Winter in Monaco
When you spend the winter in Monaco, you may not fancy swimming in the sea but you can still enjoy the sunny vibes of the Larvotto beaches on most days and marvel over the mega yachts adorning Port Hercules. Visiting the glitzy city-state in low season has many other advantages too. Whether you’re planning your first trip or are a Riviera regular (perhaps even boasting a prime piece of Monaco real estate, here’s why the Principality is as enjoyable in the middle of winter as it is at the height of summer.
For starters, you won’t have to share the city’s best attractions with hordes of visitors. You can come face-to-face with a blacktip reef shark in the Oceanographic Museum without elbowing your way through the crowds and watch the changing of the guard at the Prince’s Palace in peaceful solitude. Visiting Monaco in winter also means that you can explore Monte Carlo’s magnificent gardens and the narrow Old Town streets at your own pace, without having to navigate your way through a sea of camera-toting tourists.
If all this isn’t enough to entice you, note that the French Riviera boasts 300 days of sunshine a year: you can still soak up the sun’s warming rays while seated on any of Monaco-Ville’s pretty terraces. And even though numbers of visitors dwindle during winter, don’t think you’ll be short of interesting company.
The city’s bars and restaurants are filled with friendly locals and lovers of unsurpassable gastronomic experiences all year round.
Added attractions of spending a winter in Monaco are the ample opportunities to fine-tune your aerials. Those who are experienced at whizzing down the slopes, as well as those keen to try out skiing for the very first time, will be glad to know that six of the area’s most popular resorts are within close proximity of the Principality.
In fact, the highest ski-run of Greolieres les Neiges (80km from Monaco) boasts breathtaking views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea!
And if spending the winter in Monaco results in you falling head over heels with the much-spoken-about Principality, you’re also in luck: like the top sights, Monaco’s real estate agencies see less people visit in winter. This means that an agent will have all the time in the world to talk to you about your specific needs, and ultimately find for you that perfect piece of Monaco in real estate.
Spring in Monaco
Spring is the most beautiful season for many in Monaco. Temperatures as in summer in northern Europe and except for some cold nights also very mild night temperatures.
But not only the weather invites you to visit Monaco in the period from January to May. Except for a few weekends, tourism is very reduced compared to the summer. Restaurants and coffees are not too crowded and you can almost always find a place. The traffic is much quieter this season (except at rush hour).
That is why most of them reside there before the most beautiful time of the year. The year starts with the world-famous Circus Festival and next to some smaller events in March then followed by the famous and uniquely beautiful Ball della Rose.
Parallel there is a Christmas market accompanied by a large ice rink, which extends to the area of the swimming pool in the Haven until February. Also until February we locked a level in the car park at the Rocher and built an e-cart track. Yes, in Monaco you know how to optimally design every season.
From the beginning of April, construction of the facilities and barriers for the GrandPrix will begin. A technical and logistical masterpiece! Almost overnight, most of the racetrack is completely re-tarred and day by day the cityscape turns into the famous racetrack, as everyone on TV knows it. While this logistic masterpiece is spent on the fire department and many volunteer helpers who are used as marshals, on the Circus Square in Fontvielle.
A huge compliment to the ACM, who runs the GrandPrix every year and to the residents who patiently support and endure this 3 month construction and dismantling of the racetrack.
Every second year, there is also the historic Grand Prix, this year, two weeks before the F1 Grand Prix, the well-known E-Grand Prix takes place.
The whole month of May is exciting in Monaco. In preparation for the Grand Prix, the film festival takes place in Cannes. Also this event enlivens Monaco in addition, as many participants from nearby Cannes, of course, make a visit to Monaco. Then there are more and more famous stars to see for all those who want to get their idols up close and personal.
Monaco in the spring is certainly one of the most beautiful times in here and we can only recommend anyone to visit Monaco in the spring.
Monaco ... on foot, by public transport, by car or by air
Since the country Monaco measures only about 2 square kilometers, you can certainly go through the whole country on foot. Only the height differences may make the achievement of the goal on foot a bit difficult. But there is the wonderful solution that in many places, the neighborhoods are connected by public lifts ("Ascenseur public"). So it is not only for all something "comfortable" people beautiful walks, but it is also everything for running restricted people to reach. Exemplary!
But there is also a very well functioning bus network, which over 6 lines all neighborhoods connect. The buses are in very good condition and air conditioned.
