Monaco: dreams of grandeur


Viewed from a helicopter, it looks just like a city made of Lego, but this tiny paradise on the Côte d'Azur, nestled between sea and gardens, boasts everything from an old town to luxurious skyscrapers. It really is no surprise that Monaco is such a source of fascination the world over. Its regal standing, mild climate, attractive fiscal system and proximity to Nice international airport mean that it attracts the world’s wealthiest people. Gleaming cars, huge yachts, Michelin-starred luxury hotels and restaurants, legendary casinos and prestigious social, sporting and cultural events mean that there is plenty to see and do here all year round. Security, of course, is paramount, with an omnipresent video surveillance system, and Prince Albert II has made sustainable development a matter of priority, too. The new Mareterra waterfront neighbourhood project is a prime example of the dynamism of this lump of rock, the solidity of which is a source of reassurance for investors.

The real estate market: a strong rebound expected

A combination of the health crisis and the subsequent restrictions on travel resulted in a sharp downturn in the market, though there has been renewed interest since the start of the year that could mark the beginning of the strong rebound that is expected.

Despite its small size — just 202ha or 500 acres  — Monaco is divided into seven districts, the most popular of these being the seafront and the Carré d'Or around the casino (€60,000/sq.m), closely followed by Fontvielle (€58,800/sq.m), with the Exotic Garden weighing in at around €35,000/sq.m. The average price is around €50,000/sq.m and can reach €120,000/sq.m for an exceptional property.

Villas, though, are extremely rare, with the majority of the market consisting of apartments, from studios to 8-room properties spanning 500 sq.m (5,382 sq ft).

It should be noted that since the Carrez law does not apply here, the square metrage advertised will include exterior walls and loggias.

Our advice

One of Monaco’s biggest draws is the strong level of involvement of the state in maintaining and developing the quality of the real estate market”, Christian and Sebastien Baldacchino, CEO and Sales Director at Barnes Monaco respectively, explain. Each district has its appeal, from the Carré d'Or, aka Monte Carlo, with its abundance of high-end restaurants and luxury boutiques, to Jardin Exotique, up above the city, away from the centre and in a quieter location. Fontvieille, meanwhile, is close to the heliport and Larvotto to the beaches, while La Condamine is home to a plethora of shops.

The Barnes touch: Whatever the property, the many projects under development in the principality mean that it is essential to find out about future developments in the area in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises, and the experts at Barnes are in the best position to inform you.

Art of living

BARNES has put together a selection of top restaurants, trendy boutiques and cultural venues to help you make the most of your visit to extraordinary Monaco and discover everything this prestigious principality has to offer! Diaries at the ready!

The hottest reservation in town

Le Louis XV — Alain Ducasse

Louis XIV

© MONTE-CARLO Société des Bains de Mer

The triple Michelin-starred chef has been at the helm of this Monegasque institution at the Hôtel de Paris since 1987. The master of flavour brings diners all the charm of the Riviera on a plate, serving up vegetables from the gardens of Provence with black truffle, and Mediterranean bass with red squash from Albenga and rucola, in a classy Belle Époque setting.

Hôtel de Paris, place du Casino, 98000 Monaco

La Table d’Antonio Salvatore at the Rampoldi

©Facebook officiel R La Table d'Antonio Salvatore

This gourmet restaurant in the Carré d'Or, which opened in 1946, was graced with chef Antonio Salvatore’s first Michelin star in late 2021. Based at the Rampoldi, the restaurant has only five tables at which to showcase its chef’s celebrated creativity, serving up a blend of influences from southern Italy, where he was born, and French dishes.

3 avenue des Spélugues, 98000 Monaco


©Casterloc Facebook officiel

This family-run restaurant (now on its four generation of the Bonafède family) has been a hotspot for Monegasque specialities since 1953 and boasts exceptional panoramic views from its terrace high above the cliffs of the port of Fontvieille. “What’s on the menu?”, we hear you ask. How do roasted stuffed vegetables, Rosette stockfish, the catch of the day and local sardines sound? Magic on a plate!

