When it comes to Monaco, we often think of bustling streets, luxury yachts and Formula 1 racing. In addition, Monaco is also famous for its beautiful natural scenery with breathtaking views to the Mediterranean Sea. To help you plan a perfect trip to Monaco, let’s refer to some guides with Living Nomads below! So, is Monaco worth visiting, how to visit Monaco, what to do in Monaco and how to plan a budget trip to Monaco for the first-time perfectly? Let’s check out our Monaco travel blog (Monaco blog) with the fullest Monaco travel guide (guide to Monaco, Monaco tourist guide, Monaco guide) from how to get to Monaco, best places to visit, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Monaco to help you maximize your trip to one of the most expensive destinations in the world as follows!
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Mentioning Monaco, almost people often think of the country with the highest GDP in the world, with flashy casinos, luxury yachts and the roar of the engines of Formula 1 racing cars in the Grand Prix. This makes many visitors afraid to travel here for fear of the high cost. However, in fact, traveling here is not too expensive if you have a good plan.
Overview of Monaco (#monaco travel blog)
Monaco officially the Principality of Monaco, is a country located in the Alps, on the coast of France, bordering France and the Mediterranean. Monaco has an area of only 2 square kilometers, currently the second smallest country in the world, after the Vatican. With a population of about 38,000 people – Monaco is the country with the lowest population in the world, the special thing is that 1/3 of them are millionaires. Monaco is known as a country of wealth, luxury and many entertainments with casinos, yachts, Formula 1 racing…
The Principality of Monaco is divided into 4 districts: Monte Carlo (business and leisure centre), Fontvieille (residential and light industry), Monaco-Ville (old town), Condamine (harbor). Traveling to Monaco will delight you with its great natural beauty, lush vegetation and mild Mediterranean climate. The scenery here is also extremely charming with deep blue sea, graceful palm trees and vibrant flowers.
Many tourists come to Monaco to experience the neighborhood charm of the French Riviera. This is considered the city with the highest per capita income in Europe, exuding luxury and wealth with world-class 5-star hotels, designer shops, luxury yachts and upscale restaurants. expensive goods. Others like the nostalgia of the narrow streets and historic landmarks of Monaco-Ville.
One of the very special things of this European tourist destination is that the people here do not have to pay personal income tax, and all items that tourists buy in the small country is completely tax free.
Unexpectedly by the expensive living standards, visitors will not be overwhelmed when the streets often appear the most expensive and luxurious supercars on the streets of Monaco. Even more special is the image of gentlemen with elegant suits or sportswear from brands that money may not be able to buy.
When is the best time to visit Monaco? (#monaco travel blog)
The climate in Monaco is temperate, neither too hot nor too cold, so it is very suitable for visits in any season of the year. In particular, for tourists who have a passion for yachts, or Formula 1 racing tracks, this is an ideal destination not to be missed.
The best time to visit Monaco is in spring or autumn, as these are the two most favorable weather times of the year.
Summer is the peak tourist season, the most tourists of the year, winter will have fewer tourists and prices will also be better. On occasions such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix (May) and the Monte Carlo Open (March) also attract large numbers of visitors to Monaco.
April and October are both the most ideal months for vacation, not only because of the nice weather but also lower room rates than other times.
From November to March, the streets of Monaco seem less crowded. However, if you travel at this time, you will save quite a bit of money due to lower service fees. If you like activities on the sea, visit this country in the summer to see the sands stretching under the shimmering sun and have many vivid experiences in Monaco.
How to get to Monaco? (#monaco travel guide)
Traveling from Vietnam to Monaco
To buy air tickets at a good price, you should carefully consider how way to go and book tickets 1-2 months in advance. However, Monaco does not have an airport so you have to take a bus or train from France. Thus, you can fly from Danang, Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi to Nice city (France) which will takes 18 hours 33 minutes with the price of about 375 – 1,106 USD, or from Noi Bai International Airport to Milan Malpensa Airport with cheaper price, from 304 – 805 USD.
