You are not unaware that about thirty kilometers from Nice, is the Principality of Monaco. And the small border country has many things to offer. Since I spent a short weekend there recently, I decided to write a post about the 5 things to do in Monaco.
Monaco is a city that I gave a hard time to. For many years I disliked her, finding her cold and uninspiring, more steeped in money and finance than friendliness. And then over the visits, I began to know and appreciate it.
It denotes a lot of Nice and France and if you stop at first glance it can be disconcerting.
But ultimately, the principality has many advantages that make it really easy to have a good time there.
And then the security and the order that reigns in this city suit me perfectly!
Here are my 5 things to do in Monaco:
1/ A walk on the casino square
In fact, it’s not a crush for once, but rather an unmissable one.
As it bears its name, the square overlooks the famous casino. Friends of luxury cars, this place will delight you. I admit that this is not my case, I am completely hermetic to cars! On the other hand, I am in awe of the Hôtel de Paris, whose architecture is superb (just like the casino, or the Hôtel Métropole in other side of the square).
Anyway it is at Christmas that this place is the prettiest cat the decorations are always very beautiful.
2/ The Japanese garden
This is a place that I really like. Totally free, it is worth the detour because it has everything you like to find in Japanese gardens. The little bridge, the little pond, the carp etc.
I therefore advise you to take a stroll in this pleasant garden.
Open every day from 9 a.m. to 6.45 p.m. – avenue Princesse Grace
3/ The condamine market
This is my stomach talking. And as long as you do, you might as well go for a walk there at mealtimes. The best place to eat good little products.
Every day from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the Place d’Armes
4/ The princely hill
If you are very lucky or knowledgeable, you can go and drink tea with Charlene. Otherwise, you will have to settle for the outside of the palace.
However, part of the palace can be visited. I admit I haven’t done it yet, but I would love to. Next time for sure.
The hill of the prince’s palace has a few small alleys as well as the cathedral to visit.
The shops are of course very touristy but it’s still cute.
‘You have to push the visit to the Saint Martin gardens which offer a superb and panoramic view of the Mediterranean. (Free entry there too).
5/ The small port of Fontvieille
This is a place that I like very much. It’s small, it’s cute. The water has a pretty crazy color and the port is located below the hill of the prince’s palace. It gives an enclosed, protected impression that I really like. Small boats, a few yachts of course (we’re still in Monaco) and a few beautiful sailboats. Much more authentic, I much prefer it to Port Hercule.
Many other possibilities are available to you within the principality. So don’t hesitate to walk around Monaco, use the elevators to go up, down, explore the city without getting tired. And go see the sea of course…
Monaco is a city on the move and you will always find something to visit. Whether temporary like the international circus festival or permanent, there is no shortage of activities and exhibitions. So you can have a good time at the zoo, the botanical garden, or even the vintage car museum. Don’t forget the awesome oceanographic museum. Young and old alike will be delighted to pet sharks and the lobby is sublime.
As for the lodging:
I only had the opportunity to try one establishment in Monaco: The hotel Novotel located on Princess Charlotte Boulevard. A nice experience for a hotel very well located (just two minutes walk from the train station) in the center of Monaco.
The casino square is a 10-minute walk away and via the train station, you are 15 minutes from the port of Fontvieille and 10 from the port of Hercules. The buffet breakfast is excellent and the hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a sauna, hammam and fitness area with wide opening hours, accessible with your room key.
The rooms are sleek in style, quite classic but comfortable. Our room faced the street but there was no noise.
On the restaurant side:
I advise you two small addresses tested and approved, and at a reasonable budget: a small Italian restaurant below the Novotel hotel, therefore on the boulevard Princesse Charlotte. To eat on the go, at the counter or to take away, it’s ideal. The prices are very correct and it’s good. The welcome deserves more warmth to really find Italy but it is a good alternative to eat quickly in Monaco.
Finally, the moshi-moshi, on the small port of Fontvieille. A good Japanese with superb interior decor. You will find everything you want on the menu. We opted for a bento box and a sushi menu. This allows you to taste different things. It was very good and with original flavors.
There is a possibility to eat outside. However I admit that the decoration is so pretty, cozy inside that it is worth a detour.
Finally, in summer, don’t forget to cool off on the Larvotto beach.
That’s for my small city guide of this city, my 5 things to do in Monaco. If you also have addresses to advise me, do not hesitate to leave me a little comment.
See you soon 😉