In Monaco, each season has its festival. Whether with music, arts or gastronomy, Monaco is buzzing year-round thanks to its exceptional cultural programme. In iconic locations on Monaco’s stretch of the Riviera, large-scale internationally renowned events take place, sharing a passion for their arts with audiences. Let’s find out more.
The biggest stars at the Monte-Carlo Summer Festival
Festival plus Monte-Carlo means prestige... Well, that’s definitely the case at the Monte-Carlo Summer Festival, which offers concerts with big international stars in July and August. Every edition is a major event. Tina Turner, Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys and the Black Eyed Peas are just some of those who have appeared there since it began in 1974. A fantastic programme which each year makes Monaco one of the places to be to see unmissable artists. The concerts take place in the Salle des Étoiles at the Sporting Monte-Carlo, a choice setting overlooking the Mediterranean which makes every show extraordinary. Two other legendary locations welcome performances, the Opéra Garnier Monte-Carlo and the iconic Place du Casino, where the Monaco Red Cross gala, a highlight in Monaco’s event calendar, takes place.
The love story between Monaco and jazz began many years ago, and to celebrate it, in 2006 the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival was founded under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. Since then, every autumn, this major event with a diverse programme celebrates music from around the world. Jazz legends (including Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller and Sonny Rollins to name but a few) have appeared there, as well as jazz’s rising stars. Thanks to bold programming that weaves links between jazz, pop, soul and world music styles, this prestigious jazz festival in Monaco attracts ever increasing audiences, connoisseurs and amateurs alike. To give you the very best experience, concerts take place in the sumptuous décor of the Opéra Garnier Monte-Carlo, an iconic venue with perfect acoustics. Throughout the festival, venues across the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Resort seize the opportunity to get in tune too, with several jazzy concerts on offer as you enjoy your aperitif and in the evenings.
Central to Monaco’s art of living, gastronomy was deemed worthy of its own festival. The Festival des Etoilés Monte-Carlo began in 2021, thanks to Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, the Resort with the most Michelin stars in Europe, 7 stars in the Michelin Guide. Monaco’s newest festival takes place over 5 special evenings between September and November and gives pride of place to the Resort’s four Michelin-starred chefs: Alain Ducasse from the restaurant Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris***, Marcel Ravin from the Blue Bay**, Yannick Alléno from Pavyllon Monte-Carlo* and Dominique Lory from Le Grill*. Each one invites another internationally renowned chef to cook with them for a dinner that promises creativity and excellence. These unique collaborations have seen Marcel Ravin work with chef Mauro Colagreco, who has three Michelin stars to his name, in the festival’s first edition and Alain Ducasse work with British chef Clare Smyth, named “best female chef in the world”, in the second edition. The event ends with the Festival des Étoilés Monte-Carlo gala, an exclusive evening in the presence of the Resort’s four Michelin-starred chefs during which they cook their signature dishes in front of guests for a dinner that is out of this world.
Each June, stars of the small screen descend on Monaco for this festival founded in 1961 by H.S.H. Prince Rainier III. Now a landmark event in the international world of television, the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo is both a place for business, bringing together industry professionals, and a showcase for programmes from around the world. The prestigious Nymphes d’Or are awarded to the best fictional films and series as well as to the best current affairs reporting and documentaries. A special prize, created by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco (honorary president of the festival), is awarded to the best documentary dealing with environmental issues. Held at the Grimaldi Forum, the festival is also the opportunity for fans to attend premieres, go to talks about their favourite shows or meet stars at signings.
Jugglers, acrobats, clowns and magicians... The crème de la crème of international circus appears every January beneath the big top at Fontvieille in one of Monaco’s most popular events. You’re promised excitement, laughter and magic at every edition of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, of which H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is the president. Each edition presents a selection of circus performances from around the world, before awarding the best performers bronze, silver and gold Clowns. The public can choose from an array of shows on different days: shows featuring all participants or prize winners, or the gala and awards ceremony. For several years, the event has been followed by the New Generation festival, which presents and awards the work of young circus artists.
Each spring, there is a feeling of renewal at the Spring Arts Festival, dedicated to classical music. In March and April, the programme offers big artists and international orchestras, interweaving music with other disciplines such as dance and theatre and exploring international creation. This event, founded in 1970 by Princess Grace of Monaco, is a veritable institution among Monaco’s festivals, and its president today is H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover. Its prestigious concerts take place in Monaco’s most beautiful rooms, such as the Salle Garnier at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the Auditorium Rainier III, the Salle Belle Époque at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and the Théâtre Princesse Grace. An event not to be missed for music lovers.
Come and experience Monte-Carlo during one of Monaco’s festivals. Find out about our offers for stays and reserve a room in one of our 4- and 5-star hotels, with Monaco’s biggest shows on your doorstep.