For our May/June 2022 issue, our “Discovering Guide” takes us down South to the epitome of Riviera glitz & glamour – Monaco. Spanning only three and a half miles from end-to-end, it is the second-smallest country in the world, just behind the Vatican. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in, well… everything else.
It might be hard to separate this sunny city-state on the glistening Mediterranean coast from visions of hedonists and high rollers, but trust Monaco has much more to offer than super yachts and good poker. Below, we’re treating you to a portion of our “Guide” with list of some of the best things to do there. For more – plus all of the best places to eat and stay – be sure to get your copy of our May/June 2022 issue!
Wind through the narrow, medieval streets of the Old Town, fondly nicknamed “Le Rocher,” which houses the principality’s most stately buildings (Le Palais Princier, the Town Hall and Parliament, to name a few), along with a smattering of shops, perfectly preserved Renaissance homes and the gorgeous Monaco Cathedral, built in Romanesque-Byzantine-style with white stone. Head out for a morning jaunt, and end up at the Place du Palais at 11:55 a.m. to see the daily changing of the Monégasque Guard.
Monaco Yacht Club
Arguably the biggest player on the international yachting scene. Founded in 1953 by Prince Rainier, the Monaco Yacht Club boasts over 2,500 members from 80 countries — and, naturally, some of the world’s most prestigious private boats. Setting the standard of naval etiquette, its mission is to perpetuate and pass on a heritage that is deeply ingrained in Monégasque culture. Head to the harbor to check out the yachts — a truly jaw-dropping site — then swing by the club for an apéritif.
Quai Louis II (Port Hercules)
Carved into a rock overlooking the ocean, this grandiose three-floor museum —— which showcases both permanent and temporary exhibits —— is a cabinet of curiosities dedicated to the deep blue sea. Wonderful for families, there is also a restaurant on the roof terrace with a playground and a new “turtle island” habitat.
Avenue Saint-Martin, 98000
Princess Grace Rose Garden
Inside Fontvieille Park, the Roseraie Princesse Grace has been delighting visitors since the 1980s, when Prince Rainier III created it in memory of his late wife – the beloved Grace Kelly, whose bronze statue presides over the 55,0000-square-foot garden. Home to a whopping 6,000 rose bushes (of 315 varieties), the space is divided into seven themes, each as beautiful as the next. One of the most colorful and tranquil places to visit in Monaco.
Avenue des Papalins, 98000
Grand Prix de Formule 1 de Monaco
The big-ticket event of the year. The Monaco Grand Prix is a world-renowned Formula 1 motor race held annually in late May or early June. It is the most well-known and challenging (78 laps with elevation changes, tight corners and an infamous tunnel) of all the circuits in the Formula 1 World Championship and is attended by the high adrenaline sport’s most wealthy and famous fans. Start your engines!
Le Palais Princier
The Prince of Monaco’s private residence. Built in 1215, the Palais Princier has been in the hands of the Grimaldi family for 700 years. A blend of architectural styles, the ancient edifice has seen myriad changes over many centuries. Today, its mix of medieval fortifications, classical façades and Renaissance-style features makes it an incredible representation of Monaco’s history. The Grands Appartements —— which house the ceremonial rooms, each outfitted in original frescoes, ornate furnishings and intricate tapestries —— are open to the public.
Metropole Shopping Monte-Carlo
A gallery of 80 shops and six restaurants, where everything from fashion, accessories and antiques to beauty treatments and gourmet food can be found. This famed shopping center — with its Italian marble walkways and majestic Faustig chandeliers — is a must-visit for fashionistas and open Monday through Saturday. Pro-tip: if you’re a non-EU resident, you can take advantage of its immediate tax refund service on the first floor.
17 Avenue des Spélugues, 98000
Marché de la Condamine
Located on the Place d’Armes, a stone’s throw from the port, this indoor/outdoor market and gourmet food hall brings together an array of local vendors — butchers, fish and cheesemongers, bakers, florists, fruit and vegetable producers — offering up regional specialties, like socca, barbagiuans and pissaladière. The market, with its warm and sunny Southern spirit, has been around since 1880 but received an overhaul in 2012, landing on the radar of foodies far and wide.
11 Rue Terrazzani, 98000
Casino de Monte-Carlo
Feeling lucky? Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or a visitor looking for a bit of fun, paying a visit to the iconic Monte-Carlo Casino deserves a spot on every Monaco hit list. Whatever your game of choice… Blackjack, Roulette or Texas Hold’em — or if you simply want to sip a James Bond martini in one of the many restaurants, bars or lounges — there is something at this Art Nouveau entertainment establishment to please everyone.
Place du Casino, 98000