Monaco is known for its glamorous, celebrity-spotting nightlife. Venues take advantage of warm temperatures with numerous outdoor options – you can drink at a floating bar on a lagoon, dance to jazz with your toes in the sand or smoke a shisha overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. In this tiny principality, most bars are within walking distance so you don’t have to worry about driving home after a night out drinking. As well as the permanent clubs below, look out for pop-up clubs such as Amber Lounge during the Monte-Carlo Grand Prix.
Casino de Monte-Carlo
With its fairytale Belle-Époque architecture, the Casino de Monte-Carlo is hard to miss. François Blanc developed the Casino de Monte-Carlo into the most famous in the world, attracting the exiled aristocracy of Russia and the exotic dancer Mata Hari. With its gilded ceilings and elaborate wall murals, the Europe Bar is the place to unwind to the sound of piano music as you survey the roulette, blackjack and punto banco players. A vodkatini is the drink of choice here as you channel your inner James Bond – indeed two Bond movies were filmed here.
Contact: 00 377 98 06 21 21; montecarlosbm.com
Getting in: You must show a passport or other photo ID and be at least 18. Proper attire required so no shorts or sports shoes. After 8pm, men should wear jackets for entrance to the private rooms.
Buddha Bar Monte-Carlo
East meets west at the Buddha Bar. This high-ceilinged venue brings extravagance to Monaco’s nightlife. The drinks list features many cocktails and sakés. Sip their signature Warsaw Mojito (with apple and elderflower) while you gaze upon young, dressed-to-impress Monegasques or at the red-and-gold furnishings complete with an enormous Buddha. With a live DJ, the chill-out music has its own branded playlist with electro-ethnic rhythms. Upstairs is the mezzanine dining area where Asian fusion cuisine is served. The bar area isn’t that big, but it does extend onto outdoor terraces overlooking verdant Casino Square gardens.
Contact: 00 377 98 06 19 19; montecarlosbm.com
Opening times: daily 6pm-2am
Getting in: Smart-casual dress code. Reservations recommended.
With its terrace surveying Casino Square, the American Bar at the Hôtel de Paris is the classic place for a glass of bubbly and barbagiuans (fried ravioli) while listening to live jazz from the grand piano and watching the moneyed Monaco crowd at play. With its shiny wood and leather armchairs, the interiors are straight out of the 1920s, while the outdoor terrace looks onto the casino. The champagne list is long and even the cocktails contain champagne: the classic one is La Roseraie with vodka and champagne infused with rose, rhubarb, cranberry and lemon juice.
Contact: 00 377 98 06 38 38; montecarlosbm.com
Getting in: Smart-casual dress code with no shorts or sports shoes. Reservations recommended.
Sass Café has been at the year-round epicentre of Monaco’s nightlife for the last 25 years. On any given evening, you’ll find the place packed with stars and starlets drowning in champagne and boogying cheek-by-jowl squeezed between, and even on, tables until the early hours. This restaurant-cum-piano bar keeps its perennial deep-red, brothel-like décor regularly updated. Resident DJs and live musicians play every night from 11pm. Pricey Mediterranean cuisine is served here too. At weekends and in high season, you’ll have to book a table to dine in order to ensure entry.
Contact: 00 377 93 25 52 00; sasscafe.com
Getting in: Smart dress code. Reservations recommended.
La Note Bleue
If you’re looking for a relaxed beach vibe, head down to this beach club and restaurant. White beach furniture and cushioned sofas spill onto the sand, while the Jazz Lounge features live concerts on Wednesday through Saturday evenings from mid-June to the end of August. The concert programme mixes jazz, soul, funk and Brazilian music. Choose from multiple styles of mojito and fruit cocktails with or without alcohol. You can dine here too on reliable Mediterranean cuisine or lounge upon a beach recliner and take a dip in the sea. Children and families are welcome. Note that the bar won’t be opening until June 2021.
Contact: 00 377 93 50 05 02; lanotebleue.mc
Getting in: Reservations recommended. Kaftans and beach leisurewear are de rigueur here.
The summertime showstopper of Monaco’s nightlife is Jimmy’z in the Sporting d’Eté, whose garden overlooks the Mediterranean and has a roof open to the skies. You’ll be able to spot multiple stars of the stellar and celebrity variety. Top DJs including Mark Ronson, Bob Sinclair, Michael Calfan and Fatboy Slim have all hit the turntables here. Take a spin on the dancefloor or have a drink at the floating summer bar on the lagoon. Be prepared for sky-high prices if you want to book a table where methusalehs of champagne can be shared amongst your table guests.
Contact: 00 377 98 06 73 73; montecarlosbm.com
Getting in: Reservations recommended. Smart dress code.
For a leisurely evening drink overlooking the Riviera coastline and the Mediterranean, the Blue Gin won’t disappoint. The brightly coloured interior appeals with its billiard table. Live DJs play disco funk from Thursdays to Saturdays. All the same, it’s the outdoor space with its well-spaced sofas and hookah corner that is the reason to come. There’s no better place to watch the sun set at the water’s edge with a signature Gatsby Americano cocktail in hand. Finger food by chef Marcel Ravin brings some Caribbean flavour with his cod-fish fritters.
Contact: 00 377 98 06 03 60; montecarlosbm.com
Getting in: Smart-casual attire.
Flavio Briatore doesn’t like to stand still. He has morphed seamlessly from Formula One and football to celebrity nightclubs. A long passageway lined with golden bamboo rods leads you to this kingpin of Monaco’s nightclub scene. The Asian-influenced interiors feature black cushioned benches and a golden honeycomb bar. Outside is the lounge bar where you can smoke shisha and enjoy the dreamy sea vista. Saké is the drink of choice here, while the culinary offering mixes Japanese and Italian flavours – though more work could be done on sourcing fresh seafood.
Contact: 00 377 98 06 03 60; twigamontecarlo.com
Prices: as above
Getting in: Dress to impress. Reservations recommended.
This quayside bar is a popular haunt for post-work drinks that wind on from Happy Hour til the early hours. You’ll find a young, local crowd here on the large outdoor terrace overlooking the superyachts of Port Hercules. Friday evenings are busiest when guest DJs play electronic and acoustic music. Everything about this place is charmingly eclectic. The interiors blend contemporary and baroque furniture dolled up in bright colours, while the global cuisine varies from Asian wok dishes to tapas and pizzas. With myriad beers, wines and cocktails to choose from, drinks are served with tasty amuse-bouches.
Contact: 00 377 97 98 34 56; jack.mc
A short walk from Port Hercules, Slammers is about as down and dirty as it gets in Monte-Carlo. This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bar is popular with local expats grabbing a pint of beer or two after work. With its stone bar and simple furnishings, the ambience is informal enough that you can rock up here in a pair of shorts or flip-flops without feeling out of place. The beers are also reasonably priced by Monaco standards. There’s a party vibe here during sports events: rugby and football matches are played live as revellers spill out onto the narrow street outside.
Contact: 00 377 97 70 36 56; slammers-bar.com