Monaco Travel Guide: With some of the world’s best shopping and dining – not to mention the area’s marquee sporting and cultural events – the beautiful city-state is the primary destination for returning travelers. Monaco’s reputation as the best bolt-hole on France’s southeastern Mediterranean coast is well earned. The world’s second-smallest country shines with Michelin-starred restaurants and fashion boutiques, a James Bond-frequented casino, and megayacht-filled Port Hercule.
Luxurious hotels and spas, private beach clubs, and the centuries-old royal palace – home of Grace Kelly after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 – add to the mystery of the beautiful principality. But despite its lofty stature, with plenty of substance beneath the glitter, the destination is delightfully approachable.
Relentlessly picturesque, Monaco’s tranquil green spaces and cliff-side gardens cover nearly 20 percent of its area, making the city-state ideal for peaceful strolls and envy-inducing selfies. Come 2022, a new, stronger calendar of cultural and sporting events, Prince Albert I, a scientist, environmentalist, and passionate sailor would be punctuated with gatherings to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death, whose history is well documented in the famous oceanographic museum he founded. in 1910.
All this to say that Monaco may be small, but few places in the world rival its grandeur. Here’s how to make the most of Made Hot Spot in the year ahead.
Monaco Travel Guide
If shopping were a national sport, Monaco’s ultra-modern One Monte-Carlo mixed-use development, which opened in 2019, would qualify it for the championship round. Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Alexander McQueen and dozens of other iconic homes boast boutiques beneath the posh new apartments in the center of Monte-Carlo, just steps from the Place du Casino.
Nestled between Port Hercule and winding alleys that lead to the magnificent Exotic Gardens, Monaco’s colorful condominium district, one of the oldest in the principality, has a village-like feel and includes the pedestrian-only Princess Caroline, where visitors can browse for jewelry and formulas. 1 Souvenir, kitchen supplies, and books. The consignment boutique Le Dressing on Rue Princess Florestein specializes in previously owned haute couture clothing and accessories.
For a spirited souvenir, head to L’Orangerie, Monaco’s only distillery, whose signature bitter-orange liqueur is made from fruit trees in the streets. Tip: Mix it with Prosecco and, voila, you have Monaco Spirits!
Eat and Drink
Monaco packs a varied and delicious punch for food lovers. Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris, the first hotel-based restaurant to earn three Michelin stars, lures diners since its opening in 1987, but even relative newcomers like Monte-Carlo Beach’s Elsa deserve reservations – The world’s first certified-organic Michelin-starred restaurant (reopening in 2002) is well worth a visit for the ocean view from its terrace.
At “The Rock,” also known as Monaco-Ville, duck into the narrow streets for a Monegasque lunch or dinner at La Montgolfier, played by the city’s native chef Henri Gerais and his wife Fabienne. Cozy wine bar Supernature has won a following for its organic vintage and small daily menu created from fresh finds at La Condamine market. For a beach bet, head to La Note Bleu, one of the many private beach club restaurants on Monaco’s pebbled Larvato Beach, which has a regular lineup of live music when the sun goes down.
The Formula 1 engine comes to life at Monaco’s hairpin turns and tunnels. The annual Grand Prix returns in 2022 with three races: the fifth E-Prix (electric), the 13th Monaco Historic Grand Prix, and the 79th Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. If tennis is more your pace, the world’s best male players volley out each April at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, held in an intimate seaside stadium.
On the cultural calendar, year-round concerts and performances by the Monte-Carlo Ballet open inside the Monte-Carlo Opera House, designed by French architect Charles Garnier of the Paris Opera House, and this July Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum fashioned Dedicated its Summer Exhibition to Designer Christian Louboutin. Another “only-here” hit: a summer concert by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, held in the courtyard of the Prince’s Palace.
Rest and Relax
The 208 guest rooms at the Majestic Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo are ideally located in the heart of Monaco, between the Casino and One Monte-Carlo. Guests also get complimentary access to its private beach and decadent Thermes Marines Monte-Carlo – a sea-view seawater pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, solarium, hammam, sauna, and fitness room with unobstructed harbor and castle views. Destination, no. Mention a comprehensive list of health and anti-aging remedies.
A Belle-era masterpiece with 278 rooms and suites, Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo has located just steps from the shopping of One Monte-Carlo and Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo. Renowned French chef Yannick Alleno showcases Mediterranean specialties in his newly assumed restaurant.
Three restaurants at the 125-room Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo include Yoshi, the only Michelin-starred Japanese dining spot on the French Riviera. Spa Metropole by Givenchy invites guests to unwind with a series of beauty and wellness rituals.
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