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Monaco

MONACO TRAVEL GUIDE

Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state, country, and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe.

 

Monte Carlo is not the capital of Monaco but a government district. The country is divided into four areas: Monaco-Ville (the old city), the Condamine (port quarter), Monte-Carlo (business and recreation), and Fontvieille (recreation and light industry). With no natural resources to exploit other than its location and climate, the principality has become a resort for tourists and a tax haven for businesses. Monaco is six times the size of the Vatican and the world's most densely populated independent country.

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Although not a member of either the European Union or the European Economic Area, Monaco maintains an open border and customs union with France and is treated as part of the Schengen Area.

 

  • Currency: euro (EUR)

  • Area: 1.95 sq km

  • Population: 38 682 (2018)

  • Language: French (official), English, Italian, Monegasque

  • Religion: Roman Catholic (90%)

  • Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)

 

It has its own flag (red and white) and national holiday (19 November), and it uses the euro even though it's not part of the EU. You can easily visit Monaco as a day trip from Nice, a short train ride away.

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BEST TIME TO VISIT MONACO

Monaco benefits from a Mediterranean-style temperate climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, humid winters.


The best time to visit Monaco is in the spring or fall. April and October are both ideal months for a vacation: the weather is balmy and the room rates are reduced. This lavish getaway loses some of its luster between November and March, but you will save money on accommodations if you visit in this cooler winter offseason.


Visit in the summer, and yes, the beaches will be packed, the weather will be hot, and the restaurants will have long waits, but you'll also experience Monaco at its liveliest.

Best Time To Go

MONACO WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Monaco benefits from a Mediterranean-style temperate climate, characterised by hot, dry summers and mild, humid winters. Monaco’s average annual temperature is 16.5°C (1981-2010) and average annual rainfall is 735.5 mm with a characteristic distribution of the Mediterranean climate with the highest rainfall in autumn and spring.

Monaco

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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BEST TIME FOR

SNOW SPORT IN MONACO

HIKING & CYCLING IN MONACO

The best time for outdoor activities in Monaco is from May to October. Due to Monaco's coastal location, even the hottest months of July and August are pleasant.

BEACH OPTIONS IN MONACO

Beaches along Monaco's coastline are mostly manmade and often private. The warmest summer months are July and August, but you'll find people enjoying the beaches from June to September.

SURFING IN MONACO

With an extremely short coastline of only 3.8 kms, there are only two surfable beaches in Monaco, of which only one is not private!

KITESURF IN MONACO

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN MONACO

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance. For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

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Travel Safety

HEALTH RISKS IN MONACO

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Monaco

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

MONACO TRAVEL COSTS

Monaco is no budget destination when it comes to accommodation. Budget-conscious travellers should stay in nearby Nice and visit as a day trip.

 

DINING:

Dining in Monaco can be a very sobering experience for whoever is paying the bill. Perhaps the most exclusive and famous restaurants in the city are the Louis XV Restaurant and the Le Grill de L'Hotel de Paris, both centered on the very exclusive Hotel de Paris. You are more than likely to be seated next to a member of the rich and famous, and the gourmet food is simply out-of-this-world - however, these experiences come with a rather hefty price tag!

 

However, there are a huge variety of other restaurants and cafés in the city with a moderate price tag and excellent food. There are a few simple cafés along the marina-side, more like beach bars than anything else, that serve simple meals such as pizza, salads, and hotdogs throughout the day. These can be excellent for simply sitting back during the hot midday with a cold beer or glass of wine, a snack to recharge your batteries from exploring the city, and the gentle lapping of the Mediterranean (and often the roar of supercars) in your ears.

 

Somewhere in between these two dining experiences comes the world-famous Café de Paris, just outside the Casino. Tourists and locals alike can often be found during the afternoon and all through the night laughing, drinking, and eating some fabulous (but verging on expensive) meals. It is definitely a must-go during your stay in Monte Carlo, even if it is just for a snack in the afternoon - it is well worth it

Cost & Spending

MONACO TRAVEL TIPS

GETTING AROUND:

Private cars are singularly useless for getting around Monaco, as you'll spend more time trying to park than if you walked or took a taxi instead. Walking is by far the best way to get around Monaco; however, there are some areas, such as the Exotic Gardens, that require a large change in elevation and therefore can make for rather strenuous hikes but there are seven public escalators and elevators (all free) that help negotiate the steep slopes of the city. If you find yourself afoot and wanting to reach the opposite bank of Port Hercule, look for the small pedestrian-only ferry that runs each 20 minutes or so during daylight; it costs €1 EUR.

