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The best things to do in
Monaco

Language:   French

Currency: EUR

Sales Tax: 20%

Exchange Rate

Monaco is a small city-state on the French Riviera. Covering a total area of about 0.780 sq miles, it is the second smallest country in the world. The city-state is the home of the Monaco Grand Prix; arguably the most iconic race on the Formula 1 calendar.

The race’s host city is a unique destination and thanks to its vast Mediterranean sea coastline, high profile casinos, and the Grand Prix, a large number of people travel to Monaco each year. Being a tax haven, Monaco is home to the rich and famous and playground for Europe’s elite.

There are plenty of things to do in Monaco. The small principality has beaches, casinos, and incredible shopping just waiting to be discovered. There are also restaurants, cafes, and bars lining the city streets. If all that isn’t enough, there’s also no shortage of scenic views along the Mediterranean coast that make any driving tour unforgettable. Here are some of the best things to do in Monaco:

Some of the best things to do in Monaco

Casino Square

Casino Square

Casino Square (Place du Casino) is one of the most iconic locations in Monaco. You can’t really claim to have visited Monaco without stepping into the square. It is surrounded by several high-end restaurants, shops, luxury hotels like Hotel de Paris, and high-profile casinos, including the world-famous Casino de Monte Carlo and Casino Café de Paris. In addition, you can enjoy great views of the superyachts in Port Hercule from Av. de Monte-Carlo, which is just a few meters away from the square.

Of course, the road cutting through Casino Square is also part of the street circuit used during the Monaco Grand Prix, making it a must-visit spot for any Formula One fan. While it's easy to visit most of Monaco's great attractions in a short period due to the size of the principality, if you only have limited time for whatever reason, visiting Place du Casino should be at the top of your list of things to do in Monaco.

Casino de Monte-Carlo

Casino de Monte-Carlo

Monte Carlo is famed for its glitz and glamour. It is the region of Monaco that packs the most financial might. The rich and famous here aren’t afraid to show off. Visitors will find a seemingly endless collection of exotic automobiles and Michelin-starred restaurants in the area.

Explore Monaco by Air

Explore Monaco by Air

The French Riviera is an incredibly beautiful corner of the planet. From the countless scenic driving routes to exquisite beaches, islands, and remarkable rock formations, this location has everything to provide a vacation that satisfies most of your desires. Unless you plan to be here for weeks, relatively speaking, you can’t cover much ground. The next best thing? A helicopter tour. Manoco has a helipad right by the Mediterranean Sea, offering a glorious view even before you step into a helicopter.

Port Hercule

Port Hercule

Looking down the hill from Casino Square, you’ll find one of the spots Monaco is famous for. In Port Hercule, located in the La Condamine district of Monaco, you’ll find yachts of various sizes docked ready to go on a Mediterranean cruise. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one or more of the famous megayachts that often dock here. Some yacht brokers have stated that there’s a silent competition here on who has the largest megayacht, so the super-rich keep building them larger and better. Time your trip carefully, and you may see megayachts that appear as large as some cruise ships.

Beyond the yachts, Av. J.F. Kennedy Street, which passes through Port Hercule, is lined with local stores and restaurants you can visit while taking a break from your superyacht spotting adventure. If you’re so inclined, you can visit some of the yacht builders with offices nearby to get your yacht built to your specifications. Don’t forget to make an appointment before your visit.

Monaco Top Cars Collection

Monaco Top Cars Collection

Situated in the Fontvieille district of Monaco, the Monaco Top Cars Collection is a museum housing the personal collection of cars that belonged to Prince Rainier III. The Prince, who passed away in 2005, was famed for marrying Hollywood actress Grace Kelly in 1956. Rainier acquired the automobiles over a thirty year period. The collection was re-organized in 2012 when some of the original cars in the museum were auctioned off. However, there are still plenty of amazing cars to see including the Bugatti Type 35 which was driven to victory in the first ever Monaco Grand Prix in 1929.

Palais du Prince

Palais du Prince

The Palais du Prince is the official home of the Prince of Monaco. The gorgeous palace overlooks the Mediterranean Sea from its perch high atop a hill on the Le Rocher Peninsula. The palace’s private apartments are open to the public to view. However, they are only available at specific times during the year. Not only is the palace beautiful, but it also offers a view of Monaco’s past. The palace’s changing of the guard is one of the unique activities to witness when visiting the royal home and it takes place every day at 11:55 a.m.

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

Musee Oceanagraphique

Musee Oceanagraphique

There isn't a better home for a museum that studies marine life than the cliffs of Monaco overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Sandwiched between Jardins Saint-Martin and Jardins Suspendus in Le Rocher, Musee Oceanagraphique (Oceanographic Museum) prioritizes conservation and research to help tackle some of the biggest issues affecting our planet.

The museum is home to a vast array of marine life in impressive large tanks. A popular part of this amazing museum is the "Shark Lagoon," which has 240,000 liters of seawater and hosts various shark species, including nurse sharks, blacktip, guitar ray, and hawksbill turtles. Other popular fish in the aquarium section of the museum include the venomous blue-spotted stingray native to the Indo-Pacific region.

In addition to the marine life, the museum also has a wide array of artifacts and historic ocean-related displays, including a reproduction of a real giant squid and a reconstruction of David Bushnell's turtle submarine.

