Monaco is a principality that keeps on giving. When you think you’ve experienced each aspect of life there, your senses are invigorated by something new, fresh, stimulating, beautiful, fun, sophisticated, and exclusive. With something to excite every member of the family, the range of attractions on offer for residents to enjoy is ever-changing and adaptable according to the time of year.
We spoke to the Monaco real estate experts at Miells & Partners in order to reveal eight of the principality’s best-kept secret attractions.
Laurent Locchi, Negotiator at Miells & Partners, enjoys:
- Helicopter Transfer to the Airport
Did you know that Monaco can be accessed from Nice International Airport in just seven minutes? A regular helicopter transfer service operates between the airport and the Principality, and prices start from as little as €130 per person—not much more than the price of a taxi! The scenery offers a truly spectacular entrance into the Mediterranean’s most glamorous destination, which makes for a memorable experience in itself. Residents can cut time by taking to the skies.
- The Animal Garden
Constructed by Prince Rainier III in 1954, the Zoological Gardens of Monaco is home to approximately 250 rare animals from a variety of unusual species. Open year-round, the picturesque setting on the south side of the rock overlooks the Port of Fontvieille and welcomes guests for a day of pleasant fun and educational insight. A particularly fun fact about Monaco: the varied collection of the park’s inhabitants includes a hippopotamus, which really is one of Monaco’s best-kept secrets!
Eric Cancemi, Negotiator at Miells & Partners since 2002, recommends:
- Blue Gin, The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel
Tucked away on the periphery of the Principality, the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel escapes the bustle of the city and commands a peaceful, scenic spot that looks out towards France and Italy. Blue Gin, the hotel’s sophisticated lounge bar, is certainly one of Monaco’s best-kept secrets.
Around the time of the Monaco Yacht Show, a vast fleet of luxury superyachts can be admired in the bay from the glass-walled terraces of Blue Gin, which makes for an incredible spectacle. The chic hangout serves spectacular cocktails and food from Michelin-starred chef, Marcel Ravin.
Elodie Blanc-Sardi, Associate Director at Miells & Partners, advises a trip to:
- The Daily Market in the Condamine
Quintessentially Mediterranean, the charming market in the Place d’Armes in Monaco’s Condamine is a meeting point for locals and a gem of a find for visitors. Held between 7am and 3pm, Monday to Sunday, the market sells fresh produce from local sources, including fruit, vegetables, and flowers. While many may be aware of the market, only those in the know attend each day in search of fine ingredients for their daily meals. Complementing the market is the authentic Halle Gourmande, which has occupied the building adjacent to the market square for decades and serves delicious cuisine.
Marilyn Milardi, Negotiator at Miells & Partners, recommends:
- Theatre Princesse Grace
The intimate Princesse Grace theatre, which was built to commemorate its beloved namesake, is located halfway up the Avenue d’Ostende, overlooking Port Hercules. While most of the performances held at the Princesse Grace Theatre are in French, the occasion English performance makes the must-visit attraction a hidden gem for the English-speaking community in Monaco. In May, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray will be performed by a professional cast, which should not be missed.
- The Monaco Open-Air Cinema
Open from mid-June until mid-September each year, Monaco’s open-air cinema is nestled in a picturesque spot on the far side of the rock. It screens the latest films—usually in English with French subtitles. For locals, the open-air cinema has provided a cultural feast in the summer months, as film fanatics enjoy memorable nights under the glistening stars.
Aurore Beau Yon de Jonage, Receptionist at Miells & Partners, suggests visiting:
- The Caves in Monaco’s Exotic Gardens
While many residents may know about Monaco’s exotic gardens, which occupies a scenic spot on a mountainside, few are aware of the extensive network of caves that can be accessed from the principality’s greenest attraction. A vast palace of stalagmites and stalactites extends from the lower levels of the exotic gardens, tunnelling through the mountain. Visitors are granted a 30-minutes tour with a guide and can learn about the geological structures on display. The caves are certainly one of Monaco’s best-kept secrets!
- Jardins de la Petite Afrique
While most locals use the Jardins de la Petite Afrique as a thoroughfare when walking between the Avenue de la Costa and the Place du Casino, few stop to admire the sensuous beauty offered by one of the Principality’s most scenic garden. Here, nature is manifested in all its beauty, with rare Mediterranean flora on show, uncommon birds chirping from unusual trees, and beautiful fragrances scenting the air.