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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One day in Monaco – let’s start!
The Principality of Monaco is located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders it on three sides, and it 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 Monegasque 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.
We have you covered with everything you need to know to enjoy your one day in Monaco.
What to see in Monaco in a day
If you are wondering what to do in Monaco in a day, 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.
Feel like a star at the Casino Square
Time: 1 hour
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. You can also enter the lobby of the Casino de Monte-Carlo for free and take some pictures.
Dream of a luxury yacht at the Monte Carlo Harbor
Time: 1 hour
Let’s continue our Monaco walking tour in the dream-like atmosphere 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.
Watch the change of guard 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.
Play hide & seek in the narrow Old Town streets
Time: 30 minutes
Grab something on the go or stop in on the cozy cafes squeezed among busy souvenir shops in Monaco’s Old Town.
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!
Rest at Japanese Garden
Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Let’s rest a bit from the Monkish glamor and crowds. The Japanese Garden was created in 1994 as a mixture of typical Japanese elements (pond, small islands, waterfall, tea house) and Mediterranean accents.
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.
Try your luck at the Casino de Monte-Carlo
Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Tickets: 17 €. Click here for more details
Casino in Monte Carlo is one of the most touristic places to visit in Monaco. The casino can be visited 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. If you visit the casino after 14:00, an appropriate dress code is required (long pants for men and full shoes).
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, and they are rare specimens coming from different eras. There are also a few racing cars.
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.
How to get to Monaco
Nice and Monaco are relatively close to each other, so it is a great idea to plan a 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
Enjoy unlimited access to the hop-on hop-off Monaco bus tour and make use of twelve bus stops, covering all of the major attractions in Monte Carlo. Click here to check the prices and book your tour.
Weather in 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.
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€
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 Monaco day trip
Monaco is full of attractions, and that is why it is worth pop in this small country when visiting the Cote d’Azur. We hope that we gave you some useful ideas on what to do in Monaco for a day.