Monte Carlo Travel Guide
The official chocolate maker of Monaco since 1920 sells an assortment of handmade chocolates infused with lavender, pistachio, and orange packaged in elegant porcelain boxes, and Provençal specialties such as Calissons d'Aix, made from almond paste and a thin layer of icing.
There's plenty of horsepower in this collection of 100 vintage automobiles, including a 1903 De Dion Bouton and a 1929 Bugatti—an appropriate exhibit in a city famous for its annual Formula 1 race.
You'll find most of the usual high-fashion suspects—Gucci, Dior, Chanel, Cartier—near the Casino de Monte Carlo.
The 19th-century Romanesque-Byzantine cathedral constructed of white stone from La Turbie is the final resting place of the former Princes of Monaco as well as Princess Grace.
Princess Grace opened the housewares shop in 1966, and it remains the place for locally handcrafted Monégasque and Provençal items, such as embroidered tablecloths, hand-carved frames, and colorful ceramic platters. Best yet, all proceeds go to charity.
Order a milky pastis or the traditional Monte Carlo Imperial—made with gin, white crème de menthe, lemon juice, and champagne—and watch the sun set on the Bentleys and Lamborghinis clustered around the casino across the plaza.
Built in the 16th century on the site of an ancient fortress, the official residence of Monaco's royal family overlooks the harbor and is open for tours June through October. Don't miss the ceremonial changing of the guard daily at 11:55 a.m.
Pick up porcelain candy boxes bearing Prince Rainier's personal seal at this shop, which is the official provider of Palace gifts. There's also luxury tableware and other decorative accessories by the likes of Moser Cristal, Valombreuse, Hervé Gambs.
Thanks to a recent $34 million renovation to the Salle Garnier, the spectacle of opera season in Monte Carlo rises to new heights.
During the day, a Zen-like atmosphere permeates the posh seaside restaurant. Come sunset, though, energy levels pick up with the pop of champagne corks, and DJs provide a pulsing soundtrack for late-night revelers who dance until dawn.