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The Principality of Monaco is a wealthy city-state on the Mediterranean Sea, bounded by the French Riviera. Though tiny, the country is packed with entertainment for those with money to burn: think yachts and casinos, plus the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix.
This is the second smallest independent state in the world (after the Vatican) and is entirely urban. Monte Carlo is not the capital of Monaco but a government district. The country is divided into nine sectors: Monaco-Ville (the old city), the Condamine (port quarter), Monte-Carlo (business and recreation) and Fontvieille (recreation, second port for smaller boats and light industry) are the most well-known among them. With no natural resources to exploit other than its location and climate, the principality has become a resort for tourists and a tax haven for wealthy people. Monaco is six times the size of the Vatican and the world’s most densely populated country. While its borders have not moved since 1861 (when it lost over 80% of its territory to France), Monaco has still grown its territory by creating artificial land from the sea, which is how the area Fontvielle came to be. Its size is smaller than Central Park.

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WHERE TO STAY IN MONACO

HOTEL DE PARIS MONTE-CARLO

HOTEL  METROPOLE MONTE-CARLO

HOTEL FAIRMONT  MONTE-CARLO

MONTE-CARLO BAY HOTEL & RESORT

HOTEL HERMITAGE MONTE-CARLO

HOTEL PORT PALACE MONTE CARLO

BEST MONACO TOUR PACKAGES

  Gorgeous and glittering Monaco is a tiny royal principality on the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera). Less than two square kilometers in size, it is perhaps the most glamorous little stretch of land on the planet.
  A place of sublime natural beauty, Monaco has the lush vegetation and balmy weather of the Mediterranean. There is a seductive quality to the scenery, with its deep blue sea, graceful palm trees, and vibrant flowers.
  The most dramatic feature is the steep, rocky promontory jutting out of the coastline, called “Le Rocher” (“The Rock”), which contains historic Monaco, also known as Monaco-Ville (or the Old Town). Full of charming narrow streets and impressive landmarks, Monaco-Ville dates back to the 13th century when the principality was founded.
  Many tourists come to Monaco to experience the alluring decadence of the French Riviera. Considered to have Europe’s highest per capita income, Monaco exudes an air of exclusivity and extravagant wealth, with its lavish five-star hotels, designer boutiques, luxury yachts, and opulent restaurants.
  Monaco is often visited as a day trip from Nice, which is an easy 30-minute train ride away. However, Monaco is also a good base for sightseeing on the Côte d’Azur.
Discover the best places to visit in this stunning seaside city-state and decide how to spend your time with our guide to the top things to do in Monaco.

From Nice: Eze, Monaco, & Monte-Carlo Half-Day Trip

Experience the charm of the Côte d’Azur. Visit Eze, a medieval village and perfume Fragonard, the marvelous principality of Monaco, and the circuit of Formula 1.

Monaco: Monte Carlo Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Explore the incredible Monte Carlo at your own pace, on this hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and see all that this luxurious city has to offer. Visit Port Hercules, and try your luck at the Monte Carlo Casino. Choose between a 1 Day Pass or a 2 Day Pass.

 

From Nice: French Riviera in One Day

Discover the Côte d’Azur on this guided driving tour of the French Riviera. Visit the village of Èze, explore Monaco, Monte Carlo, and Antibes.

Monaco: Small-Group Night-Tour from Nice

Spend an evening immersed in the high-rolling glamour of Monaco on a 5-hour tour from Nice. Soak up the spectacular coastal scenery of the French Riviera on a sunset drive up the coast, before enjoying leisure time to time to explore Monte Carlo.

Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix (French: Grand Prix de Monaco) is a Formula One motor racing event held annually on the Circuit de Monaco, in late May or early June.

From Nice: 2-Hour Scenic Drive by 3-Wheel Vehicle

Experience the French Riviera aboard a unique vehicle and discover the highlights on a 2-hour scenic self-drive. Get behind the wheel of an open-top, 3-wheel car equipped with a GPS navigation system and a full tank of fuel for your comfort.

GETTING AROUND MONACO

   Taxis and Rent Car in Monaco

Taxis are a safe and affordable way to get around Monaco. Rates are determined by zone and time of day. There is a flat fee to get to the airport in Nice which include baggage fees and tolls. Currently, there is only one 24-hour cab company that can be booked in advance, but taxis can be flagged down on the street or picked up at designated stands.

