Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, so it is possible to spend only one day in Monaco and fell in love with its uniqueness and charm. Although Monaco has a small surface, it makes up for the number of things it is associated with, starting with casinos, Formula 1, Monte Carlo, tax freedom, Grace Kelly, and even the Beatles.
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Is one day in Monaco enough?
There are so many things to do in Monaco, but if you plan properly, it is possible to enjoy a day trip in Monaco. Luckily, most of the exciting tourist attractions are pretty close to each other, so it is possible to see everything you want during a long stroll. We visited many of the most famous Monaco tourist attractions, therefore, we hope that you enjoy and find useful our 1 day in Monaco itinerary.
Why Monaco, and why only one day?
We love visiting tiny countries with an exciting history. Monaco is also conveniently located close to the Nice and Italian border. This small country has beautiful architecture, and it is part of Côte d’Azur, which is our favorite part of France. We had limited time to visit Monaco, therefore, we did solid research beforehand! Regardless of how many days in Monaco you are spending, you can leverage from our tips and itinerary.
The best time to visit Monaco
Monaco lies within the subtropical, Mediterranean climate zone, so prepare yourself for mild winters and dry, warm summers. In summer the average temperature varies between 23 and 26 °C. In our opinion, the best time to visit Monaco is from spring to autumn. We have you covered with everything you need to know to enjoy your one day in Monaco.
One day in Monaco: Complete Itinerary
If you are wondering how to plan your one day in Monaco, we hope to bring you some ideas. Furthermore, we selected top things to do in Monaco, including the ones on a budget. Follow our Monaco travel guide and make sure that you visit the top Monaco tourist attractions.
Visit the Casino Square and try your luck at the Casino de Monte-Carlo
Time: 1 hour
The beautiful Belle Époque architecture of Casino de Monte Carlo inspired Ian Fleming to create the fictional casino “Royale-Les-Eaux” in the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, published in 1953. Casino de Monte Carlo and other casinos from Monaco have shown up in many Bond movies, including Never Say Never Again, GoldenEye, and Casino Royale. Ocean’s Twelve was also filmed here.
A stroll around Casino Square is an unforgettable experience. The most fashionable boutiques of the world, lots of fancy cars, elegant architecture and one of the world’s most famous casinos. Casino Square is an excellent place to take stunning photos. With a bit of luck, you can even meet some celebrities.
Casino in Monte Carlo is one of the most touristic places to visit in Monaco. The casino can be visited for free until noon. You can get around all the most essential rooms in the casino, including the main gambling room. The morning tour is available to tourists, so you do not have to worry about the dress code. After 2 PM, casino guests must pay an entrance fee and follow a strict dress code and may not wear shorts or flip-flops.
Dream of a luxury yacht at the Port Hercules
Time: 1 hour
Let’s continue our Monaco walking tour in the dream-like atmosphere of Port Hercules, watching the marina full of the most luxury yachts on this side of the Mediterranean Sea. Consider taking the water bus trip across the harbor and make some fabulous pictures. If you can, come back here after sunset.
The Port Hercules is the main and the only deep-water port of Monaco, and this is where the Formula 1 race begins. In 1995, the port served as the scenery for the movie GoldenEye with Pierce Brosnan.
Watch the Changing of the Guards in front of the Prince’s Palace
Time: 20 minutes
There is a large square in front of the Palace so that you can take some lovely photos. Don’t miss the viewpoint right next to the Palace. The view of the bay and the architecture of Monte Carlo is breathtaking. Beat the crowd and look at Monaco from above. For us, it is a Monaco must-see.
The Changing of the Guard starts at 11:55 AM in front of the royal entrance on the Palace Square. Guardians wear a black uniform in the winter and a white one in the summer. It has not changed for more than 100 years. Click here to learn more about the Palace Guards.
Visit the Prince’s Palace of Monaco
Time: 1-2 hours
Tickets: 8€ adults, 4€ children 6-16 years old. Click here for more details.
If you have more time, it is worth to see the interior of the Palace filled with works of art and beautiful furniture. It is the right place where you can learn more about the Grimaldi family. When Prince Albert II is not in the palace (the prince’s family lives in their private residence near Monaco), the rooms in the west wing of the palace – including the throne room – are open to the public. Filming and taking pictures is not allowed.
Watch The Cars Collection of the Prince of Monaco
Time: 1 hour
Tickets: 8€ adults, 4€ children 6-16 years (you can buy a combined ticket to visit the Ducal Palace for 14€). Click here to see more.
This Automotive Museum contains a substantial collection of cars that will interest not only motoring enthusiasts. There are about 100 of them, most of which are antique cars, there are even prince’s carriages. There are also the latest Formula 1 cars, antique combustion bike and vehicles from recent decades. The museum is located above the Carrefour store in the Fontvieille district of Monaco.
Play hide & seek in the narrow Old Town streets
Time: 30 minutes
Grab something on the go or stop in on the cozy cafés squeezed among busy souvenir shops in Monaco’s Old Town. If you have more time you can visit the Old Monaco Museum (2 Rue Emile de Loth) which is open free of charge on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 AM to 4 PM between June and September. You can learn there about Monaco’s heritage and see traditional ceramics, paintings and furniture.
