A romantic honeymoon in the French Riviera is as dreamy as it sounds! After we landed in Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, we headed straight to Monte Carlo. We dropped our bags in our hotel and headed to the Casino Square and grabbed a coffee at Café de Paris, the most popular place for a rendezvous in Monaco and the best possible start for our honeymoon. I’d say I overdid it with my ensemble, but the word extravagance is synonymous with Monte Carlo and the Casino Square makes you feel like you are starring in a James Bond movie. My husband, who is a huge fan of supercars, couldn’t get enough of the Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royce’s. On the other hand, I couldn’t get enough of the magnificent architecture of the Casino of Monte Carlo, so we decided to have a closer look. The interior was equally beautiful but the game play was quite poor, unless you are a millionaire and have some spare cash to spend.
- The Japanese Gardens: A gem away from the noise and extravagance. A spot where you find peace, serenity and tranquility. Definitely worth the visit.
- The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco: This was my favorite, though I’d have preferred it to be less crowded. So many different species, plus the only welcomed shark experience I will ever have. While exiting the museum they have a tank with baby sharks and you can touch them! Simply amazing.
- Place du Palais: I mean it’s a Palace. Who doesn’t like a Palace? If you’re lucky, you will witness the changing of the guard. If not, the breathtaking views and the walk along the cliff edge will not leave you complaining. Plus it’s a good chance to buy some souvenirs.
- The Champions Promenade: Footprint casts of some of the best soccer players in the world. It’s a nice place to stop on the way to the beach.
- The Private Collection of Antique Cars of H.S.H Prince Rainier III: Car lover or not, you will be in awe. Formula 1 cars, old cars, new cars, royal limousines, all under one roof.
- Le Metropole Shopping Center: Classy, luxurious and upscale expensive brands and designers. This is something you have probably seen before. The chandeliers though? One word. Perfection.
#1 A common mistake many people make when visiting Monte Carlo is to go by car (very expensive and hard to find parking, not to mention the traffic in the center is quite congested). Monaco is the 2nd smallest country in the world and the buses will take you anywhere you’re too bored to go to on foot.
#2 Staying in Monaco is another mistake, which as a first timer, I did too. Hotels and restaurants are very expensive and the quality is not what you pay for. In order to get quality, you need to pay 200 euros per person to eat and over 1,000 for a double room. Luckily, Nice is only 30km away and a whole different story.
- Monaco is home to the largest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world.
- With a population of over 36,000, it is the world’s most densely populated country.
- Monaco also holds another record. It has the world’s lowest unemployment rate (0%).
The most prestigious niche brands in haute couture and jewellery have found an ideal setting in Monaco. You can shop more than 4,000 luxurious brands. Shopping frenzy! My favourite places/streets are the following:
- Avenue des Beaux Arts
- Centre Commercial du Métropole
- Avenue De Monte Carlo
- Place du Casino (and the surrounding streets aka Carte d’Or)
Stay tuned for part 2!