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Top best things to do in Monaco

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Squeezed into just two square kilometres (200 hectares), Monaco is undoubtedly a destination like no other. The second smallest independent state in the world (after the Vatican) is one of the five European micro-states. This playground for the rich and famous, with many luxury boutiques, nightclubs and fancy restaurants, however, doesn’t have a separate capital. It is due to its small size. Moreover, this independent sovereign state on the French Riviera is a land of the money-draining glitzy casinos, imposing high-priced hotels and multi-million euro yachts, that line the famous marina. You’ll be spoilt for choice when looking for the best things to do in Monaco.

Why you should visit it? This luxury destination also has a unique character. The nation is almost entirely urban and therefore has a feel of a beautiful resort town. Every year this tiny city-state attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists. They want to experience and enjoy a glamorous and luxurious lifestyle. Of course, only very few visitors could afford to live here. Property prices here are the most expensive in the world, though. Therefore, this tiny city-state is home to the highest concentration of millionaires and billionaires. Besides, the world’s notorious tax haven is home to the annual F1 Monaco Grand Prix.

Monaco attractions

But despite its enormous wealth, “Land of the filthy rich” is far from being the French Riviera’s prettiest cities. This small city-state is covering every square metre with towering apartment blocks and elegant residencies.


Did you know this city-state has the highest rate of police officers in the world? Not only this tiny constitutional monarchy has one policeman for every 100 residents but also has the reputation of being the safest square mile in Europe.



the views from the rock

Nestled between the foot of the Southern Alps and the Mediterranean coast, Monaco is surrounded on three sides by France. With France just next door and Italian Riviera further east (around 13 km or 8 miles away), this city-state has 300 days of sunshine a year. Therefore, it is a popular destination for day trips.



You might be surprised, but one of the smallest states in Europe has no airport. Millionaires and celebrities arrive from the Nice Côte d’Azur airport (the closest airport) by helicopter. But rest of us take a bus, a train or yacht (if you are lucky and have one).

The country is truly blessed when it comes to its location. La Grande Corniche with its scenic roads is a bucket-list, memorable drive. Even when looked at through the window of a bus, though. Reaching it by bus could not be easier. The bus from Nice will take to you here for € 2 (as of May 2024) in around 1 hour.


The High Corniche (La Grande Corniche) is the highest of the three roads. Also, it has the most dramatic views of the Mediterranean. If you are coming from anywhere on the Cote d’Azur, you can take a train on the Marseilles to Nice line. However, the downside of arriving by train is that you miss the stunning views from the Corniche road.



When you arrive, you immediately notice how small this country is. It is also worth remembering that this tiny constitutional monarchy is very walkable. Here’s where it gets juicy: Monaco has less than 2 square kilometres. Therefore, it takes just about 45 minutes to cross this city-state from east to west on foot. Although it is quite small, it is also very hilly which make it slow to explore. But do not worry; numerous public lifts and escalators take the strain out of traversing the mountainous terrain.


If you do not feel like walking, the city also has a bus network of 6 lines. They cover all the tourist attractions.




The City of Monaco has four quartiers (neighbourhoods): Monte-Carlo, Monaco-Ville (also known as ‘The Rock’ or ‘Le Rocher’); Fontvieille and La Condamine.



Monte Carlo is its the most well-known quarter. You will find here the famous glittering Monte Carlo Casino, grand gardens, supercars permanently parking outside, as well as many luxury hotels. The district on the hill, overlooking the main harbour is a magnet, especially for multimillionaires and celebrities.



The Casino Monte Carlo opened over 150 years ago as a bid to bring tourists and a source of income to the country. Today, gambling is one of the sources of income in the country. What’s more, it is one of the reasons why this city-state is a popular travel destination. The most famous casino in the world attracts millionaires thanks to its history and private salons with a full range of table games and slot machines.



Its residents are not allowed to gamble or even enter the casino. The government doesn’t want its citizens to gamble away their money.

