Things to do in Monaco
by Daniel | Last Updated June 21st, 2019
Monaco is a fascinating independent city-state located just south of France. The little country is known around the world for its luxurious locations, high-end living, and beauty. With a large amount of beach bordering the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, Monaco attracts plenty of tourists looking for a different kind of escape.
There is only one other country that is smaller than Monaco, you can easily travel across it in a day. However, to really see everything that it has to offer, you will need to spend months – or even a few years – actually getting to know the area. If you plan to go there on vacation, you won’t have time to learn all of its secrets.
From the internationally famous Monaco Grand Prix to the Monte Carlo Shopping Metropolis, there is something going on all year round in this incredibly small, yet fascinating country.
We know you don’t have the time to explore all of the options to find the best of everything in Monaco. To help you out, we are giving you recommendations from our own experiences in this amazing little country.
Here are the names of some hotels, restaurants, and cafes for you to consider visiting. Once you have the necessaries for your trip, start going over all of your options for things to do while you are there.
Hotels in Monaco
To have the best possible experience, you want your hotel to add to your experience. It shouldn’t be just somewhere for you to leave your stuff and sleep.
There may be days when the weather induces you to stay inside, or you may have a couple of days when you just want to be close to your room. We want to help you enjoy it even these days.
The following are some of the best hotels we have found in Monaco.
Fairmont Hotel Monaco
Considered one of the nicest hotels in Monte Carlo, the Fairmont is a luxury resort that exemplifies the Monaco experience.
In addition to nearly 600 guest rooms and suites, the enormous luxury hotel has four restaurants and bars and several event rooms.
There is even a shopping arcade and casino, giving you and your children something to do during the day, and adults something to do after the kids have gone to bed.
The fitness center can help you start the day off right, and the spa is there for you to relax on lazy days or after a long day spent on the go.
In addition to what they have going on all year long, they also have some of the best in celebrating the end of the year.
If you plan to be in Monaco around Christmas and New Year, you will definitely want to consider staying at the Fairmont to have an experience that you cannot get anywhere else. It will be an occasion to remember for years to come.
Hotel de Paris Monaco
If you would like to stay in an iconic and internationally famous luxury hotel, the Hotel de Paris is where you should make your reservation.
Everything about this hotel looks like a piece of artistic craftsmanship. From the suites and rooms to the lobby and dining areas, there is everything to love about the hotel. With large windows letting you enjoy breathtaking views, you can blend the beauty of the hotel’s interior with its surroundings. Even the exterior of the building is a work of art reminiscent of palaces and elaborate chateaus.
Despite the hotel’s international reputation for excellence and elegance, the owners know there is always more that can be done.
Beginning in October of 2014, they initiated a series of renovations to improve and modernize different aspects of the luxury hotel. The renovations total $400 million so far, and the results have been as outstanding as you would expect from such a world-renowned hotel.
They have blended the original structure with some of the best that technology available. The project was completed in December of 2018, and a grand reopening even helped to remind visitors just how the Hotel de Paris earned its reputation.
Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel
This is an exclusive resort that has some of the most spectacular amenities.
Walking into the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel is like walking into a little piece of heaven. Explore the grounds with 4 hectares of gardens and a waterfall spilling into a magnificent lagoon, you will feel like you have booked a stay in an earlier, simpler time.
The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel has some fantastic cuisine to accompany the extravagant setting.
You can choose between the Caribbean and Mediterranean dishes to help you feel more like you are in a different word.
When you want to enjoy some entertainment, you can visit the lounge or take the children to the family center to experience some quality time together. Enjoy adult fun in the evenings at the Monte-Carlo Bay Casino or the cocktail bar.
Where to eat in Monaco
You will not be disappointed by the Mediterranean cuisine that you can find all around Monte-Carlo.
However, some of the best restaurants have a little something different on offer.
Here are a few locations you should visit to get a taste of some amazing food from around the world without having to go much further than a short drive from your accommodation.
Maya Bar Monaco
Some of the most popular food comes out of Japan and Thailand.
That’s because the food is not only unbelievably delicious, it is also incredibly healthy.
The Maya Bar knows that, but they don’t offer the traditional experience. Every day is a completely unique experience for lunch.
You will need to check the menu because there are specials every day – it allows the Chef to be creative, to the absolute delight of customers’ palates.
Make sure to book your meal ahead of time. They are extremely popular and are quite often booked out..
If you want an extravagant Italian dining experience, Cipriani should definitely be a restaurant where you dine at least once during your holiday in Monaco.
