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Shopping in Monaco

Shopping in Monte Carlo is usually quite exclusive and is certainly no place for a budget holiday. There are plenty of places to melt the credit card alongside Europe's high rollers. The chic clothes shops are in the Golden Circle, framed by Avenue Monte Carlo, Avenue des Beaux-Arts and Allees Lumieres, where Hermes, Christian Dior, Gucci and Prada all have a presence. The area on and around Place du Casino is home to high-end jewellers such as Bulgari, Cartier and Chopard. You will find, however, that most tourists will simply enjoy wandering the area and window shopping, even if you don't buy anything. The normal shopping hours are from 9am to noon and 3pm to 7pm.

For a more cultured take on shopping in Monte Carlo, try the Condamine Market. The market, which can be found in the Place d'Armes, has been in existence since 1880 and is lively and attractive – many hours can be spent simply wandering around, bargaining for souvenirs from the many tiny shops, boutiques and friendly locals. The indoor and outdoor market has a fountain, cafes and hand-painted vegetable tiles beneath your feet. The outdoor market packs up at noon, and some dealers at the indoor market stay open to 2pm. If you prefer bric-a-brac, a small but funky flea market, Les Puces de Fontvieille, is open on Saturdays 9:30am to 5:30pm on the Quai Jean-Charles Rey, immediately adjacent to Port de Fontvieille.

If, however, you're shopping tastes are more modern, just a short walk along the esplanade is the Rue Princess Caroline pedestrian mall.

The Fontvieille Shopping Centre is also a more "normal" shopping experience with 36 shops selling electronic goods, CDs, furniture and clothes as well as a Carrefour supermarket. The tourist office also issues a useful free shopping guide to the city.





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