Monte Carlo Grand Prix
Monte Carlo Grand Prix

Situated along the stretch of Mediterranean coast known as the French Riviera, Monte Carlo forms part of Monaco, the world’s second-smallest sovereign state. Bordered by France to the north, east and west, it’s an area known for its luxury and wealth, gastronomic delights, vast historic casino and Formula One Grand Prix. The latter is held annually in May on the Circuit de Monaco – a route which weaves its way through the streets.

La Condamine is home to the Port of Monte Carlo, making the region a popular cruise destination. There is no airport in Monaco, although Nice Airport, providing global connections, is just 20km to the west and has plenty of car hire options. Alternatively, fast trains from Paris to Monte Carlo take around six hours, passing through the striking countryside of Burgundy and Provencal enroute.

What is the weather like in Monte Carlo?

Monte Carlo enjoys summer peak temperatures of 23-26°C, with July offering the warmest temperatures and an average of 14 hours of sunshine a day. Add in relatively little rainfall and sea temperatures of 23-24°C, and its quickly evident why holidaymakers flock to these shores. Even in the winter months, temperatures are around 10-12°C.

Top things to do in Monte Carlo

Port of Monte Carlo
Port of Monte Carlo

Monaco packs a lot into a very small space. The best things to do amid the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo include visiting the luxury Casino de Monte Carlo and the region’s cathedral, The Cathedral of Our Immaculate Lady. The former dates to 1875 and houses an impressive Opera House. Watch the changing of the guard in front of the Prince’s Palace, or venture inside to discover the splendour of the State Apartments when they’re open to the public from March until October.

Many of the main Monaco attractions are impressive in scale. The HSH The Prince of Monaco’s Vintage Car Collection delves into automotive history and includes around 100 vehicles, while the Oceanographic Museum is home to more than 4,000 species of fish. The Exotic Garden of Monaco can be found on the cliffs overlooking the principality and features a wealth of rare plants, as well as 1,000 cacti, while the Princess Grace Rose Garden has an incredible 300 varieties of rose. Lastly, the Metropole shopping centre offers boutique high-end stores in abundance.

Best restaurants in Monte Carlo

Prince's Palace'
Prince's Palace

Monaco is famed for its fine dining gastronomic scene, and is home to six Michelin-starred restaurants, most of which are found in its lavish hotels. These include the three Michelin-starred Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at the five-star l’Hotel de Paris, and Le Blue Bay, a two Michelin-starred offering renowned for its creative dishes. Yoshi offers award-winning Japanese fare, while Le Grill does classic cooking with a twist.

In addition to these, Elsa dishes up delicious Mediterranean cuisine, while Maya Bay is distinguished for its Thai dishes. Beefbar is another not to miss with its quality Wagyu and Black Angus beef cuts. Located on the harbour, visitors should pop into Brasserie de Monaco too, Monte Carlo’s only microbrewery.

What’s nearby?

Old Town of Menton
Old Town of Menton

The French border with Italy is just 10km eastwards up the coast known for its delicious food and rich history, while you’ll have to pass by the pastel-coloured villas, sandy beaches and Old Town of Menton, with its colourful buildings and narrow streets - known as the Pearl of France – to get there.

Nice is around 13km in the opposite direction up the coast located on the French Riviera, while you’re also at the foot of the French Alps, providing ample opportunities for summer hiking and winter skiing. The resort town of Antibes, known for its picturesque old town and the stunning Port Vauban, and the glamour of Cannes, famous for the iconic Promenade de la Croisette, are both within 40km.

A visit to Port Hercules, the only deep water Port in Monaco which is a natural bay full of super yachts, but was once used as a trading port by the Greeks and Romans.

Insurance you should consider if you are travelling to Monte Carlo and renting a car Car Hire Excess Insurance and Travel Insurance from Questor Insurance.