One Day in Monaco Itinerary – Top things to do in Monaco

Ah, Monaco. A city-state of yachts, Formula 1, and James Bond. This is Europe’s haven for
the rich, but at the same time a very popular destination for tourists. So if your travels bring
you here, you will most certainly have a lot to see and enjoy. True, the place is a tad
expensive, but if you’re spending only one day in Monaco, this can easily be managed and
mitigated. Just relax and soak everything in because you will be visiting a very special place,

One day in Monaco Itinerary

What’s the best time to visit Monaco?

Monaco is located on the French Riviera, so the climate can’t really get much better than
that. Therefore, you can easily visit it all year round. However, do keep in mind that it can get
quite hot during summer and that summer is the peak tourist season around here. Therefore,
the best time to visit Monaco may be spring – it’s not that hot, and there is less rain than in


Monaco is also host to numerous globally recognized events. Sports fans probably
immediately think of the famous Monaco Grand Prix, a Formula 1 race that has been held
since 1929 and is one of the most prestigious races in the world. You can also visit the
International Monte Carlo Circus Festival in February, the Monaco Yacht Show in
September, or the Monte Carlo Summer Festival. There is always something going on

Formula E racing, Monaco
Formula E racing

A few facts about Monaco

Monaco is what is known as a microstate – it has less than 40,000 residents, and only about
a quarter of them are actually of Monégasque nationality. In fact, when it comes to sovereign
states, only Vatican City is smaller: Monaco only covers two square kilometers.
The currency used in Monaco is the euro even though the country is not formally a part of
the European Union.


Unsurprisingly, this country has the lowest poverty rate in the world. This might have
something to do with the fact that they have the highest GDP on the planet and the highest
percentage of millionaires and billionaires.

Monaco architecture
Monaco architecture

The reason why rich people flock here – Monaco charges absolutely no income tax and has
never done so.

Politically speaking, Monaco is a monarchy, and its current head is Prince Albert II.

One Day in Monaco Itinerary

So, here we are, in what is probably the richest place on Earth. One day in Monaco
promises to be full of jaw-dropping sights, so plan your time carefully to get a full sense of
this unique destination. With this itinerary, you will get to see the best sights and spend a
perfect day on the French Riviera. Let’s go!

Upon arriving in Monaco, the one thing that many people want to do is head to the famous Monte Carlo Casino. You can tour the casino starting from 10 AM, whereas the games can be played from early afternoon. So, if you’re not planning on playing and just want to have a look around, it’s best to do this first on your one day in Monaco.

Enjoy a breakfast with a view

Monte Carlo Casino
Monte Carlo Casino, Author: Miguel Mendez, Source: Flickr

To start your one day in Monte Carlo, it’s best to take it easy with a nice breakfast. Café de
Paris Monte-Carlo is a perfect place for that, not just because it fits into this itinerary

Enjoy the Mediterranean sun along with a delicious meal and a cup of coffee and soak in the
majestic surroundings of this place. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you see a celebrity or two –
many famous people love to stop by!

Casino Monte Carlo, Monaco
Casino Monte Carlo, Author: Pawel Biernacki, Source: Flickr

Hop over to Casino Monte Carlo

Right next door is the famous Casino Monte Carlo, so you will be able to start sightseeing
right after breakfast. Keep in mind that the tours start at 10 AM (up until 1 PM), while the
casino is not actually open yet and is getting ready for another day of excitement. Still, you
are more than welcome to go inside and take a look.

Jardins de la Petite Afrique
Jardins de la Petite Afrique, Author: bvi4092, Source: Flickr

The interior is nothing short of stunning, while the building was built back in 1863. There is
an Opera Hall inside that mimics the one in Paris, and all the gambling rooms are jaw-
droppingly beautiful. No wonder James Bond is a frequent guest of this place in his movies.
Should you want to play in the casino on top of touring it, note that the place opens for
players at 2 PM.

Take a walk to the Oceanographic Museum

Once you’re done with the casino, take a stroll to the Oceanographic Museum. The best
route is through Monaco Ville, i.e. the Old Town. Lovely narrow streets and loads of shops
make this trip well worth it, plus you can stop and see the town hall and the National
Council building.

Once you enter the museum, you will see why many consider it to be one of the best such
museums in Europe. The aquarium has more than 6000 species, including various sharks,
turtles, and many, many more. It is interesting to know that the museum was founded in
1910 as a place for Prince Albert I to drop off things from his various expeditions.

Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Author: Kurt Bauschardt, Source: Flickr

Sit down for an amazing lunch

After all this sightseeing, you must be pretty hungry, so it’s time to find a place for lunch.
Fortunately, a place like Monaco has plenty of amazing choices!

La Note Bleue is an excellent example – located on a beach, this restaurant provides a
beautiful setting for your meal as well as excellent food. Oh, and the prices are pretty
reasonable for Monaco.

MayaBay is a great choice for those of you who love Thai food, whereas Bella Vita serves
delicious Italian classics, including pizzas and pasta.

French and Italian cuisine dominate and permeate Monaco’s food scene, so you are by no
means limited in your search for a good meal. Feel free to explore, you won’t be

Take a look at Saint Nicholas Cathedral

Go back to the Old Town once you’re done with your lunch and find Saint Nicholas
Cathedral. This beautiful piece of architecture was built in 1875 and houses the tombs of
deceased princes, and actress Grace Kelly has also been laid to rest here, seeing how she
married Prince Rainier and thus became the Princess of Monaco.

