31 Powerful Reasons to Visit Monaco On The French Riviera
Monaco is one of the most iconic countries in the world.
It is home to some of the most special and world-acknowledged events in history, with the Monaco Grand Prix in particular, and despite its tiny size, the nation has quite a lot going on all year round.
Every year, Monaco attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. In fact, tourism stands for 15% of Monaco’s yearly revenue. But how can a country so small as Monaco, with an area of only 202 ha attract so many people from all over the world?
Well, the reasons to go to Monaco are many, but clearly, since millions of tourists find their way there, the country obviously has something unique and worth visiting, and since different people have different reasons to go to Monaco, that reason varies.
The majority of tourists who visit Monaco make it a day trip to visit Monaco going from France, but there are also people coming from all over the world. Furthermore, because Monaco is so special, and the reasons to go to Monaco are many, going to Monaco should be the main thing to do of your vacation, in other words, considering the uniqueness of Monaco, it’s simply not enough to experience it by day, instead, you should make it into a complete journey.
In this article, we share the top reasons to go to Monaco.
Top 31 reasons to visit Monaco
1.The iconic casino
There’s nothing quite as iconic to the country as the casino. It is a must visit for every tourist who visits, and that’s also why you’ll often see plenty of tourists on the casino square.
The Monte Carlo casino is one of the most beautiful casinos in the world, built in a luxurious and over-the-top Belle Epoque style. But if you thought the outside was breathtaking, just wait until you’ve seen the inside.
The casino was the idea of one of Monaco’s princes as an attempt to save the country from bankruptcy, and it is designed by one of the worlds best architects. Built in a stunning Belle Epoque, 1920s style.
If you’re looking to go to the casino to actually gamble and not just admire the stunning setting and building, you can, of course, do so.
If you’d be interested in learning more about the casino, you’ll be happy to hear that guided visits and group tours are available from 9 am – 12:30 pm, with the gaming opening at 2 pm.
Have in mind that in order to visit the casino at this time, you need to be a minimum of 18 years of age.
Also, meet the dress code by dressing up. You can use James Bond as inspiration as he has entered the Monaco Casino several times in his movies. Remember to bring ID. Also, have in mind that there is an entry fee of €10 per person but free entry to Cercle Monte-Carlo card holders.
2.Drive the coastal and mountain roads
Since you’ll find many people doing this, you can expect that this is one of the things to do in Monaco, and on all of the Riviera for that matter, that will give you with a wonderful experience.
The French Riviera is known for its incredible coastline, and most importantly its corniche, with high mountains at its back, and a steep decline on the other side as you drive along the twisty and small mountain roads. The roads above Monaco will give you an absolutely incredible view over the country, and the roads along the country and the surrounding areas will give you an absolutely incredible view over the azure blue waters. If you dare to drive up in the mountains, head to the Tete de Chien in La Turbie. This will give you a jaw-dropping view of Monaco and the coast, stretching all the way to Menton on one side, and the Nice airport on the other.
The coast of Monaco and the French Riviera is unarguably one of the most scenic places to enjoy a drive, preferably with a cabriolet, and just enjoy the marvelous views, villas, sea, and everything in between. If you really want to embrace the Monaco lifestyle, rent a sportscar. Just have in mind though, that it’s going to cost you.
3 Admire Le Jardin Exotique
Le Jardin Exotique is definitely one of the reasons to visit Monaco, especially if you enjoy plants and flowers, but even if you don’t.
Le Jardin Exotique is just one of many gardens in Monaco which you can visit. Since Monaco is essentially built on a cliffside, the side of a mountain, it makes for some unique builds, and more importantly, it makes for some stunning views. The flowers and plants is thus not the only reason to visit the exotic garden in Monaco, in fact, the incredible views you get from there are equally so.
The Jardin Exotique has a collection of cactuses and Latin American plants, and it also has a La Grotte de l’Observatoire which is a deep mountainside cave in which 250,000-year-old flint weapons made by pre-Neanderthal man have been found, and a tour of the cave is included in the ticket price.
The Garden Exotique was opened in 1933, and till this very day, it remains highly unique. It’s an outdoor garden in maybe one of the most prestigious settings for a garden you’ve ever seen, and it has a large variety of succulents. In the garden, you’ll be able to admire succulents of all shapes and sizes.
