Monaco might be the world’s second-smallest country (only the Vatican is smaller), however what it lacks in size it makes up for in attitude. This grandiose country is home to the annual Formula One Grand Prix, a magnet for high-rollers and hedonists since the early 20th century and renowned as one of the world’s most notorious tax havens. Explore our insider’s guide for everything you need to know about traveling to Monaco.
When to Travel
Situated 30 minutes from Cannes by road or if you prefer to a mere 10-minute helicopter flight from Nice, Monaco is full of surprises and always ready to welcome not only the jet-set elite but the affluent luxury traveller too.
Enjoying 300+ days of sunshine per year, you’re almost guaranteed blue skies on every visit. Summers are very warm, making it the best time to visit Monte Carlo. The avg. temperature ranges from 21°C to 26°C between June and August with cool sea breezes bringing relief from the summer heat
If you love swimming, the best time to go is when the water peaks around 24°C in the summer although it remains warm enough to swim until October when temperatures generally begin to drop.
Spring and autumn are perfect if you want to explore without it being too hot. The avg. temperature between October to November ranges from 22°C to 14°C. In spring, the temperatures warm up after winter to 17°C, making this a perfect time to visit as the city isn’t as busy as the summer.
Where to Stay
The Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, an iconic palace is the perfect destination for those seeking the ultimate in luxury. Offering guests sumptuous new suites, Michelin-starred restaurants, a jeweller’s courtyard, exclusive access to the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, Casino de Monte-Carlo and the haute-couture boutiques of One Monte-Carlo in the heart of Monaco.
The Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo is a haven of wellness where you can experience Monaco at your own pace and rhythm as you create new unforgettable memories. Situated at the centre of Monaco, the hotel exudes elegance and understated charm. With the Michelin-starred restaurant the Vistamar and the amazing spa Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, it is the ultimate hotel for an intimate stay in Monaco that takes luxury to a whole new level.
The Monte-Carlo Beach connects guests with nature allowing for unique and special moments to be celebrated at this villa nestled between a pine wood and the Mediterranean. Decorated in warm hues and inspired by the Riviera of the roaring twenties, this hotel has been redesigned by architect India Mahdavi. With its private beach, Olympic-sized pool and Elsa, a 100% organic Michelin-starred restaurant, guests are invited to discover a truly immersive wellbeing and rejuvenate escape. Enjoy one of the many treatments or classes on offer at Le Tigre Monte-Carlo, from yoga to meditation and much more… It is a space specially set aside for taking time to breathe.
The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort with its sandy lagoon, lush green garden, Cinq Mondes spa dedicated to well-being, Michelin-starred Blue Bay restaurant and party atmosphere in its casino – is all about letting go! As seasons change, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort continues to surprise and delight guests, from sublime brunches to lavish celebrations during the long summer evenings, no matter the time of year, excitement is everything here!
At Hotel Metropole guests can experience the combination of luxury, discretion, and fine cuisine in this beautiful five-star luxury property located in the Carré d’Or of the principality. Designed by Jacques Garcia, the hotel offers 125 rooms and suites, and three restaurants for a varied culinary experience. ODYSSEY – imagined and designed by Karl Lagerfeld – is a haven of relaxation featuring a restaurant surrounded by a heated seawater pool. Discover the Spa Metropole by Givenchy: a true haute couture experience of well-being and beauty.
Where to Dine & Drink
At the heart of Monaco Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer offer the finest in gastronomy, from al fresco dining outdoors for breakfast, lunch on the go, to a gourmet Michelin star dinner! Choose from classic French, Mediterranean, modern, and exotic cuisine – sit down at one of Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer restaurants and experience an exceptional culinary journey full of flavours and aromas.
If you’re looking to dine on the terrace, check out La Vigie Lounge & Restaurant or the healthy and tasty L’Hirondelle for delicious fine cuisine in an extraordinary setting. Looking for casual chic? Try L’Orange Verte, Las Brisas, Le Deck and last but certainly not least, the Brasserie du Café de Paris offers a gourmet menu in a warm and friendly setting.