Many visitors from Europe choose to drive to Monaco and during the summer months, this can lead to major traffic jams in the small principality. In the summer, it is estimated that 100,000 cars go in and out on any given day. Keeping this in mind, street parking is strictly enforced and visitors are advised to park in public lots instead. Car rentals are readily available either at the airport in Nice or in Monaco itself. Most international companies have offices, including Hertz, Avis and Europcar, but booking in advance is a must during the peak summer months.

  Water Taxis In Monaco

  There is a so-called electric boat bus in Monaco. The water taxi provides service every day from Quai Kennedy to Terre-plein du Fort Antoine (on either side of Port Hercules) from 8:00 a.m. to 7:50 p.m. Visitors can buy a single trip ticket, 10-ride pass or Daily Tourist Card, which allows unlimited use of the buses and water taxis.

   Bus and Train

Monaco has an excellent public transportation system and visitors are encouraged to purchase the Daily Tourist Card, which allows for unlimited use of the buses and water taxis.

There are five bus routes operated by the Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco. Buses generally come every 10 minutes Monday through Friday and every 20 minutes on weekends until 9:30 p.m. daily. A less frequent night bus is available until just past midnight.

There is no rail network within Monaco; however, the principality is well-connected to the French train system. From Monaco, visitors can take the TGV to Paris, as well as other connections to Milan, Genoa, Basel, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Pisa, and Rome. There is also a Regional Express Train (TER), which provides links to other cities on the French Riviera.

    On Foot

  Walking is the best way to explore Monaco, its heritage and the local way of life. There are numerous public lifts and escalators, allowing you to reach each district within minutes. It takes just 45 minutes to cross Monaco from east to west on foot. Everything in the Principality is quite literally within walking distance!

THINGS TO DO IN MONACO

   Explore Monaco

  Monaco sits on the glamorous French Riviera and is known for being a small principality headed by the Prince of Monaco. The principality stretches for two square kilometers but what it may lack in size it certainly makes up for in style. This is one of the most affluent spots in the world as well as being blessed with an abundance of nature.

  Lined with blue seas, the warm climate here is the perfect weather for the palm trees that dot the lanes and you will find exotic flowers and lush vegetation galore. One of the best known areas of the principality is The Rock or Le Rocher which is a large rocky bluff which is also the home of the main part of the city called Monaco-Ville. Easily accessible from neighboring Nice in France, this is the place to come for glitz and glamour, and if you fancy trying your luck then you can spend time in the casinos here and cultivate your inner James Bond.

 

    Visit the Monte Carlo Casino

  The Monte Carlo Casino, officially named Casino de Monte-Carlo, is a gambling and entertainment complex located in Monaco. It includes a casino, the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, and the office of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

  The Casino de Monte-Carlo is owned and operated by the Société des Bains de Mer , a public company in which the government of Monaco and the ruling princely family have a majority interest. The company also owns the principal hotels, sports clubs, foodservice establishments, and nightclubs throughout the Principality.

  The citizens of Monaco are forbidden to enter the gaming rooms of the casino. The rule banning all Monegasques from gambling or working at the casino was an initiative of Princess Caroline, the de facto regent of Monaco, who amended the rules on moral grounds. The idea that the casino was intended only for foreigners was even emphasized in the name of the company that was formed to operate the gambling business, the Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers.

  Visit the Musée Oceanographique

  The Oceanographic Museum (Musée océanographique) is a museum of marine sciences in Monaco-Ville, Monaco. This building is part of the Institut océanographique, which is committed to sharing its knowledge of the oceans.

  The Oceanographic Museum was inaugurated in 1910 by Monaco’s modernist reformer, Prince Albert I. who invited to the celebrations not just high officials and celebrities but also the world-leading oceanographers of the day to develop the concept of a future Mediterranean Commission dedicated to oceanography, now called Mediterranean Science Commission. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was director from 1957 to 1988. The Museum celebrated its centenary in March 2010, after extensive renovations.

  The museum is home to exhibitions and collections of various species of sea fauna (starfish, seahorses, turtles, jellyfish, crabs, lobsters, rays, sharks, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, eels, cuttlefish etc.). The museum’s holdings also include a great variety of sea related objects, including model ships, sea animal skeletons, tools, weapons etc., as well as a collection of material culture and ritual objects made from, or integrating materials such as pearls, molluscs and nacre.