Divided up between the restaurant and the Club Cipriani, you can choose your environment for the evening.
The restaurant has some of the most delicious authentic Italian food without having to travel to Italy (although it isn’t too far from that Mediterranean destination).
The Club is a members-only lounge on the roof of the restaurant. Seating only 50 people, it is private if you are successful in your membership inquiry.
Buddha Bar Monaco
For a relaxing dining experience, you cannot go wrong with the Buddha Bar.
From the moment you step inside, you can feel the difference between the bar and the world outside. The interior is designed to create a unique blend of sculptures, wooden structures, and elegance that will put you at ease.
If you prefer to relax out in the warm air, there are two open-air terraces with similar designs to give you the feeling of being in the eastern part of the world.
The food is primarily inspired by Thai and Japanese dishes, but you can find some Chinese and South-East Asian dishes hiding among them if you want a dish from the mainland.
Located in the Shopping Metropolis, the Metcafe gives you the kinds of dishes you would get if you went just a little distance into France.
It is a fantastic cafe to take a break and rest after spending time outdoors. Stop in for some treats, a late lunch, or one of the nicest cappuccinos you can find in Monaco.
Things to do in Monaco
Don’t let the size of Monaco fool you. It has a rich history and more than enough activities to keep you happily occupied for weeks.
Whatever your interests, there is something to keep you fully engaged in the experiences and sights of the country.
Monaco Grand Prix
If you are into racing, then you already know that Monaco is famous around the world as being the location of the Grand Prix race.
As the slowest of all the Formula One circuits, it is definitely something to see as there is a good reason why they must go slower. It is also the most dangerous of the circuits. Any error could be fatal, which is why it attracts so many viewers. It is thrilling and exciting for spectators to cheer for their favorite drivers.
If you want to see the race while you are in Monaco it is on in May from the 23rd-26th.
Nikki Beach (Fairmont Hotel)
This fantastic area to relax is just above the Fairmont Hotel.
One of only 14 different Nikki Beaches around the globe, the concept of a luxury beach club is taken to an entirely different level in Monaco.
Check the calendar for the different types of entertainment and celebrations to make the most of your trip.
Their motto is “Celebration of Life,” and they keep the place active with things to do.
Métropole Shopping Monte-Carlo
For those who adore shopping, the Monte Carlo Shopping Metropolis is one of the best locations to shop in Europe.
With a lot of the top designer names from around the world located in this metropolis, there is enough to keep any avid shopper thoroughly entertained for days on end.
Shopping isn’t the only thing you will find at this elite mall.
There are areas where the kids can find great entertainment, and some of the shops are for those who love gadgets and books.
Even if you aren’t an avid shopper, you will not be bored while those in your party who loves to shop explore everything the metropolis has to offer.
Casino de Monte-Carlo
Made famous in a James Bond movie, walking into this casino is like entering his world.
It is incredibly easy to see just why this spot was chosen to be featured in a film. Elegant, beautiful, and full of life, there is so much going on that you cannot help but get lost in the world of Le Casino.
Beyond the games and entertainment, you can enjoy gourmet meals as you chat with friends and business associates.
Japanese Gardens Monaco
A project was done in coordination with Japan and ordered by Prince Rainier III in 1994, this garden is a testament to what can be done when two countries work together.
Stepping into the gardens does not remove you from Monaco (you can see the beautiful buildings and hills of Monaco all around the gardens), and that is the point. It is a peaceful, relaxing setting that takes you out of yourself and reminds you to slow down and enjoy the scenery.
Everything in the gardens is designed according to the principles of Zen, making it the perfect place to find balance.
Another spot famously used to help tell the story of James Bond, Casino Square is another place you can go to sit and enjoy the day without feeling pressured to do anything.
Get a coffee, tea, or other drink from café du Paris, then sit back and enjoy the show around you.
Watch other people go about their lives, rushing to get somewhere. If you are the reflective type, this is the perfect place to people watch.
Old Town Monaco
To really get a glimpse into Monaco’s history, you will need to head to Old Town.
To ensure you don’t get lost you should book a slot with a walking tour. The tours begin in Place d’Armes, which is easy walking distance from the train station.
Since it is also the central market, you will be able to do some shopping while waiting for the tour to begin (if you arrive a bit early).
The tour will give you all of the details, from the history to the activities you can do around the area.
If you would like, you can take the virtual tours to get started doing your own research into Old Town so that you can go right to the places that most interest you.
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My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.