Half day in Monaco Review
What do I know about Monaco? It was the background of a James Bond movie I never saw, Grace Kelly was a princess there and it’s extremely affluent with fast cars and yachts galore.
So the first place I visited was, appropriately, Monte-Carlo Casino. It had an appropriately grand exterior with its pure white walls…
It was such a shame that everything was under construction.
Visiting the casino without gambling isn’t free, however you are free to explore the lobby area.
Every surface was polished and glistening, including the expensive items offered by the souvenir shop.
There was some sort of anniversary event and the lobby was filled with balloons.
It would have been nice to see the casino in all its glory, but since I’m not a gambler it didn’t ruin my day.
We then had to visit the pier to see all the yachts.
The tiniest boat was a police boat, which made sense I guess.
I had already seen a lot of yachts by this point so the allure, which wasn’t that big in the first place, had mostly worn off. Sure they were the largest seen yet, but being unable to enter one it felt pretty meaningless. I need rich friends who enjoy yachts.
I guess it’s an appealing vehicle for (mainly) guys to pose against and dream about owning?
The Prince’s Palace and Old Town
We couldn’t use our bus passes from Nice and so opted to explore the area by foot. Turns out…Monaco is pretty steep. The route towards the Prince’s palace through the expensive shopping streets was pretty tough on my mum.
The Prince’s palace was closed as we came during an off season, so we ended up walking through a mostly empty Old Town. It didn’t particularly stand out for an Old Town.
So far Monaco felt pretty empty and characterless. It had nice weather and shiny objects, but not enough people to fill the large empty city the day I visited. Everything was expensive including the food, shops and activities, and there wasn’t a lot of atmosphere.
Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
However the emptiness really added to the experience when visiting the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. My mum wasn’t up for a museum visit but a good portion of its attraction is in its iconic building standing dramatically on the cliff by the sea.
I really liked the wave motifs on the stone walls.
With the lack of people around you could really enjoy the sea breeze and appreciate the sound of waves lapping against the cliffs.
Saint Martin Gardens
Afterwards we walked through the Saint Martin gardens and enjoyed the nature and the cliff views.
Lastly we climbed far too many steps to see the disappointing Exotic garden, which was disappointing because my mum felt too tired after all that walking to explore further than the entrance.
We decided to call it a day and opted to take the train back to Nice via Monaco’s shiny station.
My only real regret of the day was that I forgot to take my passport to collect an official Monaco stamp. Otherwise bring sensible shoes, buy a local bus pass and prepare a picnic/lots of cash for food, and Monaco would be an interesting enough place to visit for a day.
Monte Carlo Casino
Address: Place du Casino, 98000 Monaco
Casino: 14:00 – 04:00
Tours: 10:00 – 13:00
Cost (Tours): 8,00 EUR / 7.08 GBP
Address: Port Hercule Monaco
Prince’s Palace of Monaco
Address: Prince’s Palace of Monaco 98015 Monaco
Opening hours (State apartments only):
Jun, Sep – Oct 15th : 10:00 – 17:30
Jul – Aug: 10:00 – 18:30
Cost (State apartment only):
Adults: 10,00 EUR / 8.85 GBP
Children (6-17 years old), Students: 5,00 EUR / 4.43 GBP
Groups (from 20 people) :
Adults : 8,00 EUR / 7.08 GBP
Children and students: 4,00 EUR / 3.54 GBP
Musée Oceanographique de Monaco
Address: Musée océanographique de Monaco, Avenue Saint-Martin, 98000 Monaco
Jan – Mar, Oct – Dec: 10:00 – 18:00
Apr – Jun, Sep: 10:00 – 19:00
Jul – Aug: 9:30 – 20:00
Adults (18 and over): 16,00 EUR / 14.16 GBP
Children (aged 4-17 inclusive)/Students (with valid card): 10,00 EUR / 8.85 GBP
People with disabilities: 7,00 EUR / 6.20 GBP
Address: Saint-Martin Gardens 98000 Monaco
Opening hours: 9:00 – 18:00
Monaco Old Town
Address: Rue Basse 98000 Monaco