France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   What to See & Do in Monaco
The small Principality of Monaco is the stuff of legends and intrigue, but it's also a fun place to visit.





The Principality of Monaco, a quasi-sovereign country on the Côte d'Azur 21 km (13 miles) east of Nice (map), is famous for its ritzy casino and the wealth of its residents. It's an easy day trip from Nice, and also very close to Italy if you want to continue your adventures in that direction.

Monaco is the country, and Monte Carlo is the capital city.

The annual Grand Prix de Monaco auto race has been held here since 1929, and is still run annually in late May or early June. It's difficult to imagine cars racing through the narrow streets of the Principality, but they do every year.

Le Rocher (The Rock)

The heart of historic Monaco is centered on The Rock (Le Rocher), the high promontory on the south side of the port that is home to the palace of the Grimaldi family. It's also home to the Quartier du Port, the Cathedral de Monaco, and the Oceanographic Museum.

It's fascinating to spend an hour or so wandering its narrow streets, strolling in the beautiful gardens near the museum, or enjoying the many views of the town and the coast. More...

Northeast of the Rock, at its foot, is the Quartier du Port,traditionally called La Condamine, with its many yachts and sailing vessels, as well as lovely streets and shops.

Monte Carlo & its Casino

Monaco is perhaps best known for Monte-Carlo, on the north side of the port, home of the famous Casino, as well as many luxurious villas, palaces, and shops. You'll see plenty of fancy cars here, as well as people in furs and jewels. More...


The Principality also is home to several museums of interest:

—The Oceanographic Museum (Musée Océanographique) is a must for anyone fascinated by the sea, its flora and fauna, vessels and science. More...

—The Museum of Old Monaco (Musée du Vieux Monaco) is the principality's historical museum, with exhibits on Monégasque culture and hostory. More...

—The New National Museum of Monaco (Nouveau Musée National de Monaco) is the principality's contemporary art museum, housed in two historic villas, the Villa Paloma and Villa Sauber. More...

—The Monaco Top Cars Collection is a museum of vintage automobiles collected by the late Prince Rainier III (1923-2005), housed in a specially-designed building. More...

Here's a list of all of Monaco's museums.

About Monaco

Le Rocher/The Rock

Monte-Carlo & its Casino

Hotels in Monaco

About Nice

The Côte d'Azur

Côte d'Azur Transport




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Place du Palais, Monaco

Above, Place du Palais, on the Rock, Monaco.

Below, Oceanographic Museum, Monaco.


Oceanographic Museum, Monaco

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