As far as high-end and luxurious vacations go, you really can’t do much better than a week in Monte Carlo. Set in the tiny principality of Monaco, this is the playground of the rich and famous and, of course, those that aspire to such high stations. So, if you aspire to go big on your next trip overseas and you opt for Monte Carlo, here are a few things to keep you busy during your time there.
First up, as with any city you visit, is to experience some of the local culture. And while some may assume that this means spending your days lounging on a yacht with a glass in hand, there’s a lot more to Monte Carlo than high-end luxuries. And the most popular attraction is the changing of the Monégasque Guard.
Every day at 11:55 a.m., crowds gather in front of the Prince’s Palace to witness the Carabiniers du Prince put on a real show. It’s definitely a sight to behold and one for the photo album. You can also take guided tours around the palace, which is quite an interesting experience.
When you’re finished there, you can then visit the Cathédrale de Monaco where you can see incredible stained-glass windows as well as a great altar and throne. And to complete the hat-trick of cultural attractions, take a visit to Fort Antoine, an 18th-century fort that is now an open-air theater. It’s nice to take a walk around during the day, but to really experience all it has to offer, check the theater website and see what shows are playing during your stay. It’s all in French though, so you may need a little help.
So, with your day of culture done and dusted, it’s time to hit the shops. Head for the famous Cercle d’Or where you’ll find some of the world’s most luxurious brands and labels have their flagship stores. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that prices in this area are quite steep, so budget accordingly. Or if you’d prefer more bang for your buck, then try the Le Métropole Shopping Center where you’ll likely find some really good bargains.
When hunger calls, then Port Hercule is your savior. It’s the most popular area in Monaco, and you’ll see why. Famed for its restaurants and cafés along with the many shops that line the streets nearby, it’s a wonderful place to take a leisurely walk. And as it happens, it’s also one of the best spots for viewing the Monaco Grand Prix.
But perhaps the most exciting attraction in this small principality is the Casino de Monte Carlo. It’s quite possibly the most famous casino in the world, and a night in its hallowed halls is an experience you’re never likely forget. From poker to blackjack and everything in between, you’ll feel like one of the elite while playing in this historic and incredibly opulent building.
However, as you may have guessed, this is by no means your run-of-the-mill casino. Here, things are certainly a tad classier, and you’ll be expected to dress for the occasion. It’s a great excuse to break out that designer dress and those high heels, and for the boys, go all James Bond and don their dinner jackets. But beware, there’s table etiquette on the felt, particularly when it comes to poker so read up before you play a hand.
Whether it’s a night at the open-air theater, a walk down by the port, or a game of poker in the stunning casino, a trip to Monte Carlo is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s a vacation that you will never forget and one that is well worth the extra expense. And besides, you never know, you might even hit the jackpot at the casino.