“If style could be measured per square meter Monte Carlo would be off the scale.”
Bite sized beauty Monte Carlo is as glamorous as it gets. The city is a long-time favourite of royalty, so make sure you’re packing some cash if you go:
This cliff-top museum was the land base of legend Jacques Cousteau.
It has an aquarium with a 7.5 metre coral reef and amazing array of tropical fish.
Try the weird “feel the fish” session!
Anywhere else and you’d be tagged a stalker for walking with a pair of binoculars slung around your neck. But the (super) yachts in Marina Port are so massive that you’ll risk neck strain. You’ll often see Amazon-esque beauties sunbathing on the upper deck.
Sometimes it’s nice to get back to the basics. Family run trattoria La Polpetta is Monte Carlo’s antidote to the city’s reputation for showiness. Stars and Politicians have sworn by this Italian since the 1970s. The saffron-infused osso buco, meat balls (polpette) or trofie (skinny gnocchi) are sublime.
(2 rue Paradis)
The Monegasque ooze glamour even when they’re just eating brunch. Order a mimosa cocktail (champagne and orange juice) as you take small morsels of your Croque Monsieur (gourmet ham and cheese toasty) at Café de Paris.
The outdoor terrace is the best place for people watching and famed as a lovers “rendezvous” spot.
The Larvotto District is lined in public and private beaches so it won’t be a problem to find a spot to pitch your parasol. Most places offer wake boarding, windsurfing or Jet Ski rentals. If you’d rather avoid the coarse pebbly beach La Spiaggia is an option where you can rent cushy sun loungers for the day.
Royal Palace tours
Although the Royal Palace is a private residence, guided tours of some of the apartments are allowed. Make sure you’re standing by the main entrance at 11:55 a.m. in time to catch the changing of the guards, Carabineers Ceremony.
Miss the Grand Prix
Formula 1 fans don’t need telling that this is the most anticipated race in the Grand Prix calendar. The windy roads of Monaco are turned into high-speed lanes for a race that is always filled in u-turns, crashes, risky overtaking and rule breaking. The nauseating smell of burnt tires may emanate from the tracks and hang in the air, but we don’t care. One tip — invest in a pair of top quality air plugs.
Jimmy’z Monte Carlo’s (and possibly the entire French Riviera’s) most popular after-hour haunt has been the life and soul of the Monegasque social scene for decades. The rich, the young, the moguls and the famous all want to be part of Jimmy’z antics. The rotating DJ’s and the Cuban smoking room are just highlights.
It out on your credit card
Circle the area known as the…Golden Circle. The amount of designer shops in the area is enough to make your head spin. Along Avenue des Beaux Arts you’ll find Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada and further down on Avenue de Monte Carlo Gucci, Valentino and Hermes. If you’re not much of a material girl (or guy) there’s the Condamine Market on Place d’Armes for all sorts of fresh produce.