#WhenIn
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#WhenIn

#WhenIn Monte Carlo (& Menton & Ventimiglia)

Monte Carlo really does have its very own (expensive) flavor, and to get the most out your Monte Carlo/Monaco experience, it is necessary to commit to its basic premise of being the city of sexy yachts, boastful cars, and famous casinos. If it should get too exhausting for you to fine-tune your palate to Vesper martinis, you can always run away to nearby Menton, or even discover the charming city (and beach) of Ventimiglia… in Italy…

Where to stay:

Colombus Hotel Monte Carlo is a very nice hotel with highly comfortable rooms, a great view, and an outdoor pool that overlooks the ocean. It is located right by Port de Fontvieille, a quiet and charming little harbor with a calm atmosphere and very good restaurants.

How to get around:

Walk or wait (forever) for a taxi (we preferred walking). Uber is not allowed in Monaco, but it is quite nice to just walk everywhere, even if you have to endure a couple of steep hills (in heels), but the views are terrific.

Where to eat:

Breakfast:

Our hotel (Colombus Hotel Monte Carlo) included an extensive breakfast buffet in our reservation, so we made it a point to sleep in, relax (and even enjoy a cup of coffee on our balcony) before going down for breakfast.

Lunch:

BeefBar in Fontvieille makes quite excellent beef. It is definitely worth a visit and during lunch, they offer a surprisingly affordable menu along with their great service and upscale decor. Right outside, you get a lovely view of Musée Océanographique from the cliffside.

Dinner:

Moshi Moshi in Fontvieille is a (Mediterranean) sushi bar that offers a Mediterranean-inspired sushi menu. The food is very good and provides an excellent balance to all the red meat you just had for lunch at BeefBar.

What to eat:

Beef tartare at BeefBar is really very good, and we weren’t shy to go back for more the following day.

Italian pasta dishes found in Ventimiglia are very delicious. We had a really wonderful time devouring our crab pasta at Ristorante San Giuseppe right by the beach.

What to do:

Sip martinis at Cafe de Paris with a perfect view of Monte Carlo Casino (and the endless line of extravagant cars passing by in the Casino Square).

Walk around Monaco-Ville atop the hill, where you will also find the Prince’s Palace and get stunning views of the city from above. In the village, there are many small streets with various restaurants and shops, and you can also stop in to visit the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

Walk around La Condamine and have an ice cream at Atelier du Glacier. The area by Port Hercule lends itself for a very nice stroll (with many jaw-dropping yachts to drool over), and the street on which you will find Atelier du Glacier is particularly charming.

Take the train to Menton. The town of Menton is only 20min away by train from Gare de Monaco and is a charming town with hills, beach, and beautiful gardens.

Take the train to Ventimiglia. Italy is literally just half an hour away from Monte Carlo, and if you have already ventured to Menton, then you only have another 11min to go. Ventimiglia, especially by the beach, is truly a little gem, and we spent the best part of our day on a gorgeous patio of an Italian restaurant that overlooks the beautiful beach and ocean.

What not to do:

We had found extremely favorable reviews of both Buddha Bar and Fairmont Monte Carlo and its highly proclaimed Nobu, so we walked down to get a closer look only to find hordes of over-dressed tourists and Russian party groups. As this is not exactly our preferred night scene, we opted for a delicious tasting menu at Moshi Moshi instead.

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