Monte Carlo is undeniably beautiful. It is a must stop when visitors go through the Principality of Monaco in the South of France. It is dazzling, peaceful and quiet… But only during the off-season that is! The streets are calm and empty after September. Really. It is an expected experience. The most pessimist visitors will warm up to the area’s extravagant beauty and quietness. The off-season is the best time to visit Monaco’s Monte Carlo. Summertime is a nightmare in the city.
The surprising soothing onshore breeze
Once in Monte Carlo, visitors can be easily be distracted by the buildings from one main fact : this is a beach town. A really expensive upper-class beach town, but a town next to the sea nevertheless. The onshore breeze is a pacifying unknown facet of Monte Carlo. Tourists might forget to enjoy the fresh air due to the affluent background : the Monte Carlo Harbor, the luxury shops, the fine restaurants, the Casino Square, the perfectly trimmed trees, the Opera, the opulent buildings, etc. If the smell of money gets harassing, tourists can always get close to the crystal blue water and enjoy the powdery white sand. Monte Carlo’s beaches are alone worth the detour!
As untarnished as expected
The hardcore party animals and beer lovers traveling to Monte Carlo during the off-season will get disappointed. The city is sleeping : the quiescent of the town, its lack of activity and the hushed surroundings. Monte Carlo is quieter but it keeps its majestic feel. It is difficult not to be enchanted by the landscape and the seascape. Monte Carlo is as neat, clean and shiny as a porcelain tea set. The tidiness can almost feel intimidating… Are visitors even allowed to be here? Yes. The permanent population of the area is barely around 4 000 people. That explains the freedom to walk around during the calmer months.
Plenty to see for free
The idea that one has to have lots of money to visit Monaco can be explained by its plush reputation. If globetrotters have a limited budget to visit the principality, they will find plenty to see for free. Monte Carlo is not exclusively a jet setter’s destination. The area and its surroundings offer plenty of attractions free of cost. Here is the list :
- the Monte Carlo Harbor
- the Larvotto Beach
- the Port de Fontvieille
- the Japanese garden
- the Princess Grace rose garden
- the Exotic Garden
- the Saint-Martin Gardens
- the Saint Paul’s Church
- the Chapelle Sainte Devote
- the Vieux Monaco
- the Opera Place
- the Casino Square
- the Place du Palais
- the Palais du Prince
- the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit
- the Monte-Carlo Casino
- the Metropole Shopping Center
No Prince Albert nor Princess Charlene
Monaco’s history is closely linked to the Royal Family’s own history. The Royal Family’s presence is everywhere : museums, statues, memorials, etc. If tourists wish to stalk and meet the Monaco Royals, they will be disappointed. Thinking that Prince Albert is jogging on the beach while Princess Charlene is doing push-ups on a bench close by is a pretty blurred vision of reality. The Royal Family is obviously guarded. Playing paparazzi can be fun, but meeting the Monaco Royals is more difficult. The Royal Family’s fanatics can instead sit in a café nearby and look at the aristocratic people walk by. The view over the city and the sunset is pleasurable enough.