10 bars and restaurants in Monaco that locals love



 



The Principality of Monaco is famous for its mega-yachts, super cars, casinos, and star-studded parties. However, there is more to Monaco that meets the eye. Do you want to get under the skin of the Principality and discover the heart of Monaco? In our list, you will find the places where you can dine and party with the locals and discover the true meaning of luxury.

lamaree-restaurant-monaco

1. La Mare

At La Mare, the word exclusivity is given its full meaning.The selection of freshly caught fish is displayed on the counter, and you can place your order according to your taste – crudo, salt crust, in foil, or la plancha. The chef will make any wish come true. Enjoy the feast while admiring the views of the Port and the Princes Palace to the sounds to live music.

2. Le Quai des Artistes

This is one of Monacos finest seafood restaurants. Established in 1999, it offers fantastic service and an extensive wine selection in an elegant setting. The restaurant interior is decorated with artworks of contemporary artists. Try the degustation platter with the lobster and order a bottle of chilled Province ros. This is the perfect choice for a dinner date.

quai-des-artistes

3. Le Bar du Quai

This bar opened in 2015 as an extension to the great Quai des Artistes restaurant. It features contemporary art and some of Monacos best bartenders. It’s a great place to go after a delicious dinner to start off a night in Monaco. This bar attracts a young, vibrant crowd and is the insider’s choice for some late-night sushi.

4. Stars n Bars

This sports bar and restaurant, located on Port Hercule, is a Monaco institution that serves food around the clock and does daily Happy Hour from 5PM to 7PM. There is a big outside lounge and restaurant area that looks onto the harbour and the F1 track. Stars attracts a young crowd with its cool and casual atmosphere and great music. Its ideal for aperos before dinner.

Stars n Bars Monaco

5. La Note Bleue

This hip beach-side restaurant serves fantastic Asian/Mediterranean fusion food to the sounds of a live jazz band. Come here to forget about your worries and let the day melt away as you savor one delicious dish after another.

6. Le Pinocchio

Monegasques consider this restaurant to be their best-kept secret, serving freshly homemade pasta with a touch of haute cuisine. Le Pinocchio is also known for its meat dishes. The service is extremely friendly, though not many of the waiters speak English. The atmosphere in the old town of Monaco is very romantic at night, so this is another good option for a dinner date.

Le Pinocchio

7. Jacks

Located on the Port Hercule, this funky location rarely has any free spots, buzzing with locals who are looking to party. Enjoy cocktails or an iced bottle of ros, make new friends and see where the night takes you!

8. Casa Graziella

This is a family-run restaurant on the port of Fontvieille. Head here for some delicious Italian/Mediterranean fusion dishes and fantastic wine. Definitely have the bruschettas and the squid ink quadrotti. For desert, do not resist their home-made gelato. Its the best in town!

9. Beef Bar

Enjoy a juicy stake or something else that makes your mouth water from the wide selection of burgers looking out to the Fontvieille harbour. This is a local hotspot for dinner, so you need to booking in advance if you want to get a spot! Lunches are quieter, so its easier to walk in and grab a table. The truffle burger is to die for.

beef-bar-monaco

10. Bella Vita

Located on the pedestrian zone, right near the Port Hercule, this Italian restaurant is an insiders favourite. Try the seasonal dishes by ordering the Plat du Jour or enjoy their signature escalope de veau au citron followed by a delicious Tiramisu. They have a great wine list and the selection changes frequently.



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Top 10 museums on the French Riviera



 



The French Riviera is one of Europe’s best destinations for cultural heritage, art and design with several world-class museums and historic sites with beautiful collections. From museums filled with artistic curiosities to important exhibits of maritime heritage, enjoy our definitive guide to ten of the best French Riviera museums.

The remparts of Old Antibes

Muse International de la Parfumerie

Located in Grasse, originally a town that specialised in tanning leather, this niche museum built around the town’s medieval remparts and an eighteenth century heritage-listed mansion focuses on the development, preservation and promotion of perfume.

