Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world and it's a very beautiful place to visit. There are lots of reasons why you should visit Monaco. This is the ultimate travel guide to Monaco. Here, you will find all information you'll need if you're going to this wonderful destination!
What's the best time to travel to Monaco?
If you want to experience Monaco when it's warm outside and you also want to enjoy the beach there, then the best time to go to Monaco is in July and August. The weather is very good at that time, so you will really get that summer experience in Monaco, which is lovely because Monaco looks amazing in summer.
However, overall the best time to visit Monaco is in April, May, June, September and October. These months, it's less crowdy in Monaco and therefore you can enjoy the small country more by yourself. Also, it's way more affordable to travel to Monaco then as well. The hotels are cheaper and most transportation types are more affordable too. These months, the weather is still great and it's not too cold. For those who don't enjoy hot weather that much, the weather is even better these months than in July and August.
Nevertheless, it's also a great idea to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve in Monaco! There are beautiful Christmas decorations and the fireworks at New Year's Eve are spectacular!
Therefore, the best time to visit Monaco depends on what you want kind of experience you want to have in the country. As I said before, generally, April, May, June, September and October are the best months!
How to get to Monaco?
The best way to get to Monaco is to first go to a city in France near Monaco. The most convenient city to arrive first is Nice. Nice is very close to Monaco and it has an airport and several international trains arrive there as well. From Nice you can easily go to Monaco by train. It's about 20 minutes to get there from Nice and the train ticket is very affordable! Furthermore, you could also rent a car in Nice and go to Monaco by car.
Fun fact, some very rich people go to Monaco from Nice by helicopter which is some type of expensive public transport!
Things to do in Monaco
Monaco has many amazing things to do. Here are the most fun activities in Monaco!
1. See the Monte Carlo Casino
The Monte Carlo Casino is one of the most popular places in Monaco. This casino is one of the most famous casinos in the whole world, so you definitely shouldn't miss this place when you're in Monaco! For those who love James Bond, this casino is extra special, since it has been in several James Bond movies! For example, you can see it in the movie Never Say Never Again.
The official name of this casino is Casino de Monte-Carlo. At this place, you can gamble, but there is also a lot of entertainment here. For example, besides the casino, this place also has the opéra de Monte-Carlo. A fun fact about the casino is that it's forbidden for citizens of the country to go to the gaming rooms here.
Furthermore, this casino exists since 1863, so it's already there for more than 150 years! The owner and operator of Monte Carlo Casino is the Société des bains de mer de Monaco. This is a public company and the government of the country owns a large share of the company. The royal family of Monaco also has a large share in this company.
2. Go to Larvotto Beach
Larvotto Beach is a very popular beach and it's definitely worth a visit. For those who love beaches and beach days, this place is perfect, because it's a very beautiful and clean beach. It's just so nice to have a swim here! However, if you're not really into beaches, I'd still recommend having a look at this beach. The beach is very unique, because of the beautiful buildings behind it that are so typical for Monaco. Keep in mind that it can get very busy here, especially during summer.
3. Admire the beautiful viewpoints
Monaco is one of the places in the world with the most beautiful viewpoints. Therefore, it's really a great activity to just walk around a bit and see all the amazing viewpoints that the country has! Some of these also make for great photo spots in Monaco. You could either just take photos of the beauty of the country, or you could actually do a photoshoot! There are several companies that offer professional photoshoots in Monaco, but you can also do a photoshoot with a friend or with a tripod.
Furthermore, if you don't want to take photos, it's still just amazing to admire the beauty of the country. Monaco is unlike any other destination in the world, so it's very unique. The water is very blue and the buildings and landscape are impressive. The country is beautiful during the day, but it's also wonderful when it's dark outside.
4. Visit Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
One of the most interesting museums in Monaco is the Oceanographic Museum. Here, you will find a collection dedicated to all kinds of marine sciences. For example. there are several species of sharks, turtles, seahorses and crabs. However, that's not all! There are many objects that relate to the sea as well, such as weapons, ships and tools. Also, the basement of the museu has an aquarium where you can see thousands of fish. Furthermore, the museum is very old, as people built it in 1910!
