One Day in Monaco: A stunning vertical aerial view of the harbor in Monaco, displaying rows of moored yachts, a curved breakwater, and a densely populated cityscape climbing up the mountainous terrain under a clear blue sky.

One Day in Monaco: How to Spend 24 Hours Here

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by April Nicole

One Day in Monaco: A picturesque walkway in Monaco Village lined with traditional peach and yellow buildings, with the azure Mediterranean Sea peering through a natural archway formed by an overhanging tree, inviting exploration and discovery.
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only have one day in Monaco and looking for what to do?

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Monaco, the epitome of glamour and luxury nestled along the French Riviera, offers an enchanting escape that captivates every visitor. This tiny principality, smaller than New York’s Central Park, is a dazzling blend of opulence and history.

I recently took a day trip from Nice to Monaco that was nothing short of enchanting. From strolling through the pristine streets to marveling at the majestic Monte Carlo Casino, every moment felt like stepping into a lavish dream.

Join me as we explore Monaco through my eyes!

Monaco Quick Guide

Getting To Monaco

Airport – The nearest major international airport is in Nice, 27 KM away. Book your plane ticket here.

Train – Gare d’Antibes connects to the towns of Cannes, Nice & Monaco as well as areas of Provence. Book your train tickets here.

Private Driver – Hire a professional driver for your sightseeing tours along the French riviera and Monaco. Book your driver here.

Nearby French Riviera Cities
Tours From Monaco

If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of Monaco one-day itinerary:

Is one day enough time to visit Monaco?

One day in Monaco is more than enough time to explore all that this destination has to offer. This compact city-state is easily navigable, allowing visitors to see major attractions like the Prince’s Palace, the Monte Carlo Casino, and the luxurious yachts along Port Hercules without rushing.

Monaco’s efficient public transport simplifies movement, making it possible to soak in the glamorous ambiance and stunning Mediterranean views in just one day.

Best time to visit Monaco

The best time to visit Monaco is during the spring months of April to June. During this period, the weather is pleasantly warm, and the tourist crowds are manageable. Additionally, you can experience the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, usually held in May, adding a thrilling element to your visit.

Suggested one day in Monaco Itinerary

Some of the most well-known attractions are included in this one day in Monaco itinerary. While you might not want to visit them all or you might choose to spend more time at some of the attractions than others, I hope this sample one-day itinerary for Monaco can serve as inspiration if you’re looking on what to do in Monaco in a day.

Take a stroll around the beautiful Monte Carlo harbor

One Day in Monaco: The bustling Monte Carlo harbor with luxury yachts moored in blue waters, a waterfront promenade with dining terraces under white umbrellas, all set against Monaco's mountainous landscape and Mediterranean architecture.

The best way to see Monte Carlo is by foot, and there is no better place to start your exploration than at the harbor. This is where the luxury yachts and cruise ships dock, and it is also home to some of the best restaurants and bars in the city.

There are a few different ways to tour the harbor. You can take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, or you can hop on a boat for a closer look. There are also a few tour companies that offer Segway or electric scooter tours of the area.

No matter how you choose to see it, the Monte Carlo harbor is a must-see for any visitor to the city. There is no better place to people watch, enjoy the Mediterranean sun, or simply relax with a glass of wine than at the harbor.

People watch from one of the many cafés

One Day in Monaco

There’s no shortage of top things to do in Monte Carlo, but one of the best activities is simply people watching from one of the many cafes lining the streets. This is a great way to get a feel for the local culture and see some of the beautiful people that Monaco has to offer. Sit back with a coffee or a glass of wine and take in the sights and sounds of this bustling city.

Café de Paris is one of the most popular places to people watch in Monte Carlo. It is situated in the middle of the Casino Square and is always filled with well-dressed people. You can sit outside and enjoy the people watching, or go inside and watch the people gambling.

There is something about the Café de Paris that makes it the perfect place to people watch. Maybe it’s the grandiose architecture or the fact that it’s situated in the heart of the casino square. Whatever the reason, it’s always filled with interesting people.

Visit the Monte Carlo Casino and take a gamble

One Day in Monaco: Inside the opulent Monte Carlo Casino, visitors pose for photos with a large roulette floor display and colorful casino chips, surrounded by luxurious marble columns and exquisite frescoed ceilings.

Monte Carlo is home to the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino. This stunning casino is situated in the heart of the Principality of Monaco and is well known for its luxurious atmosphere and its extravagant decor.