Get ready for the Monaco nightlife experience!
In Monaco, the evenings sparkle and the nights are magical! Discover lush lounges, elegant bars, eclectic and on trend nightclubs – whether indoor or out on the open terrace, seaside or under the stars, there’s always something happening in Monte Carlo: sip delicious cocktails, savour live music, or dance to the best DJs. In short, live it up!
Party time! For festive evenings after work, live music, DJs, clubbing and dancing all night long: La Rascasse never passes up an opportunity to have a good time! Another unmissable stop in Monaco’s amazing night scene is the legendary Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo and its electro chic partition by Bob Sinclar, Martin Solveig, Mark Ronson, Fatboy Slim and other renowned DJs.
With its terrace overlooking the sea, cosy atmosphere and billiard table, the Blue Gin offers cocktails, champagnes, whiskies, and liqueurs that you can sip while listening to talented DJs on the decks. A bonus: the finger food menu by Marcel Ravin. At La Vigie, signature cocktails, champagne and rum abound. Here’s an idea: try a cigar or a hookah and spice up the party to the beat of live DJs. Savour Peruvian dishes in a colourful and vibrant ambience with a superb sweeping view of the Mediterranean at COYA Monte-Carlo. Finally, the Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo enchants you with its dim lighting and musical atmosphere.
Chic & Chill… A legend, the Bar Américain has a casual, jazzy ambiance and a live music programme that is as appealing as its incredible signature cocktails. And of course, there’s the Crystal Bar with its splendid terrace: the perfect place to enjoy a grand cru or smoke a fine cigar.
What Not to Miss
Although it is most famous for breath-taking panoramic views of the Mediterranean coastline and its iconic yachts, Monaco offers a wealth of activities for visitors. From well-preserved heritage to lovingly protected parks, luxury shopping boutiques, cultural experiences, and excursions.
Thanks to the city state’s small size, it is easy to explore Monaco and its main tourist attractions during the day on foot or by bus and you can often hop on an elevator to get from one to the next. A must-see is the Palais Princier – literally the “Princely Palace” – which is perched atop the city’s rock. Once you are there, watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony on the Place du Palais before strolling the little winding streets of the Old Town.
After touring the Oceanographic Museum and stopping off at Hercule Harbour, set off for the legendary Monte Carlo district and its sublime Place du Casino. The Belle Epoque facades of the Monte Carlo Casino and Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo lend the area a truly unforgettable ambiance. There are some fantastic restaurants nearby too, so feel free to settle down in the cafe terraces and soak in the dolce vita of the French Riviera. Finally, don’t forget to shop in style in the luxurious One Monte-Carlo district.
The Principality offers no end of opportunities for evenings out in one of the Cote d’Azur’s most sought-after locations. Legendary singers and operatic masterpieces regularly wow tourists at the Monte Carlo Opera House. The Ballets de Monte-Carlo also puts on some very highly reputed shows. And connoisseurs will be delighted with the Michelin-starred restaurants on offer too. Even sports fans will have plenty to keep them happy, not least when Monaco AS are playing at the Louis II Stadium. You can’t say you have had a night out in Monaco without calling in at the casinos and gaming rooms. Slot machines, roulette wheels and blackjack all await at the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo, Casino Café de Paris, and Sun Casino. Do you love dancing? Monegasque nightclubs’ reputation undoubtedly precedes them. Whether you opt for Jimmy’z, Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo or Blue Gin, the party is always in full swing!
For a tailored experience that showcases the best Monaco has to offer, plan your upcoming trip with @luxurylondonguy today. With more than 20 years of experience in luxury hospitality and tourism, we offer our clients insights and personally curated itineraries that take the stress out of travel, allowing more time to decompress, discover and explore your chosen destination while you’re on the road.