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Monaco

What's Popular In Monaco

  • Currency: Euro(EUR)
  • Language: Français

Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state, country, and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is about 15 km from the state border with Italy.

Best Time to Travel

The best time to visit Monaco is in the spring or fall. April and October are both ideal months for a vacation: the weather is balmy and the room rates are reduced. This lavish getaway loses some of its luster between November and March, but you will save money on accommodations if you visit in this cooler winter offseason. Visit in the summer, and yes, the beaches will be packed, the weather will be hot, and the restaurants will have long waits, but you'll also experience Monaco at its liveliest.

Transportation

By Bus
Monaco’s bus service offers an excellent service of modern, clean buses that wind and weave around the Principality. Tickets can be purchased on-board from the driver or at the CAM office. The bus tickets can also be bought conveniently in the special machines that are located by many of the bus stops. You can pay there by cash and by card.

Opening Hours:
8h30-16h30 from Monday to Friday

There are six bus lines that traverse Monaco and run from about 7am to 9pm, running every ten minutes during peak hours.

Line 1: Monaco Ville, Monte-Carlo, Saint Roman
Line 2: Monaco Ville, Monte-Carlo, Exotic Garden
Line 3: Fontvieille to Hector Otto
Line 4: Saint Roman, Railway station, Place d’Armes, Fontvieille
Line 5: Larvotto to Hospital
Line 6: Larvotto beaches, Sporting, Fontvieille

Night Buses

Looping through the Principality at night are two distinct night-bus lines operating from 9.30 pm:

Line N1 – Albert II Fontvieille towards Larvotto Beache towards Saint-Roman towards Casino towards Albert II.

This line is a mix of the day buses N ° 6 and line N ° 1

Line N2 – Monaco-Ville to the Exotic Garden and back

This line takes exactly the route of the day bus N ° 2

The PRINCESSE ANTOINETTE stop in the outward-bound direction and the MONTE-CARLO stop in the return direction, makes it possible to change between the two night-bus lines N1 and N2 and thus optimize your “nocturnal” travels. The night buses run every 30 minutes until 12.20 am and make all the main stops. The night buses run from Monday through Friday and until 4am on Saturday and Sunday.

Bateau Bus

Bateau Bus is the bus by sea and it’s solar-electric powered. The grand and beautiful Port Hercule is just that—grand. It could take a lot of effort and time to walk around the port. But the little ‘boat bus’ shuttles you straight across from Quai des Etas Unis to the Cruise Terminal. The bus runs every ten minutes from 8am to 8pm and costs the same as a normal bus fare.

Monabike – Electric Bikes

The Monaco Bus Company (CAM) installed a series of electric bicycle stations which have been very popular. So popular that this July the whole network has been greatly expanded in Monaco and even integrated with the surrounding communities.

These Monabike ‘velos’ are pedal assisted to help you up the steep gradients and arrive looking fresh. With screens that give you speed, mileage, and battery charge, you will always be in control. The battery lasts anywhere from 20-25km on one charge and stations can be found across Monaco, near the main bus stops. The bikes are easy to rent, even for as little as 1 euro to go from one station to another.

Taxis

Sometimes the most convenient way to get around is a private driver to take you door to door. There are many taxi ranks in Monaco, including: The railway station, Avenue Princesse Grace (next to Hôtel Beach Plaza), Next to the Monte Carlo Fairmont Hôtel, Avenue des Spélugues, The Métropole, Avenue de la Madone, and Avenue de Monte-Carlo (near the Casino) and Saint Roman near the Eastern boundary of Monaco. 

New Electric Taxis 

At the initiative of the Prince’s Government, a fleet of 20 electric taxis have been introduced. These 100% electric vehicles carry out journeys mostly within Monaco,although they will also serve the Monte-Carlo Beach, Monte-Carlo Country Club and Marriott Hotel. The basic fare, not including waiting time, is set at €15.  It is possible to hail the taxis in the street.

Mobee Car Sharing 

Mobee is the car-sharing service of the Principality of Monaco. 25 vehicles are available 24/7 and across the full territory of Monaco.

Based on the principle of “free floating” or self-servicing, it allows you to pick up and return the vehicles anywhere in Monaco. 

Attractions

Port de Fontvieille

The Port de Fontvieille truly is a playground for the rich and famous, since only they can afford thousands of dollars a day to berth their boats and yachts in the harbor. The marina has space for 275 vessels of varying sizes, and offers all the amenities the sailors want. Fifty years ago the Port de Fontvieille was just a patch of sand sheltered by rocks. The marina borders the heart of the village of Fontvieille, with streets and buildings at water’s edge. See amazing views of this very scenic marina from the Rock of Monaco.

Oceanographic Museum

Lovers of all things marine may enjoy a visit to the Oceanographic Museum, which is devoted to marine science. This Baroque Revival building overlooks the Mediterranean. Founded in 1910, famed ocean scientist Jacques-Yves Cousteau served as its director for three decades. It is home to collections of sea life, such as sharks, turtles and shellfish, as well as model ships and sea animal skeletons. An aquarium in the basement is home to 4,000 species of fish. The aquarium features Mediterranean and tropical water ecosystems.