The Perfume Museum in Grasse, France

Now considered the perfume capital of the world, Grasse’s journey of scent is told through interactive displays of textiles, bottles, videos, panels and artwork. The museum’s collections have been enriched by vintage perfume bottles from various civilisations, Marie Antoinette’s beauty travel case and engaging olfactory scent stations. The connection with floral fascination extends to annual flower festivals in the town and regular events that partner it with the Jardins Muse International de la Parfumerie (JMIP) in Mouans-Sartoux.

Muse Ocanographique

Set in a spectacular building perched on the cliffside of ‘Le Rocher’, the Muse Ocanographique in Monaco is a museum dedicated to maritime heritage and marine research.

The Oceanographic Museum in Monaco

Inaugurated in 1910 by Prince Albert I of Monaco and once overseen by Jacques Cousteau who acted as the Director for thirty years, the collections showcase over 6000 live marine species, a shark lagoon, thousands of specimens of natural history, models, ethnographic objects and items from underwater exploration. The building is part of the Oceanographic Institute and is one of the most important aquariums in the world for conservation in the marine world, including research used in the repopulation of coral reefs and preserving endangered species such as clown fish, the Banggai cardinalfish and seahorses.

The museum is designed to offer visitors the opportunity to learn about marine ecosystems by offering educational activities and workshops aimed at bringing children closer to ocean conservation and marine science. Special mention should be made to ensure you visit the panoramic terrace on the rooftop for spectacular views over Monaco, and that the museum is closed during Monaco Grand Prix.

Muse Matisse

Nice is home to several of the French Riviera’s most unique galleries and museums such as the Muse des Arts asiatique nearby to the Nice Cte d’Azur Airport and the Muse d’art moderne et d’art contemporain (MAMAC) in the heart of the city. However, a short trip out of the central city allows visitors to experience fine collections of art at the Muse Matisse in the hilltop area of Cimiez.

Matisse Museum in Nice, France

Housed in a rust-red Genoese mansion with a magnificent trompe l’oeil facade, the museum has one of the world’s largest collection of works from all chapters of Henri Matisse’s career. Alongside examples of his first paintings, you’ll find studies from his self-proclaimed masterpiece – his decoration of Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence and designs from his paper cut-outs in later life that he deemed “drawing with scissors”. Due to its location, a trip to Muse Matisse is splendid when combined with a visit to the adjacent archaeological museum and amphitheatre. Ardent Matisse fans can see his grave in the cemetery nearby.

Muse Picasso

The Muse Picasso (Picasso Museum) is one of the French Riviera’s best-known attractions, nestled in the light-filled Chteau Grimaldi in Old Town Antibes. Pablo Picasso took up a studio there in 1946 and it’s easy to see why the views of the salt-blasted remparts and Mediterranean light on the Cap d’Antibes inspired a flurry of artistic creation from him. Today, the collection of paintings, photographs, drawings and ceramics spreads over several floors including his Ulysse et les sirnes and iconic La Joie de Vivre hanging in his old studio space on the second floor.

Picasso Museum in Antibes on the French Riviera

Other artists are represented in the museum; Le Concert, the wall-sized painting by Nicolas de Stal was completed at Stal’s house on the remparts on Promenade Amiral de Grasse and the museum’s outdoor terrace highlights sculptures by Joan Mir, Bernard Pags and Germaine Richier. Get up early, wander along the superyacht quays as the light brightens the town remparts and browse the nearby March Provenal first which is a delight to visit.

Muse Renoir

French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir purchased a park, Domaine des Collettes, in the town of Cagnes-sur- Mer and spent the last twelve years of his life there in his house amidst the orange groves, olive trees and umbrella pines. After his death, parts of the land were sold off until the town purchased his remaining estate in 1959 with the intention of transforming it into a museum. It serves as a snapshot in time with an opportunity to explore areas of his daily life such as his ateliers with easels and wicker wheelchairs, drawing room, dining room and bedrooms.

Renoir Museum in Cagnes sur Mer

Renovated in 2013, the museum features fourteen paintings and thirty sculptures by Renoir as well as family photographs, two original paintings and sculptures donated by the Guino and Renoir families. The museum deserves the attention of tourists visiting the region; don’t miss the lovely views across to the sea and Haut-de-Cagnes and the bronze Venus Victrix overlooking the expansive garden.

