Where to go Monte Carlo Monaco

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Visit Monaco Where to go Monte Carlo – the first of 3 blogs about what to do, where to go and where to eat in Monaco

“A sunny place for shady people” so said Somerset Maugham half a lifetime ago.  Does this still hold true?  Well, there is an eclectic mix – just like anywhere else in the world!

That said, I absolutely adore Monaco and love popping into the small state whenever I am staying in my South of France home.  I have friends who are lucky enough to live here and they all sing its praises from the rooftops.  There is another side, far removed from the brash stereotype of gambling, flash casinos, rich people showing off and generally having a good time!  You will be spoiled for choice with all the cultural activities from ballet to art exhibitions.

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Monte Carlo Casino 

This is such a safe place, you can wander around alone without worrying about your safety, there is a policeman around every corner.  It IS an elite and wealthy place, full of attractive, well dressed and well behaved people.  I find it to be like a box of delicious chocolates, I open the box and go WOW, savour a delicious morsel or two and have a wonderful time.   Yes, it is an unreal enclave – but take it for what it is and ENJOY!

You will definitely have a jolly good time if you follow my tips outlined below!   I’m going to give you a list of the good and bad restaurants to frequent, then I will give you a wonderful walk so you can explore of foot.  Monaco is the size of Hyde Park in London and so the best way to explore is on foot.   Also, a list of my favourite things to do – many of which are FREE.

Morning Walk around town

Let’s start with my walk.  Don’t forget that you are perfectly safe in Monaco, you can walk around clad in diamonds and no-one is going to mug you.  You really don’t need a tour guide, it is impossible to get lost and you will have a lot more fun exploring on your own.

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Tip: If you are feeling lazy, take the Bateau Bus (you can see it in the photo) from one side of the port to the other.

The walk starts at the port, for the benefit of those of you getting off a boat of some description.  I love the new Wine Palace below Monaco Yacht Club, if you feel like a reviving glass of wine or stocking up on a few cases.  They have an enormous cellar and will undoubtedly be able to provide whatever you want with some delicious cheese too – make sure you try the Truffle cheese, I’m still dreaming about it! http://www.winepalacemontecarlo.com

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Let’s do the touristy bit, can’t sit around sampling wine all day,  and head on up to the Old Town.  Stop of at the Oceanographic Museum.  I love the top floor with the display of old photographs. http://www.oceano.mc

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Oceanographic Museum – Sometimes they have Orchestral Concerts here during the Spring Arts Festival, a very special place.

Go and visit the Palace.  I love to visit in July when it is such a treat to attend a Monaco Philharmonic  Orchestra Concert in the courtyard of the Palace.  The outdoor cinema is also a favourite in the summertime.

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Princes’s Palace http://www.palais.mc

Take a tour around inside, a fascinating glimpse into another world.  The views from here are just amazing.  It is probably lunch time by now, so choose one of the little restaurants or head down to one of my favourite places for a lunchtime treat, The Hotel Hermitage.  There is a very nice 2 course menu which I recommend. http://www.hotelhermitagemontecarlo.com

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The Terrace Hotel Hermitage with a view of the Old Town, Palace and Port

Afternoon Walk:

After lunch take a little stroll around the Casino Gardens.  I’m a keen gardener and so love to see the variety of trees and plants from around the world.

PicMonkey CollageCasino Gardens – magical

If you want to do a little shopping, you’re in the right place everything from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Valentino to unusual little individual shops abound.  The Metropole Shopping Centre is to the left of of the gardens. http://www.chanel.com

http://metropoleshoppingcenter.com  Stroll along avenue des moulins for little boutiques.

 

Continue our walk down to Avenue Princess Grace and stroll along the seafront.  My dogs particularly like taking a walk here and stopping off for a little aperitif along the way.  Actually, if it is summertime and you want a less formal lunch than the Hotel Hermitage then one of the seafront restaurants is a good choice. http://www.lanotebleue.mc

Hopefully, you are not too tired after all this exercise and are ready to enjoy an evening out in Monte Carlo.  My recommendations for this will follow in Part 2.  Enjoy!

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Cafe de Paris and the Casino

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32 Comments

  1. April 15, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    I visited Monte Carlo with my family 25 years ago and really enjoyed the single day we had. I would love to go back and spend more time there. It is so luxurious! Love yacht watching there!

    • marie
      April 15, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      It is the same for me – I always enjoy my time in MC. It always seems special. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  2. April 15, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    Monte Carlo looks very different to most places I have been, but I love the look of the amazing plants in the Casino Gardens.

  3. April 17, 2016 / 8:28 am

    Crazy that I have seen so many far away places but not some of the most amazing ones close to home! Really good and useful post which I will bookmark for future reference !

    • marie
      April 17, 2016 / 9:18 am

      Thank you for the lovely comments Mihaela!

