The Principality of Monaco (Principauté de Monaco) is located about 9 miles (15 km) west of Nice, France. The Italian border is just 5 miles (8km) to the east of Monaco. Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, but you will be surprised of all the sites to visit and see including the famous Monte Carlo casino, huge yachts, and the Grand Prix. The Grimaldi’s are the royal family leading Monaco with Prince Albert taking the lead since 2005. You may remember Grace Kelley who suffered a stroke while driving along Monaco’s winding roads leading to a car accident and her death.
One Day In Monaco
Monaco is must to be seen place for the rich and famous. Still, there is much to do for us average income people. You can consider the following during a day trip to this famous Principality.
The Harbor of Monte Carlo
In your day trip to Monaco, I recommend starting with Monte Carlo’s famous harbor. A few cruise ships do stop here, but we booked a day trip from Nice taking a bus here for the day. In the harbor, you will spot many different yachts while taking into the views of the Mediterranean.
The Prince’s Palace of Monaco
After taking in harbor scene, head up the hill to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. Originally, built as a fortress for the Republic of Genoa in the early 13th Century, the palace is now the residence of the Grimaldi family. You might be surprised that the Grimaldi family has been in residence here since the 14th Century.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one could pay an admission fee to explore of the state apartments, but this option is closed until sometime in 2022. Do check out the official site of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco for updates and scheduled openings.
There is the opportunity to watch the changing of the guards that happens at 11:55 am and sometimes in the evening just before 6:00 pm.
Grand Prix of Monaco
If you are a Formula 1 enthusiast, many cruise lines offer cruises that have a port call in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix. You can either do your own arrangements and book Grand Prix tickets or you can book Grand Prix packages through the cruise line, similar to an excursion
The Casino of Monte Carlo
Built in 1863, the Monte Carlo Casino is one of wealthiest resorts in the world and a must see during a visit to Monaco. The building was designed by Charles Garnier, who also designed the famous Paris Opera House.
Please be aware that you will need your Passport and COVID 19 vaccination card to gain entrance to the casino. One can only see the first room of the casino. You must make a deposit 17 euros to go any further into the casino.
We had dinner at the famous Café de Paris, which was a popular tourist attraction. Unfortunately, the staff here informed me that the Café will close after the 2021 season and change hands to a new soon to be announced restaurant.
An unexpected find was Jacques Cousteau’s original Yellow Submarine, which is on permanent display outside of the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. As you are planning your next French Rivera visit, consider adding Monaco to your places to visit.