In the depths of winter, Monaco’s mild Mediterranean climate makes it the perfect place to relax and revitalize. Celebrate with your beloved on St Valentine’s Day, check out the city-state’s most prestigious events and move to the beat of its art, culture and sports scenes. February is a fantastic time to visit the Principality of Monaco – check out our travel guide to see what’s on!
Want some ideas for day trips to take your family on during your holiday in Monaco this February? The first thing to know is that the Jardin Animalier is open all year round. Check it out when you are in the Rocher’s hilltop area. This natural space perched in the Fontvieille Terraces area has been specially adapted to welcome more than 250 animals, including monkeys, reptiles, exotic birds, tortoises and even hippos. It was founded by Prince Rainier III in 1954 and to this day its aim remains to provide a home for animals which have been given as gifts or seized by customs. Next, one of the Jardin’s best nearby attractions is the open-air ice-skating rink in Port Hercule’s watersports stadium. Kids and adults alike flock to it all winter long to admire the luxury yachts and the Mediterranean coastline as they skate – it is quite simply magical! Lastly, you could also take a guided tour of the Principality’s most iconic destination, the Monte Carlo Casino. Before it starts humming with all the excitement of the gaming rooms, roulette wheels and slot machines, this prestigious building opens every day from 10am to 1pm, so you can explore all the Belle Epoque glitz of its sumptuous façade and décor.
Sports are a big part of life in Monaco at any time of year, including February. You will have heard of the Monaco Grand Prix, but did you know that the start of this month sees the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique roll into the Port of Monaco? This famous vintage car race is open to vehicles dating from between 1955 and 1980. Be sure not to miss it! Another top event to see (or even take part in) is the Monaco Run. In mid-February, it invites people of all abilities to put themselves to the test: There is a 5km road run for experienced runners, a 10km city trail through Monaco’s winding streets and iconic sites, and a charity walk raising money for breast cancer care. Those of us lucky enough to be members of the Monte Carlo Country Club can also book a clay tennis court and play a few rallies on the hillside while taking in panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea, luxury yachts and sandy beaches.
In any guide to things to do in Monaco in February, you will find one of the most enjoyable items is a visit to the luxurious boutiques of the Principality’s Carré d’Or. Promenade through the Jewelers’ Piazza in the city-state’s majestically iconic palace, the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. It is accessed via the hotel lobby and the Avenue des Beaux-Arts, so savor a glass of champagne as you take in window displays by some of jewelry’s most prestigious brands. You won’t have to walk far to take your next break at Limùn, the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo’s restaurant and tea room. It is perfect if you would like a light lunch or gourmet afternoon tea in a glamorous ambiance. Next on your itinerary is a pampering session at the Thermes Marins de Monte-Carlo. Its pool overlooking the Mediterranean is heated to 84°F (29°C), making it irresistibly relaxing. The same goes for the Turkish bath, sauna and luxury décor.
What better time than winter to stroll through the Principality’s museums? One example is the Museum of Stamps and Currency. As you walk along Prince Rainier III’s personal collections, you will get an insight into Monaco’s entire history, from the first stamps printed by Charles III in 1885 to the Monegasque euro of today. February is also when the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco kicks off its latest season. Its exhibitions are spread over two separate locations – the Villa Paloma (near the Jardin Exotique) and the Villa Sauber on Avenue Princesse Grace – and they showcase all kinds of contemporary art. Another thing to do in Monaco in February is go to one of the evening concerts by the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. This ensemble does everything from Verdi and Beethoven to contemporary works, so make sure you ask for their calendar!
A gourmet dinner on the Cote d’Azur is a dream way of spending Valentine’s Day this February 14th. Step into one of the most famous restaurants in Monte Carlo for an experience you will never forget. One exceptional example is Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. It boasts three Michelin stars and a luxurious décor. Produce of the Mediterranean terroir is presented at its finest by the restaurant’s eponymous, world-renowned chef and his executive assistant, Dominique Lory, providing guests with an unparalleled gourmet experience. Another choice destination for romantic dinners with a sea view is the Blue Bay, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Chef Marcel Ravin uses all his talent and creativity to take diners on an exotic culinary voyage through the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Last but not least, if it is sophistication and intimacy you want during your healthy but gourmet meal, head for the Vistamar, the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo’s Michelin-starred restaurant. It specializes in sharing platters made using the finest produce of the French Riviera. Its city view over the port and Rocher adds to its charms. If you are looking to plan a romantic meal for two, there is no end of things to do in Monaco in February.
A few glittering evenings really bring the month of February to life in Monaco. The end of the final stage in the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique is marked with a traditional gala, during which the champions are crowned. This prestigious event is organized by the Automobile Club de Monaco and takes place in the Larvotto district’s Monte-Carlo Sporting Club’s Salle des Étoiles. Another (even chicer) occasion is the Grand Bal des Princes et des Princesses, which is endorsed by the royal family itself. On February 14th, it celebrates Valentine’s Day in beautiful princely style in the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo’s Empire room. The last word in glamor, it has as its patron the reigning Prince of Monaco, Albert II, and it brings together jetsetters from around the world for a gala dinner followed by a show and a ball. Ladies wear evening gowns and tiaras, while the gentlemen put on their ceremonial military attire. It is quite simply royally majestic.
Do you want to know where to go, what to do and the best tourist attractions to see in Monaco in December, January and March? Explore the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer’s travel tips and spend an unforgettable winter in the Principality.