Monaco can be quite an overwhelming place at first glance. However, get below the surface and its other side—with its Bijoux galleries, traditional cafés, pop-up exhibitions—shines bright. Read on for the best independent bookstores you can discover in the principality.
BOMO is a really cherished—by locals and visitors alike—English-language bookstore in Monaco. The store, owned by New York native Siri Khalsa, offers up fiction and non-fiction, with an excellent kids section. The bookstore is located next to Monaco’s traditional market, La Condamine, so if you want to get a slice of “real” Monaco, then this is the area to head over to. It’s open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from midday – 6 p.m.
Snowflake is a bookshop, workshop, and café all in one. With a cool Scandinavian interior and lots of space to sit (in comfy chairs and sofas) or work (at laptop-friendly desks), Snowflake offers a tasteful “time out” among the Monaco madness. There is a storytime for kids hosted each Wednesday along with various other literary events dotted throughout the year.
Alphabet specializes in school books for the principality, as well as school supplies and general stationery. You can’t miss it—it’s got a cute frontage in baby pink and is right next to Monaco Beaux-Arts, a picture framing shop that always stocks gorgeous greeting cards and art supplies. It’s open Monday – Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Situated right next to a cake shop—what more could you ask for?—is this Bijoux bookshop that is the real flavor of old Monaco. You’ll find just about a bit of everything here. The opening hours are very Mediterranean: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and then from 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Walk about six minutes further up, Monaco’s infamous hilly streets from Rêveries and you’ll come to Le Pain de Vie bookshop. Another little local gem.