Monaco might be more famous for its glitzy summer events, but locals know that the Principality transforms into a festive wonderland in the month of December. The sunny winter days, its close proximity to the snow-covered Alps, and its spectacular offering of luxury real estate make Monaco one of the most appealing dwellings in wintertime. With such a tantalising selection of cultural treats in store, we’ve compiled this list of the highlights of Monaco’s winter activities.
Monte Carlo Jazz Festival
Where? Opéra Garnier Monte Carlo
When? 24th November – 3rd December
There’s still time to catch the end of the 11th Monte Carlo Jazz Festival. Benefiting from the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, the festival attracts both internationally renowned jazz stars and up-and-coming talent. This year, the festival will expand into the Casinos and several establishments of the Société des Bains de Mer.
Where? Café de Paris, Monte Carlo
When? 5th-11th December
Cheese lovers will be in heaven at this gourmet event organised by Grenoble’s fromager par excellence, Bernard Mure-Ravaud and the Fromagerie Les Alpages. Voted Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2007, the world champion cheese maker will prepare mouth-watering specialities for lunch and dinner. The illustrious venue of the Café de Paris Monte Carlo will host the event, complementing indulgent tastes with tasteful décor.
Monaco Christmas Village and Market
Where? Quai Albert 1er
When? 2nd December-2nd January
The Christmas Market is a much-loved annual event, held on Quai Albert 1er by Port Hercules. Shoppers can sample culinary delights and peruse the stalls for gift ideas in the magical recreation of a winter village, complete with chalets and an ice skating rink. There are also workshops and games for children, as well as a Ferris wheel, which offers fantastic views of the Christmas village and marina below.
Admire Monte Carlo’s Casino Square
Where? Casino Square, Monte Carlo
When? All December
No expense is spared when decorating the Place du Casino and surrounding shopping streets. This year, the square will be transformed into a replica of a glamorous ski resort. Real snow-topped pine trees will fill the square and festive melodies will emanate from speakers that will line the main streets. It will be easy to imagine that you’re in an alpine village as you stroll along, window-shopping for luxury brands. The highlight will be a spectacular light show that will convert Monte Carlo’s fountain into a giant snow globe as part of its “Snow Chic by Monte Carlo” theme.
Christmas Shopping in Monte Carlo
Where? Metropole Shopping Centre & The Monte Carlo Pavilions
When? All December
Christmas shopping becomes an experience in its own right in Monaco each December. The Metropole shopping centre and the Monte Carlo Pavilions are transformed into festive wonders, with boutique shops from the worlds most celebrated brands offering world-class shopping. Punctuate your luxury shopping experience by stopping at the Hôtel Hermitage for a sumptuous all-chocolate treat in the Salle Belle Epoque. The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort also metamorphoses into a winter ski resort for the whole of December. The gondola lift that will be set up on the terrace of L’Orange Verte will impress young and old alike.
Chemin des Crèches Nativity Scene Exhibition
Where? The Rock
When? 8th December – 8th January
The popular Chemin des Crèches Nativity Scene Exhibition will be taking place for the third year in a row on the Rock. Prince Albert II of Monaco is the Honorary President of the exhibition, which contains fifty nativity scenes from various countries around the world.
Il Volo in Concert
Where? The Salle des Etoiles at Sporting Monte Carlo
When? 31st December
Ring in the New Year in style at The Salle des Etoiles with the Italian music trio Il Volo, who promise to delight the audience with their “pop-opera” repertoire. The dinner show starts at 8.30pm and tickets cost €500 per person.
Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort Firework Show
Where? Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, 40 Avenue Princesse Grace
When? 31st December
The Principality will bid 2016 farewell with a bang at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel’s firework display. The colourful and awe-inspiring fireworks will light up the sky after being launched from the terrace of the Blue Gin bar for the first time ever.
“Wanderings” at Galerie L’Entrepôt (until 17th December)
Exhibition on the theme of “Wanderings” by Thomas Blanchy, winner of the 2016 Monaco Artists’ Open.
“Monoïkos” exhibition – The ancient history of the Principality, Musée d’Anthropologie Préhistorique (all month)
Exhibition of paintings by Myriam Bollender, Gran Caffè – Parvis Ste Dévote
(until 31st January 2017)
“Dance, Dance, Dance”, Nouveau Musée National – Villa Paloma (until Sunday 8th January 2017)
“Designing Dreams, A Celebration of Leon Bakst” – Villa Sauber (until 15th January 2017)
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