However, for more convenience when traveling from France to Monaco, you should choose the flight route to Cote d’Azur International Airport in Nice, France. Currently, only Emirates airline operates flights from Saigon to Nice with a direct route, while other international airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines require two transfers. You can refer to the fare alert feature (Price Alerts) on the Google Flights app to choose a flight route that suits your budget.
Getting from Nice to Monaco (#monaco travel blog)
By bus: Côte d’Azur Airport is about 22km from Monaco and there are many bus routes from the airport to hotels in Monaco, only taking about an hour by car. The Lignes d’Azur bus # 100 departs from the Le Port stop in Nice, with a frequency of 30 minutes.
If you take bus number 100, you leave from Nice station and go to Monaco. There are more stops, maybe also more crowded than taking the train, in the summer it is also more difficult. Personally, we think we should take the train because the price is similar.
- Price: 1.5 EUR
- Travel time: about 25 minutes
There is no bus station in Monaco, buses to Monaco often stop at different points in the city. Coach services to Monaco connect from Nice or from other destinations in France or Europe.
By train: If you choose to go to Monaco by train, it only takes you half an hour to get to Monaco. TER trains depart from Nice Ville central station to Gare de Monaco-Monte Carlo station in less than 25 minutes, departing every 30 minutes. Monaco’s vast metro station can be confusing for first-time visitors, so check which exit is closest to your place you will want to go. Trains with two types: Regular and high-speed. There is only one train station in Monaco, the Monaco-Monte-Carlo train station operated by the French railway company SNCF.
- You can go from Nice station. If you bought your ticket at the door, don’t forget to stamp it.
- Price: 4-7 Euros
- Travel time: about 20 minutes
By boat: In Monaco, there are two famous private ports: Hercules Port and Port of Fontvieille. Cruise ships arriving in Monaco can dock at the two ports mentioned above if they have a yacht (purchased or rented) when getting to Monaco.
Helicopter: Helicopters from Nice Airport to Monaco Heliport are currently operated by Monacair. The flight journey lasts 7 minutes, costs around €140 for one-way transfers and €260 for round trips.
Getting around Monaco (#monaco blog)
Bus (#monaco travel guide)
Buses are a very popular form of public transport in the city. It is also the most convenient and cost-effective means of transportation. Because of the high cost, taxis are not the most ideal type of transport when it comes to getting around Monaco. However, if you only need to travel a short distance or do not want to waste time waiting for the bus, you can choose this type of vehicle.
Monaco has a bus service operated by the Compagnie des Autobus Monaco company (Monaco Bus Company) with 5 routes numbered 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, with 143 bus stops. Service time is from 6am to 9pm. There is also a night bus service. Tickets can be purchased by each trip or can be purchased daily.
Visitors can rent a scooter in Nice to travel around Monaco and explore the tourist attractions here. The routes in Monaco are also beautiful roads to experience by motorbike. There are many motorbike parking spaces in the city, theft problem in Monaco is very reassuring.
Along with walking, a bicycle is a good option for getting around in Monaco. Guests can rent bicycles right in Monaco.
Taxi (#monaco blog)
It’s impossible to catch a taxi in Monaco on the road. The best way to call a taxi is by a phone call however taxi fees are quite expensive.
Renting a self-driving car (can be rented at Nice airport or at service companies in Monte Carlo) is also a quite popular way of travel with many tourists (especially foreign tourists). Companies that offer self-driving car rental services include: Avis, Gare Monte Carlo, Europcar and Hertz, etc. Guests need an international driver’s license, credit card when renting a car.
Where to stay in Monaco? (#monaco travel blog)
Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo
Boasting the world’s largest wine cellar, atop a 3-Michelin-starred restaurant, the Hôtel de Paris is Monaco’s most lavish stay. With its palatial appearance, gilded columns and marble in the common spaces, visitors will be overwhelmed when visiting this hotel.
Each room and suite is decorated with simple artistic details and contemporary design. All rooms have a balcony, however, if you want a room facing the sea, you will have to pay a higher fee.
Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
For a city as dense with high-rise buildings as in Monaco, the Monte Carlo Bay hotel has something special. It features a 4-hectare landscaped garden, complete with waterfall, swimming pool and sandy bottom lagoon.
The large rooms with a variety of modern amenities will bring you the best experience. Alternatively, you can go to the spa to relax or go to the casino, or enjoy a classy dinner at Blue Bay with stunning sea views.
Hotel Hermitage, Monte Carlo
This elegant 5-star hotel in the Belle Époque palace features refined décor and classic interiors. Hotel Hermitage’s suites are more modern in style and feature a private balcony. You can enjoy a meal right at the hotel, with a great view of the Mediterranean Sea. This hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool, giving you the best travel experience.
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Port Palace Hotel (Booking)
- Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo (Booking)
- Le Méridien Beach Plaza (Agoda, Booking)
- Fairmont Monte Carlo (Agoda, Booking)
- Fairmont Monte Carlo (Booking)
- Ambassador-Monaco (Agoda, Booking)
Where to go and what to do in Monaco? (#monaco travel blog)
Prince’s Palace of Monaco
Address: 98015 Monaco
Hours: 10 AM–6 PM
The palace located on the top of the Monaco hill overlooking the Mediterranean is a 12th-century building. Situated in a prime location on the picturesque Le Rocher peninsula, the Palais Princier de Monaco is a must-visit place. This is where the Genoese noble family has lived since 1297, after they captured the land from the Republic of Genoa. It was originally a Genoese fortress, with a wide view of the sea.
The palace once was the home of the ruler of Monaco – the Grimaldi family. The palace is open to visitors from June to October. A special feature of this palace is that the palace courtyard is paved and shaped from 3 million beautiful pebbles, in addition, visitors also have the opportunity to see the famous Genovese frescoes.
Currently, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco is a private residence, open to the public at certain times of the year. Visitors can admire the luxurious rooms of the State Apartments, including the Hercule gallery decorated with frescoes from the 16th and 17th centuries; “Blue Room” is used for official state events; the wood-paneled Mazarin room and the throne gallery, where major ceremonies took place.
Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
Address: Av. Saint-Martin, 98000 Monaco
Hours: 10 AM–6 PM
The Musée Océanographique de Monaco enjoys a beautiful seaside location on Le Rocher. It is one of the oldest aquariums in the world, commissioned by Prince Albert I and officially opened in 1910. The museum is home to many world-renowned exhibits on marine science and oceanography. The highlight of the Musée Océanographique are the aquariums containing a variety of rare sea creatures of beautiful shapes and colors.
The Musée Océanographique de Monaco located at a beautiful beachfront location on Le Rocher. It is not only a museum of sealife and plants, but also a large aquarium. @Riviera Loisirs
Opera de Monte-Carlo (Salle Garnier)
Address: Pl. du Casino, 98000 Monaco
The Monte-Carlo Opera is located in the Place du Casino, one of Monaco’s most lavish squares. With palm trees swaying in the wind, impressive fountains and balconies with stunning coastline views, the Opera House is the right place to take souvenir photos when traveling to Monaco.
The auditorium of the Opera House, known as the “Salle Garnier” is decorated entirely in red and gold, with numerous fine reliefs, wonderful frescoes and many sculptures of famous artists. The Monte-Carlo Opera House is home to many classical operas, concerts and ballet performances. Opera season begins with the Gala event, which opens in September and lasts from October to April every year.
Princess Grace Rose Garden
Address: Av. des Papalins, 98000 Monaco
Hours: Open 24 hours
This exquisite garden was built by Prince Rainier III in memory of his beloved wife, Princess Grace. Located in Fontvieille park, Princess Grace rose garden is nearly 4 area of hectares, including a small lake with tall palm trees and a spacious olive grove. The garden is brilliant all year round with 6,000 rose bushes of 315 different species.
Built in 1984 with more than 300 different types of roses in the world. Here you will admire the works with unique architecture along with great creativity.