Stop at the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate
Time: 15-30 minutes
Many members of the Grimaldi family, including Grace Kelly, were buried in the Cathedral. Although we walked through the cathedral twice, we could not find the burial place of Princess Grace. It was only later that we realized that we should look for “Gratia Patricia’s” tombstone.
Sing “The Yellow Submarine” in front of the Oceanographic Museum
Time: 10 minutes
It is hard to miss a small yellow submariner right at the entrance to the Oceanographic Museum. References to the Beatles song of the same title are entirely correct. We recommend to look after and take a funny picture. This yellow color can not be overlooked!
Learn about marine life at Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
Tickets: depending on the season (11€ / 13€ / 16€ per adult, there are discounts for children and students). You can buy a combined ticket to visit the Museum and the Ducal Palace for 19€. Click here to see more.
The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is one of the best things to see in Monaco. It is divided into two parts – the aquarium and museum. In the former, we have the opportunity to look after the marine fauna and flora and make beautiful photos. You can even touch a small shark here. The museum is full of high-quality exhibits, so you won’t be bored there. Don’t forget to enter the roof and admire the magnificent panorama of Monte Carlo.
Rest at the Japanese Garden
Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Let’s rest a bit from the Monkish glamour and crowds. The Japanese Garden is located in the Monte Carlo district and it was created in 1994 as a mixture of typical Japanese elements (pond, small islands, waterfall, tea house) and Mediterranean accents. If you like you can meditate in a Zen garden or walk through traditional red bridge.
Interesting facts about Monaco
- The Principality of Monaco is located on the French Riviera in Western Europe.
- France borders it on three sides.
- Monaco is the second smallest independent country in the world.
- You can cross Monaco during just an hour’s walk as its area is only 2.02 km2.
- Although the official language in Monaco is French – Italian and Monégasque are used as well.
- The National Day of Monaco is celebrated on the 19th of November.
- Monaco and Monte Carlo are often confused, so remember that Monte Carlo is the most famous district of Monaco.
How to get to Monaco
Nice and Monaco are relatively close to each other, so it is a great idea to plan a one-day trip from Nice to Monaco.
How to get from Nice to Monaco
Train from Nice to Monaco train station
Distance from Nice to Monaco in 22 km and it takes around 23 minutes to get there by train. Click here to check the latest timetables.
Cost: from 2€
Bus from Nice to Monaco
Bus #100 goes from Nice to Menton / Monaco. It runs every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on Sundays and public holidays. Getting from Nice to Monaco should take about 45 minutes. Click here to check the latest timetables.
Drive from Nice to Monaco by car
The driving distance from Nice to Monaco is 28.9 km. The safest and most convenient way to get to Monaco is to take Low East Road – Highway 98.
Boat trips from Nice to Monaco
Ride the ferry from Nice to Monaco and back with this round-trip ferry transfer. You will have enough time to explore all the top things to do in Monaco.
Drive from Italy by car
We chose the Milan – Monaco route and drove about 3 hours along the highway. Italian toll gates charge around 30€ for a one-way trip.
Parking in Monaco
We recommend parking at the Oceanographic Museum (hourly fees apply) or at the ample parking next to the Monte Carlo Casino.
A few words from us – the GPS showed us different routes from and to Monaco. The number of turns, uphill climbs, one-way roads, small roundabouts, and traffic almost made us have a heart attack. Besides, every few minutes, GPS lost the signal, so we ended up going through the signs. It was one of the worst drives ever.
Getting around Monaco
On your feet
Choose walking and get a feel for the beat of the city. Walk on the narrow Monaco streets, meet the locals and tourists, and feel like you are a part of the town. Also, you can discover things the city guides don’t mention.
There are seven bus routes in Monaco, covering main tourist attractions. Click here to check the directions and timetables. One-way ticket costs 2€, you can consider buying a 24hour pass for 5.5€.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
If you plan to spend only one day in Monaco, you may want to join the bus tour. Enjoy unlimited access to the hop-on hop-off Monaco bus tour and make use of twelve bus stops, covering all the major attractions in Monte Carlo. Click here to check the prices and book your tour.
Prices in Monaco
- 0.33-liter water in the restaurant: 3€
- water 1.5 liters in the shop: 1€
- cappuccino: 3.25€
- beer 0.33-liter import: 3€
- a one-way ticket for public transport: 2€
- gasoline 1 liter: 1.6€
Before you leave for your one day in Monaco trip, we highly recommend visiting a web page Visit Monaco the to get the latest news about events in Monaco, which will take place during your stay and read more about this beautiful country. Also, during your stay, you can always head to the Tourism Board Office (2 Boulevard des Moulins) for more information and further recommendation on which places to visit in Monaco in a day.
Where to stay in Monaco
Let’s face it. Hotels in Monaco are VERY expensive, especially in the summer season. If like us, you plan a trip on a budget, we recommend looking for accommodation in Nice or Menton or checking the latest offers in the search engine below.
Final thoughts on our one day in Monaco trip
Monaco is full of attractions, and that is why it is worth pop in this small country when visiting the Côte d’Azur. We hope that we gave you some useful ideas on how to plan your one day in Monaco. If you have any further questions, let us know in the comments!