On top of that, the cathedral has an altarpiece from the beginning of the 16th century on top
of some other beautiful details. Seeing how entering the cathedral is free, it would be a
shame to miss out on this opportunity.

Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco
Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco

Relax on Larvotto Beach

After a whole day of sightseeing, there’s nothing better than relaxing on a beautiful
Mediterranean beach, and Larvotto Beach is just the thing! This wonderful strip of white
sand and pebbles is surrounded by various shops and eateries, so you have plenty of
options on how to spend your time here.

Don’t be afraid to jump straight in (unless you had something to eat, that is) because the
water is crystal-clear and perfect for a swim. Best of all, this is a completely public beach, so
everyone can enjoy it. You can hop on a bus, take a taxi, or simply take a stroll to get here.

Plan your night out

Going out in the evening in Monaco is a very special experience. After all, this is where the
jet set from all over the world can be seen. So, expect to find some fancy (and expensive)
places, many of which will have a dress code.

Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo comes highly recommended, and the same can be said for La
Rascasse. They both offer great food and drinks, with excellent DJs taking care of the

Monaco at night
Monaco at night, Author: Carandoom, Source: Flickr

Jimmy Z’s deserves to be mentioned too, since it’s been around for more than 50 years and
has become probably the most iconic club in Monaco. Many celebrities can often be found
here, so consider yourself lucky if you manage to get in.

Of course, one can always go and play in the illustrious Monte-Carlo Casino if money is not
a problem, but Bar Amércain is also a fantastic evening venue. Looking like something from
the Roaring Twenties, this bar oozes class, and the interior and the live jazz music really
create a remarkable experience.

Where to stay in Monaco?

Le Meridien Beach Plaza

Le Méridien Beach Plaza

22 Avenue Princesse Grace, MC 98000 Monte Carlo, Monaco

Seek out Le Méridien Beach Plaza. This hotel is on the water and has numerous amenities that you will enjoy the entire time that you’re staying there. Your room could have a view of the water and you can order amazing room service.


Hotel Columbus Monte Carlo

Hotel Columbus Monte Carlo

23 Avenue Des Papalins, 98000 Monte Carlo

Hotel Columbus was recently renovated and now is a great and affordable (when compared to the competition, anyway) option for a stay in Monaco. A fantastic swimming pool with loads of greenery around it is something everyone is bound to enjoy, plus the view is great. The rooms are spacious and fairly luxurious, and the hotel restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. All in all, a great place to stay.


Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo

Place du Casino, Monte Carlo City Centre, 98000 Monte Carlo

If you really want to live it up, Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo is really hard to beat. Located in a building from mid-19h century, this hotel will captivate you with luxury and class from the moment you step foot inside it. I mean, it has its own wine cellar! Two swimming pools are also available, and the rooms feature marble bathrooms and are exquisitely decorated. Oh, and pets are allowed, too.


Hotel de France

Hotel de France

6 Rue de la Turbie, 98000 Monte Carlo

If you’re trying to stay in Monaco without spending a pretty penny, then check into some of the hostels. Hotel de France in Monaco is an inexpensive option that is still central to many of the elements of the city. That way, you can spend more money on enjoying the area and culture and less money trying to find lodgings that come with a lot of benefits.


Day trips from Monaco

The location and size of this tiny sovereign state are perfect if you want to go on day trips from Monaco and cross the border into other countries. And there is quite a lot to see, so here’s a few suggestions that are bound to interest you.


A wonderful city on the south of France, Nice is only about half an hour away from Monaco, which makes it an ideal destination for a day trip. This is what the French Riviera is all about, and you will get to enjoy some spectacular food, art and a vibe that is modern and slightly glamorous but always inviting. One day in Nice is just what the doctor ordered!


The second largest city in France certainly has a lot to offer, and it’s really not that far from Nice. Just continue along the coast westwards and you’ll get there in about two hours. One day in Marseilles can be spent in a variety of ways, enjoying shopping, famous museums, incredible restaurants and sights, but you can also get out of town a bit to explore Provence.

San Remo

But you can also head east from Monaco and cross the border into Italy. Once you do that, head to the lovely little town of San Remo. The vibe here is something amazing, with loads of colours, friendly locals and great wine wherever you turn. Also, should you be here in winter, you may want to arrange so that you can go and visit the famous San Remo Festival.


Back to the French Riviera for the last of our day trips from Monaco. Cannes is a city of art and culture, famous for its film festival. You may want to avoid that festival, though, as the prices blow up and the city is swarmed by visitors. But during the rest of the year, one day in Cannes is an absolute treat, with one of the most beautiful promenades in the country.

Extra tips for visiting Monaco

If you’re going to visit Monaco, then it’s a good idea to think about making friends. According to the experts, not only can friendships turn into something long-term and fun, but they can lead to new adventures that you’d never have otherwise.

Monaco is a one-of-a-kind place and the people who come here are instantly more interesting for having stopped by. Whether you are an individual looking for a full vacation or you’re just spending the day, there is so much to do in this city that you’ll want to keep coming back. Fortunately, people on all budgets can find something fun to do, but it’s better to come with a full wallet. All in all, as long as you like warm air, a summery breeze, and interesting people, you’ll be all set to have a great experience!

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Best of Monaco - What to do and where to stayA complete one day itinerary for Monaco

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What to pack for your next trip?

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