In addition, there is the "boat-bus" ("Bateau-Bus"), which crosses the harbor in just a few minutes between the Quai Etas-Unis and Quai Antoine 1er.
Both the bus routes and the boat cost 2, - € per single journey. Of course, there are also monthly and annual passes.
All information can be found at www.cam.mc.
Easier and very clear for everyday life is also the app ("MonacoBus"). To recommend!
An environmentally friendly alternative is offered by a car-sharing system called "Mobee". Here you can book at any time small electric car (for a maximum of 2 people), get in and park in the entire national territory. To do this, you have to register online, activate the account (of course, deposit a credit card) and the app is then quite simply everything on the smartphone (except of course driving itself). Under www.mobee.mc you will find all the information and very important: also the prices.
Hotels in Monaco usually also offer their own free shuttle service, which at certain times drives and picks guests up to their destinations. Times must be requested at the hotel.
Of course, some hotels also offer the option of booking individual trips, which have to be paid extra.
Visiting Monaco with your own car is basically no problem. There are many parking garages available, which are signposted accordingly and also identify vacant seats. In most public parking garages, the first hour is free. The parking garages are ideal for all standard small to mid-size cars. They not only offer space but are also brightly lit and very clean. Only if you drive a slightly larger or longer vehicle, one or the other car park for the rims could be problematic. Since it takes the people behind it a little patience, if you have to go up and down schonmal several times carefully back and forth to get around!
Of course, you can also park on designated areas at the edge of the road mostly for a fee. However, in our experience, only in the early morning or very late evening hours with good luck a free spot.
As already described in another article, Monaco is like other metropolises in the world: sometimes there are so many vehicles on the road that a journey of normally 10 minutes can take up to an hour. Therefore, a day or vacation visit from Monaco is certainly much more relaxed if you use public transport. It is important to know that every 15 minutes every day between 6 am and 9 pm, the line 100 between Nice and Menton crosses Monaco in both directions. In addition, Monaco has its own train station and is therefore connected in all directions France / Italy. You can learn more about this through the website www.visitmonaco.com.
If you come to Nice by plane, you can avoid the traffic on the ground and travel by helicopter. In the district of Fontvieille is the heliport, which can be reached in less than 10 minutes from Nice airport. Monacair offers a regular connection between Monaco and Nice every 15 minutes. The bus transfer to / from the heliport to the destination / destination hotel is included in the price. More information can be found at www.monacair.mc.
Traffic - part 2
Traffic in Monaco part II - Turn arround MYS
Recently we wrote a little about the daily traffic around Monaco. Even today, on the way out of Monaco on our track in a curve, a cyclist came towards us, who did not feel the need to get on his lane or stop. No, he pushed with decent speed between our car and the on the opposite lane just by ... and that with a child on the pillion. Whether it´s coolness or just crazy, we leave it out of the question.
But after a few rides of this kind we have become accustomed to it and shake our heads every day. Well, exercise keeps well being.
But even in Monaco itself it is sometimes very full. Not only to the rush hour sometimes press avalanches through the sometimes narrow streets. The many construction sites do the rest, that sometimes it takes an hour to get from one to the other end of the rather small state. Whereby we can not complain about too few roads and tunnels.
In addition to the construction sites, large annual events such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix or the Yacht Show are also suitable for challenging those unfamiliar with the site. Many streets are one-way streets or somehow do not go where you expected. That a road seems to run parallel means nothing! Because often this leads then a little further up, so that the one who does not know simply drives around his destination. Or the tunnel that you once identified as a safe route to the destination is closed. Zack ... there you stand.
Especially now for the yacht show the by the Grand Prix famous Fairmont tunnel and also the passage along the swimming pool along the harbor had to be closed.. Sure, that makes sense, because the yacht show takes place at the harbor. There has to be an alternative.
Therefore, we can all those, who visit Monaco more often by car only advice to really explore the city by car. Then you know your way around quickly and are prepared for all eventualities!
What fascinates us again and again, especially at major events, is how well all the pre- and post-work as well as the implementation of events and construction sites are planned. Not only that the construction fences, barriers and scaffoldings are often provided with beautiful printed privacy, also the traffic management runs where it is possible due to the construction site or work is very good. If not too many vehicles are on the way! In places where it still hangs, you can count on the fact that the very friendly and extremely well-organized police are on-site to regulate the traffic for the motorized road users as well as for the pedestrians.
