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International Film Festival picture in Cannes
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Of course, Cannes's claim-to-fame these days is the film festival that swarms the city every spring. One of the oldest (1946) and most esteemed festivals, 20 "official selection" films are picked and then deliberated on by a jury, who will award the Palme d'Or (the Golden Palm) award to the best one. But don't misunderstand: the International Film Festival is a private one, frequented by actors, directors and the like — not the casual tourist. Fodor's says: "Cannes becomes virtually insane with more than 30,000 actors, producers, directors, and other accredited professionals of the seventh art, 3,500 journalists, and 200,000 tourists." If you're traveling to the area in May, you can expect to see large crowds and tents propped up on the beaches.

Although you can't watch the festival's films, you can watch a cache of classics at the Cinéma de la Plage, in which a movie screen is set-up on Mace Beach. You can get tickets through Cannes' Tourism Office. You might also spot a celeb or two; you'll just need to find strategic place outside of the Palais des Festivals and the Carlton InterContinental hotel. Just be prepared for hordes of others doing the same thing.

For more information on the festival, visit the official website.

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Hotel Le Mistral

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#1 La Croisette On La Croisette, a mile-long promenade that skirts the shore, you can lookout on the sparkling Mediterranean and the rolling Estérel hills.  You can also take in all the ... Read more » Zemzina / Flickr

#2 Iles de Lerins Some travelers find these four islands, just a 15-minute ferry ride away, more interesting than Cannes itself. The two most popular are Île Ste-Marguerite and Île St-Honorat. You can visit ... Read more » Bex.Walton / Flickr

#3 Rue Meynadier This rue (or road) is lined with charming 18th-century houses, which have been repurposed as boutiques, selling everything from trendy and (relatively inexpensive) clothing to wine and cheese. Recent travelers ... Read more » LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

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#5 Musee de la Castre Fodor's calls the tiny Musée de la Castre is “Cannes's token cultural attraction.” Constructed by 11th-century monks in the Gothic style, the little château is a piece of ... Read more » Glow Images / Getty Images

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#7 Rue d'Antibes For high-end shopping, you'll want to head to Rue d'Antibes, a road that runs parallel to La Croisette but lies a few blocks inland. You'll find designers ... Read more » gianliguori / Getty Images

#8 Massif de l'Esterel Although you might not think “camp” when you think “Cannes,” you can take a hike just 20 minutes away in the Massif de l'Estérel, a range of mountains formed ... Read more » *pascal* / Flickr

#9 International Film Festival Of course, Cannes's claim-to-fame these days is the film festival that swarms the city every spring. One of the oldest (1946) and most esteemed festivals, 20 "official selection" films ... Read more » jamiejohndavies / Flickr

A Street Artist on La Croisette picture in Cannes
Snowy Alps picture in Cannes
Rue Meyandier picture in Cannes
Flowers at Marche Forville picture in Cannes
Museum picture in Cannes
Casino Croisette picture in Cannes
Shopping Street picture in Cannes
Red Rocks of Esterel picture in Cannes
International Film Festival picture in Cannes
A Street Artist on La Croisette picture in Cannes
Snowy Alps picture in Cannes
Rue Meyandier picture in Cannes
Flowers at Marche Forville picture in Cannes
Museum picture in Cannes
Casino Croisette picture in Cannes
Shopping Street picture in Cannes
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International Film Festival picture in Cannes

La Croisette is a sun-drenched promenade, which skirts the shoreline.  Zemzina / Flickr

You can see the Alps from Île Ste-Marguerite. Bex.Walton / Flickr

LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

You can visit this market on western Rue Meynadier. kthread / Flickr

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gianliguori / Getty Images

*pascal* / Flickr

jamiejohndavies / Flickr

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