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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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”?
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.
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.