5. Walk in the Saint-Martin Gardens
If you love nature, then I'd highly recommend visiting the Saint-Martin Martin Gardens. These gardens are in Monaco-Ville and you can also find one of the most famous viewpoints of Monaco in these gardens. These gardens exist since 1816, so they are already there for a very long time! Furthermore, besides enjoying the beautiful nature, you can also see the statue of Prince Albert I in Saint-Martin Gardens. Albert I was Prince of Monaco from the end of 19th century. Francis Cogne made this statue.
6. See the Monaco Grand Prix
If you're in the country in May, you should definitely see the Monaco Grand Prix! Since 1929, it's an amazing Formula One motor race that is in the country every year. It is held on the Circuit de Monaco, which is located in the streets of Monaco. Since there are a lot of height differences within the course, corners that are very tight and a tunnel, the circuit is very unique and challenging. The average speeds aren't really high, but it's still a very dangerous circuit and often a safety car is required.
This is a very important event and many people even see it as one of the most prominent races that exist! There already have been more than 70 races! One of the most important racers is Ayrton Senna, because he won the race six times, which is very special!
This is an amazing event to see in real life, because it's very famous and special. Even if you don't really like races, it's still a great experience to see the Monaco Grand Prix, because the whole event is just spectacular!
7. Go to the Rose Ball
If you have a lot of money to spend, then it's a very great experience to go to the Rose Ball. Tickets are very expensive, because one ticket costs €800,-. However, it's definitely an experience that you will never forget! Every year there is another theme. Furthermore, it's a very exclusive ball and many celebrities go there as well. There are also some famous artists. Also, some famous creators make a wonderful spectacle.
8. Go to Monaco Cathedral
The Monaco Cathedral is a very impressive and beautiful cathedral that's consecrated in the beginning of the 20th century. People started the construction in 1875 and they finished making the building in 1903. The architecture of the church is really nice and the architect was Charles Lenormand. Furthermore, you can find this church in Monaco-Ville. Many people call it the Monaco Cathedral, but it's also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate.
9. See the Monaco Yacht Show
One of the things the country is most famous of is that there are many luxurious yachts. You can see these impressive yachts in the port of Monaco. However, if you're really interested in this, you should consider going to the Monaco Yacht Show. This event is there every year and it's a trade show in Port Hercules. It is one of the largest displays of huge yachts that are in water in the world and it's even the biggest one in Europe! The first time that this event was in Monaco, was in 1991. The Monaco Yacht Show is there for four days. It is definitely very impressive to see all these luxurious yachts in this beautiful country!
10. Visit the Museum of Old Monaco
For a great museum that focuses on old objects of the country, you should definitely go to the Museum of Old Monaco! The museum focuses on maintaining traditions and other things of the country. You can see many interesting objects here, such as paintings, uniforms of the army, ancient documents and letters.
This is really the place where you can learn more about the story and traditions. Therefore, if you like to know more about the places you travel to and you're in Monaco, this is the perfect museum for you!
Also, it is free to enter, which makes going here one of the best free activities in Monaco!
Getting around in Monaco
There are several ways to get around in the country. You can read about all the options here!
Because Monaco is such a small country, you can easily walk everywhere! It will only take you about 45 minutes to walk from one side of the country to the other side!
In Monaco you can find quite an extensive bus network. This is one of the most convenient ways to move around the city. They take you around all highlights, such as the Monte-Carlo casino, the main museums, and the business centres. The buses run all day and there are night buses as well, which ensures you that you can almost always catch a bus.
Going from one side of the port to the other can be time-consuming if you walk the distance, which is why there is a water taxi! That way you can more easily go from Monaco-Ville to the casino of Monaco. Instead of walking for 15 minutes, the water bus gets you there much faster! Also, the buses are solar-powered, which is amazing!
In several places in the country, you can find bike-sharing stations where you can rent an electric bike. They are spread over the whole city, thereby making it very convenient to use. They complement the bus system really well. Also, instead of paying for the time or distance you use them for, you can buy a pass for a period of time, or you can pay €1 for a single trip from one station to another.
Everywhere you go in the city, you can hail a taxi. This is very convenient when you need to go to a specific location or need to cover a larger distance. Also, they operate 24 hours per day! There are almost 100 taxis in Monaco!
