Short on time? Here are our Monaco top recommendations:

Activities: book your Monaco Tours with Get Your Guide.

Accommodation: we use to find the best hotels.

Transport: TrainLine for trains and FlixBus for intercity buses.

Flights: find cheapest flights with cashback on WayAway.

Airport Lounge Access: start your holiday the right way with Priority Pass.

Travel Medical Insurance: SafetyWing Nomad Insurance is the ideal choice for long-term travellers and digital nomads.

Travel Banking: Wise makes global travel banking seamless and affordable.

Why you should go to Monaco

Monaco is one of the most exclusive and expensive countries in the world. Playground of billionaires, this tiny principality is the second smallest country in the world. In this Monaco travel guide, we share everything you need to know to plan your next Monaco trip.

Monaco travel guide: Know before you go

Basic info about Monaco

  • Language – French. English and Italian are widely spoken throughout the country as well as the national language of the native Monaco people called Monégasque.
  • Currency – euro (EUR). This has been the official currency of Monaco since 2002. Currency exchanges as well as ATMs are available widely throughout the country.
  • Population – 39,244 (2020).
  • Area – 2.1 km2 (0.8 sq mi). Monaco is the 2nd smallest country in the world.
  • Capital – Monaco (city-state).
  • Emergency number – 112
  • Police number – 17

Utilities in Monaco

  • Electricity – Monaco uses Types E and F power plugs. The country operates on a 230v supply voltage at 50Hz. Power outages are not common in Monaco.
  • Water – the tap water in Monaco is safe to drink everywhere in the country.
  • Toilets – sit-down flushing toilets are the most common type of toilet in Monaco. You can flush your toilet paper directly into the toilet. Public toilets are very common in Monaco. Many public toilets are free to use and paid toilets cost 50 cents. Toilets are cleaned regularly and are in excellent condition.
  • Telephone country code: +377

Where is Monaco?

Monaco is a country in western Europe. It is shares a land border with France and is only 15km from the border of Italy. Located within the French Riviera, it has a 3.83km coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.

Entry requirements for Monaco

Monaco is considered a de-facto member of the Schengen free travel zone. This is because travellers must pass through a Schengen zone country in order to enter Monaco.

General entry requirements for the European Schengen Area:

  • Valid passport (or ID if you are from an EU country). Your passport must be less than 10 years old and must also have at least 3 months validity after the day you plan to leave the Schengen Area.
  • Visa, if required. This will depend on your citizenship. If you come from a visa exempt country, you may still require ETIAS travel authorisation. This comes with a 7 euro application fee (as at April 2024).
  • You may also need proof of accommodation, proof of onward travel and proof that you have sufficient funding for your trip.

Schengen Rules apply for visitors to the Schengen Area. For example, as Australian citizens, under the Schengen Rules we can only stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days in any 180 day period. We recommend checking what rules apply to your particular circumstances.

Monaco travel guide: How to get to Monaco

Monaco travel guide: arriving overland

Land border crossings for Monaco

Monaco shares a land border with France (we have done this border crossing). The closest French cities and towns to Monaco are Nice and Menton.

Monaco land border transport

The main transport options for travelling overland to Monaco are:

  • Private vehicle
  • Private transport operator
  • Train – there is one train station in Monaco – the Monaco-Monte-Carlo station. This is an underground train station. The train from Nice to Monaco takes less than half an hour and costs 4.10 euros (as at 2022). This train can also take you into Italy.
  • Shuttle
  • Local bus – the 100 bus runs between Nice and Menton via Monaco. Additionally, it has several stops along the way. The bus ride from Nice to Monaco takes 45 minutes. It runs approximately every 15 to 20 minutes throughout the day. Fares cost 1.50 euros (as at 2022) and tickets can be purchased on the bus. The bus leaves from a street away from the old port in Nice and stops at 4 different locations within Monaco.
Timetable for the 100 Bus between Nice, Monaco and Menton
Timetable for the 100 Bus between Nice, Monaco and Menton

Monaco travel guide: arriving by air

There are no international airports within Monaco. The closest airport to Monaco is:

  • Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (Airport code NCE).

The only aviation facility within Monaco is Monte Carlo Heliport in the district of Fontvieille. The flag carrier of Monaco is Heli Air Monaco.

Helicopter at Monaco Heliport, Monaco Flag, red and white flag, Mediterranean Sea in background
Monaco Heliport

Monaco travel guide: arriving by sea

Cruise Critic

There are 2 seaports in Monaco. These are:

  • Port Hercule – this is the only deep-water port in Monaco.
  • Port de Fontvieille

Monaco travel guide: How to get around Monaco

Local buses in Monaco

Local buses are a cheap and reliable way to travel around Monaco. The buses are operated by Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco (CAM). Buses run seven days a week from approximately 7am to 9pm, with reduced services on weekends.

Boat bus (Bateau bus) in Monaco

In addition to buses, there are boat buses known as bateau buses that you can use to travel around the coastal areas of Monaco.

Trains in Monaco

EN - 970x250

There is only one train station in Monaco, which is the underground Monaco-Monte-Carlo train station. You can catch trains to get in and out of Monaco but not for internal travel in the principality.

