Monaco is surrounded by France and the Mediterranean. There’s no doubt that Monaco is the jewel in the Mediterranean crown. The coastline is less than two and a half miles long, and the whole country is less than a square mile, proving that Monaco is small but perfectly formed.
Planning a trip to Monaco is a real pleasure, so check out our top tips and recommendations designed to suit any budget,
Arrive in Monaco in Style
Without a doubt the best way to arrive in Monaco is by helicopter but if that’s not an option fly into Nice-Côte d’Azur. The airport is about 20 miles along the coast in France. The airport is close to the town of Nice. Nice is a great stop-off and will get you in the mood for the Monaco pace of life.
Several helicopter operators fly from Nice to Monaco regularly, but if that’s not in your budget, then the cheapest way to then get to Monaco is on a shuttle bus to Nice-Ville station and then a train. A more affordable option but no less fabulous.
Where to Stay in Monaco
Once arrived, you will need to find somewhere to stay, why not stay at the iconic Hotel de Paris, one of Monaco’s oldest and glamorous hotels.
With spectacular views over the Casino de Monte Carlo, Hotel de Paris is a great choice. What about The Hermitage? The Hermitage is the sister hotel to the Hotel de Paris and is within walking distance of the casino.
If you prefer somewhere modern try the Fairmont Hotel, this popular hotel has a nightclub called the Billionaires Club, great for people watching. The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort is also a hot spot for tourists. The hotel boasts floor to ceiling champagne fridges and a helipad on the roof.
If you need somewhere a little less expensive try the Hotel Ambassador Monaco, this three-star hotel sits in a prime position at the foot of the Rock of Monaco, a few minutes from the Princely Palace and the casino.
You have your hotel sorted, how should you spend your time?
Monaco During the Day
Make time to learn about the history of Monaco. Visit the Princely Palace, the architecture alone is well worth seeing, time spent there will take you into Monaco’s past.
The Prince’s state apartments showcase Monaco’s authentic taste for the beautiful things in life, and this isn’t any clearer than in the mythological frescos that adorn the apartment’s walls. With some parts of the fortress-like buildings dating back to the 13th century, a visit to the Prince’s studios will combine culture with history.
If history is not for you, why not take a dip in Monaco’s most impressive public pools in the world – Stade Nautique Rainier III? Enjoy views of the new harbour while taking your leisure.
A famous beauty spot located at the heart of Monaco’s marina and this Olympic-size, saltwater swimming pool sits in the shadow of some of the most famous yachts in the world. What’s more, you can enjoy this beautiful facility for just €7 per day – a bargain!
Monaco at Night
Visit the Opéra de Monte-Carlo; the opera house is one of the state’s most iconic buildings, adorned with red and gold decorative frieze. Monaco neighbours Italy, so it’s no surprise that some of the most talented opera singers in the world have performed there, opera singers such as the late Pavarotti and lately Placedo Domingo.
In recent years the opera house puts on classical and pop concerts, jazz festivals along with opera and performance art.
Opera not for you? You can’t go to Monaco without going to the Casino Monte-Carlo, apart from gambling the casino in Monte-Carlo is the setting for a famous scene in the James Bond film, Casino Royale.
If all this sightseeing is making you hungry, let’s find some lovely places to eat.
Eating Out in Monaco
The biggest culinary influences in Monaco are Italian and French. The combination of these cuisines has created a unique culinary experience. Visit the three Michelin star restaurant – Le Louis XV by Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, this popular restaurant reminds diners of Palace of Versailles because of its opulent interior design.
Another gourmet destination is Monte Carlo by Joël Robuchon situated in Hotel Métropole Joël Robuchon is a chef with two Michelin stars. The delicious Mediterranean dishes perfectly fuse traditional French and Italian cuisines.
Monaco offers a wide choice of restaurants for every budget. The most reasonably priced area to eat and drink in Monaco is by the harbour and rue Grimaldi, as well as Place des Armes. Enjoy the morning market, pack your lunch and head for the Fontvieille flea market on the Quai Jean-Charles Rey.
Monaco is a fantastic place to visit no matter your budget.