4.Admire the sunrise over the bay
The Monte Carlo Bay hotel is situated on the Larvotto peninsula, and as such, the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort get a breathtaking sunrise every morning, while also served with an incredible view over the azure blue lagoon. If you’re lucky, you might be able to enjoy the sunrise right from your terrace. Oh, what an incredible way to wake up on a glorious day. Maybe with some champagne?
The incredible yachts you’ll find in Monaco is definitely one of the top reasons to go to Monaco.
In the harbor are some of the world’s largest megayachts, and no matter if you’re passionate about the Nautique life and boats or not, it’s hard not to get impressed and amazed at these human-built pieces of craftsmanship.
In the main harbor of Monaco Port Hercules are the largest yachts, and you’ll also be able to find some in the old harbor of Fontvieille.
For most tourists, taking a stroll past the harbor is a must, because the yachts that can reach several hundred meters are sights that are truly out of the ordinary, especially considering some of the yachts costs several hundred million euros. The harbor itself is also very beautiful, and best of all is that it makes for some beautiful images.
5 Admire the Prince’s Palace
The Prince’s palace is definitely one of the reasons to go to Monaco.
It is a large building, situated right on the rocks of Monaco, which means a lovely view from up there. The Prince’s palace is built in a stunning architecture, and a beautiful sight.
Today, The Princes Palace is the private residence of the ruling Prince Albert II but the State Apartments are open for public visits part of the year.
In 1215, the original fortress was built by the Genoese, and over the centuries, it has evolved and been transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the style of Louis XIV.
Prince Rainier III is credited for restoring the Palace to its former glory after having served as a hospital for Italian soldiers, to the state in which it can be seen today.
For more information about the tours of the State apartments, visit www.palais.mc.
6. Walk the iconic Formula 1 circuit
One of the things that Monaco is most well-known for is the Monaco Grand Prix. For a long time, Monaco has been the site for the iconic Formula 1, and today, the Monaco Grand Prix is seen as one of the most, if not the most prestigious and honorary races to win as a formula 1 driver throughout the year due to the race’s long history and iconic status.
What’s so unique in particular about Monaco Grand Prix is that the race takes place on the roads of the country, where the drives drive around the streets of Monaco. If you’re a Formula 1 fan, the fact that Monaco is one of the most iconic Formula 1 circuits is probably one of the main reason to visit Monaco, but even if you’re not that interested in motorsport, there is something special about the history behind the Monaco Grand Prix. If you’d like to experience the whole circuit in real life, you’ll be happy to hear that you can actually walk around the whole track.
It’s important to have in mind that the Grand Prix of Monaco has had a huge impact on the country’s reputation, and has been able to bring attention to the small country and give it the prestigious reputation that it has today.
The Monaco Grand Prix circuit is one of few circuits of the Formula 1 which the public can walk around, and as you do so, you realize just what an immense challenge it is for the drivers to drive around the narrow track. Not to mention the tight Fairmont hairpin which is difficult to get around. If you really want to experience the race track and feel like a Formula 1 driver, you can rent a car and drive around the circuit.
7.The Cars Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco
You probably already know that if you’re passionate about sports cars, Monaco is the place to go to, since on the streets of Monaco, you can see super sportscars more frequently than most places in the world. But did you know that the Prince of Monaco also has his own car collection museum which you can visit?
The car collection of H.S.S. the Prince of Monaco is more of a car collection than a museum, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. The museum has some absolutely amazing cars, some of which are extremely old, like a very early Rolls Royce, to Formula 1 cars, and everything in between.
It was at the end of the 1950s when the car enthusiast Prince Rainier III began collecting old cars. Over the years, his collection of cars grew, adding more and more models to the collection. Eventually, the garage of Prince Rainier III became too small, as his collection reached around a hundred cars, and so In 1993, Prince Rainier III, therefore, decided to open his impressive collection to the public.
8.Stunning helicopter views
As you’d expect from a country like Monaco, there’s a heliport in Monaco which enables fast travels to nearby cities on the French Riviera, and maybe most importantly to Nice airport. Helicopters are needed for the residents and visitors looking to travel fast to the airport since Monaco is simply too small to have an own airport.
If you want to experience the whole country by air, there are several helicopter tours you can take of the country.
While you don’t fly for very long, taking a tour of Monaco with helicopter doesn’t have to be so expensive. In fact, taking a 10-minute tour of Monaco starts at €50.