The Monte Carlo Casino is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Monaco, and it is easy to see why. The casino is home to a number of different gaming rooms and areas, including the Salle Blanche, the Salon Rose, and the Atrium. There is also a variety of restaurants and bars located within the casino, so visitors can take a break from the gaming action and enjoy a meal or a drink.

The Monte Carlo Casino is open to the public from 2:00 PM until 4:00 AM, and visitors must be 18 years of age or older to enter. While there is no dress code in most areas of the casino, visitors are advised to dress smartly if they wish to enter the gaming rooms.

Explore the old town of Monaco and soak up its history

One Day in Monaco: Breathtaking panoramic view from a hilltop garden overlooking the marina of Monte Carlo and Fontvieille, with the Mediterranean Sea in the distance, framed by lush greenery and Monaco's dense cityscape.

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the old town of Monaco is a beautiful place to explore. With its winding streets and historic buildings, there is plenty to see and do.

One of the best ways to explore the old town is on foot. This way you can really take in the sights and sounds of this picturesque place. Start at the Prince’s Palace and work your way down through the streets. Make sure to stop and see the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, which is full of intricate details and beautiful stained glass windows.

For a bird’s eye view of Monaco, make your way up to the Saint Martin Gardens. From here you can see the whole town, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. This is a great spot to take some pictures and really take in the beauty of the old town.

Shop til you drop at the luxurious boutiques

One Day in Monaco: A serene evening on Rue Grimaldi with pedestrians strolling past charming pastel-colored buildings and local shops, while the street leads towards the hills of Monaco, evoking the principality's elegant urban lifestyle.

Monte Carlo is world-renowned for its luxurious boutiques, stocking some of the most prestigious designer labels in the world. If you’re looking to treat yourself to a new wardrobe, Monte Carlo is the place to do it.

The Metropole Shopping Monte-Carlo is home to many of the most high-end boutiques, including Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton. Here you’ll find the latest collections from all your favourite designers, as well as expert advice from the knowledgeable sales staff.

For something a little more unique, head to the Rue Grimaldi. This pedestrianised street is lined with independent boutiques selling everything from antique jewellery to local artisanal products. There’s also a number of art galleries here, so it’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two.

Marvel at the architecture of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco

One Day in Monaco: Tourists gather in the courtyard of the Prince's Palace in Old Monte Carlo, admiring the historic peach-colored façade with its Italianate architecture, under a bright blue sky.

The Prince’s Palace of Monaco is the home of the Prince of Monaco, and is located on the Rock of Monaco. The Palace is open to the public for tours, and houses a number of museums.

The Palace was first built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, and has since been expanded and renovated several times. Monaco’s sovereign family has resided in the Palace since 1297, making it the longest-inhabited royal palace in Europe.

Visitors can explore the State Apartments, which contain a number of paintings and tapestries, as well as furniture and objets d’art from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

The Palace also houses a number of museums, including the Prince’s Collection of Antique Cars, the Grévin Wax Museum, and the Museum of the History of Monaco.

In addition to the Palace, visitors can also explore the surrounding grounds, which include the Court of Honour, the Palace Chapel, and the Private Gardens. The grounds are also home to a number of sculptures, including a monument to Prince Rainier III.

Grab Lunch in the City

One Day in Monaco: Visitors and locals enjoy a sunny day along the promenade in Monte Carlo, with al fresco dining at waterside restaurants and a view of the bustling marina and Monaco's high-rise urban landscape.

If you’re spending a day in Monaco, you’ll want to make sure you enjoy some of the best cuisine the city has to offer. Here are four great restaurants to enjoy during your stay.

First on our list is Le Louis XV–Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris. Here you’ll find classic French cuisine with a Monaco twist. The Michelin-starred restaurant offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, making it the perfect spot to enjoy some luxurious seafood dishes.

If you’re looking for something a bit more casual, La Note Bleue is a great choice. This beachfront restaurant serves up fresh Mediterranean seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. You can enjoy your meal al fresco on the terrace, with views of the yachts in the harbor.

Watch the Changing of the Guards in front of the Prince’s Palace

One of the most popular things to see in Monte Carlo is the Changing of the Guards in front of the Prince’s Palace. The ceremony is held every day at 11:55 am, and it is a great way to get a glimpse of the opulent lifestyle that the Prince and his family enjoy.

The palace is guarded by the Carabinieri, who are dressed in traditional red and black uniforms. They march into the square in front of the palace and take up their positions. Then, the Captain of the Guard gives a short speech, after which the guards change places.

The whole ceremony lasts for about 20 minutes, and it is a great photo opportunity. So make sure you bring your camera!

Click here to learn more about The Changing of the Guard.

