MONTE CARLO: POSSIBLY THE MOST OVERRATED PLACE IN THE WORLD

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That’s a pretty big statement, isn’t it? And some would think it’s too early in the year to start with intriguing posts like this. But it’s something I have given a lot of thought about and wanted to write since I started this blog.

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I went to Monte Carlo for my honeymoon (read here) and I wish I had known better but, back then, I was listening to a stupid travel agent that our office was working with. So… she persuaded me that Monte Carlo is the perfect place for us: posh, good food, romantic and oh-so-luxurious.

Nah. Once there, one of the first things you’ll notice are the silly, arrogant youngsters circling around the Casino Square in their rented Ferraris trying to attract the best possible gold digger for the night.

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Then you’ll realize that you have to pay gold for sh!t. Anything that costs below $100 per person just tastes hideous. I never had such shitty yet expensive meals in my whole life. And before you say anything, let me tell you that I went prepared. I knew it would be expensive. I just thought I would pay and get quality in return, maybe even foodgasm if lucky, but the only thing I got was cravings for a decent souvlaki from back home.

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The romance is non-existent since so many selfie sticks, traffic, queues and dirt (yes, it is dirtier than what you’d expect), make it impossible to light the fire.

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I must say though that if you want to do some high-end shopping, it’s the proper place. But only if you can ignore the snobbish attitude and the top to bottom looks you’ll get by most of the sales(wo)men. You’ll notice them trying to spot an expensive logo on your shoes/watch/handbag, which will somehow assure them you do have money to spend. Otherwise you’re not worth their time.

Monte Carlo is also the place where you will pay a $30 per person entrance at the beach without having a sunbed guaranteed (you might end up sitting on your towel). At that same beach, you might notice an underwater fence (is it for sharks?), cigarettes, some women’s hygiene pads and a bloody tampax floating around the water. True and disgusting story which my husband can confirm.

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I guess the hip crowds chill on their yachts or in one of the Hermitage suites because I didn’t bump into any of them in 3 days and Monte Carlo is so tiny.

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Monte Carlo has really nice architecture and a lovely castle. It also has a super crowded aquarium (even the fish in the tanks struggle). You can definitely spot luxurious yachts and/or nice cars but that can happen in so many other, better places – Amalfi coast, Cannes, London, Geneva and Miami or even at a freaking car exhibition. It isn’t worth spending so much money just to stare at cars that aren’t yours. Is it?

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I stick to my initial statement that Monte Carlo is definitely the most overrated place I have ever been to and the one I am not ever keen to return to. The funny thing is that I have asked many people that have been there, “how was it”?
Their reply?

People: “It was very nice”.
Me: What did you like in particular?

People: “The boutiques and the cars”.

American People: “Well I love Europe so it was nice being in Europe”.

Well, great, but I don’t want to pay $800 per night for an OK room when I have nice boutiques and an an amazing 3-story Louis Vuitton 10 minutes from home. And I much rather do shopping, food and cultural experiences in New York or London.

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TIP:

Since I always encourage people to go and experience things for themselves because opinions differ, I can only advise you to stay in Nice, France, which is right over the border, and take the bus or train to Monte Carlo. It’s better value for money and Nice is nicer and friendlier.

 

Safe travels!

 

22 Comments

  • Oh no! I am so sorry it isn’t what it was hyped up to be! I’ve always wanted to visit (but not stay there), but I do think all the hype makes it sound so idyllic but the reality will not measure up. I am a huge fan of the Amalfi Coast and it sounds like I am better off going back there than Monte Carlo!

    • Niki says:

      You’ll surely eat better in Italy! That, I can guarantee! haha! Yup, it was a bummer, but it’s also an experience so I don’t regret it! I just won’t return-unless they pay me!

  • Kim says:

    This post made me giggle, it sounds so much like Dubai. I always shake my head when people oooohhh and ahhhh over Dubai when it’s exactly the same, all bigged up by travel agents and adverts but at the end of the day its a but of “wish they were posh” expats rolling around in overpriced cars thinking they’re something special. I’ve lived here my whole life and 20 years ago this city was something truely special, now, while it will always hold a special place in my heart it’s just one big shopping mall. I’m sorry Monte Carlo didn’t live up to the promises, but it’s another place to tick off the list I suppose!

  • Lizzie says:

    Ah such a disappointment! I had a similar experience at the tomatina festival in Spain – I had wanted to go there for so many years, and I finally saved up and organised and went, and it was awful! So crowded you couldn’t move, too hot, and just generally a bit of an awful experience! Having said that, I’m pretty glad I went or I would always be wondering what I was missing!

  • Tahnee says:

    Thanks for the heads up! I know you love your travels and would not say this flippently. Reminded me of the saying ‘more money than sense xx

  • Ashleigh says:

    Really enjoyed this, i love to travel and this was definitely on my bucket list! Would definitely have to do more research on this one now. But thanks for the heads up!

  • Lisa says:

    Very good to know that you don’t get what you pay for in Monte Carlo!! If we ever go, we’ll be sure to stay in Nice as you suggest!

  • Kasia says:

    Very honest as usual Niki. I haven’t really though of going to Monte Carlo. I assumed it was for the rich and spoiled and this proves me right. It’s sad to see the snobbishness though. You’d think they would want more diverse tourists to come there and not just cater to the rich.

  • I’ve thought of going to Monte Carlo but now I may only go if it’s a sponsored post opportunity!

  • Kate says:

    I love the honesty in this. I was most appalled that you have to pay just to use a beach! Beaches should be public spaces in my opinion, because everyone should have the right to access our natural world. It definitely also sounds like a stuck up crowd in Monte Carlo but I guess that often comes when you have more money than you know what to do with. I hope you still enjoyed your honeymoon despite all this.

    • Niki says:

      I so agree with you! Beaches (and especially those shitty beaches they have there) should be absolutely free. They belong to the people, it’s everyone’s right to use the water and swim in it. My honeymoon became great once we left this place and went to Nice!

  • Pramila says:

    Monte Carlo seems very nice lookwise but reality says something different…. This for this eye opening and your honesty describes here… I will keep this in mind for my future if I plan for this spot.

  • Aneesha Rai says:

    Love the honesty! I have very faint memories of Monte Carlo, but it was very romantic back in 2006! Didn’t go to the beach of course, was there only for a couple of hours as we walked around town. I even won some money off the casinos !

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