There’s a number of different helicopter tours available which you can take, and you can either just take the helicopter to discover Monaco by air, or you can choose to travel to a nearby city, such as Cannes, or Saint-Tropez.
Did you also know that Monaco is home to one of the biggest helicopter fleets in the world?
As you can imagine, the view out of the window is breathtaking, not surprising considering the beautiful landscapes of the French Riviera.
For more information, visit heliairmonaco.com.
9. Enjoy a magical dinner on Louis XV
Louis XV is one of the most, if not the most prestigious and luxurious restaurants in Monaco and on the whole French Riviera.
It is the definition of fine dining, and it doesn’t get much more impressive or better than the Louis XV, situated in the beautiful Hotel de Paris. But as a result, you have to be prepared on the fact that it’s going to cost you a lot.
The Louis XV restaurant is the flagship restaurant of the famous chef Alain Ducasse, a man who has an impressive number of Michelin stars.
Louis XV has three Micheline stars, and it serves Provencal cuisine in top-class
The service doesn’t get any better than this, nor does the overall dining experience. Truly one of the reasons to visit Monaco if you want to experience the lifestyle of the country of glitz, luxury, and glamour. For more information, visit www.alain-ducasse.com.
10 The Musee Oceanographique
The oceanographic museum is an impressive building, equally so museum.
The building in which the museum is situated in is equally impressive as the museum. It is built on top of the side of a cliff and was inaugurated in 1910 by Monaco’s modernist reformer, Prince Albert I.
The building built in a Baroque Revival architecture has a facade facing the sea and the building towers a cliff, making the building reach as much as 279 feet (85.04 m).
Building it took 11 years, and the built demanded 100,000 tons of stone from nearby La Turbie.
While the building itself is absolutely incredible, the museum is what you come for. It is undoubtedly the best museum in Monaco, and as the name suggests, it is focused on sea fauna and other things related to the ocean.
The museum has enormous tanks and aquariums where you can admire different species of fish and sea creatures you never knew existed.
As such, it showcases pieces of sea fauna such as starfish, seahorses, turtles, jellyfish, crabs, and much more.
On the roof, there’s a restaurant, and from here, you have an amazing view over Monaco and the sea.
For more information, visit oceano.mc.
11.One of the safest places in the world
One of the reasons to visit Monaco is definitely the fact that it is one of the safest places in the world.
Monaco has the highest rate of police in the world, as well as an advanced and developed video surveillance system.
In fact, here are some crime rates in Monaco:
- Safety walking alone during daylight: 90.79 (Very High)
- Safety walking alone at night: 86.84 (Very High)
- Level of crime: 13.16 (Very Low)
In Monaco, you can feel very safe, and this is one of the reasons why many people move here.
12. Many languages widely spoken
The French are known for not being very good at English (generally speaking), and this can make getting around on some places in France, especially in the smaller villages and towns, but Monaco is different. Since the most of Monaco’s tourists and inhabitants are foreigners, and the country being an international business hub, English is a must for everyone here, so this is why you can almost always communicate very well with English. Furthermore, English, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, German is also spoken quite extensively in the country since Monaco is a multilingual principality.
13.The incredible climate
For many people, going somewhere means going to a warm country with a wonderful climate. Fortunately, one of the reasons to go to Monaco is just that.
Monaco has an average of 300 days of sunshine as it experiences a wonderful Mediterranean microclimate. The Mediterranean climate is distinguished by warm and long summers and mild and short winters, and so this makes visiting Monaco any time of the year a good idea.
14. Go Diving Without Getting Wet
We’ve already listed the Oceanographic museum, but need to emphasize just how impressive the aquariums of the museum is, and how incredible of a museum is, no matter if you’re passionate about sea creatures and the sea or not.
Visting the aquariums of the Oceanographic museum is like going diving, but without getting wet. Who wouldn’t want that?
In the aquariums, you can admire beautiful colorful reef fish and coral, and a large number of different species. Clownfish, lionfish, and Picasso triggerfish are just some of the many fish you’ll find here.
What’s most impressive is the sheer size of the aquariums in the Oceanographic Museum.
It has an enormous 450,000-litre tank which recreates a living coral ecosystem.
In Monaco, there are some amazing top-class luxury restaurants.
Several Michelin-starred restaurants can be found which will give you a dining experience that you won’t forget.