Le Jardin Saint Martin

Le Jardin Saint Martin

Located in the heart of Monaco's Old Town, this beautiful garden is a perfect place to break up your day in Monaco. Featuring stunning views down through Monaco to the Mediterranean, the peaceful atmosphere will make the noise of Monaco's bustling streets seem miles away. The park also contains some stunning plant species and an array of statues.

One Monte-Carlo

One Monte-Carlo

Shopping on Av. de Monte-Carlo

Shopping on Av. de Monte-Carlo

Walking down Av. de Monte-Carlo from Casino Square towards La Condamine, there's plenty to see to keep you occupied. There's the heavenly Thermes Marins Monte Carlo fitness center with views of the Mediterranean to die for and the superyachts and Megayachts moored at Port Hercule. However, looking to the right, where Hotel de Paris is located, you'll notice many high-end shops lining the street. Here's where you should do your shopping as you'll find brands including Hermes, Gucci, Prada, and Valentino.

If you end up with more shopping bags than you can handle and you're staying at one of the nearby SBM properties, they'll happily help you get your new fashionable items to your room, so don't let the thought stop you from indulging in a lengthy shopping spree.

Stroll through Le Rocher

Stroll through Le Rocher

Le Rocher (The Rock) is the part of Monaco that hosts the Prince's Palace, the Oceanographic Museum, and Jardin Saint Martin. However, there are two additional attractions in this part of Monaco worth visiting. These include the Monaco Courthouse and Cathédrale de Monaco (Saint Nicholas Cathedral). While the courthouse isn't open to the public, you should look out for it as you stroll by. The cylindrical building made with white stones has a great-looking façade.

On the other hand, the Romanesque Revival architecture cathedral, built in 1875, is open for daily tours, excluding mass time. The cathedral is famous for housing the final resting place of many from Monaco's Royal Family (the House of Grimaldi), including Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly.

Moneghetti District

Moneghetti District

Off the beaten path of central Monaco and occupying an area of about 12 hectares, Monaco's smallest neighborhood, the Moneghetti District's narrow streets will give you a different experience of the French Riviera. Also known as Les Moneghetti or Little Monaco, this part of the principality filled with quaint charm is home to many native Monegasques. Situated in the northern part of Monaco, the streets have steep inclines, so be ready for a workout while you explore the charming neighborhood. The few cafes and boutiques here will allow you to experience all Monaco has to offer away from the popular central attractions.

Interestingly, Les Moneghetti is home to the only train station in the principality. Gare de Monaco Monte-Carlo underground train station was opened in 1999. Most trains passing through the station are part of the Transport Express Régional (TER) regional train service running from Marseille to Ventimiglia, Italy. Visitors can seize the opportunity to go on a day trip to one of many charming towns and villages around Monaco, like Villefranche-sur-Mer and Cap-d'Ail.

Le Jardin Japonais

Le Jardin Japonais

After hiking around Monaco's attractions, Le Jardin Japonais is the perfect place to relax. Located a few minutes walk from the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel tunnel, this Japanese garden-themed park was designed by landscape architect Yasuo Beppu at the request of Prince Rainier III. The park comes complete with stone lanterns, bamboo hedges, impressive wooden bridges, a waterfall, and a pond with colorful koi fish. The garden's tranquility will help you catch your breath and recharge if you're not done with sightseeing.

It's also the perfect place to end your exploration of the principality, but if you choose to do that, you should note that the garden closes at 5:45 or 6:45 pm, depending on the season. You certainly don't want to show up there only to encounter closed gates.

Thermes Marins Monte Carlo

This 6600sm top-notch fitness and wellness center offers state-of-the-art equipment and wellness treatments in partnership with Elemis and Cellcosmet to provide the rejuvenation you need. In addition to the fully equipped fitness center, other amenities and services include multiple Elemis treatments, a variety of massage options, a heated seawater pool, cold bath and ice fountain, and an outdoor whirlpool with views of the Mediterranean to make you wonder if you're dreaming.

You can also take advantage of L'Hirondelle, the in-house restaurant offering exquisite Mediterranean dishes and an outdoor dining area with unobstructed views of Le Rocher and the Mediterranean Sea. Guests at Hotel Hermitage Monte Carlo have direct access to Thermes Marins Monte Carlo without a need to exit the hotel building.

Cruise the Mediterranean coast

Cruise the Mediterranean coast

Monaco only has a coastline of 2.38 miles, and there is no better way to explore the coast than in a souped-up supercar. Travelers can head out of the principality and down the French Riviera as the Mediterranean Sea breeze blows through their hair. Drivers can book a Ferrari, Lamborghini, and other dream cars to speed around the French coastline with car rental companies in Monaco.

Monaco is an exceptional vacation location, especially for car enthusiasts. But regardless of one’s hobbies, the principality is a brilliant destination for holidaymakers as its unique allure makes it one of the most glamorous vacation spots on the planet.


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Pan Bagnat

Local Favorite: Pan Bagnat

While a sandwich may not sound very interesting when talking about cuisine and delicacies, there’s something rather special about the Pan Bagnat. This sandwich comes stacked high with anchovies or tuna (some varieties come with both), hard-boiled eggs, and raw vegetables, topped off with olive oil, salt, and pepper. All these go into a round french bread, sometimes rubbed with garlic. It’s also worth noting that the bread is essentially drenched in olive oil. Given its ingredients, you can think of the sandwich as a tuna salad wrapped in bread. Also popular in neighboring Nice, the sandwich is usually available in bakeries and markets. On your next visit to Monaco, be sure to try this special "tuna salad".

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