We recommend using the app and website TrainLine to book intercity train tickets between Monaco and other parts of Europe. It is very easy to use with great functionality. Another great feature is that you can see days ahead to see what times of the day were the cheapest rates.

Arriving by train at Monaco-Monte-Carlo Train Station, underground train station in Monaco, woman wearing orange mask
Monaco-Monte-Carlo Train Station

Vehicle hire in Monaco

A wide variety of vehicles can be rented in Monaco. This includes:

  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Cars
  • SUVs
  • Boats

In Monaco you drive on the right side of the road.

Taxis in Monaco

Taxis are common in Monaco. The Monaco Taxi Association operates 12 stations and 10 terminals, which you can use to call for a taxi, located throughout the Principality. Expect to pay the following:

  • Journeys within Monaco (day and night), without waiting and in normal traffic conditions – 15 euros.
  • Monaco to Nice Airport via the motorway – 90 euros.
  • Supplement for waiting time and slow traffic (in excess of 3 minutes day and night) – 60 euros an hour.

Ride-share services in Monaco

Uber is banned in Monaco. You can catch Ubers into Monaco, but in order to get an Uber out of Monaco you will need to cross the border into France.


Monaco travel guide: How long to spend in Monaco

Monaco is the perfect destination for a day trip from Nice or Menton in France. Its small size means that it is entirely possible to walk around the entire country in less than a day. Monaco is considered a de-facto member of the Schengen free travel zone as travellers must pass through a Schengen zone country in order to enter Monaco. While Monaco doesn’t have its own visa policies, it closely follows the Schengen visa rules.

Monaco travel guide: Best areas to visit in Monaco

The 4 traditional quartiers or districts of Monaco are:

  • Fontvielle – the economic and industrial area
  • Monaco-Ville – the old city
  • La Condamine – the port area and old commercial area
  • Monte Carlo – the main residential and resort area

These 4 quarters plus the area of Moneghetti are known as the 5 modern geographic areas of the Principality of Monaco.Popular areas to visit in Monaco include the following:

Popular areas to visit in Fontvielle Monaco

Fontvielle is on the southern border of Monaco and is the first district you will enter if coming from Nice. Popular places to visit in Fontville include:

  • Roseraie Princesse Grace – this is a beautifully maintained rose garden that was built in memory of Princess Grace. The rose gardens are free to enter, are wheelchair accessible and there are also public toilets on site.
  • Centre commercial de Fontvieille – this shopping centre overlooks the Port de Fontvieille. The shopping centre is modern and well appointed. It has a large car park and a good selection of shops including McDonalds, Carrefour hypermarket supermarket as well as clothing, jewellery and homeware shops. Additionally, there are a number of cafes, health and beauty stores and services.
  • Collection Privée des Voitures de S.A.S. le Prince de Monaco – this exhibition includes nearly 100 cars. These were acquired by HRH Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The museum is open daily from 10am-5:30pm every day except Christmas Day. Entry costs 8 euros for adults and 4 euros for children aged 6 to 17 and students with valid student card.

Popular areas to visit in Monaco-Ville

Monaco-Ville is the old city, and is located in what is known as the Rock of Monaco or Le Rocher. Popular places to visit in Monaco-Ville include:

  • Le Palais des Princes de Monaco – the Prince’s Palace is the private residence of the Prince of Monaco. The building dates back to 1215. Every day at 11:55am a changing of the guard ceremony takes place on the Palace Square in front of the Prince’s Palace. This event is free to watch. We recommend getting there early to get a good vantage point.
  • Cathédrale de Monaco – Monaco Cathedral is a grand and historic building. It is also the final resting place for Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco. You can find their graves inside the church to the left of the Altar.
  • Jardins de Saint-Martin – these gardens are beautifully designed. They overlook the Mediterranean Sea. The gardens contain a collection of plants from around the world. There are ample places to sit and enjoy the area. The gardens are free to enter and there are public toilets on site.

Popular areas to visit in Monte Carlo Monaco

Monte Carlo is the heart of Monaco. Is is where many of the famous landmarks in Monaco are located and contains some of the most beautiful shopping centres in Europe. Popular places in visit in Monte Carlo include:

  • Monte Carlo Casino – this high end casino was the filming location for a number of James Bond movies as well as Ocean’s Twelve. Entry to the foyer area and the slot machine room is free, but you need to pay to access areas beyond that.
  • Fairmont Hairpin Bend – this is the most famous hairpin curve in the world. Named after the nearby Fairmont Hotel, this hairpin bend is one of the most iconic points in the famous Formula One race, the Monaco Grand Prix.
  • Metropole Shopping Centre – this luxurious shopping centre is home to 80 shops and 6 restaurants. Public toilets can be found on the 2nd floor of the shopping centre, to your left as you enter from Avenue de la Madone.
  • Jardin Japonais-Princesse Grace – this is a beautifully manicured Japanese garden. The centrepiece of the garden is a pond which contains coy fish. The garden is free to enter. It is open daily from 9am to either 5:45pm or 6:45pm (depending on the season).