But now in the fall, the calmer time begins. In the summer, many tourists on foot and of course many with their beautiful sports cars are on the way. And they like to drive loud but slow in some places to be able to deliver great pictures to the many car-photo-hunters. Monaco is still a place for glamor, luxury and expensive cars! The tourist hot spot is still the Casino Square, where you can sit in the Café de Paris and sip a glass of champagne while watching these cars. In between, classic cars and enthusiasts drive vehicles such as the Citroen 2CV ("duck") and old models of the Fiat 500 (especially nice as a cabrio). So ... something for everyone.
It is a pity that the direct drive past the Café de Paris is currently no longer possible. Maybe a lasting change, because it is sometimes quite chaotic with the many people in the square. The pedestrians walk between the moving cars and would like to take photos, for example. in front of the nice casino.
Maybe only for s while, amount of people and vehicles during the summer months. We will see!
All in all, Monaco is no different from other major cities in the world. Compared to big cities like New York, Paris or Rome you can not complain as a car driver. Most of the time everything works great.
And if you do not want to do the stress of driving or you want to do something good for the environment, you can fall back on a great car-sharing service called "mobee". Via an app you can access after registration and of course for a fee, 25 small electric cars, which are usually distributed in Monaco and can be parked in 14 parking garages or in a parking lot on the street. (In this context it should be mentioned that in Monaco in each car park there are a lot of electric charging stations for all hybrid and electric cars!).
Those who want to do without self-drive simply climb onto the very well-functioning public transport, the air-conditioned buses. The timetables are great.
So traffic is no reason not to visit Monaco!
Road traffic - Part 1
The traffic part I
Actually, we still owe the full restaurant list, which we announced in the last blog post. It also follows, however, we had planned to test all restaurants before registrered, which is a lengthy endeavor because of the amount of locations in Monaco. So here we ask for a little patience.
At the moment, a very different topic occupies us almost daily, namely the traffic in and around Monaco.
Even in Monaco there is a normal everyday life, where children have to go to school and people to work or shopping. This everyday life is safe in most beautiful weather, a great environment and relaxed atmosphere unlike for example in (unfortunately often) rainy Cologne or Berlin. However, as everywhere in the world, this everyday life means that people are moving.
In Monaco, about 40,000 people need to get in and out of the city day after day. An infrastructural challenge that has to be solved on 1.92 square kilometers and around. The principle is that there are two important but very small access roads through which around 40,000 people every morning between 7:30 am and 8:30 pm move to the city, for to come to theire workplaces and drive out again between 16:30 and 18:30.
Certainly, some also use public transport, i. E. Bus and train. But felt 95% of these people use their own car or motorcycle / scooter. This means that every morning and every afternoon at rush hour a tin snake (yes ... some fancy cars make this "snake" a bit more exclusive, but they do not get any faster) from Italy (east) and from France (west) moves to Monaco and moves back again. And that very slowly. Because of the dense traffic for a short distance of only 3-4 km before the border at rush hour times fast 40-50 minutes.
In addition to the amount of vehicles, the many traffic lights and roundabouts (which regularly provide police officers for the flow of traffic as possible), the two-wheelers represent a particular challenge for us motorists.
Driving in the morning in the city, we need a little patience and many glances in the rear-view mirror, not to overlook over thousands of two-wheelers.
If we leave the city in the morning, we need strong nerves! Not only that, the partially narrow streets then left of us from the tin snake and right often by parked cars leave no room. Again and again, we play the Chicken-Game, because we meet on our, actually free lane partially in three-row two-wheelers. If we do not give in and go on incredibly bravely but very slowly, most of them just squeeze through the median strip. We are currently driving a slightly larger car and at the beginning we thought we need
a (very) small vehicle as fast as possible. Meanwhile, we believe that the space we give with a small car will only be exploited accordingly and we will not lose the daily game at all with a big car.
Here is a small appeal to all kamikaze drivers out there: With all understanding of haste and driving skills: please think of all those who have a little more respect for the dangers on the road! The coolness and serenity of one can not lead to the daily nervous breakdown of others!
If everyone takes more care of each other, then everyone can enjoy the sun and the special spot of earth here! Nobody wants the experience of accidents or be annoyed about damage to the car!
In this sense, we wish you a good trip!
Good food keeps body and soul together ...
