Explore Monte Carlo in half a day and spend the rest checking out Monaco’s lavish yachts. I still can not believe that two days ago I was on a tour to explore Monte Carlo in half a day. When I booked my trip to Nice, France just over two weeks ago now I didn’t have a plan. They say traveling without a plan is the best way to explore a place. I did exactly that and would do it again in a heart beat.
I had stayed at Hotel Lepante where I saw a guide brochure that gives you a chance to explore the best of the Riviera. This includes Fragonard Parfumeur Factory, Eze Village, Monte Carlo and if time permitting Antibes and Cannes. The prices weren’t cheap but considering what you get to do I think it was worth the price. I paid €100, €70 for the tour and €30 for airport transfer, I could have taken a train or bus but honestly I couldn’t be asked.
The trip was booked through the hotel but payment was made to the tour company Med-Tour. I had arranged to be collected from my hotel which is a service they offer and I think it’s quite handy. What I did between Nice and Monte Carlo I will share in another post.
This post will focus on the three main tourist attractions in Monte Carlo: Palace, Cathedral and Museum. Their other tourist attractions in the town like tourist shops, designer brands and spectacular views 360 of the hill-top.
Explore Monte Carlo in half a day
Dropped off at the only bus stop in Monte Carlo after the tour guide quickly drove through the grounds. When the tour guide left I went off straight for the Palace which was due to have a guard change shift at 11.55am. This is something I personally recommend as many other tour companies. I had seen something similar in Copenhagen outside the Palace but honestly I loved the Monte Carlo one better.
The Prince’s Palace of Monaco
The views from the Prince’s Palace overlooking the sea on all sides was absolutely breathtaking. I couldn’t stop snapping pictures, well that was until my Canon camera packed it in. I could have kicked myself for forgetting to charge my camera but luckily I had both my iPhones with me. Arriving just before 11.55am to watch the changing of guards which was absolutely amazing and better than any other I have seen before.
Saint Martin’s Cathedral
Though I didn’t go inside, apparently Grace Kelly is buried in one of the tombs inside the church. She is the first none royal person to be buried there. She is also the mother to the current ruler of Monaco, Prince Albert II of Monaco. If I was to ever visit Monaco again I would definitely check out the cathedral.
Oceanographic Museum #oceanomonaco
I have never been inside an aquarium before nor had I ever wanted to but somehow I was drawn to this oceanic museum. Though I can’t pinpoint exactly what drew me to this museum I am glad to have explored it myself. From the moment I entered, I went straight for the aquarium where I was mesmerised for over an hour. This has never happened to me before but I wouldn’t change it for the world, it was worth the trip. I will share more about the oceanographical museum in a separate post.
Tips to consider when visiting Monaco
- Though staying Monaco would be idea, I chose to stay in Nice where I was able to explore parts of the French Riviera.
- There are regular buses and trains between Nice and Monaco and loads of tour companies too.
- Visit Monaco outside peak seasons like summer, go just before winter sets in.
- Wear appropriate footwear as most of Monaco is on hill tops and can get tiring.
- Because there are no taxes to pay in Monaco, everything from food to land is expensive.
- To save money book a combined tour ticket from outside Oceanographic Museum. The ticket can cover both museum and aquarium plus a tour with 12 stops in Monaco.
- Arrive early in Monaco to have chance to explore everything on your list, stay for early parts of the night too. The Monte Carlo Casino is amazing but if gambling is not your thing there is an opera house and many restaurants to chill at.