Monte Carlo doesn’t have a dress code, of course, but a lot of the restaurants and the casinos do. If you’re in shorts and a tshirt during the day you’ll most likely be fine for many places. But, the evening? You’ll need to get a little more fancy. You won’t feel out of place as the city’s air is made up of 1/4 oxygen and the rest money. This place feels like money. You’ll either feel delighted at how clean it is and how beautiful and expensive the world around you is or you’ll never feel more poor in your life. Mostly, unless you hate capitalism, you’ll feel both.
But, what to wear? For most, packing the very least is essential. Versatile items are meticulously rolled and folded to fit into tiny suitcases meant for travel ease. If you just want to check out Monte Carlo and see what the small country looks like, wear your nicest shorts and a polo to feel comfortable and a little more in line with the aesthetic (no nike basketball shorts or stupidly logo’d shirts. Honestly, if we could get rid of people wearing those in public anywhere that would be greeaaaaat). If you want a full Monaco experience, bump it up a notch.
The Monte Carlo Casino, though small, is decadent as fuck. Bags are not permitted into the gambling areas (purses are allowed, of course) and I watched as a couple of tourists in shorts got turned away.
The first part of the casino is the free slot machine section. Not really exciting and looks like every single casino. Then, you head in a little further and plush velvet sofas, painted walls and ceilings gilded in gold and rich woods welcome you. Before you do anything, sidle up to that bar and order yourself an expensive-as-can-be beverage. I’m talking €20 drinks. Yes, there are James Bond inspired drinks. Labeled as such for how each Bond took his. Grab a seat and take in everything around you as it can be a little overwhelming. But, back to what to wear…
So, there’s a dress code and there isn’t one. Dress respectively and you’ll get in. However, I highly recommend dressing up. Not only do you feel like a sauve motherfucking boss, but you don’t want the dealers to be more dressed up than you!
A nice dress and good shoes (no sandals or flip flops) will do the trick.
Most of the women were wearing nice dresses, some a little more casual, some claasic, one in a beautiful sequin evening dress. She looked amazing and not at all out of place amongst the gold and artfully painted ceilings, blue velvet sofas and delicate champagne flutes.
I chose a black shift dress with pearls adorning the cuffs and velvet black heeled mules with, you guessed it, pearls adorning the heel. Unfortunately, I’ve no photos as phones and photos aren’t allowed in the casino (I had mine on me but didn’t dare use it lest I be unceremoniously removed).
Unless you’re a fashionably sauve man, the easiest will be to grab your suit and dress shoes and pack those. Ties aren’t required, but jackets after 8pm are strongly encouraged. I had read elsewhere they were mandatory, but they didn’t seem to be. Bring one to be safe.
Dark wash jeans, jacket and dress shirt, plus loafers will be sufficient. However, it is Monte Carlo and if you’re fashionable enough to own the right clothing, take it up 20 notches.
Coming from a day of touring? No problem. Bags aren’t allowed, but there’s a room where you can check them. Bring your passports so they can ID you when you buy your ticket. You must have some form of ID on you and your passport is easiest for them and you.
The train stops relatively early between Nice and Monaco, so make sure you have the correct time written down and check the clock a time or two when you’re moseying around.