Muse d’Art Classique de Mougins

Founded in 2011, the Muse d’Art Classique de Mougins (MACM) owes its existence to the astonishing collections of Christian Levett, a British hedge fund manager and art collector. Located in the charming village of Mougins which is a cultural hotspot for its art and gastronomy, the museum has an eclectic array of paintings, drawings, and sculptures by artists such as Picasso, Andy Warhol, Yves Klein, Amedeo Modigliani and Damien Hirst displayed alongside beautiful objects from the ancient world.

Mus

Stroll the pretty village streets being stopping in to browse the collection of impressive antiquities, including Greek, Roman and Egyptian sculptures, decorative objects, coins, and jewelry, as well as the worlds largest private armour and helmets collection. If your zest for classical art isn’t sated, the museum is also the owner of bi-monthly magazine Minerva reviewing ancient art and archaeology.

Muse Massna

The neo-classical villa Muse Massna was originally built for Victor Massna who was the grandson of Napolon Bonaparte’s Niois Marshall, Andr Massna. The villa edges manicured gardens on the famous seafront Promenade des Anglais beside an equally famous neighbour, the Htel Negresco.

Musee Massena in Nice, France

Opened in 1921, opulent objects of furniture, art and history are displayed across three floors. The exhibits feature rare and interesting objects – among which are antique furnishings from the Massena family, a gold cloak worn by Napolon’s wife Josephine and documents detailing the history of Nice. Rare furniture offers a glimpse into First Empire lavishness; a pedestal decorated with gilt bronze sphinges by Franois-Honore Jacob (1770-1841), chief cabinetmaker of the First Empire and a mantelpiece clock by Lefvre and Debelle. Ensure you check in advance on the Nice city website for upcoming events as the villa hosts regular temporary exhibitions and concerts, however be aware that the permanent exhibition signage is in French only.

Fondation Maeght

A wonderful contemporary art museum set close to the medieval village of Saint-Paul de Vence, the Fondation Maeght houses an important collection of twentieth century sculptures and paintings. Temporary exhibitions focus on art of the modern era, with a small proportion of the permanent collection on display.

Fondation Maeght in St Paul de Vence, France

The building’s layout provides an outdoor setting for many of the artworks creating continuity between art, architecture and nature. Artists were invited to contribute works to the exhibition rooms, sculpture garden, the courtyards, patios, the chapel, library and bookshop. Look for ceramics from Fernand Lger, Les Renforts by Alexander Calder in the sculpture garden, the labyrinth of Mir, Alberto Giacometti’s sculptures and the stained-glass windows by George Braque in the chapel.

Muse Jean Cocteau

No matter how short or long your stay on the French Riviera, the Muse Jean Cocteau on the seafront in Menton will ensure a memorable experience. Cocteau was a French Riviera heavyweight on the creative scene, transferring his artistic visions onto walls at the Chapelle Saint-Pierre in Villefranche-sur-Mer and Villa Santo Sospir in Saint-Jean-Cap- Ferrat.

Cocteau Museum in Menton, Cote d'Azur

The architecturally-striking Muse Jean Cocteau was inaugurated in 2011, founded on a sizeable donation of works from Sverin Wunderman, an American collector. Visitors can enjoy almost a thousand items by Cocteau, works linked to Sarah Bernhardt (his first great star of the theatre) and hundreds of works created by artists close to the poet including Picasso, Modigliani and Christian Brard.

Muse National Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall’s projects of colour and light are enhanced in architect Andr Hermant’s building with understated walls and large picture windows illuminating the lithographs, sculptures and paintings. Many of the works were donated by Chagall himself; it’s recommended to take advantage of the free audioguides which bring Chagall’s biblical and spiritual inspiration to life in the largest public collection of works by the artist in the world. Best of all are Chagall’s flagship collection of seventeen canvases representing the Biblical Message and the blue stained glass walls in the auditorium.

Chagall Museum in Nice, France

The Muse Chagall is not one of Nice’s municipal museums, therefore it is not included in the local ‘Pass Muses de Nice’ (a combined museums pass); you must either purchase single entry or buy a Cte d’Azur Card which includes entry to most of the museums listed above.

Alexander Coles is Co-Founder at Bespoke Yacht Charter.

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