Larvotto Beach

Larvotto Beach is Monaco’s most popular – and only – beach, even though the beach is more pebbly than sandy; beachcombers may want to wear sturdy shoes while walking along the Mediterranean Sea. While some visitors recommend the beach for families because the sea is quieter, parents should know it is popular with topless sunbathers. Some sections of Monaco’s public beach are free to visitors, while others charge admission. The beach is just a few minutes’ walk from Monte Carlo. Avenue Princess Grace runs alongside the beach.

Jardin Exotique

The Jardin Exotique is a must-see for travelers with green thumbs. This botanical garden, built on the side of a cliff, boasts more than 1,000 succulents, most of which are cacti. Some of the plants are more than 100 years old. An underground cave is located at the foot of the cliff; guided tours can be arranged. The garden is also home to the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology since remains of prehistoric man were found on the site. The garden is a great place to take panoramic photos of Monaco since it overlooks the harbor.

Monaco-Ville (Le Rocher)

Monaco-Ville, also known as Le Rocher or The Rock, offers visitors a chance to stroll through the country’s oldest neighborhood. This old town, which is built on rocky land that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea, may date back to the 6th century BC when the ancient Greek established a colony here. In the 13th century, Monaco’s founders, the Grimaldis, made an ancient fortress their headquarters. Monaco-Ville is made up almost entirely of pedestrian streets and passageways and retains its medieval character. There are a number of hotels, restaurant and souvenir shops, as well as several of the city’s famous landmarks, including the Prince’s Palace, the Oceanographic Museum and St. Martin’s Gardens.

Prince's Palace of Monaco

The Prince’s Palace of Monaco is the official home of the country’s rulers, the Grimaldi family, which is currently headed by Prince Albert II, the son of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier. The fairy tale palace began as a fortress in the 12th century, but over the centuries fell into a shambles; Prince Rainier is credited with restoring the palace to its former grandeur. The palace is open to the public annually from June to October. Once inside they‘ll find a courtyard made from 3 million pebbles that form a geometric pattern, and historic Genovese frescoes. Everyday at 11:55 AM, in front of the Palace’s main entrance visitors can watch the changing of the guard ceremony performed by the “Carabiniers”.

What to Do

Gorgeous and glittering Monaco is a tiny royal principality on the French Riviera. Less than two square kilometers in size, it is perhaps the most glamorous little stretch of land on the planet. 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 into the Mediterranean, called "Le Rocher" ("The Rock"), which contains historic Monaco, also known as Monaco-Ville. Full of charming, narrow streets, Monaco-Ville dates back to the 13th century when the principality was founded.

A place of sublime natural beauty, Monaco has the lush vegetation and balmy weather of the Côte d'Azur. It's a quick (30-minute) train ride away from Nice, but it has the feel of another world. Considered to have Europe's highest per capita income, Monaco exudes an air of extravagant wealth, as seen in the upscale hotels, designer boutiques, luxury yachts, and opulent restaurants.

Watch a race at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix

Monte Carlo is known for its Formula One Races that take place every year in May. What makes the race so special is that it cuts through the streets of the city past Boulevard Albert I and past the famous Monte-Carlo Fairmont Hotel. The race has an illustrious place in history and has been in operation since the beginning of the 20th century and it is definitely worth attending if you should happen to be in Monaco at the right time.

Watch a show at the Opera de Monte Carlo

Also known as Salle Garnier, the Opera de Monte Carlo is located on the iconic Place de Casino which is the most famous spot in all of Monaco. The opera house was built in 1878 and its main performance space is covered in pretty red and gold decorations. You will also find ornate carvings here in the form of frescoes and sculptures and if you like opera, ballet, or musical concerts then don’t miss the chance to catch a show in this opulent setting.

Tour Monaco Harbor

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.

Do some shopping

Monaco is known for its opulence which also means that you can expect to find a good range of upscale shopping opportunities here. These include perfume, jewelry, and other designer and luxury goods, and one of the best places to splash some cash in Monaco is along the Avenue de Monte-Carlo.

If you are looking for famous fashions then you will find these on the swish Boulevard des Moulins. Avenue Princess Grace, named in honor of Grace Kelly, is also another good choice if you want to find some elegant clothes and accessories.

Admire the Collection de Voitures Anciennes

Located in Fontvielle is the Collection of Voitures Anciennes which is an exhibition featuring some of the private cars in the collection of the Prince of Monaco. There are around 100 cars and models and many of these are vintage vehicles from Europe or America. There is also a display of old fashioned coaches here and car-enthusiasts should make sure not to miss this spot off the itinerary.

Watch a match at Louis II Stadium

Monaco may not seem big enough to have its own sports venue but it does in the form of the Louis II Stadium. The arena dates from 1939 and is the host of the two Monaco football teams. It also sees international football matches and if you are in town when one of the teams is playing then this is a great experience to see some of Monaco’s sporting prowess in action.

Enjoy some upscale dining

As well as its wealth Monaco is also known for its fine dining which is understandable given the clientele. Some of the most expensive yet delicious food in the world can be found here and some of Monaco’s famous restaurants include the Le Louis XV Restaurant (a three Michelin starred venue) as well as the Joel Robuchon Monte Carlo which has two Michelin stars. There are several other restaurants that have one Michelin star and if you want to splurge on a decadent meal then this is certainly the place to do it.