By Jodi R, Germany, June 2012

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The French Riviera is famous for its chic, picturesque coastal towns, and June or September is the perfect time to visit Cannes. The Film Festival has wrapped up and the red carpets have been rolled away, the summer season is just around the corner and you can take a few days to enjoy the ambiance, culture and sunshine of this fabulous French Riviera city.

Although you may not cross paths with the celebrities du jour, you can still check out the expensive toys and pretty playthings of the rich and famous. Stroll along the ocean-front Plage de la Croisette to admire jewel-encrusted cases for your smart gadgets, high-end fashion and fancy couture for your frame, and million dollar mini-submarines for your quick underwater get-away! Wander down the Rue d’Antibes to peruse the art galleries and even more luxury boutiques.

The jet set may have a policy: 'if you have to ask (the price), you can't afford it,' but Cannes outside the festival doesn't need to be ludicrously expensive. Take a room in one of the bed and breakfasts or smaller hotels near the east end of Cannes Croisette, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere before meandering to the beach for an afternoon relaxing in the sunshine. If you're feeling decadent, rent one of the loungers from the hotels along the beach and take advantage of their changing rooms, food and drink service. Alternatively, first visit the Covered Market (Marché Forville) on rue Meynardiers to gather a picnic lunch then head to the public beaches for a free swim.

Winding steep cobbled streets enhance the beauty and architecture of the old quarter Le Suquet,  with breathtaking views of the bay from Notre-Dame d'Esperance, the Provençal Gothic church at the top of the hill. Make sure you go inside to admire the 14th-15th century wood panelling and collection of 19th century paintings. Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence offers an insight into everyday life in Provence from prehistoric times to the present day.

If you still hanker after a touch of glamour, take yourself for a drink at the Hotel du Cap or the Carlton Hotel Cannes, historic Hollywood HQ of the festival. Later you can swing by the famous steps of the Palais des Festivals (Film Festival Palace) for your own million-dollar photo opportunity.

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