Take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea

One Day in Monaco: A dynamic scene at Larvotto Beach with people swimming and lounging on the sand, while a person performs a dive into the crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea, all set against the backdrop of Monaco's urban skyline.

After you’ve spent a few hours strolling around the beautiful streets of Monte Carlo, take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea to cool off. The water is crystal clear and the perfect temperature for a refreshing swim. There are plenty of public beaches to choose from, or you can take a dip in one of the many luxurious pools at the city’s hotels.

There are several beaches to choose from in Monte Carlo, each with its own unique atmosphere. For a truly luxurious experience, head to the Monte-Carlo Beach Club, where you can enjoy the sun on one of the private cabanas, or take a dip in the infinity pool.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, head to Larvotto Beach, where you can sunbathe on the soft sand or take a refreshing swim in the clear blue waters. For the best views in town, take a walk along the promenade at Larvotto Beach – you’ll be able to see the entire city stretched out before you.

See the Grand Prix

The Grand Prix is one of the most popular events in Monte Carlo, and for good reason. The race is held on the famed Circuit de Monaco, every May and the course is incredibly challenging. The setting is also stunning, as the race takes place right on the Mediterranean Sea. Even if you’re not a big fan of racing, the Grand Prix is a must-see event. Here are some tips for enjoying the race.

Arrive early: The race starts at 10AM, but there is a lot of activity beforehand. The race pits will open at 8AM, and you’ll want to get there early to see the teams and drivers getting ready.

Find a good spot: The Circuit de Monaco is 3.337 kilometers long, so there’s a lot of ground to cover. If you want to see the action up close, head to the Grandstand at the start/finish line. Otherwise, find a spot along the famed Monaco Harbor section of the course.

Bring binoculars: Even if you’re close to the action, binoculars will come in handy. This will help you see the drivers and their cars as they zip by.

Getting to Monaco from Nice

Monaco, the glamorous principality on the French Riviera, is just a stone’s throw away from Nice. Whether you’re looking for a quick day trip or a scenic journey, here are the best ways to travel from Nice to Monaco:

By Train

  • Route: Take the TER (Train Express Régional) from Nice Ville station to Monaco-Monte Carlo station.
  • Duration: Approximately 20 minutes.
  • Frequency: Trains run every 15 minutes during peak hours.
  • Cost: Around €4 one-way.

👉 Reserve your train ticket to Monaco and discover the ease of rail travel in Europe!

By Bus

  • Route: Bus number 100 departs from Nice Port and travels along the coast to Monaco.
  • Duration: About 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • Cost: €1.50 one-way.

👉 Book your bus ticket now for a convenient and budget-friendly trip to Monaco!

By Car

  • Route: Drive along the Lower Corniche (Basse Corniche – N98), Middle Corniche (Moyenne Corniche – N7), or Upper Corniche (Grande Corniche).
  • Duration: Approximately 30 minutes, traffic permitting.
  • Scenic Tip: The Middle Corniche offers stunning views of the Mediterranean.

👉 I recommend taking a look at AutoEurope and DiscoverCars, two aggregators that allow you to compare prices and book.

By Ferry

  • Availability: Seasonal ferry services are available. Check local providers for schedules.
  • Duration: About 1 hour.
  • Experience: Offers a unique and scenic approach to Monaco by sea.

👉 Plan your nautical journey and sail into the beautiful Monte Carlo!

Guided Tour

  • Options: Numerous tour operators in Nice offer half-day or full-day guided tours to Monaco.
  • Benefits: Includes transportation and a guided experience, often with added stops at notable Riviera sights.

👉 Check out this half-day in Monaco, which includes a stop in the quaint village of Èze, if you’re interested in going that route. Do you wish to stay in Monaco longer? A good option for you will be this full-day guided tour of Monaco!

Where to stay in Monaco

From Nice or any other nearby cities/towns, it is easy to travel to Monaco in a day. However, if you can also spend the night in Monaco, go for it! My top recommendations for hotels in Monaco for various price ranges are listed below:

  • Budget-Friendly: The Hotel de France Monaco offers an affordable yet stylish stay, just minutes from iconic sites like the Prince’s Palace.
  • Mid-Range: Novotel Monte Carlo provides a comfortable and contemporary setting with an outdoor pool and is centrally located near the Monte Carlo train station.
  • Luxury: Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo exudes opulence right beside the famous Casino Square, featuring luxurious rooms, a world-class spa, and Michelin-starred dining.

Final thoughts on one day in Monaco

When traveling to the Côte d’Azur, it is worthwhile to stop at Monaco because it is packed with attractions. I hope that my recommendations on what to do in Monaco for a day was helpful.

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