Weather in Monaco

Monaco has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. It has balmy warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.

Internet and mobile phones in Monaco

As Monaco is not part of the EU or EEA, Roam Like at Home (RLAT) rules do not apply in Monaco. However some European operators do include Monaco in their Roam Like at Home category. Check with your provider to see how they charge for roaming in Monaco. The only internet and phone company in Monaco is Monaco Telecom. Monaco Telecom launched total coverage of the territory in 5G in July 2019. Monaco was the first country with full 5G coverag. Cell phone SIM cards can be bought from Monaco Telecom stores throughout the principality.

How much to budget for Monaco?

Monaco travel guide: Daily spend for a couple travelling in Monaco

With high end shops, fine dining restaurants and 2 casinos, the sky is the limit for spending in Monaco. However it is a very walk-able city and it is also possible to visit the country on a shoestring budget.As a rough guide, we recommend the following budgets for a couple:

  • Low-budget daily spend – 20 euro for a couple will get you a day trip to Monaco, including the bus in and out of Monaco, walking around the country and visiting free attractions and buying lunch from a local bakery.
  • Mid-range daily spend – 400 euro per day for a couple will get you mid-range accommodation, local transport, entry to a number of attractions and cafe or restaurant meals.
  • Luxury spend – 1000+ euro per day for a couple will get you a premium experience in Monaco, staying at luxury resorts, travelling by private transport, shopping or visiting casinos and eating at high end restaurants.

Monaco travel guide: Accommodation in Monaco

Accommodation in Monaco is not cheap. There don’t appear to be any hostels in the country. The cheapest hotel we were able to find was for 75 euros a night, but most places charge over 100 euros a night for a hotel room. Airbnb operates in Monaco, offering land based accommodation as well as stays on yachts. Long-term fully furnished rentals are also available in the country.For short-term accommodation, a general price per night is as follows:

  • Budget accommodation – we recommend staying in nearby Nice or Menton if you are on a tight budget.
  • Mid-range accommodation – US$100-200 for a private room
  • Luxury accommodation – US$250+ a night for a luxury hotel/resort

Monaco travel guide: Food in Monaco

Despite its small size, Monaco is home to around 170 restaurants. You can find a wide variety of cuisines throughout the principality. This includes a number of Michelin rated restaurants, including the 3 Michelin star restaurant, Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris.Our price guide for your food budget in Monaco is as follows:

  • Restaurant meal – 25-50 euros for a main dish
  • Sandwich from a bakery – 6 euros
  • Beer – 7-10 euros
  • Coffee – 4.50 euros

Must try dishes in Monaco include Barbajuan, Pan Bagnat and Stocafi.

Monaco culture

National holidays in Monaco

  • New Year’s Day – 1 January
  • Saint Dévote’s Day – 27 January
  • Easter Monday – the Monday after Easter Sunday, typically in March or April.
  • Labor Day – 1 May
  • Victory Day – 8 May
  • Ascension Day – this is 40 days after Easter
  • Whit Monday – It is 50 days after Easter, typically in May or June
  • Corpus Christi – the Thursday 60 days after Easter
  • Assumption Day – 15 August
  • All Saints Day – 1 November
  • The Prince’s Day – 19 November. This is the National Day.
  • The Immaculate Conception – 8th of December or 9th if the 8th is a Sunday.
  • Christmas Day – 25 December

National symbols of Monaco

  • Monaco flag – a bicolour flag featuring two equal horizontal bands coloured red and white from top to bottom.
  • Monaco coat of arms – this features two monks holding swords, a princely crown and a ribbon with the words “DEO JUVANTE” (which means With God’s Help).
  • National flower – red carnation (scientific name dianthus chinensis)
  • National bird – Lesser Grey Shrike

Monaco pastimes

  • National dish – Barbagiuan
  • Popular drinks – champagne
  • National sport – football. Motorsport is the most popular sport in Monaco. The streets of Monaco are the course for the world famous annual Monaco Grand Prix.
  • Religion – 80.9% Catholic, 11.7% non-religious (as at 2011)

Famous Monégasques (people from Monaco)

  • National heroes – First Prince of Monaco Honoré II.
  • National sports stars – bobsledder Patrice Servelle.

Is Monaco Safe?

Monaco travel guide: Safety in Monaco

Monaco is an extremely safe country. It has an armed national police force. Furthermore it has a reputation as the safest square mile in Europe.

Monaco travel guide: General safety considerations in Monaco

Other general safety considerations for travel in Monaco:

  • Drinking water – Tap water is safe to drink almost everywhere in the country.
  • Mosquitoes – the tiger mosquito is a potential health risk in Monaco. This type of mosquito spreads diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikunguya.
  • Road safety – Monaco is famous for its narrow windy roads. Take care when driving.
  • Water safety – If you visit the beaches in Monaco, take care when swimming as currents and waves may be stronger than you expect.
  • Sun safety – Exposure to the sun can have adverse short-term and long-term effects on the skin, eyes and immune system. Sun protection such as sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is very important to ensure you don’t get burnt.

As with any destination, take all of your normal safety precautions.

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