In September 2019, I was in Nice for work. Since I had always heard about Monaco, I decided to take a half-day trip to visit. It’s less than 30 minutes to travel to Monaco by train from Nice. The main attraction in Monte Carlo is the Casino. It was busy with tourists, and they charge an entry fee for the actual casino. Therefore, I just went to see the architecture and gardens around it. There’s an interesting Anish Kapoor mirror installation at the front. The city is hilly though walkable. I enjoyed exploring, and a half day was enough to see the highlights.
- Monte Carlo Casino– there is an entry fee but it is free to see the beautiful external and internal architecture
- Prince’s Palace tour
- View from the Rock of Monaco
- Starting point of the Monaco Grand Prix and several statues of famous drivers
- Walking around the harbours to see the yachts
- Sainte-Dévote Chapel
- Saint Nicholas Cathedral
- Get your passport stamped for free at the Tourism office near the Casino
Before you go
- Monaco is an independent principality nestled within France
- At least for my mobile phone carrier, data was not free in Monaco so I did not have any internet while there (not EU)
- Wear good walking shoes as there are a lot of stairs to climb up to the Rock and Prince’s Palace
- I had heard it would be expensive, but food prices looked about the same as in Nice
- The train from Nice city centre to Monte Carlo, Monaco takes less than 30 minutes. It’s also quite reasonable and cost 8.20 euros in 2019
- Unfortunately, I just made a day trip so I don’t have accommodation to recommend
The official currency in Monaco is the Euro. As of May 2022, one British pound is equal to 1.18 euros. Monaco-specific euro-cents do exist if you want a souvenir.
I recommend to check the currency conversion just before you leave as this fluctuates
The only food I tried in Monaco was this delicious ice cream cookie sandwich from Santo Gelato. I had eaten a sandwich on the train on the way over, and headed back before dinner so didn’t have a chance to visit any restaurants.
The biscuits were hazelnut and I chose pistachio ice cream in the middle. Yummy even in the rain!
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, it is small and easy to walk around
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Yes, in general people at the shops and around the city spoke English. There were a lot of tourists
Q: Can I travel solo?
A: Yes it is safe and easy to walk around on your own
Q: How easy is it to send postcards?
A: Postcards were easy to find and stamps were available from the Monaco post office. However, be aware that the stamps will be expensive as they are only in one denomination and it took 2 stamps for the USA. See Sending Postcards from Abroad for details on cost and the time it took to reach the USA.
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