There are over 170 restaurants in Monaco, and many of them are run by world-renowned chefs. It’s safe to say that the selection of great restaurants is enormous, and choosing a restaurant might just be harder than choosing what to have once there.
The cuisine plays an important role in Monaco’s culture and history, and since it is so close to France, Mediterranean, French cuisine is what distinguishes food in Monaco.
Of course, since the food is top-class, you’ll have to be prepared to pay for top class, because the food isn’t cheap, but since a dining experience here will be one that you won’t forget, it might just be one of the reasons to go to Monaco.
16 The Opera House
Monaco has a large number of amazing buildings, and the Opera House is no different.
The opera house building is designed by Charles Garnier and is a 524-seat Opera. It is decorated with luxurious blizzard of gold, plush chandeliers, and incredible ceilings.
A night at the opera truly is an experience out of the ordinary and will allow you to soak the luxurious culture of Monaco.
Surprisingly, prices are still kept relatively low by international standards. The opera house is part of the Monte Carlo Casino, and so the outside of the building is stunning.
Join the high-life society, and enjoy a night at the operate with the local Monaco residents.
For more information, visit opera.mc.
17 The Fairmont Monte Carlo
The Fairmont hotel is one of the most famous hotels in Monaco. The luxury hotels are many in Monaco, and the Fairmont hotel is one of them.
Fairmont is a trendy and luxury hotel in Monaco with an amazing setting, looking out over the sea. It is the hotel where many of the famous celebrities stay in when they visit.
Then there’s the fact that the iconic hairpin of the Monaco Grand Prix is named after the hotel, the Fairmont Hairpin.
The Fairmont building is also home to the famous Nobu Restaurant, as well as Nikki beach on its rooftop with a pool.
For more information, visit fairmont.com/montecarlo.
18.Top-class luxury hotels
As mentioned, Monaco far from lacks five-star top-class hotels. But again, would you expect anything else from a country like Monaco?
Despite Monaco being small, the hotels are dotted throughout the country and will serve you with a hotel experience out of the ordinary with the best service.
The best hotels in Monaco are:
- Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort
- Fairmont Monte Carlo
- Hotel de Paris
- Le Meridien Beach Plaza
- Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
And the list goes on…
You’ll have to be prepared on the fact that it’s going to cost you to stay at these hotels, but at the same time, you’ll have a luxury hotel experience out of the ordinary.
19. History and culture
How could we talk about the reasons to visit Monaco and not mention its history and culture?
Monaco is so full of it that it’s hard to know where to start.
First of all, Monaco’s history stretches far back, all the way to 400,000 BC when the first inhabitants lived in what is now Monaco. However, in more recent times – the beginning of Monaco’s modern history started in 1200 to 1300 when the Grimaldis came, the family who still runs Monaco today
Monaco’s history can be seen everywhere throughout the country, from its iconic stunning buildings, many of which are several hundred years old, to the many museums where you can see objects which talk about Monaco’s past.
The culture of Monaco includes everything from the opera to the ballet, to the café lifestyle of the Mediterranean, which means sitting at a café and relaxing, enjoying a coffee or a glass of wine.
Monaco truly is something out of the ordinary, and the country truly oozes with history and culture, and it can be noticed in everything you see in a special kind of way.
It’s clear that Monaco is a country of great prestige and history, and this is something that is very special to experience, and definitely one of the reasons to visit Monaco.
20.Hotel de Paris
The Hotel de Paris is one of the most iconic and famous, if not the most famous hotel in the whole of Monaco. Beautifully situated right next to the iconic Casino, the Hotel de Paris is set in a stunning building of a beautiful architecture, the facade of which was just recently renovated.
Hotel de Paris allows you to wake up every morning with an incredible view of the casino and casino square if you have your room facing that direction, making you feel like James Bond.
What’s even more impressive is that the hotel has one of the world’s most storied wine cellars. The cellar dates from 1874 and the collection is overseen by head sommelier Patrice Frank. The collection holds a whopping 450,000 bottles, 98 percent of which are French. As such, it is the largest hotel wine cellar in the world, but unfortunately, it isn’t open to the public
The cellar has 55 types of Champagne and during the Grand Prix, they sell close to 2,000 bottles.
Only a few very special guests are given private tastings and a peek at the impressive cellar, but what makes it even more special is that it was the venue for the 20th wedding celebration of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco.