  4. April 19, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    I had no idea Monte-Carlo was that small! Looks lovely though – no wonder you like to visit often

    • marie
      April 21, 2016 / 7:37 am

      I live nearby!

  5. April 20, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    I have heard of Monte-Carlo but had never got chance to check it or find more information about it. But reading your article it seems to be lovely place to visit 🙂

  6. April 20, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Looks glamorous! Unfortunately too expensive for me:)

    • marie
      April 20, 2016 / 3:32 pm

      There are plenty of budget options – people only hear about the expensive places 🙂

  7. April 20, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    A sunny place for shady people ? Love it! The second picture where you’re standing outside an ornate building, what’s the name of the building? I’m in awe of the detail of the architecture and the statues around it!

    • marie
      April 20, 2016 / 3:33 pm

      I’m standing outside the famous casino, but around the side. The ‘belle époque’ buildings are amazing and wherever you are there is a gorgeous building to see.

  8. April 20, 2016 / 5:28 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit Monaco, and have never managed to fit it into the schedule. I’d love to just to wander the streets and breathe in all the architecture and atmosphere, visit the Monaco Yacht Club (and sample the wine, of course), and take in the Palace. I’d also love to try to schedule a visit during the Spring Arts Festival. It just all looks amazing!

    • marie
      April 20, 2016 / 6:06 pm

      I love the Spring Arts Festival, concerts are often held in wonderful locations. For example this year one of the venues was the Oceanographic Museum, such a treat.

  9. April 20, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    We visited Monte Carlo a few years ago as a day tour from Nice, I fell in love with it instantly. It looks like a place out of a fairytale book. 🙂 The Hotel Hermitage looks a place we’d enjoy a meal in. Lovely view! I bet it’s expensive though. :p

  10. April 21, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    This looks like a wonderful place to visit. I have never been. I love the exhibit displayed outside of the museum. So fun and colorful. The buildings are stunning too. You are so lucky to be so close to this dreamland!

  11. April 21, 2016 / 7:54 pm

    Monaco has not been on my travel radar. But it definitely sounds like a great place to visit being that it is safe and it’s easy to get around. I had no idea it was only the size of Hyde Park London!

  12. April 22, 2016 / 3:24 am

    Monaco looks absolutely beautiful! When my friend and I were planning a backpacking trip last year, we were saying how we really wanted to go there, but we changed our minds for some reason haha

  13. April 22, 2016 / 3:38 am

    Oh my this is great! Beautiful pictures and great write-up. I’ve stayed at the Monte Carlo in Vegas LOL and loved it. If it was supposed to represent the real Monte Carlo, then I’m in for a surprise when I do go to the real place 😮

    • marie
      April 22, 2016 / 5:47 am

      We have paddle boarding here, you will be right at home!Thank you for the lovely comment.

  14. April 22, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    Spent an afternoon in Monaco many years ago – would love to visit again. I especially would like to enjoy one of the concerts at the palace. Your pictures of Monaco are stunning!

    • marie
      April 22, 2016 / 5:54 pm

      Thanks Miriam, you would like cooking with the famous Michelin chefs!

  15. June 8, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    I’ve never been to Monte Carlo but it looks just like a movie set! The artwork out the front of the Oceanographic Museum is gorgeous!

  16. June 8, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    It is so nice to see the photos around Monaco. I only visited once during the evening and pretty much only saw Monte Carlo. In my short visit, I could definitely see the opulence in the area. I would love to go back and explore as thoroughly as you did!

  17. June 8, 2016 / 6:51 pm

    Monte Carlo looks amazing, but expensive. I’d worry about sticking to budget I think. I like the look of the Casino Gardens – stunning! Very informative post thanks. I might just be tempted to add it to my list!

  18. June 8, 2016 / 7:58 pm

    This place looks gorgeous and very well kept. Kinda like that feeling you get from Disney World : safe, clean, everyone looking happy 🙂 I’ve never considered going, but now I’m interested!

  19. June 9, 2016 / 7:01 am

    Monte Carlo was one of our favorite stops in Europe … we “donated” 50 or so Euro to the casino lol which means we lost it, but gamble in one of the world’s most famous casinos was one thing we had to say we’ve done :D!

    • marie
      June 9, 2016 / 7:47 am

      Well, as long as you enjoyed it!

  20. June 9, 2016 / 9:14 am

    hahah “A sunny place for shady people” I love that.

    Those pictures are fascinating and I like that you can walk everywhere safely. When you say sunny btw, how sunny and how hot does it get?
    Seems a bit pretentious, the place but like you said, always take it as it is.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • marie
      June 9, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      Thanks for the comment. It gets quite hot in August but the rest of the summer a pleasant 21 degrees approx

  21. June 9, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    What a beautiful place! I didn’t know you could easily explore it by foot. I’d love to visit one day!

  22. June 10, 2016 / 10:59 pm

    The Spring arts festival looks interesting, I’ve been to Monte Carlo but never during that time. Makes me dream of going back!

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