Things to do in Monaco - Casino de Monte Carlo
Inside of the famous casino

James Bond’s Playground. Glamorous MCC and its elegant décor and gold ceilings had been a filming location of three James Bond’s films: “Casino Royal”, Golden Eye, and Never say never again. 

There is no casino more grand and more famous than the Casino de Monte Carlo. This legendary building, with its stunning decor, is also an architectural gem.


You can see many from the lobby of the casino without having to pay the entrance fee. If you would like to gamble, make sure your wallet is fat, and you have your passport with you.


PLACE DU CASINO (Casino Square)

things to do in Monaco - Place du Casino and its gardens

The palm tree-lined Place du Casino is undoubtedly one of the most concentrated spots of glamour in Europe. It is home to the famous Café de Paris, Hotel de Paris, the Opera House and gardens with fountains. With Lamborghinis zipping by every corner, this is also one of the best places to visit, if you like to see the wealthy elite.

things to do in Monaco - The Cafe de Paris

The Café de Paris is next door to the famous glittering casino.

The Hotel de Paris

MONACO-VILLE (Old Village)

things to do in Monaco - explore Monaco-Ville

Le Rocher (The Rock), also known as Monaco-Ville, is the oldest part of the city-state. This historical quarter is full of the narrow cobbled streets lined with colourful buildings and excellent restaurants.


Tip: Wander around the streets of the Old Town

Monaco old town

Monaco-Ville is a beautiful place to stroll around. No one’s in a rush here. Some of its parts have been restored in grand style.



things to do in Monaco - Palais du Prince

Le Rocher, perched on a rocky peninsula high above the Mediterranean is also home to the principality’s royal family. The square in front of the palace offers incredible views.

Monaco travel guide


Head to the square before 11:55 am and watch the changing of the guards in front of the Prince’s palace. If the flag is flying over the palace, you know the Prince is in residence.


There are many attractions worth visiting while here, including the its cathedral and the world-renowned Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium.



Things to do in Monaco - Musee Oceanographique de Monaco

Discover the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, one of the largest oceanographic museums in the world. It has more than 4,000 species of fish. Built on the side of its legendary rock, the museum of marine sciences is located in one of Monaco’s most striking buildings. For more information, visit their website.



Things to do in Monaco - Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate

The Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate, sometimes called Saint Nicholas Cathedral, is one of Monaco’s famous landmarks. This Roman-byzantine cathedral houses the tombs of the royal Grimaldi family. The cathedral, located on the Rock, is also a place where Princess Grace and Prince Ranier got married. An impressive monument is worth a visit if you are in the old part of the city-state.



Things to do in Monaco - La Condamine

Port Hercule, the main harbour, is, without doubt, one of the most iconic harbours in the world. Besides, it is one of the top attractions, and it is well worth a visit. The second oldest district is also a place where you can find the luxury yachts worth hundreds of millions of euros. Stroll along the promenade around the harbour, and spot the typical landmarks: the stunning yachts, stylish buildings and elegant boutiques, restaurants and bars lining the port. Besides, during the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the most anticipated races of the Formula 1, Port Hercule is the centre stage.

Next, the Princess Caroline district is a small pedestrianised area with lots of stylish boutiques and plenty of restaurants.

things to do in Monaco - Rue Princesse Caroline street

Rue Princesse Caroline 



The country’s population is made up mostly of wealthy foreigners. The native Monegasques people are actually in the minority in the country. A person born in a freight country but resident in Monaco is a Monacoian.


Monaco is a city of dreams for someone, but not so beloved by others. It is possible to visit this iconic tourist destination for a few hours and see just the most important highlights. Alternatively, you can spend a few days here, explore and see its glitzy lifestyle. Sensational views, exciting attractions, luxury shopping, clean streets and the fast-paced lifestyle. Love it or hate it, this tax-free haven under the Mediterranean sun will leave a distinct mark on you, whether you want it or not.


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