nearby: Nice-St Augustin. It brings you to Cannes in about 35 minutes for about €5 (May 2009). It’s also handy if you are staying in Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, Cannes La Bocca or Mandelieu. The only trouble is finding it.
Take bus n° 23 from Terminal 1. St Augustin is the second stop (last bus 9.40pm). You can also walk there from Terminal 1 in about 15 minutes. Look for the signposts for the “L’Arénas” office block. Then take Avenue Lindbergh and turn right on Blvd Cassin. Cross at the lights and head under the railway bridge. You’ll find the station to your right. Last trains are at 23:36 and 20 past midnight.
Tip 3: the Cannes Xpress bus (n° 210) is a popular option, as it leaves from Terminal 1 every 30 minutes, visits Terminal 2 and then takes the motorway straight to Cannes for €15.60 in 50 minutes (return ticket €25.50). I like this one, as you often meet people on the bus and your Cannes festival starts straight away! The last bus leaves the airport at 8.50pm. The bus arrives and then leaves from the “gare routière” near Cannes town hall. There are ample bus connections from there, or take a taxi if you’re out of town. Another express bus, n° 250, goes from the airport to Antibes, Juan-les-Pins and Golfe Juan for €8 (€15 return).
No need to explain the return trip, I presume. But I have often arranged to share a cab back to the airport, although it’s more for the networking than for convenience. Enjoy Cannes and always remember to stay one drink behnd the person you’re talking to!
Michael Leahy is a writer that also runs http://cannes-or-bust.com, the foremost site for people visiting Cannes for the festival, MIDEM and MIPTV. News and money-saving tips are posted on the site, as well as on the daily Twitter account http://www.twitter.com/cannesorbust.
Thanks Michael, see you in Cannes! On the bus no doubt!
Onwards and upwards!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author
The train from London-ParisNord-ParisGDL-Cannes is also very civilised and if you leave mid-morning you arrive (around 6pm if I recall) into the centre of Cannes feeling fresh and air conditioned, having had a good few hours of uninterrupted laptop time and also safe in the knowledge that you didn’t contribute so much to runaway climate-change (around a tenth I believe).
Another option is to leave Paris (around 9 or 10pm I think) on the overnight sleeper (couchette). It’s slower but you get into Cannes before 9am and have a full day ahead. You’ll probably meet a few French filmmakers too.
There’s some info at http://www.seat61.com and I’ve heard good things about travel agent http://www.festtravel.co.uk being very helpful.
Expect to pay around €200 / £180 round trip, but remember you save quite a bit on four airport transfers.