Monaco is one of the most expensive places to travel in Western Europe, but a place like nothing else. We can say that about many places. Some get confused when Monte Carlo is mentioned, yes this can be mixed up as the casino, but this refers to the neighborhood overlooking the Mediterranean.
When you think of Monaco, the casino naturally comes to mind. While this is the main attraction the city is made up of luxurious cars, colorful gardens and windy streets you could eat off of. The tall buildings along the water can be seen from anywhere, whether that is at a restaurant patio on the cliffs, old town or from the top of. The port is filled with 60-foot yachts owned by celebrities. Gorgeous people roam the streets with gold jewelry and an agenda, but you shall not be intimidated. Although the streets are not filled with tourists, you can find a Starbucks and Mcdonalds down the road with the most scenic property in the city.
As some of you may know Monaco is a sovereign country and micro-state on the French Riviera. To give you the simplest idea on how to get to this small lavish country, I will explain the most efficient and convenient way to travel here.
Paris > Marseille = 45 minutes
Marseille > Monaco = 1 hour
OTHER TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
Essentially you can get there by land, air or sea. There is no international airport in Monaco. The closest airport is 14 miles away in Nice, France. Then a train ride from there. Many people say stopping in Nice is not a friendly place to the beginner travelers, but there is nothing to worry about if you are in a group.
There are trains and buses EVERYWHERE, whether you look them up prior to traveling and purchase passes, single tickets, or roundtrip, you will never fail by booking these tickets on the fly (something we did). Rail companies make this very easy for travelers. Buying on the fly will save you less trouble (not as time effective) unless you buy a Rail/Train pass.
**You run into trouble if you end up missing the train from the tickets you have bought prior, due to the hurdles and unknown when traveling**
We highly recommend checking out either Nice or Marseille, before or after Monaco. Many of these towns on the French Rivera all offer a different experience and culture.
Depending on the amount of commitment to the lifestyle Monaco has to offer, there are many places you can find for a luxurious price.
Monaco is very small, everything is within walking distance, but there are some tips to consider when deciding on what areas you should focus on, whether you want to be a baller or stay somewhere affordable.
As we all know, Airbnb is a service we can all rely on. Many places in Monaco offer this service and the majority of these accommodations are condominiums and or apartments.
You can find a budget place anywhere from $80 and up. The price is mainly predicated on the time of year.
- The Novotel Monte Carlo – North-side Monte Carlo
- Hotel Monte Carlo – Bay
- Fairmont Monte Carlo
- Hotel Normandy Cap d’Ail – Stay outside the area in the most beautiful area in the South of France
Grand Prix – Formula One
Being one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world, Monte Carlo is known for its Formula One Races that take place every year in May. Find your tickets and lodging pretty far in advance! This race cuts through the streets of the city; along the water, cliffside and around the Casino. If you happen to be in Monaco at the right time, this is an event you do NOT want to miss. No matter the price tag.
Known as the most “famous” beach in Monaco. This beach is busy with tourists and locals, yet the city view and little shops along the sand make this beach a must stop while in Monaco.
Monte Carlo Casino
The Casino de Monte Carlo is one of the most famous casinos in the world, as some of you may know the main part was featured in the James Bond movie, “Casino Royale”. Although the table limits may not be appealing, it is fun to say you have gambled here. The marble and chandeliers are just as much apart of this experience. Do not forget to look up at the design and paintings on the ceilings! And of course dress code. Dress shoes, clean pants, and collar shirt, to be safe.
There are different gaming rooms here that are decorated in a variety of themes, but make sure you look up and take in the chandeliers and the stunning artwork as you test your luck.
Have a drink at Quay Jean Charles Rey
Quay Jean Charles Rey sits on the water and is known for being a scenic place to have a drink. You can also find other cafes and eateries overlooking the water. This area provides a great spot to wind down for the night and catch sundown with a meal or drink.
Tour Monaco Harbor
Go to the harbor to see some of the most luxurious yachts pull up to their slip. To fully understand the wealth and lavish lifestyle, the harbor perfectly demonstrates what Monaco is all about.
AND AT NIGHT…
Discover the Moneghetti District
The Moneghetti District in Monaco is located to the west known for its villas, gardens, and terraces.
The route here travels on roads along the cliffside and maybe more than half of the adventure. With some amazing views, you will also get the chance to see where some of the richest residents in Monaco live.
Explore Old Town
Where all the local’s shop, visit early mornings for better pickings right outside Marché de la Condamine on summer days.
PLACES TO EAT
1. Blue Bay
2. Il Terrazzino
3. VIP Very Italian Pizza
Italian, Pizza $
4. Le Grill
5. Fairmont Hotel
Burgers, Fries $$