How to Spend 24 Hours in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Monaco | © Salvatore Freni Jr / Flickr
Monaco | © Salvatore Freni Jr / Flickr
Photo of Holly Howard
11 May 2017

Monte-Carlo is arguably the most well-known ward in Monaco, since it houses the infamous Monte-Carlo Casino. If you have only 24 hours or less in Monaco, follow our guide to get the most from this pocket of the principality.

Brunch: 9.30am-11am

You might be within the buzz of Monaco but you are still on Mediterranean time, which means a lazy brunch to start the day. There’s only one place in Monte-Carlo for your first meal of the day and that’s Café de Paris. It has a great location right on the Casino square and it’s the perfect way to people-watch your way into your morning in Monte-Carlo. The food is French/European, tasty and not eye-wateringly expensive.

Cafe de Paris | © Jan Krömer / Flickr

A splash of art: 11am-12pm

Nowhere is far in Monte-Carlo, and right behind Café de Paris is a collection of little galleries that are well worth visiting. Hardly ‘little’, though, as they contain fantastic collections of world-renowned art and exhibitions. Opera Gallery Monaco is one of Culture Trip’s favourites and a great place to get a feel for Monaco and the arts.

Super yacht sights: 12pm-1pm

Get back out into the sunshine and head down to Port Hercules. This is Monaco’s only deep-water port and so this is where all the flashy boats come to stay. Walk around the port from the Monte-Carlo Ward all the way to the Monaco’s old town, easily visible, perched on a rocky headland in front of you. Quai Etats-Unis is a good vantage point from which to spot Monaco-Ville and other landmarks.

Hercules Port | © teddy06 / Pixabay

A patisserie pause: 1pm-2pm

With a brunch already behind you and fine evening foods to come, it’s time for something sweet. Leave the port behind you, head back into the heart of Monte-Carlo and stop and savour its delicious pastries with the melting pot of French and Italian flavours and styles. Valentin is a gorgeous, whimsical Italian restaurant right in the heart of Monte-Carlo. At the entrance is a glass cabinet filled with their homemade tarts and pastries, so simply couple with a coffee and have a pause.

Place a bet: 2pm-5pm

The Monte-Carlo Casino is the main landmark and attraction of Monte-Carlo and indeed the whole of Monaco. The Casino opens at 2pm, so for those of you who are just keen for an experience, head there for opening, get a couple of hours out of the sun, and enjoy the opulence and feeling like James Bond.

Take a look at our Guide to Monte-Carlo Casino for everything you need to know about your visit and a little interesting history.

Monte-Carlo Casino | © Hans Braxmeier / Pixabay

Spot of shopping: 5pm-7pm

The Métropole Shopping Center is quite a delight. Of course, all of the shops are high-end, so if you’re browsing on a budget you might find it tricky, but even so, the interiors are gorgeous and very ‘Monte-Carlo’. It’s the perfect place to amble in opulence at the end of your day in Monte-Carlo. By end, we mean the last stop before the drinks and dining begins…

Courtesy of The Métropole Shopping Center

Sunset drinks: 7pm-9pm

Monte-Carlo has a pretty incredible setting overlooking the Mediterranean Sea for as far as the eye can see. It wouldn’t be a break without kicking back and having an afternoon drink, would it? Head to Saphir 24, the bar of the Fairmont Monte-Carlo Hotel in Monaco, for one of the best views in the principality. There is only glass separating you and the ocean: no better place for an afternoon drink and relaxation.

Wine and dine: 9pm-Late

After watching the sunset with a drink in hand, it’s time to get some evening food. Depending on your budget, there is a wide range of high-end restaurants, but also a good choice of more affordable ones, too. For spectacular views out over Monaco, and the Mediterranean cuisine that boasts to be under 500 calories per plate, then book a table in advance at L’Hirondelle. If you’re on a budget, McCarthy’s will wine and dine you in great atmosphere.

Take a look at our Monaco Restaurant Guide for our extensive list of where to eat in Monte-Carlo and the other wards.