I don’t know about you but I’m already dreaming of summer. Summer in France that is. I managed to visit Monaco last year with my better half on a trip to Nice. We stayed there for a night and felt that it was more than sufficient – we pretty much got to see everything in the area… and we started running out of money.
Firstly, I must state that I am not a millionaire. Most hotels in Monaco are extremely expensive with the majority of them costing at least €600 a night. There are no hostels in Monaco either. Anyway, we managed to afford a stay in Monaco by stumbling across a deal on the French Groupon website(note: this has fantastic offers for many areas of France and is well worth a look if you can manage the French!).
We stayed in the Columbus hotel for around €130 for both of us excluding breakfast (this was €20). Although Columbus is only a three star it’s by far the most beautiful three star I’ve ever stayed in- a beautiful room, a leather lined lift and a lovely leisure area outside. It also faces onto the port and the Princess Grace gardens- beautiful! They also kindly upgraded us to a superior room and gave us a bottle of wine on the house. It’s a beautiful hotel and I would definitely recommend it. I think it’s the cheapest hotel option in Monaco- most nights seem to be priced from around €200.
Unfortunately, the hotel has no restaurant. The hotel is located on the outskirts of Monaco so you will have to get a bus/taxi into the city. The hotel does have a shuttle bus but we didn’t see it. A word of warning- a taxi in Monaco costs €20 even though it may only be for a tiny journey- be warned!
Unfortunately, eating out in Monaco was probably the downside of the trip for us. As expected, the majority of restaurants are extremely expensive. We settled for Mc Carthy’s Irish bar (typique) and it was really disappointing. The prices were ridiculous with tiny portion sizes. We returned later to our hotel that night still hungry and unfortunately all of the takeaway options closed at 10pm- we were starving!
Regarding activities, the casino in Monaco is probably its most well known attraction. It featured in James Bond and looks amazing. We didn’t go in as we were on a serious food hunt but it’s worth noting that most people visiting it seemed to be dressed casually- no need to wear a suit if you’re considering going. We happened to be in Monaco at the time of the Grand-Prix so we also seen plenty of beautiful cars- no sign of Lewis Hamilton though sadly! The port is also beautiful and worth visiting- the millionaire yachts are awe inducing.
We left Monaco the next day for Nice significantly poorer but we thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s well worth a trip if you’re in the area- it really is a different world and definitely worth it for the experience. Even if you do feel like a peasant. 😉