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Even if you are on a tight schedule, you will be able to cover Monaco in your tour as it is a very tiny country. The total area of Monaco is only two square km, which is less than one mile. So, a short weekend would be more than enough to explore the entire area. However, one thing you can be sure of is that the world-famous Monte Carlo casino, beaches, F1 race tracks, etc. will make your trip an unforgettable one.
The Mediterranean climate is pleasant throughout the year; so, you can plan your trip for Monaco at your convenience. However, the peak tourist season is in the months of July and August, and when the Formula 1 Grand Prix is held. The F1 event spans for four days and is held in the month of May. During these four days, each street of Monaco is closed down for the race. However, if you are not planning a trip in those four days, then you can take a walk on the 3.2km circuit and explore the entire place.
You can reach Monaco via air, sea, or land. The nearest airport is Cote d’Azur Airport, which is located in Nice. If you are traveling to Monaco from a European city, then you can opt for the train service or travel by road. Although Monaco does not run its own train service, its main train station is connected with the European rail network.
You can either drive a private or rented car for reaching Monaco or take a bus from any major European city. Moreover, there are several cruise lines that you could book for reaching Monaco. Nice to Monaco distance is about 22 kms. You can travel by train, which will cost EUR 9 and the time duration will be 14 minutes. On an average, there are about 80 trains a day running between Nice and Monaco.
Traveling Guide To Monaco:
Amazing nature and old town architecture makes Monaco a place that you should visit! To experience the traditional Monaco, you should go to the local market at La Condamine. In the market, you will be able to purchase several kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Here are some of the wonderful places that you should explore on your trip to Monaco:
Princess Grace Rose Garden:
If you want to visit a calm and serene place then you should head straight to the Princess Grace Rose Garden. The garden was built by Prince Rainier III in the memory of his wife Princess Grace. In the garden, you will find several contemporary sculptures and about 6,000 rose bushes, which spread their fragrance in the entire area.
You will find innumerable varieties of roses in the garden, which certainly is a great way to enhance your gardening knowledge. As the slopes of the Rose Garden are gentle, it is accessible for wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility. Moreover, special toilet facilities are also available for wheelchair bound visitors. The garden is open every day and entry is free for all.
Monte Carlo is the major attraction for those visiting Monaco. Some of the Monte Carlo points of interest are the casino de Monte Carlo, Cathedrale de Monaco, colorful Jardin Exotique, beaches, etc. You may even spend your time window-shopping at the famous streets of Monte Carlo.
Monte Carlo Casino:
Among the various things to do in Monte Carlo, you should add Monte Carlo casino in your to-do list. The Casino de Monte Carlo is restricted only for adults. At the entrance, you need to show your proof of identity that confirms your age. The casino is open from 2pm for players till the last table closes. Some of the games that you can enjoy playing here are Black Jack, French Roulette, English Roulette, and Slot Machines, among others. However, ensure that you are following proper dress code to play the games.
Monaco has earned lot of popularity because of its Monte Carlo casino; however, the local people are not allowed to gamble or even enter the casino. Even if you do not like gambling; you should visit the casino to view its beautiful architecture and sculptures. Especially for visitors, the casino offers a culture-packed tour that is open from 9am till 12 noon. These timings have been selected carefully so that the games do not get disturbed. The entrance fee is EUR 10 and the duration of visit is 40 minutes.
The Salon Rose is the famous restaurant of the Monte Carlo casino that serves delicious local and international dishes, from noon to 11:45 pm in an amazing ambience. Main course, starters, selection of fine wine, and a terrace offering mesmerizing views of the Mediterranean will make your day awesome.
The Le Train Blue is yet another popular restaurant in Monte Carlo casino that serves authentic Italian cuisine. You must try their lobster, whole fish, langoustines, and other seafood. Those who visit the casino, usually take a break from their tables to enjoy the meals and have an elegant dining experience.
Monaco Prince’s Palace:
Built in the year 1215, the Monaco Prince’s palace is a private residence of the ruling prince of Monaco. However, a part of the palace or State Apartment is open for public visits for few months of the year. You can check their official website for more information on the dates that the palace will be open for public.
It is a beautiful palace that will take you through the Renaissance to the Napoleonic period. Whenever you plan to visit the palace, ensure that you are present at 11:55 am because at that time the traditional ritual of Changing of the Guard takes place, which should not be missed at all.
To view the beauty of the State Apartments, you have to buy an entrance ticket that costs EUR 8 for adults, EUR 4 for children between the age group of 6 to 16 years, and EUR 4 for students. If you want to visit the State Apartments as well as view the private collection of antique cars then you can buy a combined ticket that costs EUR 11.5 for adults and EUR 5 for children (6 – 16 years) as well as students. As the entrance to the State Apartments is only through stairs, it is not accessible for wheelchair bound visitors.