Place du Palais, 98000 Monaco

Blue Bay

Le Blue Bay

© MONTE-CARLO Société des Bains de Mer

For a culinary escape overlooking the Mediterranean, look no further than the wonderful world of Martinique-native Michelin-starred chef Marcel Ravin, who serves up fusion cuisine inspired by local and other influences that’s guaranteed to leave you speechless. His signature organic chicken’s egg with truffle cassava and passion fruit is a must!

40 avenue Princesse Grace, 98000 Monaco

Out and about

Komo Monaco

Another great hideout, this time courtesy of triple-Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco, is this Mediterranean restaurant, complete with pastry creations by another master, a certain Pierre Hermé, and a concept store selling cutting-edge fashion and design brands. Definitely one not to be missed.

18 rue de Millo, 98000 Monaco

 The Casino de Monte-Carlo

© Facebook officiel Casino de Monte-Carlo

What with its cinematic atmosphere and Belle Époque architecture, it’s impossible not to be tempted to enter the gamblers’ den. The famous Casino de Monaco was built by Charles Garnier in 1863, and whether you go to play or simply to have a drink and soak up the extraordinary ambience beneath the warm light of the Bohemian glass chandeliers, you must stop by when in Monaco.

Place du Casino, 98000 Monaco

The Monte-Carlo shopping promenade

© MONTE-CARLO Société des Bains de Mer

The Principality has expanded since 2019 to incorporate an ultra-high-end complex in the form of the pedestrianised One Monte-Carlo, home to a number of luxury residential properties and boutiques including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Fendi, among others. The perfect tree-lined promenade for a stroll and a spot of window shopping!

1 place du Casino, 98000 Monaco

The Princess Grace Irish Library


@Facebook Officiel Princesse Grace Irish Library 

As well as visiting her magnificent rose garden in Fontvieille park, be sure to honour the memory of Princess Grace with a visit to her Irish library. Opened two years after her death by her husband Prince Rainier III, the library pays tribute to her roots and houses over 12,000 works, including her own personal collection. A cultural space in which to relax the body and the soul.

9 rue Princesse Marie de Lorraine, 98000 Monaco


The Monte-Carlo Printemps des Arts Spring Arts Festival

Le Printemps des Arts is a major musical event in Monaco presided over by H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover that presents a series of original concerts and talks and gives visitors the opportunity to discover some rarely performed major works through a programme spanning the 11th to the 21st centuries. Aside from Haydn, Prokofiev, Ravel and Mozart, this latest edition of the event will have plenty more little nuggets to enjoy, so be sure to go through the programme with a fine-toothed comb!

10 March to 3 April 2022, 12 avenue d’Ostende, 98 000 Monaco 

The Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

This cultural centre hosts some great exhibitions and hit shows, with Patrick Timsit, Iggy Pop and Francis Cabrel all set to perform here, while the L'Exhibition(niste) exhibition will pay tribute to Christian Louboutin. Get your tickets today!

10 avenue Princesse Grace, 98000 Monaco

The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

Musée Océanographique de Monaco @Facebook Officiel

A must-visit during your stay in Monaco, this temple dedicated to the sea is sure to be a hit with young and old alike thanks to its four themed aquariums looking at Mediterranean Sea, tropical seas, fluorescent corals and shark lagoons. There’s even an amazing ‘immersion’ exhibition that gives visitors the opportunity to dive into the deepest corners of the ocean; just watch out for those jellyfish!

Avenue Saint-Martin, 98000 Monaco

The Hauser & Wirth Gallery

Located at the very heart of flamboyant Monaco, just a stone’s throw from the magnificent Art Deco Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, the empire founded by the Wirths in 1992 has built on its successes in New York, London and Saint-Moritz with a Monegascan branch. The 290 sq.m (3,122 sq ft) of exhibition space was spectacularly launched in June 2021 with an inaugural exhibition by Louise Bourgeois and her spider-like sculptures.

1 place du Casino, 98000 Monaco


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