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Shopping in Monte Carlo

Monaco might not charge its citizens income tax, but the idea that this makes it some sort of tax haven for shoppers is a popular misconception; in fact consumers pay nearly 20% VAT on goods here. Add this to the luxury brands crammed into Monaco’s designer boutiques and that makes for an expensive shopping experience; some of the price tags dangling on the clothes are jaw dropping, while the malls themselves look like palaces. In contrast to the posh boutiques and designer labels, Monaco still hosts vibrant markets, and there are plenty of places to pick up souvenirs.

Key areas

The most chic clothes shops in Monaco are in Monte Carlo’s so-called Golden Circle next to the casino. Designer brands such as Hermès, Christian Dior, Gucci and Prada jostle for shop space in the small streets of avenue Monte Carlo, avenue des Beaux-Arts and the allées Lumières. You’ll also find high-end jewellers such as Bulgari, Cartier and Chopard here.

Less exclusive are the 200 odd outlets that make up La Condamine. This retail zone is situated near the port and is home to high-street brands and independent shops, which are scattered around a market square at the junction of rue Grimaldi and rue Princesse Caroline.


It might come as a surprise, but despite Monaco’s air of exclusivity, the good old-fashioned market is still alive and well in the principality. Traditional Mediterranean markets are held daily at La Condamine and avenue Saint-Charles. Vibrant stalls sell regional produce and crafts each morning.

Shopping centres

Le Metropole is probably the most exclusive shopping centre in Monaco. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by air conditioning, acres of marble and porters, which immediately suggest you’re not going to find a TK Maxx inside. And you’d be right because this shopping centre, which is situated underground near the casino, is home to over 80 boutiques specialising in luxury items.

The more affordable Fontvielle shopping mall is located near the quay and houses over 30 shops selling clothes, electronic goods, CDs and furniture.

Opening hours

As a rule, shops open daily 1000-1900. With the exception of Monte Carlo’s designer boutiques, most retailers stay open on Sundays. Souvenir shops ply their trade from dusk until dawn throughout the week, while daily markets trade between 0600 and 1400 (although it’s best to arrive early if you want to take advantage of the fresh produce).


If you’re looking for souvenirs, head over to the winding old streets of Monaco-Ville. Here you’ll find a host of touristy shops selling anything from tasteful keepsakes to tacky knick-knacks. Grand Prix paraphernalia such as F1 caps and model cars are ten-a-penny, although there are some more tasteful souvenirs lurking behind the Ferrari T-shirts.

Tax information

Consumers can expect to pay nearly 20% VAT on goods purchased in the city.

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Featured Hotels


Hôtel de Paris

Enviably situated in Casino Square, Hôtel de Paris opened in 1863 and is still the most glamorous place to stay in Monaco. Exquisitely decorated, the sumptuous rooms are decked out in antique furniture. Guests can also enjoy the luxury health spa, private beach and no fewer than three glittering restaurants.

Monte Carlo Bay

This refined resort opened in 2005 and has more than 300 rooms and suites, plus one palatial apartment. Guests can indulge themselves with the outdoor pool, lagoon and luxury spa, and take in views of the Mediterranean from the extensive grounds. Most rooms have striking sea views and the onsite restaurants are all fantastic too.

Hôtel Hermitage

Listed as a historic monument, the Hôtel Hermitage is an imposing belle époque hotel that remains one of the jewels in Monaco's architectural crown. Opulence abounds inside, with extravagant antiques and ornate décor, but also plenty of old-world style and elegance. Some rooms overlooking the harbour have their own terrace hot tubs.

Hôtel de France

This simple yet comfortable 2-star is just a few minutes' walk from the lively morning market at La Condamine's Place d'Armes and the shops along rue Grimaldi. Rooms have contemporary style and some come with a balcony. Considering it's less than 10 minutes' walk from the port, it's a bargain.

Hôtel Ambassador Monaco

Monaco's main attractions, including Monaco Rock, the Palais Princier and Port Hercule, are just a stone's throw away from this stylish, understated hotel. The 3-star stay comes with all the usual comforts, Wi-Fi and air-conditioning included, at a rather reasonable price. There's also an in-house restaurant that serves Mediterranean classics.

Le Miramar Monaco

What this little 3-star lacks in spacious rooms it makes up for in wonderful views. Overlooking Port Hercule, the Miramar has simple, modern sleeping quarters, some with balconies. Its SunDeck Restaurant is a real treat: very good food served on a panoramic terrace looking out over the port.