Published on December 19, 2019Updated on June 19, 2023
New Year is upon us and it’s time to make your resolutions. Why not make visiting Monaco one of yours? As a tourist, you’ll find the Principality of Monaco reveals its most authentic charms away from the hustle and bustle of summer. One example is Saint Devota’s Day on 27th January, a national holiday dedicated to the patron saint of the Monegasque people. To get your year off to the best possible start and find out what’s on in Monaco in January, follow our travel guide to the best places to promenade, relax, dine and party, as well as the season’s biggest events.
Post-festive season, Monaco in January is the place for you and your family to recharge your batteries during a day trip exploring authentic little hideaways such as Condamine market on the Place d’Armes, at the foot of Monte Carlo’s own “Rocher”. Dating back more than 100 years, it’s one of the locals’ favorite things to do and packed full of all the scents and savors of the Cote d’Azur. From colorful flowers to fruit and veg from the heart of the French Riviera, its stalls are also a great place to taste Monaco’s specialties, including barbagiuans and socca. There is also a playground to keep your little ones entertained. Another recommended excursion is the Rocher’s Palais Princier. After wandering the Old Town’s winding little streets and boutiques as part of your day trip, nearby attractions include the Changing of the Guard ceremony which takes place daily at 11.55 am on the Place du Palais. After that, make sure you take in the panoramic views of the City of Monaco and Hercule Harbor, with its rows of luxury yachts. The Oceanographic Museum is also a surefire hit among tourist families. Another lovely thing to do in Monaco in January is to head to the Fontvieille district, whose charming eponymous port is protected from the ravages of the wind, as well as the Jardin Animalier de Monaco and Princess Grace Rose Garden. They are much loved by tourists of all ages.
Which sport should you check out in Monaco in January? Thanks to the high temperatures and long sunshine hours of the mild Mediterranean climate, you will be able to get plenty of fresh air – and what better backdrop could you ask for than beautiful Monaco? The Monte Carlo Golf Club is open all year round and provides a perfect 18-hole course for a few vigorous rounds or some practice shots to perfect your technique. Because it’s perched on the city state’s hilltop, it also enjoys a fabulous panoramic view of the Mediterranean coastline and its yachts, Cap Ferrat and France and Provence’s mountains. January is also packed full of sports events. You will have heard of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, but the legendary Monte Carlo Car Rally takes place in Monaco in January, as it has since 1911. This event run by the Monaco Automobile Club is the setting for the World Rally Championship. Come watch the racing cars roar off the starting block on the Place du Casino or celebrate with the champions three days later during the prize giving on the Prince Albert I docks. Just a few days after that, vintage car fans will be thrilled by the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, which is open exclusively to age-old vehicles. Are you more into football than motor car events? During the winter transfer season, check out Monaco AS’ latest arrivals during a Ligue 1 match at Louis II Stadium.
Monaco in January is also all about well-being in Monte Carlo’s relaxation destinations. After the season of festive feasts, get back into shape and revitalize your body at one of its top tourist attractions, the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo. Let us guide you as you create your perfect bespoke R&R session or indulge in a full day detoxing in a luxury décor. From sports coaches to nutritionists and therapists, teams of experts are on hand to help you select the perfect beauty treatment and activities for you in Monaco in January. The choice is yours, so what would you prefer – an indoor heated pool, sauna, Turkish bath, gym or something else entirely? The Spa Cinq Mondes du Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort is another luxury destination for relaxation and revitalization. It offers exotically scented treatments and rituals over a day, weekend or just a few hours on the Mediterranean coast’s Larvotto peninsula. Boost your beauty and your health as you step into the New Year (especially if you plan to head to Monte Carlo’s famous boutiques during your stay in Monaco in January!)
Imbue your winter evenings with an extra touch of soul and check out Monaco’s culture and arts scene. Monaco is famous for its frescoes, but why not book your tickets for the Ballets de Monte-Carlo? This prestigious dance troupe launched by the princely family was inspired by Russian ballet tradition and has won worldwide fame. At the Grimaldi Forum or in the Monte Carlo Opera House’s Garnier Hall, it regularly performs the classics, from Cinderella to Balanchine’s era-defining works. It also puts on contemporary creations by director Jean-Christophe Maillot and guest choreographers. Another of Monaco’s essential January events is the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival. Over its 10-day run, international troupes perform their best numbers under Fontvieille’s big top. This major circus arts event was founded by Prince of Monaco Prince Rainier III in 1974 and is now presided over by Princess Stephanie of Monaco (this independent state still has a hereditary constitutional monarchy, of course). Laughs and sensations come guaranteed!
Monaco is all about luxury hotels, casino gaming rooms, yacht clubs, beach clubs, glamourous terraces – and top restaurants! This January, warm your bones in the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer’s chic and cozy restaurants. There is something for every diner, from breakfast right through until dinner. If new trends are your thing, starting in the morning you will want to check out snackonomie, chef Marcel Ravin’s chic and healthy snack concept. His Mada One restaurant offers classic, healthy or original menus that will get your day off to the ideal start. On Sundays, you and your family can share a champagne brunch in the Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, where the luxurious décor has an Eiffel-inspired dome. As for the Monte Carlo Casino’s restaurants, they provide gourmet moments steeped in the gambling capital’s glamourous ambiance. Spend lunch gazing into your loved one’s eyes in the cozy Salon Rose or have a Belle Epoque-style Italian dinner in the Train Bleu – or why not both?
If you’re still not decided on what to do in Monaco in January, there’s only one solution – hit the party scene, of course! Start off your evening at the Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo’s Crystal Bar. Savor a glass of champagne in a casual-chic ambiance as you admire beautiful views over Monaco’s port. Make your next stop the legendary Bar Américain in the majestic Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. Come to take in a jazz, blues or soul concert as you sip one of the signature cocktails. Want to lose yourself to some electro-world beats? Then the Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo is made for you. This top club has a warm, eastern-inspired décor and hosts groups of international DJs every Thursday during its wild Winter Sessions. The first month of the year pulsates with tracks spun by the best DJs.