6 Things to See in Monaco


Sweet friends, hello! Happy Wednesday! I hope this post finds you well and in the mood for a spot of armchair traveling! Personally, I’m never not in the mood for armchair traveling, so; I’m here this morning to share my latest travel guide with you: 6 Things to See in Monaco. My third & final post covering our jaunt to the Côte d’Azur in January, this one delves into everything you need to know about the tiny principality of Monaco. In case you missed them, here are the two previous posts: Five Days on the French Riviera, Nice / A Quick Guide to Villefranche-sur-Mer. Side note: is armchair traveling still a thing nowadays? I rather like the term and the visual imagery it draws up, so I’m going to stick with it!

Full disclosure: we didn’t get to spend very long in Monaco. We took the train from Nice-Ville to Monaco Monte-Carlo – which only took 20-minutes & cost €4.40 each, one way – and, due to a timing error, ended up with two short hours in town. Sure, we couldn’t afford to linger in any one place for too long… but! We managed to squeeze in all of the spots we were interested in and make it back for the return train on time!

Listed below are the 6 spots we hit during our whistle-stop tour of Monaco, and some fun facts for good measure. Enjoy, friends!

6 Things to See in Monaco
6 Things to See in Monaco

6 fun facts

When I found myself pondering about whether or not we needed a fun fact section, I felt the answer was an obvious yes. I just love having semi-obscure tidbits of information up my sleeve, and I’m surely not the only one! In keeping with the theme of this post, here are 6 fun facts for the next time you’re trying to wow someone:

6 Things to See in Monaco

• Monaco is the second smallest country in the world! It’s so tiny that the entire country could fit inside New York’s Central Park and still have room around it!! And, in case you’re wondering, Vatican City is the smallest.

• a whopping 32% of Monaco’s residents are millionaires! With a tiny population of 38,000, that makes just slightly under 7 in 10 people a millionaire. Wild!!

• Monaco is one of the safest countries on the planet. It has more police per person than any other country, and basically every inch of Monaco is covered by security cameras!

• Meg Cabot’s fictional country from The Princess Diaries, Genovia, is actually based on Monaco! It was so trippy walking through the old town & around the Prince’s Palace – it felt like we were on a movie set!

• despite the fact that Monaco is a) surrounded on all land facing sides by France & b) Euro is the currency, Monaco is not in the EU! There are no hard borders or anything, so the only real impact of this fact for us was not being able to use our free EU mobile data. Just an fyi!

• although French is the official language of the country, Monégasqu is the traditional national language of native Monegasque people. Monégasqu neared extinction towards the end of the 20th century, but it is now being taught in schools across the country.

six Things to See in Monaco
6 Things to See in Monaco

6 things to see in monaco

sainte-dévote chapel

Dedicated to the patron saint of the country, this chapel is a small yet beautiful space. Located in a rather dramatic position at the base of the Gaumates Valley, mentions of a chapel here were first recorded in 1070! Sure, it’s had some reworkings & expansions etc. since, but that’s a heck of a long time! We stepped inside briefly, and the atmosphere was so quiet & intimate that we didn’t dare take any photos; it was lovely! If you’re interested: Devota was a Corsican native, killed for her faith in 304AD. Before her tormentors had a chance to burn her body, other religious folk stole it and placed it on a boat bound for Africa, where they’d hoped she would receive a proper burial. Instead, a ferocious storm occurred, and the boat went off course – running aground in Monaco, at the exact spot where the chapel is located.

Price: free. Address: 1 Rle Sainte-Dévote, 98000 Monaco

6 Things to See in Monaco
6 Things to See in Monaco

casino monte-carlo

Okay, let’s be real, what’s the number one thing that comes to mind when you think of Monaco? The Monte Carlo Casino, obviously! Having never gambled or even stepped inside a casino previously, I was unsure how I’d feel about this stop on our explorations. Spoiler alert: I loved it! Sure, it’s a little intimidating walking up the steps to the scary security guards, but it’s so worth it! I’m pretty sure both of our jaws hit the floor the second our eyes were fully capable of registering what they saw. It is stunning! Designed by the same man that did the Palais Garnier in Paris, imagine the most lavish décor you can – then multiply that by 10. Added bonus: they had the James Bond theme songs on a loop when we visited; how fun!

Price: open & free before 2pm. The gaming rooms open after 2pm, and entry is currently €17. Address: Pl. du Casino, 98000 Monaco

6 Things to See in Monaco
6 Things to See in Monaco

prince’s palace of monaco

Located in the old town – the district also known as Le Rocherthe palace is the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Currently home to the family of Prince Albert II, son of Prince Rainer III & American actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, the walk to the palace up the Rampe de la Major is a little taxing – but worth it! If you’re interested in watching the changing of the guard ceremony, be sure to make it up the hill for the 11:55am daily start time. I’m not exactly sure, but I think the old switcheroo goes on for 5-ish minutes; we got there closer to twelve and fortuitously caught the end!

Price: €10 to tour the inside, April – October / free to admire from the outside. Address: Place du Palais, 98015 Monaco

6 Things to See in Monaco
6 Things to See in Monaco

monaco panoramic viewpoint

The very best view over the harbour of Monaco! You can catch little glimpses of this spectacular view on the walk up to the Prince’s Palace – but it’s so much better from the very top! Located at the right-hand edge of the square facing the palace, veering towards Rue des Ramparts, this is quite a breathtaking little spot. I’d imagine it gets rather busy during the summer, but when we visited in mid-January, we basically had the whole viewpoint to ourselves 🙂

Price: free. Address: 20 Pl. du Palais, 98000 Monaco

6 Things to See in Monaco
6 Things to See in Monaco

saint nicholas cathedral

Also known simply as Monaco Cathedral, this is the main church in the country. It’s quite unusual in terms of décor – it’s colder and more grey than I was expecting inside, but still beautiful. Maybe that’s a facet of its Roman-Byzantine architecture/style? Either way, it was fascinating to wander around! Pro tip: don’t miss the space behind the altar where many of the Grimaldi family are buried! Grace Kelly, Prince Rainer III, etc. It seemed like an extremely peaceful resting place.

Price: free. Address: 4 Rue Colonel Bellando de Castro, 98000 Monaco

6 Things to See in Monaco
6 Things to See in Monaco

saint-martin gardens

A beautiful public garden, located a short walk from the Cathedral above. This was our last stop in Monaco and, as we were rushing back to the train station, we didn’t have as long here as we would’ve liked. We managed to explore only the tiniest bit, but gosh, it’s beautiful! We saw some stunning views over the ocean, many beautiful plants, sculptures aplenty, and heaps of wonderful spots for a picnic. Next time!

Price: free. Address: Jardin St. Martin, 98000 Monaco

6 Things to See in Monaco
6 Things to See in Monaco

And there we have it, friends: 6 Things to See in Monaco! What did you think? Have you visited the tiny principality before? I’d love to hear any thoughts etc. – hit me up using the comment box below!

Until next time,

Vicki & Rob xo

related posts

Five Days on the French Riviera: Nice
A Quick Guide to Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
A Quick Guide to Saint-Émilion, France

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