Monaco, the second smallest country in the world after the Vatican City. Nestled on the Riviera, to the south of the French Maritime Alps, this fairytale principality is home to the Grimaldi Royal Family. There is so much to see it’s hard to know where to start. Here is our list of top attractions in Monte Carlo, Monaco!
Monte Carlo is an area within Monaco, the “glamor magnet” and playground of the rich and famous.
Our Holland America Cruise ship docked at the Port of Monaco and we had one day to explore.
We ventured out to Nice to see the French Riviera, Cote d’Azur & the hilltop town of Eze.
Here are some of the top attractions of Monaco and the French Riviera.
WHAT TO DO?
- Monaco Grand Prix Race Track:
Driving the 2 mile official racetrack of the Monaco Grand Prix! Our Kingdom Limousine chauffeur, Gil, took us on the F1 Grand Prix Race Track! So exciting to drive the 2 miles track with hairpin turns, just a week before the BIG race. There were Alfa Romeos, Bugattis, Maseratis, Lamborghinis revving their engines to ready for the big race day. Note: Check the Grand Prix site for dates.
- Monte Carlo Casino:
One of the Top attractions in Monaco and a “must see” even if you don’t gamble. The interior is spectacular with a marble entry and onyx columns. The gaming rooms feature stained glass windows, sculptures, and fine art. High rollers even have special rooms where they place their bets. Rumor has it that one gentleman lost his villa on the French Riviera when he lost playing Black Jack, Craps, and English Roulette!? If you visit the casino in the evening, mind the dress code and bring your passport in case it’s required for entry. Don’t forget! Watch the parade of Rolls Royces and Aston Martins arriving with the rich and sometimes famous.
- Monte Carlo Opera
This was designed by architect Charles Garnier at the end of the 19th century. Beautiful architecture!
- Royal Palace of Monaco
A private residence where the Grimaldi Royal Family has lived dating back to the XIII century. Check the schedule for tours to the Grands Apartments that are open to the public. Watch the changing of the Guard at the Palais du Prince that takes place every day at 11:55 am.
- Princess Grace Walking Tour
This is a wonderful walk around Monaco. Get a map at the Tourism Office and see many of the top attractions in Monaco on foot.
- Monaco Cathedral
This is where Prince Rainier & Princess Grace were married & buried. Many visitors pay their respects to their tombs.
- Musee de l’Oceanographie
An incredible maritime museum headed by Jacques Cousteau for many years. Its aquarium has over 4,000 species of fish.
- The Prince’s Vintage Car Collection
With approximately 100 classic cars is located in the Royal Palace – open to the public (check the schedule for tour times).
- Musee Napolean
This is located in the south wing of the Prince’s Palace.
- La Condamine
This is a neighborhood in Monaco, known for its harbor and covered market.
Window Shop! Visit Avenue des Beaux-Arts to find designer boutiques. Stop by Galimard, France’s oldest perfumery from 1747, and Boutique du Rocher opened by Princess Grace in 1966.
We took a scenic drive along the Lower Corniche Road, to the Great Corniche, and visited some of these towns along the Riviera. Continued up to Eze perched high on a cliff overlooking the sea which was absolutely magical!
Famous resort town on the Cote d’Azur. Shop at the charming local market near Cours Saleya, stroll the boardwalk Promenade des Anglais, stop by the Negresco Hotel. Art lovers will enjoy a visit to the Matisse and Chagall Museums.
Charming medieval village perched high on a mountain top overlooking the French Riviera. If you want a one-of-kind dining experience, book a table at Michelin Star La Chevre D’Or with magnificent views of the coast.
Seaside town that hosts the Cannes Film Festival that brings celebrities to the Riviera. Definitely a top and hot attraction near Monaco!
Visit the elegant pink Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, and 14 acre gardens of Baronne Rothschild from the early 20th century.
- ST. PAUL de VENCE:
One of the oldest medieval towns in the mountain area above the French Riviera. Many artists frequent this town and you’ll find art galleries, excellent restaurants and cafes. Painters like Modigliani, Signac and Soutine met at a local café, today known as the Colombe d’Or.
Where to Eat?
La Chèvre d’Or is one of the finest dining experiences we’ve ever had! Executive Chef Ronan Kervarrec prepares fresh and original Mediterranean dishes. The elegant setting complements the extraordinary views of the Cote d’Azur.
A memorable meal – amuse bouches & several courses artfully presented. Some of the dishes included colino fish poached in red sauce, cucumber cake, zucchini with goat cheese, and an assortment of petit fours for dessert.
Café de Paris is a typical French-style bistro and a fun place to people-watch. It’s located in the Casino Square, right across from the Monte Carlo Casino, and has a fabulous outdoor terrace.
Where to Stay?
If you are visiting the French Riviera for a few days or week, make a reservation to stay at this lovely Chateau with the best views of the Cote d’Azur. Located at Rue du Barri, in Eze, France
A luxury hotel in the heart of Monte Carlo, recently redesigned by Karl Lagerfeld.
Global Adventuress would like to say MERCI to the Monaco Tourism Office for their guidance with our trip planning, and Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer for the tour of the Monte Carlo Casino, and Kingdom Limousines for the insightful tour of Monte Carlo and the French Riviera! Also, we’d like to thank La Chèvre d’Or for hosting us to a divine lunch with stunning views of the Riviera.
We also would thank Travelpro for the carry-on spinner suitcase, a favorite of travel crews and avid travelers, as well as DK Travel travel guidebook.
DRIVER & GUIDES
We highly recommend Kingdom Limousines for transfers and tailor-made tours along the French Riviera from the Provence countryside to shopping in Monaco, or sight-seeing along the Cote d’Azur. Our driver Gil is very knowledgeable about the area, and an excellent driver as well as guide.
Kingdom Limousines offers chauffeur services throughout the South of France (Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and Monaco). Their fleet includes Mercedes E class, S class L, Mercedes S500, Mercedes S600, Porsche, luxury minivan V class Mercedes, people carrier, Range Rover, and much more in order to accommodate your needs.
Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer The Monte Carlo SBM is a Resort that offers:
- 4 casinos including the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo
- 4 hotels which are ranked among the finest in the world and have won awards from east to west: the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, the Monte-Carlo Beach and the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
- 32 distinguished restaurants
- Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, one of Europe’s most beautiful SPAS
- Fashionable and festive venues, including the legendary Jimmy’z, the Sea Lounge and the Blue Gin
The Société des Bains de Mer offers guests luxury, privilege, a legend, a wide range of pleasures, leisure activities, fitness and well-being in conditions one normally only dreams about. Welcome to the “Monte-Carlo” experience for a lifestyle that is unique throughout the world.
Monaco Tourism Visit the Tourism Site to help you plan your trip to Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Holland America Cruise Line We went on the Holland America Mediterranean Cruise and stopped at the Port of Monaco, and had an amazing day along the French Riviera!
TRAVEL PRODUCTS & SERVICES
DK Travel: Excellent travel guide books with helpful maps, inspiring images, and lots of great information to help you plan your travels.
TravelPro: High quality luggage, preferred by flight crews, frequent travelers, and the Global Adventuress Team.
TRAVEL INFORMATION & ADVISORIES
U.S. Passports & International Travel: The U.S. Department of State provides helpful information at this site including passport & visa requirements, embassy locations, and safety & security.