If you’re looking for a great option for a city break over a weekend (or perhaps even longer!) then look no further than the impressive city state of Monaco. Nestled on a beautiful shore with rocky outcrops and bright blue waters, Monaco is known for being home to some of the most discerning luxury hotels, yachts and is considered fairly prestigious and luxe in terms of its stature.
Getting In And Around
The best way to get into and out of Monaco hands down is through the use of a private hire car, taking away all the stress of getting to and from your final destination. Additionally, private cars can be hired throughout your stay, adding to the luxury feeling of your getaway. For those who are truly looking for some of the finest, you could take a helicopter from the Nice International Airport to Monaco – rates vary by season but can be astronomical (between 8-1000 Euros) in May during the Cannes Film Festival. Aside from that they can be in the range of 150-300 Euros. Regardless, if you have the money and really want the special treatment this is a great way to get in and out of Monaco, with a private car hire to drive you around while you’re in town.
What To See And Do
No trip to Monaco is complete without a visit to Monaco-Ville. While it sounds like some sort of gaudy children’s theme park, this is anything but. Monaco-Ville is in fact the heart of old Monaco, with many centuries old houses, fully pedestrianised streets that twist and turn with many kitschy and unique shops and cafes to be found amongst the maze of back streets. The Palais Princier (Prince’s Palace) is a fantastic tourist attraction and is open to visitors reguarly with audio guided tours. Just before noon each day as well you can catch the changing of the guards outside the palace, which is a perfect way to start or end your visit inside. There are some spectacular views from within the palace around the area including overlooking Monte Carlo. The Monaco Cathedral is a great stop for those who enjoy history and appreciate architecture. The Romanesque-Byzantine styled church houses the remains of past Princes of Monaco as well as Princess Grace, so this is a great spot for history buffs too. Other must sees include the Jardin Exotique (literally, Exotic Garden), as well as La Condamine – Monaco’s second-oldest district where you can catch some of the super yachts and cruise liners that dock in the port. For the music lover, check out the Monaco Opera House, which plays host to some of the world’s best musicians as well as being home to some truly beautiful artwork and architecture.
Don’t forget to check out the Grand Casino while you’re in the area – even if you don’t intend to gamble. It will cost you a bit to get in, and the dress code is strict, but you can really get a feel for the ambience and the money that comes through here by having a visit.
Hands down, Monaco is not the cheapest place for any kind of accommodation. Some of the most basic places go for around 60 euros per night as standard per person without breakfast. If you’re treating yourself to a luxury getaway though, this won’t matter much to you. The Columbus, The Cosmopolite and the Hotel Ambassador are three great hotels that are mid-range and modern with good locations and not extortionate price tags. If you’re looking for real luxury though, check out some of the hotels such as Hotel Hermitage or the Hotel de Paris – both with pretty high price tags, but fantastic facilities and rooms.
So there you have a quick run down of how to enjoy a luxury getaway in Monaco for those who are planning a weekend away. Monaco is a great place to visit any time of year, but given its close proximity to Cannes, try to avoid it in May during the Cannes Film Festival unless you book well in advance and don’t mind inflated prices across the region for various things. Aside from that – enjoy!