 

You can easily rent a motor scooter in Nice and take a short trip east along the sea into Monaco. The views are beautiful and the ride is fun along the twisty seaside road. There are plenty of places to park for free.

Travel Tips

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF MONACO

The principality of Monaco offers a great balance of historical and modern attractions. There are various museums and palaces to visit as well as shopping malls and casinos. Monaco also offers relaxation spots along the harbor and even around the attractions.

Highlights
What To See & Do
Travel Map
  • Take a walk through Monaco-Ville, also known as “le rocher” or “the rock.”

  • The Palais Princier (Prince's Palace) is in old Monaco-Ville and is worth a visit.

  • The Monaco Cathedral was built in 1875 and stands on the site of a 13th century earlier church.

  • The Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is a world-renowned attraction.

  • The Jardin Exotique (Exotic Gardens) is one of the many gardens Monaco has to offer.

  • The Prince's Car Collection is the place to go for any car enthusiast - there is everything from carriages and old cars, to Formula 1 racers.

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What To Eat

WHAT TO EAT IN MONACO

WHAT TO EAT IN MONACO

LGBTQ IN MONACO

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Monaco may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Monaco. Although same-sex relationships are recognised, Monaco does not recognise same-sex marriages. Since 27 June 2020, the country has allowed same-sex couples to sign a cohabitation agreement, which provides some limited rights and obligations.

 

Despite this absence of same-sex relationship legislation, Monegasque society tends to be tolerant of homosexuality and same-sex relationships.

Monaco

WHERE TO STAY IN MONACO

Monaco, renowned for its glitz, glamour, and luxury, is a tiny but opulent principality on the French Riviera. As a first-time visitor, choosing where to stay largely depends on your preferences and budget. While Monaco is compact, each district offers a unique experience, from upscale elegance to more budget-friendly options.


Where To Stay In Monte Carlo:

Monte Carlo is the epitome of luxury, offering glamorous casinos, high-end shopping, and stunning Mediterranean views. Staying here puts you in the heart of Monaco's vibrant nightlife and exclusive events.

  • Budget: Hotel Forum offers affordable accommodations with comfortable rooms and a central location, providing easy access to Monte Carlo's attractions.

  • Mid-range: Novotel Monte Carlo provides modern rooms, a rooftop pool, and excellent amenities, ideal for travelers seeking comfort and convenience without breaking the bank.

  • Luxury: Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo is the epitome of luxury, offering lavish rooms, Michelin-starred dining, and impeccable service, ensuring an unforgettable stay in Monte Carlo.

Tip: Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) for lower accommodation rates and fewer crowds.


Where To Stay In Fontvieille:

Fontvieille is a more tranquil area, known for its picturesque marina, beautiful gardens, and cultural attractions. It offers a quieter retreat while still being close to Monaco's main sights.

  • Budget: Aparthotel Adagio Monaco Palais Joséphine offers budget-friendly apartment-style accommodations with kitchenettes, perfect for travelers looking for flexibility and affordability.

  • Mid-range: Columbus Monte-Carlo provides stylish rooms, a rooftop pool, and a peaceful atmosphere, offering a comfortable stay with easy access to Fontvieille's attractions.

  • Luxury: Hotel Cap-Estel offers luxurious accommodations, private beach access, and exclusive amenities, providing a serene retreat with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Tip: Book accommodations with sea views for a truly memorable experience, and consider exploring Fontvieille's beautiful parks and gardens.


Where To Stay In La Condamine:

La Condamine is a bustling district known for its vibrant markets, charming streets, and lively atmosphere. Staying here offers a taste of authentic Monaco life, with easy access to local shops, restaurants, and cultural sites.

  • Budget: Port Palace Hotel offers budget-friendly accommodations with modern amenities and a central location, providing easy access to La Condamine's attractions.

  • Mid-range: Miramar Monaco provides comfortable rooms, a rooftop terrace, and personalized service, offering a pleasant stay in the heart of La Condamine.

  • Luxury: Fairmont Monte Carlo offers luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining options, and unparalleled views of the Mediterranean Sea, ensuring a lavish experience in the heart of Monaco.

Tip: Explore La Condamine's vibrant markets and waterfront promenade for a taste of local life and consider visiting during the Monaco Grand Prix for a thrilling experience.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

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DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

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