Monaco is somewhere very unique in the world. It may not be attractive with its nature, but being a city and country at same time is enough to make it interesting. It is also one of the most luxurious place in the world. If Las Vegas is the casino center of World, Monaco is Europe’s Las Vegas. It is also the second smallest country in the world (smallest one is Vatican City).
Most of the time Monaco is considered as a city of France by many people. Although it is wrong theoretically, you can not blame people. Three sides of the country is surrounded by France. There is easy transportation from France and there is no passport or visa control although Monaco is not part of EU. Even the football team Monaco plays in French League. So, it is really normal if some people have thought Monaco is a city in France.
So, is it really worth visiting Monaco? My answer is yes. How long to stay there? It depends on what you really want to do. What I did was leaving half day for exploring Monaco attractions after visting Eze Village. Another night, I visited Monaco once again for the casino and nightclubs. You may ask why I have not stayed one or two nights in Monaco. Please check hotel prices, it will directly give the answer for you. In addition to this train connection from Nice is very easy compared to bus. So, you can stay in Nice and spend your nights at the casino every day. If you are lucky enough to arrange your arrival, you may also watch Monaco Grand Prix for Formula 1.
How to reach
I have visited Monaco twice on two different days. On my first day, I have spent my morning hours in Eze Village. Most tourists visit Eze in the morning and then continue by bus 112 to Monaco. If you prefer going directly from Nice to Monaco, you can use bus 110 instead of bus 112. From my point of view, train is easier. Every hour there are either 2 or 3 departures from main Nice train station to Monaco. If you haven’t arrived by your car, keep in mind that latest return departure from Monaco train station is at 23:12. However, you may spend rest of your night in one of the nightclubs and take 05:25 train back to Nice. Second option is better for people who love partying!
Travelling in Monaco is easy, but there are some quick tips to make your life easier. It is a very small country which makes it perfect candidate for exploring city. However, it is not a flat city. So, you may have to use stairs or walk uphill. To be honest, you don’t have to do that a lot, because there are hidden elevators all around Monaco which you can use free. I am telling they are hidden, because mostly locals are aware of this. In map section, I tried to show some important elevators with details. I hope it will help you.
What to do
There are few things to be done in Monaco. If you are interested in sealife, Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is a perfect stop for you. I had a chance to visit many aquariums in the world including the ones in Bangkok, Dubai, Barcelona and Genoa. What I have seen in Monaco was good enough, maybe better in some aspects. I had a chance to touch little sharks which was something interesting for me.
Very close to the museum, you will find Cathédrale de Monaco. After 5 minutes walking on the same direction, you will reach Palais Princier de Monaco. This is one of the biggest squares in Monaco. You have a chance to visit palace. Another stop people visit is Jardin Exotique de Monaco. This can be interesting for you if you haven’t visited the garden in Eze Village.
The most important thing to do in Monaco is going Casino de Monte Carlo. You may think the most popular thing is playing some games at the casino. Unfortunately, that is wrong. The most popular thing is just waiting in one of the corner –or you may have your lunch or dinner in Café de Paris- and watch all the cars passing in front of casino. It may sound strange, but can you imagine cars each of them 1 million euro is passing non-stop in front of you? That may not make you excited if you don’t love cars, but really who don’t love cars! From Golden Aston Martins to new model Ferraris. Every car you dream of will be there.
You have a chance to visit casino free. However, you can not enter with shorts. There is a dresscode. If you have a bag, you have to leave it too. That was one of the reason I have visited Monaco twice. On my first day, I was in tourist mode with my cargo shorts and bag. On next day, I was in the Bond mode. Only difference was I was not in my tuxedo and it was not enough to attract girls by saying only my surname and name. However, at least I was drinking my martini –shaken, not stirred of course-.
There is really no need to make shopping in Monaco considering you are coming from Nice, but if you are interested Le Metropole Shopping Center is really close by. If you are looking for luxury brands, there is another area called Monte-Carlo Pavilions which was designed in a unique way where each pavilion is reserved for luxury brands. Nikki Beach, Buddha Bar and Twiga offer you amazing day and night shows.