Ah, to be in the French Riviera, I felt like a chic movie star, gliding through the cobbled streets where the atmosphere swirls around you and sweeps you up in the magic of a tiny principality that, despite its physical size, has got a big personality.
The sun beamed down on my first day there, seeping through the curtains of my amazing hotel room and tickling the sheets of my bed, telling me it was definitely time to get up and explore! First, of course, I had to have breakfast and where better or more luxurious than my own balcony in my room?! Sitting on my little sun-drenched balcony having a fresh buttery croissant and sharp black coffee, I couldn’t feel more French or excited about my day of exploring ahead. Looking out over the scene below me, I was reminded again by how truly breath-taking Monte Carlo is; with the winding streets of brightly coloured buildings, amazing gardens and the blue sea glimmering all the way into the distance. I definitely felt like I was in the land of top models and bond villains whilst looking down on it all from my perch.
A fun game in the land of the rich and famous
I decided to start off my day of wandering by heading to Boulevard Albert, the famous starting point for the Grand Prix. Under the beating sun I made my way along the water front and tried to play a game of ‘find the biggest yacht’, although in Monte Carlo this actually was a pretty difficult game; seriously, every single yacht was jaw-droppingly massive! I would definitely recommend a walk along the waterfront and this famous road, it is a great way to start to get your bearings and soak up all of the atmosphere and vibes.
A casino visit – a must see in Monte Carlo
Since I have such a short trip, I thought I had better fit in a casino trip. Whilst it isn’t really my thing normally I thought you can’t really come to Monte Carlo and not take a peep inside one of its famous casinos, right? I decided to head for the top dog itself and went to check out Monte Carlo casino, which dates back to 1863 and really is a sight to behold. Approaching the dominating building is enough to impress even the most aloof of people, with towering statues, gothic lanterns and an impressive clock – this casino was truly stunning, not your usual fluorescent-light affair. Inside it was a lot smaller than expected and probably one of the most expensive and swanky places, you could tell money was in the air and the people here were dripping in it! I almost felt timid but played a few hands of blackjack just to know what it felt like in such a famous institution, and the atmosphere was electric; with the classiness of the place it was easy to get sucked in and imagine living the high life for a while.
Exiting the casino of mystery and glamour, I decided to do something altogether a bit more wholesome – shopping! Right outside the casino you’ll find the Place Du Casino that is the heart of Monte Carlo and one of the most Instagrammable places if there ever was one. I headed to the Monte Carlo shopping promenade which really is a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, and a real must for sartorial lovers worldwide. Being the luxury capital of the world, shopping here isn’t for the faint hearted…or bank balanced for that matter – but even if you are just in the game of window shopping, even that in Monte Carlo feels like a real treat, with beautiful stores rippling around you in the heat, amazing window displays and not to mention the perfect ice cream shops that line your trip. It’s time to get indulgent here!
A sad farewell
In what felt like an instant, it was time to say goodbye to this gem of a tiny city, with its glittering lights, indulgent buildings and views that will melt your heart. It was sad to part ways with Monte Carlo, but rest assured, it won’t be for long as I will definitely be visiting again