Welcome to one of the smallest countries in the world: Monaco. A few kilometres from Nice, the Principality of Monaco is a must for your stay on the Côte d’Azur. Known worldwide for its glamour, luxury hotels and Michelin starred restaurants, its Palais Princier and its famous Grand Prix: Monaco the grandiose will not fail to amaze you. Here are our selection of the Top 10 things you should see and do in Monaco.
Take a stroll on the Rock!
Cradle of the Principality of Monaco: an absolute must!
Discover the Rock, taking in the colourful streets and vaulted passages of the old city, such as Rue Basse, Rue du Milieu and Rue Briques whose construction dates back to the Middle Ages. Leaving the small streets and after visiting Monaco Cathedral, the Place du Palais Princier awaits. Don’t miss the changing of the Guard – every day at 11:55 am exactly. The Grand Apartments in the Palace are open to the public. Before leaving, stop off in the Jardins Saint-Martin et Sainte-Barbe clinging to the Rock.
Dive into the Musée Océanographique
Aquariums and exhibitions, push open the doors to the marine world!
A sanctuary of Monaco’s maritime history, the Musée Océanographique has everything you need to know about the involvement of the Grimaldi Princes in the exploration and protection of the oceans. Built on a rocky slope, the museum has been contemplating the Mediterranean from its 85 meters for more than a century. A marvel, with within it protected aquatic species. The highlight of the visit, the Shark Lagoon will transport you closer to marine life! End this exciting journey to the heart of the marine world by heading to the terrace at the top of the museum.
Take a deep breath in the Jardin Exotique
The Jardin Exotique is one of the must-see places to visit in Monaco.
With a breathtaking panorama of the whole of Monaco, the Jardin Exotique offers an extraordinary variety of plants: species from all over the world have acclimatized, from the most extravagant American cactus to giant flowers from South Africa. During your visit, you’ll discover thousands of exotic plants, some of which have amazing shapes and sizes. Then head to the Grotte de l’Observatoire where stalactites and stalagmites create a fantastic setting that you can enjoy over the approximately 300 steps.
Try your luck at the casino
Place your bets: head to Place du Casino in Monte-Carlo!
The legendary Place du Casino in Monte-Carlo needs no introduction: it is the one found on all the postcards showing the Principality. Surrounded by luxury boutiques, the Hôtel de Paris and magnificent gardens, the Casino de Monte-Carlo is emblematic. Completed in 1878 by Charles Garnier, without hesitation the Casino makes the Top 10 things to see and do in Monaco. Its gambling rooms – roulette, black jack, poker and more – are sumptuous! Go and play there once in your life – not to win, just for the memory of having been there!
The soothing Jardins Japonais
Beautiful green setting combining Japanese traditions with Mediterranean features
Yet another curiosity often not known to visitors to the Principality of Monaco, yet not very hidden. Just 10 meters from the water’s edge, the Princess Grace of Monaco Japanese garden sums up all the wonders of the land of the rising sun. Here reigns the harmony of Zen thought, from bamboo stones to koi carp and other exoticisms – a huge paradox in relation to the surrounding glass buildings. An absolute must: a real change of scenery!
Vibrate to the speed of the Grand Prix
THE event of the spring in Monaco!
Every year in May, the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix wakes up the Principality with an unprecedented whirlwind. The top teams, the top drivers, and all the world’s fortunes gather around this historic race that takes place right in the heart of the city. In the grandstand or a VIP terrace, the Grand Prix is one of the things to see in Monaco. To see also, the Historic Grand Prix too, with all the gleaming collector cars in competition!
Stroll around Port de Fontvieille
A Monaco district entirely built on the sea!
Less well-known than Port Hercule, main harbour port in the centre of the city, the Port de Fontvieille, in the neighbourhood of the same name, is much quieter. Although it too is home to some prestigious yachts, it is less flashy than the main port. Looking straight up to the rock, indulge yourself in one of the trendy restaurants located on the harbour! And just a few steps away, take the opportunity to discover the Princess Grace Roseraie. 4,000 rosebushes arranged in the shape of heart – a beautifully perfumed stroll.
Soak up the sun on the Larvotto beach
Go for a sunny break in Monaco!
Along Avenue Princesse Grace, a strip of 500 meters of fine sand softens the landscape, edged by crystal clear water. The Larvotto beaches in Monaco, all along a pretty promenade shaded by umbrella pines with games for children, are everything you want: never crowded, a jellyfish net in the summer, small and very good beach restaurants on the sand… And the tranquillity necessary for a real moment of relaxation.
Admire the Prince’s collection of cars
A museum in Monaco: for car-lovers!
This is not a museum, but a real collection; as if you had been given the chance of looking inside the garage of His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III. Many vehicles are on display, from all ages and styles, each with its own history with the royal family. There is even a Formula 1 car! Another great collection of the Prince’s is the one presented at the stamp and currency museum a few meters away.
Go to the opera in Monte-Carlo
Italianate theatre decorated in red and gold, the Opéra de Monaco is a place not to be missed!
In the same extraordinary Belle Époque building as the Monte Carlo Casino, dating from 1879, ballets, concerts and operas illuminate the splendid hall of the Monegasque Opera. Also known as the Opéra Garnier after its architect, and a replica of the Opéra de Paris, the theatre hosts the most prestigious troupes and orchestras in the world. Every season, the most beautiful operatic performances take place there.
TO SEE AND DO IN MONACO
Residents and visitors to the Côte d’Azur, discover the selection of places, recommendations and favourites of the Côte d’Azur France community of ambassadors.
By Côte d’Azur France Ambassadors