France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Monte Carlo, Monaco Guide
An independent principality in theory, Monaco and its capital city of Monte Carlo are easy to visit—and interesting—while you're on France's Côte d'Azur.





The tiny Principality of Monaco, sandwiched between Nice and Menton on France's Côte d'Azur (map) is a sovereign, constitutional monarchy ruled by a hereditary prince of the Grimaldi family.

Just over 2 square kilometers (0.78 square miles) in size, with a population of about 36,000, it is the most densely-populated country in the world. With no income tax and low business taxes, it has become a banking and business center, and a tax haven for high-income individuals who want to keep what they receive.

Though a member of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, Monaco is not formally a member of the European Union, although it cooperates in some EU policies and uses the euro as its currency. By treaty, France handles Monaco's defense matters.

Visiting Monaco

For travelers, Monaco is a delightful historical anomaly: a mini-kingdom surrounded by France, but with a different personality and appeal because of its history.

It's simple to include a visit to Monaco in your trip to France's Côte d'Azur: no Customs or Immigration controls when you pass from France into Monaco or vice-versa, no different currency. Pretty much everything is the same as in France...except that you're in Monaco.

The mini-country (map) is divided into several districts, with the Quartier du Port and La Condamine, encompassing The Rock and the historic district, and L'Hérmitage, with the Casino de Monte-Carlo, being of greatest interest to visitors.

Go to Monaco and its central district of Monte -Carlo to visit the posh, renowned Casino de Monte-Carlo, to gawk at the huge yachts in its harbors and the expensive cars that pull up to discharge their wealthy passengers at the 5-star, 182-room, celebrity-stuffed Hôtel de Paris right next to the Casino. More...

Monte Carlo, Monaco, France
View of the Quartier du Port with its yachts, Monaco...

Getting to Monaco

Monaco is only 16km (10 miles) west of the Italian border at Menton/Ventimiglia. Getting there is quick, easy and cheap.

Bus 100

Lignes d'Azur Bus 100 (Nice-Menton) runs frequently from Nice (Port Lympia) via the coastal towns to Monaco for only 1.50, making the trip in about 3/4 hour, depending on which bus stop you choose in Monaco:

Place d'Armes (40 minutes) for The Rock, the Princes' Palace and the Cathedral

Princesse Antoinette (42 minutes) for the SNCF Gare de Monaco-Monte-Carlo

Monte-Carlo (Casino) (46 minutes) for the Casino

TER Train

SNCF TER trains also run along the coast between Nice (Nice-Ville) and Monaco (Gare de Monaco-Monte-Carlo) about every half hour, taking 25 minutes to make the journey, for 4.10 one-way/single.

From the train station, it's a 15-minute walk to The Rock and Quartier du Port, and only about 12 minutes to the Casino de Monte-Carlo.

Monte Carlo, Monaco Hotels

Use this Hotel Map to find a place to stay in Monte Carlo, Monaco:

What to See & Do

Monte Carlo Hotels


Côte d'Azur Transport

Côte d'Azur



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Le Grand Théâtre, home of the
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