Another great way to move around the country is by using Mobee, which is a car-sharing service that you can use to rent your own car. It comes in handy the most when you need to go to several places in Monaco and do not want to waste time waiting.
Elevators / Travelators
The last way to get around Monaco is by elevators and travelators (the horizontal elevators you see in airports). Because there are a lot of different elevations in Monaco it is very convenient to move up and down using an elevator, which you can find in many parts of the city. Also, to cover longer distances while walking, the travelators are very convenient, and you can find those as well in several places!
Where to stay in Monaco?
There are four main districts to stay! You can read about these disctricts here.
This is probably the most well-known part of Monaco. It is also where the Monte Carlo Casino is located. There are great hotels here, and there are also many things to do here, so it's definitely a great choice to stay in Monte-Carlo!
La Condamine is in the centre of Monaco. Here you'll find more hotels to stay, and they are often much cheaper than those in Monte-Carlo, so that's very convenient about this place.
This is the oldest part of the country and it's the place where the Prince lives. You'll find many things to do here and there are some magnificent viewpoints in Monaco-Ville!
Fontvieille is the newest part of the country, and it's in the south of Monaco. Also, it is almost completely built on reclaimed land!
Where to have dinner in Monaco?
There are several amazing restaurant in Monaco! Here are 5 of the best restaurants in the country.
1. Caffé Milano
If you're looking for delicious Italian food in Monaco, then one of the best restaurants is Caffé Milano. This place is located next to the port and therefore, you can have a wonderful view of the blue water and the yachts while having dinner. Furthermore, the restaurant also has a lovely cocktail bar where you can have an amazing evening with great drinks! Caffé Milano has many delicious dishes, such as great pizzas. For example, you can have the pizza Margherita with fresh tomatoes. The pasta here is great as well and you can also have a very nice salad here. Moreover, don't forget to check out the desserts! Especially the fresh fruit sorbet is amazing and really worth tasting!
Here is the menu of Caffé Milano! The address of this place is 1 Quai Albert 1er, 98000 Monaco.
For some very good Asian food, you should check out Buddha-Bar! This is a very comfortable restaurant with two terraces, a wonderful view of the sea and there's even a DJ at the bar! If you're going to have dinner here, you'll immediately notice how beautiful the restaurant looks from the inside. There are lovely colours in Buddha-Bar, there's a beautiful Buddha statue and the whole atmosphere of the place is just very relaxing. Especially when it's summer, it's so convenient to have dinner at one of the terraces of this place. On the menu, you will find dishes from the Japanese and Thai cuisine and several flavours of the Asian cuisine are used to prepare the food. For example, there's sushi and sashimi. If you love wine, you should also check out the wine list of this place! Furthermore, there are many delicious desserts at Buddha-Bar as well!
Click here for the menu of Buddha-Bar! The address of Buddha-Bar is Place du Casino, 98000, Monaco.
3. La Note Bleue
La Note Bleue is an amazing place to go for dinner. The chef at this restaurant creates the most delicious dishes from a world fusion cuisine. The restaurant cares a lot about originality, and therefore the chef is very creative and you'll taste the most amazing unique flavours here. There are vegetarian options at La Note Bleue as well, which is amazing! For example, the Pad Thaï au Tofu is a dish that I'd highly recommend!
You can find the menu of La Note Bleu on this page! The address of this place is Av. Princesse Grace, 98000 Monaco.
4. Quai des Artistes
Quai des Artistes is a lovely brasserie in the style of Paris. This is a very luxurious restaurant with more than 100 seats. If you go here, you can sit inside, but you can also have dinner on the beautiful terrace with amazing views of the princely palace. You should definitely have a look at the menu of Quai des Artistes, because there's so much to choose from and the dishes are amazing!
Here is the menu of Quai des Artistes! The address of Quai des Artistes is 4 Quai Antoine 1er, 98000 Monaco.
Some other things to know
Here are some things to know before you travel to Monaco.
- The currency in Monaco is Euro.
- Monaco can be expensive, so you can also stay and have dinner in places surrounding it, such as Nice and Menton.
- Monaco is not in the European Union, but you can easily go there when you're France.
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