High rollers. Complete decadence. Yachts on yachts on yachts. Champagne flowing like a waterfall.
These are just a few things that come to mind when talking about Monaco, the teeny tiny country that is just a short train ride away from Nice, France. One of my closest friends Yasmine and I took a long weekend in the French Riviera this spring, and ended up with a rather thrilling yet slightly terrifying night out in the capitol of opulence.
A while back I remember talking to someone about Monaco and him telling me that girls just sit around drinking coffees and waiting to be noticed and invited on a yacht. This was not our plan of action, although we did end up on a yacht many hours later! When I tried finding some sort of guide online about Monaco, I was truly hard-pressed to find anything, so Yaz and I ventured out to create our own adventure.
The beginning of our day there was quite lovely and leisurely. After disembarking the twenty minute train there from Nice, we strolled straight to Monte Carlo, taking in the beautiful architecture of the area. We went on a long walk in the wrong direction (it was kind of difficult to find our way around because of all the Grand Prix blockages and some construction going on by the sea), got some very overpriced pizza, got told by our waiter where NOT to go to get roofied (#normal, right? ugh) and eventually made our way back to the Monte Carlo area to have a glass of wine and people watch from Cafe de Paris.
Once the night settled in, the real fun began.
We walked around the corner to Buddha Bar around 10pm, early enough to be one of the first people settling in with a cocktail. The drinks here – extra amazing. Slowly but surely the club started filling up, and the gentlemen started approaching. First up was a big shot hotelier from Dubai. He was lovely but we didn’t want to be stuck with one guy for the night, so off we went into the beginning of Saturday night Monaco chaos.
After a bit we were invited and settled into a table with some Portuguese plastic surgeons, haha. They had a few beautiful girls with them, all of whom they had done work on, which we profusely complimented. It was an odd scenario, but the champagne was excellent and our glasses were never empty so we rolled with it.
“Later, we go on boat, yes?” One of the older surgeons winked at us. I grabbed Yasmine’s hand, eye wide. We said we wanted to get invited on a yacht, and here was our opening! After a couple more rounds of champs, some fun dancing to my favorite kind of Euro music, and sweet orange flavored shots, we found ourselves exiting the club with our posse of surgeons and enhanced babes. They put us and the girls in the car with their driver for a two minute whirlwind drive down to the yacht docked in the marina (seriously, I think the driver thought he was racing in the Grand Prix already), and the gentlemen walked themselves down to meet us there.
I immediately realized we were coming into a different world as soon as we walked the narrow little plank connecting land and ship. Being slightly champagne tipsy, I was vaguely upset that they took my shoes away (my thought process was “How will I run away without my shoes”), but later realized no one had shoes, to keep the yacht sparkling clean.
I insisted on many waters for us and curated more dance party music, we enjoyed some more champagne, and then suddenly things (unsurprisingly) took a turn. Somehow we all ended up downstairs below deck, with one of the beautifully enhanced girls fully naked hopping around in one of the beds. “You too!” she was giggling, perfect boobs barely moving.
Yaz and I had a Hard No moment, and asked one of the guys where we would be sleeping, since there literally were so many beds/bedrooms on the yacht. He said with him, with a big smile. Hard No moment #2, and we realized it was time to get the fuck out of the yacht. All night we had paced ourselves between drinking alcohol and waters, as we are old enough and smart enough to not let ourselves get totally obliterated in a foreign country with suave but strange Portuguese men. We gracefully retrieved our shoes and exited the yacht, not sure what our next step would be but glad to be out of a potentially too wild situation.
Between no service and it being 3am, we ended up having a bit of a long wander through the streets of Monaco, looking for a hotel or something open that we would be able to connect to wifi in, still laughing about our crazy few hours with our Portuguese friends. Finally a reception lady at a hotel directed us to a pizza place that was open 24 hours, and literally drew us a paper map as my phone was completely out of commission at this point. After ordering our 4am pizza and being able to charge my phone and connect to wifi, we saw what we already knew: the first train back to Nice wasn’t until 6:30am.
Our only other option was a 100 euro taxi.
After some deliberation, by 5am we were so bone tired we would pay anything to be back in our cozy, comfy airbnb, and paid up for the quick but massively overpriced taxi. When in Monaco…
We had such a blast on our wild night out, but definitely learned some lessons too. So! My takeaway tips for ladies doing a big night out in Monaco:
–Look your best. This is a very see and be seen scene (bah), and being gorgeous and put together can only help.
–Take a good look at a map (googlemaps in my book) to understand the lay of the land, so that you don’t get lost. Service/wifi is tough to get, so knowing where you’re going without relying on your phone is important.
–If you’re drinking, obviously hydrate and stay aware. Most men are trash and wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of an incapacitated girl, so keep your wits about you.
–If you want to be invited on a yacht, Buddha Bar turned out to be a great spot to make the connection. There are other bars and lounges, but the ones we checked out were so incredibly snobby we couldn’t stand to be there – Buddha was the perfect ambience of lounge turned Euro dance music club.
–Be aware of what time the last train is out of Monaco (I think it may be something like 11pm, we knew we were missing it and knew we would have to figure out our own way home and accepted that because we were having too much fun at Buddha Bar to want to leave).
–Also be aware that there is no Uber in Monaco, and be prepared to shell out big cash if you are staying in a different town/city and need to get back between 11pm and 6am. Honestly my recommendation would be to just book a room or airbnb if you’re doing a big night out here, just to have peace of mind.
–Flashman’s is the name of the 24 hour pizza place. It saved us. We love it.