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Things to do in Monte Carlo

Bag a ticket for Opéra Monte Carlo

Even in one of Europe's flashiest cities, Opéra Monte Carlo (tel: +377 9806 2828; www.opera.mc) is a stand out building. Spectacular and highly ornate, the theatre has been staging operatic performances since 1879. The Opera has played host to Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo in the past, so book early for these highly-sought after shows.

Enjoy a truly dramatic performance

For a performance with added drama, bag a ticket at Théâtre du Fort Antoine (tel: +377 9325 3227; www.theatrefortantoine.com). The venue stages outdoor productions in July and August in a stunning open-air amphitheatre overlooking the Mediterranean. As well as performing in the theatre itself, the participating companies runs street shows throughout Monte Carlo.

Hold on tight with a spot of tubing

Skim across the Mediterranean on a doughnut. No, not the sugary type, but a rubber one being pulled by a speedboat. Hold on for as long as possible before you take the inevitable plunge into the warm waters of the Côte d'Azur. For even more inflatable fun try SkiVol Watersport (+33 698 735 060; www.skivolwatersport.com).

Race around the Grand Prix circuit in a supercar

Monaco is synonymous with two things: money and fast cars. For an unforgettable experience, combine the two and jump behind the wheel of a luxury Ferrari. Liven Up (tel: +377 9797 1716; www.livenup.fr) have the keys and offer passenger tours as well as the chance for drivers to tackle the famous Monte Carlo circuit themselves.

Take a look around the grand Casino de Monte Carlo

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Casino de Monte Carlo (tel: +377 9806 2121; www.casinomontecarlo.com) is one of the city's most iconic landmarks. See inside the interior, which brims with rococo ceilings, marble columns and grand chandeliers. For those with some cash to lose, the venue has roulette, blackjack tables and slot machines. Entry requires a jacket.

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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.