Where to stay to spend a good time in the principality of Monaco? Discover the best areas to stay in Monaco!
Monaco has the reputation of being the hub of jet-setters, oligarchs, wealthy heirs and capital holders, corporate bankers, politicians and tax exiles. Yet the 37,308 inhabitants of this city-state of Monaco are not all millionaires or billionaires and are not necessarily all excessively ostentatious people. Monaco is the second smallest state in the world – after the Vatican in Rome – and it is part of France. Though Monaco only stretches over 2.02 km², it is home to a diversity of inhabitants from different social backgrounds and will have many things to offer, from its gorgeous and elegant architecture, its fabulous aquarium and its many fancy restaurants and clubs. So, where to stay in Monaco when you are an ordinary tourist?
The 2013 administrative breakdown lists nine districts in Monaco: Monaco City, Ravin Sainte-Dévote, Monte-Carlo, Larvotto, La Rousse, La Condamine, Jardin Exotique, Les Moneghetti, and Fontvieille. Discover with us where to stay in Monaco, this Mediterranean gem.
Photo credit: Flickr – Sandrine Néel
Nicknamed the “Rocher” (literally “The Rock”), Monaco City is the main district of the Principality. It is the city’s oldest historical center, home to the city state’s political and cultural institutions: the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the town hall, the government, the National Council, the Communal Council, the courthouses, the prison, the cathedral. The neighborhood’s narrow streets are lined with small luxurious shops, restaurants and picturesque buildings. It is here that the city was founded, in the 6th century, by the Phocaeans who also founded Massalia (Marseille).
Photo credit: Flickr – Julien REBOULET
Located east of The Rock, Monte-Carlo is the most famous district of Monaco. You will find the casino, palaces, and luxury boutiques. Here, the ostentatious display of wealth does not shock anyone, it is considered a virtue. A luxurious place to stay in Monaco, the district of Monte-Carlo is very central, between the beaches and the port of Condamine, stretching its arms towards the sea.
Photo credit: Flickr – Herry Lawford
Located to the north of Port Hercules, La Condamine district offers more accommodation (hotels and luxury apartments) and possibilities to eat than in Monte-Carlo. And for good reason, it is Monaco’s bustling shopping haunt. After indulging in a shopping session in the area’s high-end, classy boutiques, fill your basket at the daily market in Place d’Armes. This is where the Formula 1 races of the Monaco Grand Prix take place. In 2020, it will happen from May 22nd to May 25th. Don’t miss this event, but you must make sure to book your accommodation in advance as available rooms will go almost as quickly as the Formula One cars zooming through the city.
Photo credit: Flickr – Neil Howard
Often forgotten by tourists, the district of Fontvieille is built “offshore” on almost entirely reclaimed land. At first glance, it is of no interest: it houses the Principality’s main industries and businesses. But you will also find the Animal Garden – if you love animals -, the port of Fontvieille with bars and restaurants along the seafront, the Roseraie Princesse Grace – a huge floral park in the heart of Monaco in homage to Grace Kelly (1929-1982), Princess of Monaco -, the international circus festival. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Monaco, don’t expect to find an inexpensive youth hostel here, rather aim for a luxury hotel.
Beausoleil and La Turbie
Monaco is not particularly vast and as such, though particularly well developed, the hotel offer can be lacking, especially for smaller budgets of during some of the more popular events the city-state hosts. However, just outside of Monaco, the small French town of Beausoleil can be an alternative way to stay in Monaco. Prices tend to be a little bit cheaper and while you won’t be in Monaco, you’ll be a few minutes walk away. The city itself has it own merit, it borders La Turbie which houses the ruins of the impressive Trophy of Augustus.
Main photo credit : Flickr – Bernard DUPONT
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