Despite being the world’s 2nd-smallest nation, Monaco, has been dubbed a playground of the rich and famous. Spanning less than a square mile of Mediterranean coastline, Monaco features grand casinos, designer malls, world-class restaurants and clubs, a , attracting celebrities and vacationers year-round.
Technically an independent city-state, but often viewed as a sort of unofficial province of France, Monaco is on the coast near the French-Italian border.
Monaco is famous for being very expensive due to the fact that is it a tax haven couples with its small size. Monaco has no personal income tax (except for French citizens) and very low business taxes. Over 30% of the residents are millionaires! And real estate prices reached $116,374 per square metre in 2018!
Monaco is also know for its lavish city of Monte Carlo, and being must visit (at least once) luxury destination in the Mediterranean. Here’s our look at five of Monaco’s can’t-miss attractions, along with our suggestions for where to stay when you’re in Monaco.
Where To Stay In Monaco
Every memorable trip starts with great accommodations. Before we dive into what you must see in Monaco, let’s explore hotel options.
Monaco is not a budget destination but it is possible to find affordable accommodations here. These are 15 of the top-rated hotels in Monaco. We’ve organized them by luxury, mid-range and budget.
Luxury Monaco Hotels
- Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo – 5-star, luxury hotel located in Monte Carlo, a neighborhood in Monaco, in the entertainment district and near the beach.
- Hotel Royal Riviera – Located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Hotel Royal Riviera is a 5-star luxury hotel with Michelin-Starred Dining and an exquisite beach club.
- Chateau De La Chevre D Or – 5-star luxury hotel, perched on a hillside in Old Town Èze, just a 10 minute drive from downtown Monte Carlo.
- Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat Four Seasons – 5-star Family-friendly hotel in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat palace in Cap-Ferrat.
- The Maybourne Riviera – 5-star luxury hotel with a private beach and a full-service spa.
- Hôtel Cap-Estel – 5-star ulta-luxury hotel built into a cliffside with a private beach and full-service spa.
Mid-Range Monaco Hotels
- Boutique Hotel Miramar – 3-star Monaco hotel on the port in La Condamine.
- Fairmont Monte Carlo – 4-star luxury hotel, set on the water’s edge, with a luxury spa.
- Le Meridien Beach Plaza – 4-star luxury, modern hotel on a private beach in Monaco.
- Hotel Port Palace – 4-star, family-friendly hotel in Monaco situated on the port in Monte Carlo.
- Riviera Marriott La Porte de Monaco – 4-star luxury hotel on La Porte de Monaco on the waterfront.
Budget Monaco Hotels
- Hotel Novotel Monte Carlo – Highly rated, 3-star, family-friendly hotel in Monte Carlo, you can walk to Monte Carlo Formula 1 Track from this hotel.
- Hotel Les Terrasses D’Eze – Located in Eze, on the hillside with speeding views of the ocean, just 10 minutes drive from Monte Carlo Casino.
- Odalys City Beausoleil Les Hauts de la Principauté – 3-star aparthotel near Casino Monte Carlo.
- Hotel Olympia – 3-star, old world hotel near Casino Monte Carlo (7 min walk).
1) Palais Du Prince
Palais Du Prince was initially built in the 13th century, and though it has undergone several renovations since, it retains a stunning air of history. It was built with panoramic views of the sea so as to be more defensible in ancient times.
When visiting Palais Du Prince, you can actually explore inside this royal residence rather than just look at it from the outside. Or at least you can tour the glittering state apartments when the prince himself is out of town (though some parts of the palace are off-limits).
Even walking by the palace is something to behold. The Grimaldi family, that still occupies the residence to this day, is thought to be the oldest royal family on Earth.
2) Monaco Harbor
If there’s one prevailing postcard image of Monaco, it’s the harbor in Monte Carlo. It’s called both the Monaco Harbor and the Monte Carlo Harbor, and it’s known for hosting an array of rich and spectacular yachts right in the middle of the city.
Enjoying an impressive setting at the heart of the glitzy principality, Port Hercules in Monaco is home to 700 of the most prestigious and sought-after berths in the world. A berth (in case you’re wondering) is a designated location in a port or harbor used for mooring vessels when they are not at sea. Port Hercules is able to accommodate yachts measuring up to 135 metres in length.
Port Hercules is famed for all the super yachts that flock to and dock in Monaco. The port is also famous for its position at the heart of the Monaco Grand Prix which takes place in May.
There’s something magnificent about looking down on it from the hills and cliffs around Monte Carlo, though you can also enjoy it up close and personal. There are plenty of opportunities to rent boats and explore the surrounding coastline.
3) Monte Carlo Casino
You don’t have to be a big fan of gambling to enjoy Monte Carlo Casino. That’s the thing at the Monte Carlo Casino. It’s all about the venue, rather than the games themselves. You can play poker or slot reels anywhere these days, but this rich and glamorous building is without a doubt one of the top attractions in Monaco.
Monte Carlo Casino truly packs some elegant, old world glory, and if do gamble, you’ll feel that much classier doing it at this swanky spot.
4) Japanese Garden
There are actually plenty of gardens around Monaco that are worth visiting if you’re aiming to soak up some natural beauty. The Jardin Exotique is probably the most famous, and the Princess Grace Rose Garden might be the most ornate.
But our pick is the Japanese Garden. The Japanese Garden was created in 1994 at the request of Prince Rainier III in accordance with the strictest principles of Zen design by famed landscape architect Yasuo Beppu.
The Japanese Garden is located on the Avenue Princesse Grace, in the Larvotto ward of Monaco. The beautiful garden features a stylised mountain, hill, waterfall, beach, brook, and a Zen garden for meditation.
5) La Note Bleue Monaco
The main beach in Monaco is Larvotto Beach, and La Note Bleue is actually a sub-section of it. But this is perhaps the most unique little beach stretch in town. It’s small and intimate, it’s connected to a restaurant, and it often hosts live musical performances (and primarily jazz).
For a typical beach day you might be better off on the main drag at Larvotto, but if you’re looking for a late afternoon or evening out, La Note Bleue is special.
La Note Bleue is at once a private beach, a global restaurant, plus a music bar hosting live international artists and DJs. It’s a very fun place to have a lux beach club day in Monaco.
5 Things Not To Miss In Monaco Wrap Up
It’s hard to beat the Mediterranean for wonderful and beautiful travel destinations. We’ve covered several stunning locations in Greece before. And other countries like Italy, Spain, France, and Croatia are also known for their incredible islands, beaches, and seaside cities.
But if you’re looking for a truly unique place to keep on your list for a Mediterranean getaway then consider visiting Monaco. Because of its close proximity, Monaco is an ideal destination to visit for a long weekend getaway in conjunction with a trip to the South of France. Enjoy!
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Monaco. If you have any questions about the destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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