When I was in the south of France I planned to spend One Day in Monaco and I fit so much in! Take a look at the 16 places I visited in this tiny country. And yes, I am going to call it a country. Many also call it a principality of France and while I have heard it argued both ways but which ever way you cut it, it is a gorgeous, affluent coastal region.
Arrive by Train | The easiest way to get from Nice to Monaco is to take the train and for standard class ticket you can book round trip for less than €9 if you book in advance. There are more than 40 trains per day and the tickets are not timed so you can make a dozen options work with your schedule.
Stroll through the Casino Garden – Walking from the train down to the seaside I would recommend a visit to the gorgeous Casino Gardens, a tropical Victorian-era park. When I visited these terrace gardens were home to dozens of pink and orange pinwheels but I could not find anything more about the temporary exhibit!
Explore the Metropole Shopping Monte-Carlo and Casino Café de Paris | The luxury shopping mall offer some of the best people watching I have seen in ages and even if you are not planning on shopping, the mall is worth a stop inside just to see the huge chandeliers.
Visit the Monte Carlo Casino – No photos are allowed inside the stunning and opulently decorated casino but believe me the marble and bronze just scream glitz and glam. So many famous films have been shot there from James Bond in GoldenEye and Never Say Never Again to more modern films like Ocean’s Twelve A big flag, if you want to go inside you will need to have your original passport with you!
Go (Window) Shopping on Avenue de Monte Carlo | This is the main street through Monaco known for it’s high end shopping and I saw nearly every brand in fashion, haute couture, and jewellery that I could think of. Take all of these high end shops and put them on the stunning a Mediterranean coast and you have a match made in heaven.
Stroll the Seaside Promenade | Behind the Monte Carlo Casino you will find a long boardwalk that runs along the harbor filled with so many unique pieces of hart. I particularly liked the Rainbow Hexa Grace on the Roof of the Auditorium Rainier III and some of the more modern sculptures.
Eat Brunch at EOLA | I worked up quite an appetite on my adventures and on the recommendation of a fellow blogger stopped at EOLA, Eat Organic Live Active, for a late brunch. I opted for banana toast, a flat white and pink panther toast (avocado and beetroot hummus) but they had so many amazing dishes that it was hard to pick!
Climb the Castle Walls | The distance between brunch (which is at sea level) and the palace is only half a mile but to get there you must climb the castle walls, ascending 70 meters. The path is very well marked, the vistas are breathtaking, and you can see close up that this medieval fortification is incredibly well made.
Visit the Prince’s Palace of Monaco | In French they call it the Palais des Princes de Monaco and for such a small place this 13th-century palace certainly is lavish. Every day at 11:55am the changing of the guard takes place on the Palace Square so I made sure I was there to see it!
Check out the Oceanographic Museum | I did not spend much time in the famed museum founded by famed navigator oceanographer Prince Albert I but I enjoyed what I did see. Not only are the thousands of specimens interesting but the building’s setting on the French Riviera will take your breath away.
Visit the Princess Grace Japanese Garden |. Besides luxury shopping Monaco does have a great deal of green space given the size and I enjoyed visiting the Jardin Japonais-Princesse Grace, it was small and intimate but the Japanese-style landscaping is meticulous and very well maintained.
See the Fairmont Hairpin | While this photo may not look like much this specific bend in the road is actually a top attraction in Monaco as it is known for being the slowest corner in F1. Located at the front of the Fairmont hotel this very sharp turn, formaly known as Loews bend, is considered a a great viewing location for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Stroll along Port Herclue, the Main Harbor | I have been to five continents, dozens of countries, and I am sure countless harbors and I must say the yachts in Monte Carlo really shine. You can get a great view from the Prince’s Palace and then I recommend a stroll along the marina.