The ratio of millionaires and billionaires to those not utterly minted in Monaco is staggering, with one in three residents purported to have a net worth of at least $1 million. Needless to say, a visit to the principality can be a tricky affair if you don’t have the necessary bankroll, but there are ways to rub shoulders with the planet’s monied elite without thrusting your bank balance into the red.
Strut Your Stuff Alongside Real High Rollers
No visit to Monte Carlo can ever be complete without paying a visit to the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino, where Lamborghinis and Ferraris are permanently parked alongside it’s suited and booted ushers, next to the red-carpeted entrance. Inside, the casino’s high ceilings and walls are intricately flecked with gold leafing and paintings that date back centuries, meaning you can dress up as much as you like and never have to worry about being overdressed.
When it comes to card games, the oldest and most famous – which you’ve no doubt seen in Bond movies or those set in Las Vegas – is poker, where you are tasked with reading whether your opponents are bluffing or telling the truth? The choice is yours in their vast range of high & low stake games. If you’re worried about not knowing how to play or just need a refresher you needn’t worry, because the rules are very simple and the experienced croupiers at the Monte Carlo Casino are always patient and a picture of professionalism.
With so many of the staff having worked in the casino their whole lives you’ll often find them predicting your every whim and fancy, delivering that complimentary cocktail on cue or sliding the casino restaurant’s menu beside you just as your stomach begins to grumble. Other than the €10 entry fee and smart dress code, there’s no pressure to wager more than you’re comfortable with.
Make Friends and Accept Kind Offers
You may be surprised by how open and generous the super-rich can be, especially when you find yourself chatting with them over a sunset cocktail on the seafront. Monte Carlo is awash with stories of general members of the public being treated to an evening of hospitality at the behest of a new millionaire friend, who just happens to have a yacht party kicking off. Your first reaction in Monaco, when invited to something, should always be, within reason, to say yes and ask questions later.
Arrive in Style on the Party Bus
While the true jet setters arrive in town by helicopter, private jet or hydrogen-powered yacht, those saving the pennies can always take the party bus that goes from nearby Nice to the middle of Monte Carlo. There are drinks included and it’s the perfect place to make friends you can hit the town with later in the evening.
Top Up Your Tan at the Plage Du Larvotto
Something that should feature on every visitor’s bucket list is a visit to the beautiful and glamourous Plage Du Larvotto. Unlike some of its Italian counterparts up the coast, this beach is entirely free, allowing you to let it all hang out alongside some of the most pampered flesh to be found anywhere on the globe. Who knows, you may just find an heir or heiress offering to apply lotion for you in that impossible to reach the spot on your back. If that’s not your style, then treat yourself to a speciality gelato instead and sizzle yourself in full view of the supermodels sunning themselves out on yacht lounging decks.
Hire a Super Car
With it being possible to span the principality on foot in under an hour, it’s really not necessary to have a vehicle to hand in Monaco, but that doesn’t stop the locals from flaunting their car collections on the promenade. If you fancy showing off yourself, but don’t fancy re-mortgaging your house to do it, then you could always rent a supercar for the day. Just don’t expect to get out of second gear on Monaco’s narrow cobbled streets.