As the festive season approaches, Monaco is getting dressed up to the nines to celebrate the enchanting Mediterranean winter. From the luxury hotels to events in the centre of the city, from the legendary Place du Casino to the Fontvieille district, the splendour of the Principality and the magic of Christmas combine to guarantee an unforgettable experience for all ages.
As the nights draw in, the Principality's winter charms come to the fore. This is the perfect time of year to relax and marvel at the view from the balcony of your hotel room, dine in style at a fancy restaurant, or simply stroll through the stylish streets and look up to admire the incredible sights.
Starting with the city's Christmas illuminations, which were officially switched on in a ceremony on Monday 22 November. Since this is a Universal Expo year, the first Christmas lights to be set aglow were those of the Monaco 360° mini-pavilion on Quai Albert Ier, in a slight departure from tradition, as the ceremony usually takes place at the foot of the immense Christmas tree on the Place d’Armes.
Like last year, some of the illuminations installed by Monaco City Hall are interactive, and can be controlled via the PlayMagic app that lets residents and visitors interact with Santa Claus and meet a host of magical characters in augmented reality. And while the Christmas lights will be going out on 2 January 2022, the illuminations in the Fontvieille district will remain in place for the delight of all until the end of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival on 30 January!
For those who haven't yet had the chance to drop a line to Santa Claus - don't panic! Monaco Post Office has opened its seasonal secretariat, as every year. Post your letters for Santa in the mailboxes at the Métropole shopping mall, or in any mailbox in the Principality.
The magic continues in the Christmas Village at Port Hercule. This season, the theme is the great Canadian north and its unrivalled atmosphere, with walks beside the wooden chalets, panoramic views from the top of the big wheel, activities for kids, and skating on the open-air ice rink. The Village is open until the beginning of January.
Also in the heart of the Principality, this time around the Place du Casino, another Christmas market awaits until 9 January, for a luxury shopping experience. Experience the Winter Fantasy theme on the Monte-Carlo Shopping Christmas Promenade, a chance to stroll along the Avenue de Monte-Carlo and discover the Gourmet Chefs' Chalet to taste signature dishes by Michelin-starred chefs, or pick up some seasonal souvenirs from one of the little boutiques.
As you walk through the streets of the Principality, you'll see a succession of the finest Christmas decorations, culminating in a huge, glittering tree installed on the Place du Casino.
Monaco's hotels are also getting into the festive spirit with a variety of exclusive decorations. There's an intimate and decidedly chic ambiance at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo with its majestic trees, a seaside feel on the balconies of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort with their enchanting setting, or the iconic decor of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo and its sumptuous ornaments, including a tree by Chopard. There's no doubt about it, the festive season is truly magical in the Principality!
Just a short distance away, the Métropole
Monte-Carlo is putting on a Sweet Christmas with a blend of tradition, fantasy, and tasty treats for a unique experience. From the rain of stars above the walkway to the lobby, to the warm and welcoming atmosphere inside, the hotel is an inviting prospect, with a large tree adorned with candy and glittering with lights ensuring a fairytale feel. As you relax on the terrace of La Suite, take in the play of a thousand colours, from the azure of the Mediterranean to the red and gold hues of the Place du Casino below.
For the perfect stay at this special time of the year, the Fairmont Monte-Carlo invites guests of all ages to step into a world of myths and legends. The hotel on the famous Formula 1 circuit is decorated with a wonderful Nutcracker-inspired theme. Santa Claus has been, and left a curious collection of little wooden soldiers. Mysteriously, legend has it that when the clock strikes twelve in the principality, Nutcracker and his companions will come to life… for incredible adventures featuring fantastical creatures!
There are exceptional moments to savour at the Columbus Monte-Carlo, dining at the Tavolo restaurant with menus specially created for the festive period, and a celebratory experience at the Méridien Beach Plaza with the festive Advent calendar that's full of surprises!
Whether you're on a romantic break, with friends or family, Monaco invites you to experience all the magic of Christmas, like nowhere else....