WHAT TO DO IN PORT: MONTE CARLO

Hi my lovely readers!

Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco located along the French Riviera. Monaco itself is one of the smallest countries in the world with a land border of around 6km and is run by the royal family, the Grimaldi’s. To the eastern border lies France and to the western border Italy.

Monte Carlo is famous for its casino featured in many movies due to its grand architecture, the big and luxury yachts docked in the harbour and of course the Grand Prix. It is the place to be for the rich and famous.

So, what is there to do for anyone who earns an average salary and is not uber rich? And more importantly, how can you spend a day in Monte Carlo or Monaco when your cruise stops there?

Here are some ideas what you can do in port: Monte Carlo!

MONTE CARLO HARBOUR

A good starting point for exploring Monte Carlo is of course the harbour. Some cruise ships dock at the pier and some tender to the pier. Either way, you are going to be by the harbour with all the fancy yachts the minute you get of the ship.

I love ships and boats and doing a bit of yacht spotting is a lot of fun. You will see smaller yachts and super yachts, the likes that you normally would only see on TV. It is just fantastic.

PRINCE’S PALACE OF MONACO

From the harbour you can head up the hill to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. The palace was originally build as a fortress of the Republic of Genoa around the early 13th century due to its location. It became the residence of the Grimaldi family when they declared their sovereignty over Monaco at the beginning of the 14th century.

The palace ever since has been in the possession of the Grimaldi family where they live to this day. Some parts of the palace are open to the public for viewing such as the state apartments. With the admission cost currently being around €8.00, I think a visit is a no brainer.

I wish I could show you more pictures, but unfortunately you are not allowed to take pictures of the beautiful rooms inside the palace.


  • Admission: Adults – €8; Children (6 – 17 years old) and Students €4
  • For more information please visit: The State Apartments

THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE CARS OF H.S.H. PRINCE RAINER III

A short five min walk from the Palace of Monaco is the Car Museum that hosts the Car Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco.

The museum has a vast collection of old, classic as well as modern and sporty cars. Prince Rainer III started this car collection at the end of the 1950s, but as his collection grew it became clear that he needed more space. The collection soon outgrew the available space in the palace garage.

Prince Rainier decided to open his collection to the public in 1993 and today visitors can view and admire around hundred different cars from companies that are long gone, to Rolls Royce and Formula 1 cars from the Monaco Grand Prix.


MONACO GRAND PRIX

If you are a Formula 1 enthusiast, many cruise lines offer cruises that have a port call in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix. You can either do your own arrangements and book Grand Prix tickets or you can book Grand Prix packages through the cruise line, similar to an excursion.

If you visit Monte Carlo when the Grand Prix is not currently on, you can still walk the streets of Monte Carlo and follow the track the racing cars have to follow, which is fairly easy considering almost the entire country becomes a race course.

MONTE CARLO CASINO AND CASINO SQUARE

One of the many famous attractions in Monte Carlo is of course Casino Square where the Monte Carlo Opera, Casino and Cafe Paris can be found.

Cafe Paris is very popular, especially with tourists and was very busy when I visited Monte Carlo. You get an excellent view of the Opera and the Casino from Cafe Paris and can spot plenty of expensive cars such as Rolls Royce and Lamborghinis pulling up on the square for valet parking, while you enjoy some food and drinks.

A must visitor attraction is of course the Monte Carlo Casino built in 1863, one of the wealthiest resorts in the world. The iconic building was designed by Charles Garnier, who also built the Paris Opera.

The casino’s building is an architectural masterpiece and stunning from the outside. However, the real deal including the lavishly decorated interior, the gold and marble atrium as well as the detailed and intricate woodcarvings, paintings and sculptures that are featured in many James Bond movies can only be found inside.

The interior of the Monte Carlo Casino will blow your mind. You MUST go inside. It is the poshest, richest looking and most incredible interior I have ever seen.

You need to be aged 18 years and over to enter the casino and pay an admission fee of around 10 Euros currently.

After 8 pm an evening dress code is required that needs to be followed if you want to enter the casino, which bans visitors to enter in jeans, flip flops, requires man to wear a jacket and so. Also, the Casino does not allow any photography inside at all. They are super strict on this.

A STROLL THROUGH MONTE CARLO

Monte Carlo, well Monaco is not big at all. In fact it probably takes you only about an hour and a half +/- to walk from the pier all the way to the border of the country.

While you stroll through the city you will see plenty of buildings with grand features, churches, some monuments and many apartment blocks and hotels with a view of the harbour.

Walking through the streets of Monte Carlo and Monaco overall is a joy in my opinion in terms of spotting numerous buildings that give off this Mediterranean vibe. On your way you will pass designer shops and stores for, in my case window shopping, as well as cafes and restaurants to sip on some Aperol Spritz.

If you are looking for designer clothes, expensive watches and those sorts of items, Monte Carlo is the place to purchase them. Located close to the Monte Carlo Casino are several designer and boutique shops to satisfy your shopping needs.


Would you want to go to Monte Carlo? Is it on your list of place to visit?

Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “WHAT TO DO IN PORT: MONTE CARLO

  1. wow. how disappointing that they are so anti-photography. does that mean they also ban phones in the casino? And so the dress code is much more relaxed before 8pm? How interesting. A day’s stop seems like a fun idea next time i’m in europe if i can wrangle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it is a shame. I would have loved to take some pictures of the inside, but I guess it’s got to do with the royal family. They own the palace and have a majority interest in the casino. Yes, during the day the dress code is much more relaxed. I would assume to attract tourists.

      Like

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