This tranquil garden is one of the best places to visit in Monaco if you want a moment of true relaxation. Visitors will enjoy sitting on benches in the park and enjoying the beautiful scenery or strolling around the grounds to discover the uniqueness of different rose flowers.
Monte Carlo Casino – The most beautiful casino in the world
Despite being a small country, Monaco owns the most beautiful casino in the world – Monte Carlo Casino. This place attracts a large number of guests playing cards, as a paradise for the rich, classy and elite to come to relieve stress.
Built in the mid-19th century, the Monte-Carlo casino is one of Monaco’s most popular tourist attractions. Many visitors come here every year to admire its interior and witness the lavishness of this most famous casino in the world. This is one of the spearheads of Monaco’s economy, but its citizens are not encouraged to come here to gamble.
Most tourists when coming here want to feel and experience the regal atmosphere exuded in this place, but besides that, Monaco is also home to the most expensive city in Europe, so visitors need to consider when spending here.
Monaco Ville Old Town (Vieux Monaco)
Also known as The Rock (Le Rocher de Monaco), is the oldest city in Monaco built in the 6th century BC on a stone foundation jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. There is no traffic here because the roads are all pedestrian. Your journey to discover Monaco will certainly not be complete if you miss a wonderful place like Monaco Ville. It was built around the 16th century. Today Monaco Ville is home to many restaurants, hotels and shopping centers.
Exotic Garden of Monaco
Address: 62 Bd du Jardin Exotique, 98000 Monaco
Built on the side of a large cliff with more than 1,000 different types of cacti. Visitors coming here will feel the fresh air and attract the eyes by the colorful green color of many new types of cacti. This is an extremely ideal place to take unique check-in photos.
Monte Carlo Harbour
It is the berth of famous and luxury cruise ships, the most expensive yachts of the people here. Coming here, you will be overwhelmed by the scene of hundreds of flashy yachts gathered at one point. If you want to have the opportunity to admire the super luxury cruise ships costing millions of dollars, go to the Monte Carlo Harbor. This port is the anchorage of about 500 ships and yachts of all kinds. The most prominent of which must be mentioned is the cruise of the Prince of Monaco. You can find a cafe next to the harbour. Sitting and sipping a cup of coffee and enjoying the view is also a great experience.
The Cathedral of Monaco (St Nicholas Cathedral)
Address: 4 Rue Colonel Bellando de Castro, 98000 Monaco
Hours: 9 AM–6 PM
St. Nicholas Church was the first catholic church built in Monaco. It was built around the 13th century. However, in the 19th century, it was severely destroyed. Today, the church has been restored and has become a tourist spot not to be missed when traveling to Monaco.
What to eat in Monaco?
The cost of dining in Monaco is a bit pricey but the taste is great. Located on the coast, Monaco’s specialty is seafood, Mediterranean spices, enjoyed with French or Italian wine is great. Guests can visit the eateries in the area of Saint Nicholas Cathedral or head to the Michelin-starred restaurants for Monaco cuisine.
Crispy pan-fried Gnocchi
Gnocchi are bite-sized pieces of potatoes, rolled together and deep fried. This dish is delicately flavored with a smooth butter sauce, or a red wine and ketchup sauce. This world famous dish will surprise many people because of its different taste compared to traditional french fries. The fries are often served with a smooth buttery, creamy sauce or served with seafood caught from the coast of Monaco.
Stocafi (stockfish stew)
The traditional Monaco dish is Stocafi – dried cod cooked in rich red wine, tomato sauce, onions, garlic and topped with fresh olives. This fish stew is usually served with fresh bread and rich broth drizzled on top. You can enjoy this dish on the streets throughout France and Northern Italy. However, in Monaco, the taste is a little different and it is well worth a visit when visiting the country.
Porchetta (stuffed pork)
Porchetta is traditionally an Italian dish, made with boneless pork, stuffed with liver and dill inside. Then, they are grilled over the fire for at least eight hours so that the dish becomes softer and more seasoned. Due to Monaco’s proximity to the Italian border, this dish has been learned by locals and is often prepared during big family celebrations.
