Monaco – How to get there and what to do!
Modern Monaco is made up of five districts: Monaco-Ville, the old town overlooked by the Prince’s Palace with it’s charming network of cobbled streets and the Monaco Cathedral; Fontvieille, where technology and art sit happily side-by-side; La Condamine, the shopping district of Monaco found at the foot of “the Rock”; the hillside Moneghetti with it’s picturesque Exotic Gardens; Larvotto – the city’s sandy beach and the most famous district of all, Monte-Carlo – the heart of the Principality and home to legendary casinos, luxury hotels, shops, luscious gardens and lively nightlife!
Whether it’s to walk the famous F1 Grand Prix track, visit the home of royal family, play a game of roulette in the famous casino, admire the beautiful gardens with its artwork… There are plenty of things to do in Monaco all year round, weather you come to visit as a couple, with kids, friends or family members.
Bus number 100 from the port of Nice to Monaco. Buy a ticket with the driver, as your multi ticket/daily or weekly pass excludes Monaco. The price is still very budget friendly €1.50.
Alternatively you can catch any TER train going from Nice Gare Thiers or Nice Riquier Train Station to Monaco or the Italian city of Ventimiglia. One way ticket costs €4.10.
Once at Monaco train station, take a pedestrian tunnel to the Port of Monaco. From the Port you can either walk for 30 minutes to the Rocher – the Rock or to catch a local bus number 1 or 2.
Avenue Saint-Martin, 98000 Monaco, +377 93153600
January – March and October – December 10.00 – 18.00
April – June and whole month of September 10.00 – 19.00
July – August 10.00 – 20.30
Adults €14, Teenagers 13 – 18 years €10,
Kids 4 – 12 years €7
From the aquariums to the vast collections of Natural History, including giant, Mediterranean and tropical fish tanks, Shark Lagoon and Turtle Island the amazing 100-year old cliffside museum offers to visitors a unique learning experience to know, love and protect the oceans.
The little ones will love the petting pool, where kids can touch the marine life and observe the fish being fed and the rooftop that has a play area with climbing whale, giant tortoises, restaurant and 360 degrees panoramic views of Monaco and Mediterranean.
Monte Carlo Casino
Place du Casino, 98000 Monte Carlo, Tel: +377 98 062121
Opening Hours and Admission Fee:
9.00 -13.00, adults only after 14.00, Entry Fee €10
October 1st – May 1st
Adult with audio guide €12, Child with audio guide 13-18 years old €8, 6-12 years old €6
May 2nd – September 30th
Adult with audio guide €17, Child with audio guide 13-18 years old €12, 6-12 years old €8
Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris Opera House and Nice Observatory designed this legendary casino in 1893 in Belle Époque style. Its marble atrium with 28 Greek style ionic columns made of onyx, leads to the Opera Hall (not part of the visits), which is decorated entirely in red and gold.
Slot machines are proudly positioned in the Salle des Amériques and Salle Renaissance. The Salle Europe is all about the table games, from roulette to poker as well as black jack and punto banco. The bar is serving “reasonably priced” refreshments given its exclusivity, a cocktail will cost you around 18€. Chique, luxurious and traditional at the same time, each room welcomes all sorts of visitors, locals, gamblers and tourist alike, all year round.
Note that proof of identity and appropriate casual attire is required. Beach wear, flip flops, track suits, sleeveless t-shirts and sports clothing are not tolerated even during the day time. Evening visitors are required to be attired in even more formal wear, check the dress code on casino’s website.
Prince’s Palace (State Apartments)
Place du Palais 98000 Monaco, Tel: +377 93 25183
10.00 – 18.00 between March 31st – October 14th
10.00 – 19.00 between 1st July – 31st August
Closed the weekend of the Formula 1 Grand Prix Monaco.
Adult €8, Children between 6 and 16 years old / student €4
A combined ticket of the Prince Palace and Private collection of antique cars :
Adult €11.50, Children between 6 and 16 years old / student €5
Erected on the side of the fortress originally built by the Genoese in 1215, the Palace is positioned in a truly unique setting upon the “Rock” of Monaco.
Inside, you can appreciate the Italian style gallery and its frescoes from the 15th century, Louise XVth lounge decorated all in yellow and gold, the Throne Room, Mazarin Room layered with multicolored wood panelling, the Palatine Chapel from 17th century, Saint Mary’s Tower and many more interesting things.
Even if not visiting the Palace, every day at 11.55am precisely, on the square in front of the Palace, the traditional ritual of the Changing of the Guard – the Carabiniers du Prince – attracts and delights thousands of spectators..Don’t miss it.
Exhibition of HSH The Prince of Monaco’s Car Collection
Terrasses de Fontvieille, 98000 Monaco, Tel: +377 92 052856
Opening Hours: Every day 10.00 – 18.00
Closed 25th December
Admission Fee: Adult €6, Children between 6 and 16 years old / student €3
This incredible exhibition brings together almost one hundred classic cars of all models and vintages as well as six historic coaches now belonging to Prince Albert of Monaco.
Museum of “Vieux Monaco”
2 Rue Emile de Loth, 98000 Monaco, Tel: + 377 93 505728
Opened every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between June and September from 11am to 4pm. An exhibition of different objects such as ceramics, paintings, furniture and costumes related to Monaco. Free entry.