Oceanographic Museum Of Monaco:
The Oceanographic Museum Of Monaco is open every day; but, the timings vary each month. Before heading to the museum, you should check their official website for the exact timings. Usually, the museum opens in the morning by 10 am up to evening. Moreover, the entrance ticket price also varies, so check that too!
The museum is a stone’s throw away from the Prince’s palace. Once you are done exploring the entire museum, you should try ‘spaghetti alle vongole’ at their La Terrasse restaurant. From the eatery, you will be able to get a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Principality of Monaco and the Mediterranean. Moreover, you can even take home a souvenir from their exclusive store in the form of an art book or an artifact.
Larvatto Beach is the most beautiful beach of Monaco that is located close to the Avenue Princess Grace. To keep the swimmers safe, the entire beach is surrounded by nets. So, swimmers can bathe without worrying about jellyfishes. You can even enjoy some of the water sports that are popular here; like, sea kayaking and jet skiing.
Baie de Garavan is one of the best sandy beaches in Mentor, Monaco. Tourists enjoy spending their time here during summers by participating in beach sports and swimming. You can reach the beach by car as there is enough space for paid parking as well as parking on streets.
Some More Things To Do In Monaco:
- Watch some amazing English movies beneath the stars at the Monaco open-air cinema. The cinema is open only in the month of June to September.
- Close to the casino is the favorite haunt of Monaco’s locals for having yummy pizzas and pastas. You should too try them out!
- To taste cheese that has been imported from Italy, you should head straight to Ristorante Mozza and try their famous hamburgers, pizzas and pastas.
- L’orangerie is the famous liqueur of Monaco, which is made up of bitter oranges and should not be missed at all.
- Cathedral de Monaco is the final resting place of Princess Grace. It was built in the 19th century and should be visited for its beautiful architecture.
- If you are traveling with kids, then you should visit the Princess Antoinette Park that offers innumerable activities that are suitable for all ages.
Where To Stay In Monaco:
Monte Carlo Beach Hotel:
Built in 1920s, the Monte Carlo Beach is a lavish 5-star hotel that offers innumerable facilities like an Olympic-sized swimming pool, spa, bar, kids club, and private beach, among others. The long and beautiful private beach has been tailor-made for water sports enthusiasts. Some of the wonderful activities that you can enjoy are FlyFish rafting and parasailing. Moreover, you can spend your entire day lazing on the beach while their polite and professional team would serve meals to you in your private beach cabin. Overall, the hotel would ensure that your trip to Monaco is a luxurious and memorable one!
Novotel Monte Carlo Hotel:
It is a mid-range hotel, which is apt for solo travelers as well as families. The hotel is close to the main casino square and provides several amenities like fitness centre, swimming pool, bar, terrace restaurant, Wi-Fi, and much more. Children up to 16 years can stay in the family rooms for free. To keep the kids entertained, there is a dedicated play area with several games and Xbox. Once here, you should try the delicious Mediterranean cuisine that they offer at the café, which is on a terrace beside the pool.
Hotel De France:
It is a two-star hotel, which is perfect for travelers who prefer spending their time in exploring the area rather than in the rooms. Located in the Condamine district, which is in between Monaco Ville and Monte Carlo, the rooms of the hotel are basic, yet comfortable. There are several restaurants, bars, and shops close by that are pocket-friendly. You won’t be able to find a better clean, colorful, and well-maintained budget hotel in Monaco. It is an apt hotel for solo travelers as well as families.
Hotel Capitole is Monte Carlo’s best bargain as you can get a decent room to stay for under EUR 100. The rooms are basic, but extremely clean with amenities like hairdryer, TV, toiletries, free Wi-Fi, etc. If you are lucky enough then you can get the top floor room, which provides a glimpse of the sea view. There is no restaurant onsite; however, in the nearby areas, you will find several restaurants that serve various cuisines. It is a perfect hotel for budget travelers.
Tips On Having A Safe And Memorable Trip To Monaco:
Monaco is one of the safest areas for travelers as street crimes and theft is rare. However, you need to take sensible precautions while traveling to a new place. There are some cases of counterfeit Euro notes in circulation; so, you should check the notes that you receive for its genuineness. If you are driving in Monaco, then ensure that you have a valid UK driving license, proper documents of the vehicle, and insurance papers.
Finding parking space in Monaco could be a daunting task, so it is advisable to use a taxi. You may even travel in an inexpensive mode of transport, which is the local bus. Buses are extremely convenient and stop at most tourist attractions. If you are renting a car then the legal age to drive in Monaco is at least 18 years. Drinking and driving is not acceptable at all and penalties charged are severe, so do not try that!
All in all, Monaco offers innumerable attractions for a traveler. As it is a tiny country, it can be covered quickly so adding Monaco to your itinerary would be a good choice for solo travelers, budget travelers, as well as families. Whether you want to try your luck in the casino or simply relax on the beach, you can find all these things to do in Monaco!