Just the name Monte Carlo conjures visions of a glamorous bygone era. In modern Monte Carlo, the tax-free principality surrounded by France and the Maritime Alps, that glamour is not lost. Along with European hideaways like Lake Como, Gstaad, and Ibiza, this cliffside Mediterranean port has been a timeless playground for the see-and-be-seen crowd for more than 150 years. But amid all the hubbub, when you visit Monte Carlo it’s still possible to while away the afternoon over a café crème, amble along the harbor among the yachts and experience the slow-paced, yet refined, Monégasque savoir-vivre. More than 1.5 visitors travel to Monte Carlo each year for a taste of its sophisticated charm. Let Travel + Leisure’s Monte Carlo travel guide point you to its winningest attractions.
Things Not to Miss in Monte Carlo
• Playing a hand at the famed Casino de Monte Carlo
• Visiting the 19th-century Romanesque-Byzantine Cathedrale de Monaco, also the final resting place of Princess Grace
• Exploring the colorful Jardin Exotique
• Touring neighboring Monaco Ville, the old town also known as Le Rocher, home to the Grimaldis’ historic royal residence
When to Go to Monte Carlo
Monaco’s Mediterranean climate means there’s never a bad time to visit. However, tourist season peaks in July and August, and can lead to an uncomfortable combination of high temperatures and large crowds. Similarly, when Monaco hosts its annual Formula 1 Grand Prix it becomes packed to the gills. Visitors searching for a little more breathing room can still enjoy warm temperatures and beachside relaxation in the spring and fall.
Enjoying a quiet dinner at Sea Lounge, where quiet dinners evolve into all-night parties, with DJs spinning dance music until dawn.
Visting the 19th-century Romanesque-Byzantine Cathedrale de Monaco, also the final resting place of Princess Grace.
Shopping for the best labels from around the globe (think: Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, and Lutz & Patmos) at Espace Mirage.