Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, rivalled only by the Vatican, covering an area of just two square kilometres. Despite its size Monaco has established itself as a luxury destination, boasting the who’s who of celebrity visitors.
There is more than meets the eye with Monaco, and travellers are sure to experience a world that does not only cater to the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
As summer approaches and we look for those amazing getaways, here are 19 exciting opportunities that await the discerning traveller and reveal that Monaco has so much to offer and is more accessible than you might think.
1. Opera des Monte-Carlos
One cannot visit Monaco without viewing the luxurious spectacle of the Opera House architecture. From the grandeur of its exterior, to the interior adornments inspired by mythology, this monument is surely a visual and cultural feast!
2. Grand Prix
If you’ve bing watched the latest Netflix sensation, ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’?, then you must experience Formula 1 in real life. Happening in Monaco between 23rd to 26th May 2019, it’s a definite bucket list write-off. With varying price ranges anyone can have a Grand Prix experience.
3. Jardin Exotique
For those who prefer a slower pace as their holiday preference, stroll through the beautiful exotic gardens which have been open since 1933. Built into the cliff-side, and offering breathtaking views of the Principality of Monaco, this affordable and relaxed activity is well worth a visit.
4. Condamine Market
This open-air and covered market is open daily and sells various regional specialties. It originally opening on 18th November 1880 and is a Monaco institution, which was first renovated in 1993 to reflect the innovations in the region. Despite the updates, cautious care was taken to protect its heritage, ensuring its authentic roots remain.
5. Les Perles de Mont-Carlo
This beautiful seafood restaurant is located on the furthest most point of the pier at Port de Fontvieille, looking across the Mediterranean Sea. Although the views alone justify the visit, the food is an added bonus also.
Brice Cachia and Frederic Rouxevill, both certified biologists, launched their enterprise in 2011, with the aim of showcasing oysters and other fine seafood including lobster, caviar and sea urchins.
Originally an old abandoned warehouse before opening its doors in 1993, STARS’N’BARS is a family focused restaurant, now comprising of a 3-storey entertainment complex located centrally in the port of Monaco. It offers full professional restaurant and catering along with breathtaking views of the harbor and skyline, as well as easy access and parking.
7. Stay in style at Monaco’s Hotel offerings
With all the fun, vast history and attractions that Monaco offers it is no surprise that the hotels found here meet its luxuriously high standards. With numerous 5 locations where you will be treated like royalty no matter where you stay.
Whether it’s the internationally renowned l’Hotel de Paris with its sea view, intricate architecture and direct access to Themes Marinsor, a luxurious wellness, fitness and health facility that floats 6,600 m high, or the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, boasting a lagoon, spa and pool as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant.
With so many top quality offerings, the hardest decision will be which lavish location to stay within. For the budget conscious traveller look no further than Columbus hotel, set in the old part of town, this newly refurbished independent hotel looks out over the Princess Grace of Monaco Rose Garden.
8. Les Ballet de Monte-Carlo – Ballet Company
Founded in 1985 by Caroline, Princess of Hanover, to fulfill the wishes of her late mother; Princess Grace of Monaco. The world-class Monaco ballet company will perform various choreographies around the world in the first half of 2019.
However, if you want to catch a performance in Monaco, the Princess Grace Academy Gala is scheduled in Monte Carlo’s Salle Garnier Opera from the 21st to the 23rd of June. It gives the opportunity to the students to publicly display their talents before pursuing their prospective careers.
Despite Monaco’s small size, it has every amenity of a large city, including its own football team. Competing in the EUFA champions’ league, and with a strong reputation, this football club may be from a small country but has much grander aspirations.
10. Musee Oceanographique de Monaco
Positioned dramatically on the edge of a cliff since opening in 1910, the renowned museum was founded by Prince Albert I (1848-1922). Its centrepiece is a 6m deep lagoon with shark and marine predators separated from colourful tropical fish by a coral reef.
You can also step back in time through the history of oceanography and marine biology with photographs, old equipment, numerous specimens and interactive displays.
11. Golf Course
Although it is actually located in La Turbie, this century-old course is not only rich in history, but also offers awe-inspiring views across, mountains and seas. A particularly spectacular view is located at the fifth hole, where it is possible to see three countries at once.
With its luxurious clubhouse and extraordinary views of the Riviera the green fees are, understandably, not cheap but well worth the experience.
12. Michelin Star Restaurants
Synonymous with the high flyers of society, Monaco offers catering to match. With more Michelin-starred restaurants per square meter than anywhere else in the world, there are seven Michelin-starred restaurants, with 10 Michelin-stars between them.
Notably, Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse located in the lavish l’Hotel de Paris claims three of the countries Michelin-stars, and from the comments of world-renowned food critics, it is apparently the best restaurant on the Riviera.
13. Monte Carlo Rolex Masters
This event runs from 13th to 21st April and hosts an impressive list of 45 competitors, including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. It is held at the furthest most east point of Monaco nestled between the Corniche Inferieure and the Avenue Princess Grace. The noteworthy view of the Mediterranean Sea is only overshadowed by the remarkable displays of athleticism by the contestants.
14. Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival
Since its conception 150 years ago, the Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival has brought some of the biggest stars to Monaco, and the stages of the Salle des Etoiles and the Opera Garnier Monte-Carlo.
The exceptional programming and magic of the festival has placed Monaco at the top of summer music events. Running from 14th July to 19th August this year, with a wide variety of performances, there is something for everyone to be amazed by.
15. Monaco Art de Ceil
Established in Monaco town hall in 1966, this pyrotechnic competition occurs every year, with two showings in July and two displays in August. It is held in Port Hercules, with a sound system fitted to allow an all-round experience of the display. For the best views of these unique spectacles, grab some space at Quai Albert-ler.
16. International Show Jumping
For over ten years this prestigious event has brought the best riders from around the globe to Monaco in June. Hosted at the base of the Palais Princier, at Port Hercule, it is one of the most notoriously demanding on the world circuit. Its main challenges are its short and narrow course with multiple obstacles.
The difficulty of the course demands riders to perfect their technique, promising a unique spectacle. The show-jumping competition offers 15 events with amateur categories competing during the day and top riders performing in the evening.
The riders are competing for the Prince of Monaco’s Prize in one of the premium stages of the Longines Global Champions Tour.
17. Monaco Yacht Show September 2019
Held annually in the Port Hercules, it is Europe’s biggest in-water display of large yachts. Don’t be fooled by the name, this is not just for the nautical aficionados out there. Along with impressive vessels, there has recently been the inclusion of tailor-made vehicles, hypercars, tenders and toys displays. With something for everyone, it is well worth the visit.
18. Festival International du Cirque
Since its establishment in 1974 by Price Rainer III, it has become one of the circus world’s most prestigious events. For ten days, the Fontvieille Big Top is installed in Monaco, hosting some of the world’s best acrobats, animal trainers, trapeze artists and many more.
The festival also bestows awards, the ‘Golden Clown’ being the most coveted. Enjoy some truly spectacular entertainment and family fun.
19. Monte Carlo Rally
A motorsport rally event organised by the Automobile Club of Monaco, who also organises the Formula 1 Grand Prix. This motoring challenge, held in January, starts and finishes in the Principality of Monaco, while the majority of route is through further north, particularly French Alps.
It is one of the most unpredictable rallies of the year. Always taking place in winter, the relatively straightforward asphalt roads are thoroughly complicated by the winter weather.