4 Rue Colonel Bellando de Castro, 98000 Monaco
The cathedral was built in the Roman-Byzantine style in 1875 and is a burial place of past monarchs including Prince Rainier III. and Princess Grace. Inside the cathedral you can admire an altarpiece dating from 1500 by the Niçoise painter Louis Bréa as well as the Episcopal throne of Carrara white marble.
The cathedral is opened between 8.30 and 19.00 (18.00 in the winter).
Avenue de la Quarantaine, 98000 Monaco
Now an open air theatre, the fortress was built at the beginning of the 18th century. It’s military architecture, remoteness and tranquillity which can be found there is delightful especially after couple of hours spent on busy streets of Monaco.
The Exotic Gardens and The Observation Cave
Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, 98000 Monaco, Tel: +377 93 152980
January and November – December 9.00 – 17.00
February – April and October 9.00 – 18.00
May – September 9.00 – 19.00
Closed 19th October and 25th December
Admission Fee: Adult €7.20, Children 4-18 years old / Students €3.80, Seniors over 65 years old € 5.50 / Dogs are not allowed but free kennel is at your disposal.
This phenomenal garden opened its gates in 1933 and is a home to a countless number of species of luscious plants dauntlessly planted on the cliff edge. Beautiful and cheerful walks around the gardens offer fantastic viewpoints of Monaco and 60 meters below ground, a prehistoric cave reveals its amazing stalagmites and stalactites formed over millennium.
Terrasses de Fontvieille, 98000 Monaco, Tel: +377 93 504030
Opened daily, October – February 10.00 – 12.00, 14.00 – 17.00
March – May 10.00 – 12.00, 14.00 – 18.00
June – September 9.00 – 12.00, 14.00 – 19.00
Admission Fee: Adults €5, Children 6 – 16 years old / Students €2.50
Built on the southern side of the “Rock”, these stunning zoological gardens were established by Prince Rainier III. in 1954. Today it is home to around 250 animals, around 50 different species including exotic birds, primates, reptiles, lemurians, black panther, white tiger, hippopotamus, all living in quite exemplary conditions. Allow one and a half to two hours for your visit.
Fontvieille Park and the Princess Grace Rose Gardens
Avenue des Guelfes, 98000 Monaco, Tel: +377 92 166116
A small lake surrounded by olive trees and palms make up the 4 hectares of this beautiful space that offers a unique feeling of solitude which was opened on 18 June 1984 by Prince Rainier III. in memory of his wife Princess Grace of Monaco. Today, more than 30 years later, the new rose garden has recently opened with more than 8000 rose bushes in 300 different varieties. The entry to the gardens is free.
Avenue Princesse Grace, 98000 Monte Carlo
The Japanese Gardens of Monaco are a tasteful replication of open air nature following the strict principles of the Zen concept combining stone, water and vegetation in a blissful harmony. In 7000 m2 park, you will find a mountain, waterfall, exotic plants, beach, traditional red bridge and river stream with Japanese carps.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that there are plenty of options that suit most of the budgets and tastes in Monaco. Remember that lunch menus in this part of the world offer much better value than dining. Also bare in mind that brasseries and restaurants usually close for lunch at 15.00 and reopen around 19.00, so don’t leave it last minute.
The choices of restaurants are abundant – Italian, French, Asian, vegetarian and vegan…
The bakeries offer a cheap lunch, such as slice of pizza, quiche, pan bagnat or pissaladerie and a cup of coffee. Try Maison Mullot or La Roca in Marché de la Condamine.
The Stars ‘n’ Bars – An American sports bar and restaurant that features international cuisine (vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options) including kid-friendly menus, supervised children’s playroom and games arcade …..plus televised sports on nearly 2 dozen TV screens, outdoor terrace and an upstairs an open-air lounge bar with panoramic view
6 Quai Antoine 1er, 98000 Monaco / Phone: +377 97 97 95 95
McCarthy’s Pub – offers the best value for money during their Happy Hour which runs between 18.00 – 20.00. During those two hours, a pint of lager or a glass of wine will cost you €3.50 and a decent cocktail between €8-11. On Sunday you can enjoy their wholesome Sunday roast for €23 and Full English breakfast is served on weekends only for €16.
7 Rue du Portier, 98000 Monaco / Phone: +377 93 25 87 67
Quai des Artistes – This contemporary brasserie located right on the port is inspired by the great Parisian brasseries of the Belle Époque. The bar is zinc, there are frescoes and mirrors on the walls and banks of shellfish look as if they have literally just bee plucked from the sea. Both the terrace and restaurant itself are very popular with locals and the elite alike. And they look after the kids, too, with a children’s menu for around €20. Look out, too, for specials, including choucroute from Alsace on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.
4 Quai Antoine 1er, 98000 Monaco / Phone: +377 97 97 97 77
Café du Paris – The ultimate place to be seen in Monaco is of course the Café du Paris, located on the famous Place du Casino de Monte-Carlo and designed in the Belle Époque-style, eating here is so much more than food. You pay for the location though, but this is expected in Monaco, after all. There is nowhere else better for people-watching. The menu highlights the classics but also more current dishes like homemade rust fish soup and salmon tartare with chives. Main courses range from around €25 to €60 and a glass of wine will set you back €8 Place du Casino, MC 98000 Monaco / Phone +37798067623