48 Hours in Monte-Carlo

Five ways to spend two days before or after your cruise from Monte-Carlo

By Louise Simpson

This miniature principality on the French Riviera coastline is a fantastical utopia brimming with Rococo façades, marble-floored shopping arcades selling Old Masters, and super yachts complete with their own helipads.

Yet beneath the decadent surface, cruise-goers will also find thoughtfully planted gardens, earthy food markets, and affordable artistic attractions. As a local of this glamorous city, here are my tips for how to spend some extra time before or after setting sail from Monte-Carlo.

For Foodies

Every Monégasque foodie pilgrimage should begin at the local market in la Place des Armes. Stalls of flowers, fruits, and vegetables spill onto the pretty square, while the covered market is home to butchers, bakers, and fishmongers. Try the local snack, socca (chickpea pancake), made by Chez Roger.

Take a stroll toward central Monte-Carlo for some lunchtime fine dining. A decade in Monaco has taught my bank balance that lunch menus at Michelin-starred venues are a fraction of the evening meal price. French gastronomy is perfected at Louis XV (Hôtel de Paris) and Robuchon (Hôtel Métropole) while Song Qi offers haute-Chinese cuisine.

For a more hands-on exploration of the region’s flavors, take an afternoon-to-evening cooking course at the five-star Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, where Michelin-starred Chef Marcel Ravin fuses Mediterranean gastronomy with his Caribbean roots as he helps you prepare your own memorable supper served up beside the sea.

For View-Seekers

An unforgettable view of Monaco is from….

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Photo: Héli Air Monaco

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