The chic Principality of Monaco made the headlines this month when A-listers from Mariah Carey to Coldplay flocked there for the World Music Awards – but this flashy European city-state is well-used to rolling out the red carpet.
Nestled between France and the Mediterranean, teeny Monaco – the world’s most densely populated sovereign country – has been home to the rich and famous since Grace Kelly injected some Hollywood cool in the 50s.
Today, it still attracts hoards of Cristal-sipping tycoons and showbiz luvvies, who go to make their euros stretch further in the tax-free sunshine.
Famed for its Grand Prix – which brings glitz and glam to its streets every year – Monaco is a car-fan’s paradise.
Mix together the prestige of Formula One, and you can imagine what the nightlife’s like. Sip champagne on the Riviera with the beautiful people at the clubs, bars and restaurants along the seafront – all have a distinctly French elegance about them – then head to the famously expensive Jimmy’z nightclub.
Wall-to-wall with A-listers, and counting Bono, Naomi Campbell and Lionel Richie among its regulars – what are you waiting for daaahling?
While you're there
Monaco’s mild European climate means it has lots of lush gardens to show off, particularly in the spring. Take a trip to the world-renowned Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, where you can see millions of exotic species of plants, as well as a prehistoric cave which dips over 60m below ground.
Shop til you drop
The home of haute couture, fashionista’s jaws will drop at the sight of Monaco’s luxurious boutiques. For those with a luxury budget to match, check out The Cercle d’Orin Monte Carlo, where you’ll find Hermès, Céline, Gucci, Prada, Dior…
Start your engine
Even if cars aren’t your thing, you can’t fail to be excited by the motoring buzz here. Try a speedy cocktail in the racing-inspired lounge of Café de Paris or, book your trip for May 2009, and take in the track-side action when the Grand Prix comes to town. Vroom!