  Visit the Monaco Cathedral

  The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (in French language: Cathédrale de Notre-Dame-Immaculée), but sometimes called Saint Nicholas Cathedral (the name of the old church which was demolished in 1874), or Monaco Cathedral (French: Cathédrale de Monaco), is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Monaco in Monaco-Ville, Monaco, where many of the Grimaldis are buried, including Grace Kelly and Rainier III.

  The cathedral was built from 1875 to 1903 and consecrated on 11 June 1911. It is on the site of the first parish church in Monaco, built in 1252 and dedicated to Saint Nicholas. Of note are the retable (circa 1500) to the right of the transept, the Great Altar and the Episcopal throne in white Carrara marble.

  Pontifical services take place on the major religious festivals, such as the Feast of Sainte Dévote (27 January) and the National Day of Monaco (19 November). On feast days and during religious music concerts, one can hear the four-manual organ, inaugurated in 1976.

  From September through June, singers of the Cathedral Choir School perform during Mass every Sunday at 10:00am. Mass is also annually celebrated on Saint Nicholas Day on 6 December, when primary children gather for a remembrance of St. Nicholas’ life.

  Formula One Monaco Grand Prix

  The Monaco Grand Prix (French: Grand Prix de Monaco) is a Formula One motor racing event held annually on the Circuit de Monaco, in late May or early June. Run since 1929, it is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world, and is one of the races—along with the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans—that form the Triple Crown of Motorsport. The circuit has been called “an exceptional location of glamour and prestige”. The Formula One event is usually held on the last weekend of May and is known as one of the largest weekends in auto racing, as the Formula One race occurs on the same Sunday as the Indianapolis 500 (IndyCar Series) and the Coca-Cola 600 (NASCAR Cup Series).

  The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as the tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. In spite of the relatively low average speeds, the Monaco circuit is a dangerous place to race due to how narrow the track is and the race often involves the intervention of a safety car. It is the only Grand Prix that does not adhere to the FIA’s mandated 305-kilometre (190-mile) minimum race distance for F1 races.

  The first Monaco Grand Prix took place on 14 April 1929, and the race eventually became part of the pre-Second World War European Championship and was included in the first World Championship of Drivers in 1950. It was twice designated the European Grand Prix, in 1955 and 1963, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one Grand Prix race in Europe. Graham Hill was known as “Mr. Monaco” due to his five Monaco wins in the 1960s. Ayrton Senna won the race more times than any other driver, with six victories, winning five races consecutively between 1989 and 1993.

  Tour Monaco Harbor

  Located at the base of Monaco’s famous blustery cliffs is the main harbor of Monaco.

  Yachts bob on the water and the harbor, which is also known as Port de la Condamine, dates from 1901. The Prince’s main yacht is located here as well as those of many moneyed Monaco residents, so this is a top spot to check out these amazing vessels, even if you don’t get to go aboard.

  There are also a range of eateries and cafes here which mean that you can have a snack while enjoying the vistas over the water.

WHERE TO EAT IN MONACO

Prices in Monaco can make you dizzy, but you can find places with food for tourists who are on a budget. Where, in Monaco, can you find nice and tasty food without spending your entire budget? Luckily, I have 2 places I can recommended to you!

When visiting Monaco, it’s worth taking an hour to take a break and eat something tasty. The prices in Monaco are of course quite high and I mean primarily hotels and private rental properties, but also restaurants. However, there are places in the principality where you can eat a nice and tasty meal, but at the same time not ruin your budget.

 L’Express

🍴French, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options

📍22 Rue Comte Félix Gastaldi, 98000 Monaco Hungary

  Despite its name, it is not a fast food bar, but a nice restaurant under a tree just behind the cathedral. A perfect place for lunch during a break in visiting Monaco’s Old Town. They serve delicious fish (filleted before serving), risotto, and pasta with a friendly attitude and, of course, a view of the historic surroundings.

  Cooks Monaco

🍴Italian, French, Vegetarian Friendly

📍10 Bd Princesse Charlotte, 98000 Monaco

  This pleasant bistro is tiny and offers mainly take-away meals. There are however several seats if you want to eat in. The dishes are prepared earlier onsite, and the customers can chooses what they want from the counter (for example meat, vegetables, pasta, or pizza). Everything is fresh and tasty.

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