1 zi in Monaco – 5 atractii turistice de top din Monaco

If you have heard of the name "Playground of the billionaires", surely your first thought flew to Monaco, with its famous casinos, elegant restaurants and hotels, luxurious boats and expensive cars that fill the streets of the small city-state.

In this article, I will describe the tourist attractions that we managed to check off during our one-day visit to Monaco, together with some travel tips, for when you arrive in this country, on your own.

About Monaco

Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, after Vatican, but with the highest density: with an area of only 2 square kilometers, it has a population of almost 38,000 inhabitants.

Monaco

As a tourist destination, it is popular due to its location on the famous French Riviera, or the well-known Cote d'Azur, which includes several popular cities and resorts, such as Nice, Cannes or Saint Tropez. The wide beaches, the gorgeous color of the sea and the dreamy landscapes make the French Riviera one of the most visited holiday locations in Europe.

Monaco is a principality, being a constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. The official language is French, and the single currency is Euro.

Although it is a fairly small city, Monaco is divided into 8 districts (do not confuse Monte-Carlo with the entire territory of the state of Monaco): 

  • Monaco-Ville – this is where the Princely Palace, the Monaco Cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum are located
  • Monte-Carlo – the main residential area, where the Monte Carlo Casino is also located
  • La Condamine – the district surrounding Port Hercule
  • Fontvieille
  • Moneghetti
  • Le Jardin Exotique
  • Larvotto – the district where the Monaco beach is located
  • La Rousse / Saint Roman
Districts of the state of Monaco - source monte-carlo.mc
Districts of the state of Monaco - source monte-carlo.mc

Monaco is considered a tax haven, and is the place where rich people gather, thanks to low corporate taxes. It is considered the most expensive residential market in the world, where the price of a studio can start from one million euros. Also, to rent an apartment in this country, you must prove that you have at least 500,000 euros in a bank account in Monaco.

The country is famous primarily because of the Monte Carlo casinoone of the most famous casinos in the world. An interesting aspect is that the locals are forbidden to play at the casino, so as not to lose money there. At one point, the casino represented the only source of external income for the country, thanks to the rich people who came and left their money at the casino.

Casino Monaco
Casino Monaco

How to get to Monaco

The easiest way to get to Monaco is by plane, landing at Nice airport, located approximately 30 km away.

You can get from Nice to Monaco by train, which runs every 30 minutes during the day, and a return ticket costs up to 10 euros.

I recommend such a one-day trip to Monaco combined with a few more days spent on the Cote d'Azur, where you can also visit the other wonderful locations on the French Riviera, such as the cities of Nice, Cannes or the beautiful medieval village of Eze. You can find such a program, for a short 3-day trip on the Cote d'Azur, in this article: 3 Days On Cote D'Azur - What Not To Miss, Daily Itinerary.

What to visit in Monaco

Our walk through Monaco started directly from the train station, arriving by train from Nice. As we walked into the city, we were charmed by the architecture of the buildings, the infrastructure of the streets, the way the city is built in steps, on cliffs, on different levels.

Monaco

Monaco is a rich country, and this can be seen and felt in all the small details of the city: extreme cleanliness everywhere and everything seems very well organized. You can't help but be amazed by the luxury and opulence with which this country welcomed us: a multitude of yachts, expensive cars, elegant hotels, fine restaurants, shops of various luxury brands.

We set off to explore the main sights of Monaco, which will be described below:

Monte Carlo Casino

From the train station we quickly arrived at the Monte Carlo Casino, the number one attraction of the principality of Monaco. There is the possibility to visit its interior, and the price of a ticket is 17 euros, a ticket with which you can enter the casino whenever you want that day, being valid all day. The games start at 2 PM, but in the morning you could admire the empty casino. Being one of the most famous and luxurious casinos in the world, we recommend visiting it. 

What I found very shocking was the difference between the luxury, wealth and opulence that the interior of the building offers, with the well-known elegant casino gaming tables (such as poker or roulette tables), on one hand, and the classic electronic gambling devices, or "slots", on the other hand.

In the evening, from the moment the games start, you are no longer allowed to film or take photos in the hall.

The minimum amount with which you can enter a game table is 20 euros, and for electronic devices you can start from a few euros. So, if you want a memorable experience, in which you can brag that you played at the famous casino in Monte Carlo, you don't need a large amount of money to enter the game. Further, it's just a matter of luck if you manage to multiply your money, or just lose it.

Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1

Monaco Formula 1

Another thing that Monaco is famous for is the Formula 1 Grand Prix, which has been held in this city annually since 1929. It is one of the most famous circuits in the world, and it is also considered one of the most difficult Formula circuits 1, being incredibly narrow through its tunnel, having tight turns. As a curiosity, the Monaco Circuit takes six weeks to set up and another three weeks to dismantle. 

The Formula 1 circuit starts in Hercule port.

Hercule Port

Hercule Port is the largest port in the principality and the only deep port in Monaco. It is a very touristic place, with a lot of restaurants and bars, and with a promenade area where you can admire the collection of luxury boats in the port.

If you start from the port towards the Prince's Palace, climbing the Rock of Monaco, as it is called, you will have a view of the entire port, together with the typical residential complexes of Monaco.

Prince's Palace of Monaco

Prince's Palace of Monaco

Prince's Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco, Albert II. If you arrive by 11:55, you can admire the changing of the guards. Around the palace, you will find numerous terraces and souvenir shops. Also, from the height of this rock you can admire the famous landscapes of Monaco: towards Hercule port, in the north, and towards De Fontvielle port, in the south.

Monaco
Port De Fontvieille

The Prince's Palace is located in the Monaco-Ville district. Also here, you can find the cathedral of Monaco, where the old leaders of the principality are buried, as well as the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

Monaco
Monaco Cathedral

Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is a marine science museum, located in the Monaco-Ville district. It was founded in 1910 by Prince Albert I, and it is housed in a building with a superb architecture, built directly on a cliff above the sea.

The museum contains exhibitions of various species of marine fauna, but also an aquarium with a large number of fish, specific to Mediterranean or tropical ecosystems. The price of a ticket is 19 euros/adult, respectively 12 euros/child, and can be bought on the spot, or online from the official site or GetYourGuide

Tips & Tricks Monaco

Monaco is a charming city-state, but maybe a little atypical, and that's why we come with a list of recommendations, which may help you: 

  • Being a city built in steps, on several levels, it can be a little more complicated at first to get from one location to another, changing the levels. There are many public elevators that come to your aid, through which you can easily get from one level to another.
  •  Pay attention to the mobile phone network. If you enter the local network, the prices for telephone calls and for the Internet are quite high, because Monaco is not part of the EEA roaming area. A solution could be to stay connected to the French mobile phone network, by manual setting. This is how you make sure that you will not have additional costs on your mobile, and you can use mobile data just like in any other location within the EU.
  •  My recommendation is to download the offline map of the Principality of Monaco before entering the country. Thus, the risk of using mobile data from the local network in Monaco is much lower, and you will have permanent access to the city map.
  •  In Monaco, food prices are quite high. If you want to have lunch at a restaurant, be prepared to pay around 50 euros for a meal. But there are also cheaper options, you can find many grocery stores, pastry shops or pizzerias on the street, especially in the Hercule port area..
  • A big plus of this country are the public toilets: everywhere you will find free and very clean public toilets.
Monaco

Monaco, together with the Cote d'Azur, is one of the top destinations in Europe, which should not be missed. The mild climate and good weather throughout the year make this destination a perfect location to be visited at any time. 

If you want to prepare for your next trip to Monaco, I hope this article will provide you with all the necessary information.