If you are seeking out unique experiences while on your travels, Monaco won’t disappoint. This city-state has everything to offer from luxury food to luxury shopping. Here are Culture Trip’s top experiences not to miss.
Arguably the biggest annual event on Monaco’s calendar – especially for F1 lovers – is the Monaco Grand Prix. Usually, this large race takes place in May, so make sure to plan your trip for the spring. There is an 11th-century chapel – the Sainte-Dévote chapel – situated on the course in the Valley of the Gaumates and the first corner of the famous circuit is named after it.
One of the best experiences, not to mention the most incredible way to view the principality, is with a helicopter flight. There are various companies that offer helicopter rides. Monacair offers a direct line from Nice airport to Monaco, with helicopters taking off every 15 minutes and the journey time a speedy 7 minutes. With hotel transfers included in the price, it may cost a lot more than getting the train, but for a special occasion, it could make for quite an entrance to Monaco.
Oh how well you will eat in Monaco! Not only is the interior of 3 Michelin star Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse restaurant breathtaking, the food is particularly special. Set in the Hôtel de Paris it is a true, Monegasque fine dining experience. They offer both set menus and à la carte and this high-class eaterie as also made it onto our guide to our favourite restaurants in Monte-Carlo.
Monaco is the capital of luxury and designer brands just ooze out of every street. On the border of the Casino Square is the famous shopping district of Carré d’Or where all the elegant luxury boutiques are found. The Monte-Carlo Pavilions in the Casino’s gardens are striking, pebble-shaped temporary structures opened in 2014 and designed by architect Richard Martinet. The buildings are scheduled to be demolished in 2018, so visit them while you can.
With its internationally renowned Grand Prix circuit, Monaco is the perfect place to get behind the wheel of a sports car for the ultimate driving experience. Monaco’s advantageous location perched on the Mediterranean also means that you only need to nip across the principality’s border to find perfect hilly roads, weaving round traditional French Riviera villages.
Monaco has a selection of luxury spas which offer relaxing treatments for visitors to the country. Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo offers luxury tailor-made treatments, including seawater-based treatments, wellness programs, massages and more and has been a part of the spa scene in Monaco for nearly a century. At the Fairmont Monte Carlo hotel is Willow Stream, which is regularly voted one of Europe’s best hotel spas. For their signature experience, book The Willow Stream Elements, a centuries-old experience that focuses on earth (a medicinal mud wrap inspired by Moor culture), air (aromatherapy), water (a mineral bath) and fire (a warm massage).
Grace Kelly became one of Monaco’s leading ladies in history after marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. The principality is dotted with Grace Kelly sights to visit, from the Princess Grace Rose Garden—created by Prince Rainier in memory of Princess Kelly and her love of roses—to the Saint Nicolas Cathedral where she is buried.