When I think about Monaco I see the uber-expensive yachts, the Monte-Carlo casino and the penguins of Madagascar!:)
The Principality of Monaco is an independent state, located on escarpment of the Maritime Alps along the Mediterranean Sea on the French Riviera. Monaco has four quarters: Fontvieille, Monaco-Ville, Monte-Carlo, La Condamine. Monaco is beautiful. In my opinion, it’s not the most luxurious place in the world anymore, but one of the most elegant for sure. It has a spirit of good old luxury lifestyle in Europe. Moreover, it’s still a place where people come to get in touch with royalty and to show up the wealth. It has a great location on the Western part of Europe on the seaside of the Mediterranean Sea, with a good climate and mountains. I took a train from Milano to Monte-Carlo. Trip lasted 4 hours. I think that’s great. Train was comfortable and I could enjoy a great view of the small towns and the coastal villages.
Let’s have a look at Monaco, and what interesting to see and visit there, other than famous Monte-Carlo casino and Formula1 Race.
There are several hotels which are nice, but only couple of them have access to the beach. In general, I think it’s not the place for a beach holiday. I rented a flat from airbnb in Monte-Carlo. The price was cheaper than hotel, flat had a balcony and a fabulous view over the Hercules port. The Accommodation should be chosen according to the purpose of visiting Monaco. For example, the Larvotto neighborhood has the only public beach in Monaco. Monte Carlo has a view over the Hercules port and the world-famous casino, boutiques, luxurious hotels Hôtel de Paris and hotel Metropole. Monaco-Ville is the old part of the city. The Prince’s Palace, the Oceanographic Museum&Aquarium and the Cathedral are located there as well as easy access to the Hercules port. Fontvieille has a new port and a nice shopping mall. La Condamine is a quarter where the Port Hercules is located.
Good to know:
- Apartment was located on Boulevard de Suisse and closest supermarket to that place was on the street called Rue Des Genets on the ground flor of the residence called Le Millefiori. The name of the supermarket is Carrefour City.
- Working hours of that Carrefour City: Every day from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m.; Sunday from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m.
- There is a short cut from Avenue Saint-Michel through the shopping mall called Park Palace to Avenue De La Costa, on which the Tourism office is located .
- The Jardins De La Petite Afrique Garden is behind the Tourism office. The Jardins Du Casino Garden is next to it. Passing through the Jardins Du Casino Garden between the boutiques, reaching the Monte-Carlo Casino.
- The Metropole Hotel is located next to the Jardins De La Petite Afrique Garden. The hotel has a nice underground shopping centre and the amazing Joel Robuchon Restaurant.
Getting around Monaco
Monaco is built literally inside the mountain, therefore, despite its small size it’s very difficult to walk there. Bicycle is not an option because of the steep roads. There are two options to move around the city: rent a car (and try out the famous Formula1 road) or use a public transportation (buses). The bus connection between all four quarters is very good. There is an app called Monaco Bus, which shows timetable, bus lines and connections, but sometimes the appearance of the vehicles on the stops does not match the schedule. Nevertheless, it’s a very good and comfortable option. There are so many types of the tickets and passes, so everyone can find a suitable one, depending on the length of stay.
Tariffs (for summer 2015)
Tickets, which can be bought in the bus:
- Ticket for 1 trip – 2,00 €
- Card for 6 trips – 11,00 €
- One day Pass (24h) – 5,50 €
- Monthly pass – 27,00 €
- Children under 5 years old – free of charge
Tickets, which can be bought at the bus stations, stops or by internet:
- Ticket for 1 trip – 1,50 €
- Card for 12 trips – 11,00 €
- One Day Pass (24h) – 5,50 €
- 2 Days Pass (48h) – 8,50 €
- 3 Days Pass (72h) – 11,50 €
- 4 Days Pass (96h) – 13,50 €
- Weekly Pass – 15,00 €
- Monthly pass – 22,00 €
- Children under 5 years old – free of charge
This is just the most common tickets types.
More information about prices and tickets you can find on http://www.cam.mc/informations-pratiques.php?lang=en
Port Hercules is the famous port of Monaco which is located between Monte-Carlo and Monaco-Ville in the La Condamine quarter. The most gorgeous and expensive yachts can be seeing there. In the front line of the port is public swimming pool, plenty of restaurants and night clubs.
When I was searching for a nice beach in Monaco I found it only in the Larvotto area. Turns out, there is only one public beach with a several beach clubs. One which I really like is called La Note Bleue.
The prices for renting a beach equipment at La Note Bleue (for summer 2015):
For 1 mattress, 1 umbrella and 1 small table: 1/2 day – 15 €; whole day – 20 €
2 mattresses in the front line, 2 umbrellas, 1 table and chairs: whole day – 50 €
Solariums for 2 persons: 1/2 day – 35 €; whole day – 40 €
Service was great, staff was really helpful and friendly. Food was delicious. In the evenings it’s turned into the jazz club with fantastic live music.
Sea was warm, but not very clean because of numerous people on the small beach area.
Monte-Carlo Casino is a part of Opera House. Some people come to see the magnificent architecture of it, others for gambling.
- Minimum age for admission 18 years old
- Proof of identity required
- Smart casual dress required, jacket recommended after 7 p.m.
- Entrance 10 €
- Machines and tables open from 2 p.m.
The Buddha-Bar is located at the corner of the casino building. Excellent place for a cocktail to celebrate winning after the casino, have a romantic evening with beloved one or just have a nice chat with friends.
Monaco-Ville is an oldest part of the city. The Prince’s Palace, Oceanographic Museum and the cathedral are located there. The attractions are in the walking distance from each other and interconnected by a net of small alleys and cozy streets of the old town.
The Prince’s Palace is open for the public every day. In the palace I did a short journey through the 7 centuries of ruling Grimaldi’s family of the Principality, and discovered the beauty of the galleries and the rooms.
Good to know:
- joint ticket The Prince’s Palace with the Oceanographic Museum&Aquarium (summer 2015): adults – 19€; teenagers from 13 to 18 years old and students – 11€; children from 8 to 12 years old – 9€; children from 4 to 7 years old – 7€.
- Tour time is approximately 30 min.
Palace’s square has breathtaking view over the Hercules Port from one side and Fontvieille with its harbour from the other.
Oceanographic Museum&Aquarium is a big, historical and informative museum designed like a palace for the Art and Science. It shows the life of more than 6000 underwater species and history of the diving. Also, it has very educative fact about sharks and ruins the myths about them.
Travelling around Monaco
Monaco is very close to Nice. It’s taken only about 20 min by train. That’s a great opportunity to see different part of French Rivera. Nice has a lot of nice places to visit, but the most important it has a spacious, clean and wide beach area. If to move even a bit further (about an hour by the train) Cannes can be reached. To conclude, after seeing all the nice places in Monaco there are still places close by where to go and have fun.
P.S.: I forget to write one thing about Monaco – its food. Basically, there are a lot of cafes and restaurants all around the city with a wonderful food, especially seafood. Personally, I fall in love with one place. It’s Joel Robuchon Restaurant at the Hotel Métropole. It was the most delicious food I had ever had! Everything was great about that place: food, drinks, service and design. If I remember correct restaurant has 2 Michelin stars, and absolutely deserves it. Lovely place!!!
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