This is a sweet tart, made with flour, egg whites, almonds, cherries, and cantaloupe. This dish originates from the Galapian commune of France and gradually occupies a prominent place in the culinary scene of Monaco. Its taste will make you feel delighted with the melt-in-your-mouth feeling and the richness of the almonds.
Bread is an indispensable dish in the daily meal of the people of Monaco. You can enjoy a variety of breads, the highlight of which is Khobz crispy bread baked from a charcoal oven. In addition, you can enjoy many delicious dishes from bread such as: Fried bread with sugar, Beghrir fluffy bread, flat bread spread with honey and fatty cheese…
Barbagiuan is often used in important occasions of Monaco such as: National Day, Easter, Christmas, etc. The dish is made from turnip and vegetable filling, then deep fried evenly.
What to buy as a gift when coming to Monaco?
The cost to buy souvenirs in Monaco is quite expensive, so you should carefully consider to optimize the cost if you want to shop here. You can go to famous commercial centers in Monaco such as Fontvielle, Monte Carlo, Allless Lumieres, Condamine market, Caroline pedestrian street, etc. to buy handmade items, clothes, keychains… as gifts for your loved ones.
Some famous shopping centers and shops in Monaco:
- La Boutique de l’Automobile Club de Monaco
- Les Pavillons de Monte Carlo
- Marché de la Condamine
Because the cost of the premises is quite expensive, there are not many popular shops. The most affordable shopping place is probably Metropole Shopping Monte-Carlo (Address: 17 Av. des Spélugues, 98000 Monaco/Hours: 10 AM–7:30 PM/Sunday: Closed).
Monaco with its beautiful natural scenery and the most luxurious streets will surely bring you interesting experiences. In addition, the cuisine of this country is also very rich and suitable for the taste of any visitor. To best prepare for your trip, don’t forget to book your flight and hotel tickets early to receive many good offers to maximize your trip to Monaco!
Before you go
- Monaco’s currency: As a member state of the European Monetary Union (EMU), Monaco recognized the euro as an official currency on January 1, 2002, when it replaced the French franc.
- Religion in Monaco: The predominant religion in Monaco is Roman Catholicism, which makes up a large proportion of almost 90% of the population, with the remaining 10% registered as “other” religions.
- Official language of Monaco: The official language here is French, in addition, people here also use three other languages that are common and widely used: Monégasque, Italian and English.
- Strict rules: Monaco is world famous for its Formula 1 Grand Prix as well as the Monte Carlo casino complex. However, citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble or even visit famous casinos. The minimum age to enter a casino in Monaco is 21 years old. You will need a passport and an entrance fee
- Tips: Bills at hotels and restaurants will usually include a 15% service charge. If not included in the bill, you should still leave an extra 15% as a tip.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Monaco you can refer to
- Monte Carlo By Night: A Romantic Evening Tour from Nice, Cannes, or Monaco
- Monaco Walking Tour from Nice
- Monaco & Perched Medieval Villages Day Tour from Nice
- Monaco Hop-On Hop-Off Le Grand Tour
- Monte Carlo Night Tour from Nice with Dinner Experience
- Eze Village, Monaco, and Monte Carlo Half Day Tour from Nice
- Private Walking Tour in Monaco
- The Historical Nice City Half Day Tour from Nice, Cannes, or Monaco
- Monaco, Eze, and La Turbie Day Tour from Nice, Cannes, or Monaco
- Eze Village and Monaco Full Day Tour from Nice
- French Riviera: Monaco, Eze, and Nice Day Tour from Aix-en-Provence
- From Nice: Eze, Monaco, & Monte-Carlo Half-Day Trip
- Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Ticket
- From Nice: French Riviera in One Day
- Monaco: Monte Carlo Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
- From Nice or Cannes: Monaco, Monte Carlo & Eze Half-Day Trip
- From Nice: French Riviera Full-Day Tour
- From Nice: Eze Village, Monaco, and Monte Carlo Guided Tour
Read more France guide here.