We have to eat every day. But sometimes we have no time or even no desire, to stand in the kitchen for a long time and to cook something. If you have a chef at home who cooks whatever you want at any time of the day or night, you're almost in paradise.
For all others, an extensive range of restaurants in the area is worth gold!
I've looked at our own, admittedly very manageable list of restaurants in Monaco. With horror I noticed that this list is no longer up to date and not complete! That's why I made myself smart and gathered all the restaurants and other places where you can satisfy your daily hunger. Over the next few days my results will gradually be found under the heading "Restaurants".
However, this will take some time, because in this just 1.92 sq km small (or even large) state, there are an incredible number of different restaurants, cafes and bars.
At the same time, I realized how retracted you are in your habits. For some time we find ourselves again and again in the same places again. Our favorites at the moment are Avenue 31 on Avenue Princesse Grace 31 and Miami Plage on Larvotto. Although the map at the Miami Plage is manageable, it is a great place to have pizza, burgers or salads on the beach. Especially when the sun is already a bit under and a bit windy, you also like to sit at the sea a little longer with a glass of wine. Optimal also in the afternoon with children who can occasionally play on the beach.
The Avenue 31 always offers a special atmosphere in the evening, with a menu that has something for everyone. In addition to typical Mediterranean offers of pizza and pasta you can always eat very good meat.
If you like Asian, you'll love the Buddha Bar at Place Du Casino. For my feeling it is a bit noisy, but you can go directly from the food in the cozy part of the evening, either by enjoying the evening on the outdoor terrace or dancing indoors.
Even though the locations I have mentioned are also classic tourist destinations in summer, quality and atmosphere are absolutely right there.
During the day we also like to go to the Casa del Caffe in the Avenue de la Costa in the "Park Palace". There is always a delicious lunch for absolutely human prices.
In addition to the restaurants mentioned by me, there are still about 150 others, with which one or the other reluctance for self-cooking can be bridged. We will try some of them in the next few weeks or visit again.
For tourists is very important to know: yes, Monaco can be expensive, especially when eating. But you also have to know that good meat is also served for good money in the Beef Bar (see photo). But if you just want to eat pizza and pasta at normal prices, there are great deals right in the back streets.
The 1st time...
Nice that you found the way to our blog.
We are the operators of the site monaco-life.com and therefore also those who will write personal entries here.
For many years we have been dealing professionally with travel and the internet as well as various services. For example, the online travel agency www. der-reisekönig.de or the trade fair portal www. fairspaze.com. We have accumulated extensive professional experience in the travel industry, real estate and business creation as well as executives in mid-sized companies. In addition, we are parents and interested in life and especially interested in people who want the real and live and let live.
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At www.monaco-life.com we would like to provide you with comprehensive information about the beautiful country of Monaco and offer all services that can make life easier for both the living and the guests of the small principality. You can plan and book your entire stay with us, from the hotel via helicopter transfers and rental cars to tickets for events.
About the event calendar you are regularly informed about fairs, concerts, festivals, Formula 1 and other events. On our marketplace, you can browse for things that are interesting, such as cars, rental and purchase real estate or jewelry. Suppliers are welcome to contact us for listings that match the topics.
We do not understand ourselves as a news magazine, but for us it is necessary to share news around the topics for extensive information.
So you do not have to googling every single topic to the land of Monaco laboriously and time-consuming, but find everything on our side. Of course we can not guarantee completeness.
Our individual pages are constantly redrafted editorially and in terms of content in order to stay up-to-date.
Why the blog?
Here you will find at irregular intervals reports of our own experiences from various areas. We know that a life in Monaco and at the Cote d 'Azur is preceded by a certain reputation and a certain lifestyle. Many believe that is just for the wealthy or people who like superficiality and luxury. We see it differently.
After traveling a lot and being allowed to "think outside the box," we have found everything in this beautiful spot that makes happy and where you find the most beautiful things from around the world combined in one place.
Mediterranean climate, not too hot and not too cold. Urban flair but also peace and personal warmth, the beach but also mountains. In addition, high-class people who put something on their feet, but have not forgotten how to enjoy.
We would like to talk about all this, openly and honestly, without just superficiality. Although we also love the beautiful and do not want to prevent, one time or another, just to enjoy the beautiful.
Monaco is more than money and glamor. Here you can really live life, with everything that goes with it.
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In this sense ... until next time!