On our recent trip to Europe we spent two nights in luxurious Monaco (which really worked out to be about 24 hours.) With such few hours in this tiny country we really needed to be selective and efficient with how we spent our time. Luckily Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, covering an area of 197 hectares (487 acres) of which 40 hectares (99 acres) have been reclaimed from the sea! It blows my mind to think of it!
So, I have come up with the perfect 24-hour itinerary for anyone travelling to Monaco on a limited timeframe.
BUT before I get into it check out my video 24 Hours in Monaco.
We few into Nice-Côte d’Azur airport and hired a really comfortable Mercedes convertible for the 25km drive to our hotel.
Where we stayed
You absolutely cannot go past the waterfront position of the Fairmont. When I say waterfront, I really mean it! This place has the most incredible views of the ocean/harbor. We chose a deluxe ocean view suite and couldn’t get enough of laying on the private sun lounges and watching cruise ships roll into harbor. The positioning of the Fairmont also gives you perfect access to all that Monaco has to offer, sitting only a few minutes walk to the famous Place Du Casino. The price is extremely reasonable by Monaco standards and there is nowhere else I would recommend staying.
What we did
Breakfast at Horizon
After waking up to the sound of the ocean we headed to the top floor of the Fairmont for breakfast at Horizon. They have indoor and outdoor seating, but how could you not sit outside and enjoy the view of the Mediterranean Sea. The delectable buffet was full of delights including eggs cooked your way, yogurt, an assortment of French cheese, doughnuts and perfectly blended fruit juices. We ate and ate until our bellies were practically brimming.
Place Du Casino
After breakfast we headed straight out of the hotel for a walk-through Monte Carlo. Stopping for Ryan to gawk and the dozens of luxury cars parked out the front of the Casino De Monte Carlo. All of the streets were incredibly well presented and clean, and everywhere you turn was a feast for the eyes. There is an endless array of luxury shops, but I chose a quick peek in my favourite high street store ZARA for a look at what was hot for European summer 2019.
After a walk-through Monte Carlo we continued onto the harbor promenade stopping to look at the stunning double story carousal that children were enjoying. At the end of our walk along the water we were met by the base of the staircase which leads you up to The Prince’s Palace. I can attest to the fact that it is possible to walk all of Monaco, including these stairs, even in heals!
Once we reached the top of the stairs, we were greeted by not just the beautiful palace with its fortress, but by a stunning view of the harbor and through to Monte Carlo. The guards at the front of the Prince’s Palace aren’t just for show but are there because the Sovereign Prince and his family live there. Were lucky enough to be at the Palace at 11.55am to witness the daily changing of the guard.
After walking around the Palace surrounds including its gardens, and stopping in the Palace Square for a drink, we headed back down the hill to start our trek back to Monte Carlo. On the way back we walked along the waters edge admiring the million dollar boats sitting proudly in the harbor. Literally luxury boat after luxury boat, which is hard to describe without seeing it for yourself.
For the afternoon we headed back up the top of Fairmont only this time to relax with a bottle of Rose at the famous Nikki Beach. This sophisticated scene is all about lounging poolside ‘in between the sea and the sky.’ You can purchase delicious food and drinks, swim in the open-air pool and listen to world class DJs. The perfect spot for an afternoon of relaxation after a busy morning sightseeing.
Café De Paris
After working on our tans and enjoying some wine we dressed and headed out for the evening. Once again we stopped at the Casino De Monte Carlo for Ryan to amaze at all the cars, which were even more incredible this time of night. We grabbed a table at Café De Paris for a predinner drink. All the chairs are positioned in a way that you can enjoy the view of more and more cars rolling up, and the wealthy hopping out of them in their designer clad outfits. It was honestly incredible and like nothing I have seen before. I think you could have all the money in the world and still be blown away by the beauty and luxury of Monaco.
Noura at Hotel Hermitage
For dinner we headed to Noura at Hotel Hermitage where Lebanese cuisine was on the menu. There was a Cartier show happening at the Casino De Monte Carlo, and from our dining table we had the perfect free ticket to bands, fashion and even fireworks!
Casino De Monte Carlo
After dinner we had a gamble at the famous casino which I found to be the perfect blend of modern reinvention and tradition. A mix of Bohemian chandeliers, roulette tables, slot machines and images of James Bond. Everything there was about sophistication, attention to detail and luxury.
We finished our 24 hours in Monaco with a walk through the gardens of Place Du Casino and a stroll back to our comfy bed at the Fairmont. Eyes still in awe of everything we has seen and done in the Principality of Monaco, of which we will never forget.
And now for photos…