The good news is that even though you may not get access, you can still enjoy the wines that are down there as all Monte Carlo SBM restaurants are serviced by the hotel’s wine cellar.
Monaco has a prestigious and well-respected ballet.
It is s respected globally as one of the world’s premier dance companies and heavily subsidized by the Monegasque government since the ballet of Monaco works as a strong ambassadorial role.
If you’re in town, you can go and see one of its productions. Tickets are capped at €33.
If you want, you can also go on an informal backstage tour of the ballet’s headquarters which is located just over the French border.
For more information, visit www.balletsdemontecarlo.com.
22 International Circus Festival
The Monaco Grand Prix is the largest and most famous event in the whole year of Monaco, however, the international circus festival which is held in late January each year is a special event as well.
The international circus event can be seen as the Olympics for clowns, contortionists, acrobats and other performers.
The international circus festival is not your ordinary circus, but again, would you expect ordinary in Monaco?
23.Monaco Grand Prix
If you don’t think it’s enough to just walk or drive the Formula 1 circuit, attending the event is one of the biggest reasons to visit Monaco. It is a time when the whole country is turned into a race track and fast cars speed the race track. The Monaco Grand Prix is THE single largest event in Monaco throughout the years, and it is definitely worth attending. It is one of the top reasons to visit Monaco. The crowds definitely seem to think so if you consider all the people who visit.
Have in mind that if you plan on attending, it’s never too early to book tickets, because every year, they tend to run out.
The Monaco Grand Prix takes place in May and is truly a unique experience. The whole country is turned into a festive place of great atmosphere.
24. The Grace Kelly Trail
The Grace Kelly’s Trail is a must visit when it Monaco. it may very well be one of the convincing reasons to visit Monaco.
When Prince Rainier III, the father of the current prince married Grace Kelly, Monaco gained huge media exposure and commercial to the country.
Grace kelly’s trail is a trail with spots across the principality which have major links to Princess Grace. These spots are marked with explanatory signs.
The trail includes a number of interesting places such as the rose garden in Fontvieille which the Prince planted in memory of Grace, as well as the Monaco Cathedral where the couple were married
The trail is a walk down memory lane and an interesting historic journey.
25.International fireworks festival
Every year, the International Fireworks Festival takes place in Monaco and welcomes hand-picked teams from four different countries who are each given a night to put on the most impressive display of fireworks.
Thee dates are spread out through July and August and will give you a magical night. And since Monaco is far from ordinary, don’t expect the fireworks to be ordinary, either.
It’s nice with places that are easily accessed, and the good news is that one of the reasons to visit Monaco is that it is just that.
You can get to Monaco through several means of transportation. Monaco is situated in the middle of Europe which makes it easily accessible from all parts of Europe as well.
You can reach Monaco by car easily as it is connected to France and other European countries through the motorway network. If you are in the nearby areas and somewhere along the French Riviera, you can take the bus to Monaco. It is cheap, quick, and allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery without having to focus on the road.
The same goes for the train. The train is comfortable and fast and connected to many cities along the French Riviera coastline.
As you arrive, you enter the Monaco-Monte-Carlo train station which is stunning, as you would expect.
Due to Monaco being a coastal city (country) and has a lifestyle which is heavily influenced by yachting and the maritime lifestyle, you can obviously arrive by boat. You can travel to the principality by ferry from several of the cities on the French Riviera, or by a rental or your private yacht, and this provides you with a stunning view along the way as you enter the port. You can go to Monaco by air, but since Monaco is so small, it doesn’t have its own airport. The good news is that Nice-Côte-d’Azur airport is located a mere 22 kilometers from Monaco. From many cities on the French Riviera, including Nice airport, you can take the helicopter to Monaco’s own heliport. Going from the airport to Monaco by helicopter takes less than 10 minutes.
27.Relax at a spa
If you feel like enjoying a day at the spa, this is a convincing reason to visit Monaco.
In Monaco, there are several top-class spas which will make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
The Thermes Marin Spa is probably the most popular in Monaco and offers everything you may want from a spa. It’s four stories facing the Mediterranean and Port Hercules.
It has everything from heated marine pools to a large selection of treatments, including hydro-massage algae baths, sea-peels with salt from the Dead Sea, and massages of all types.
Thermes Marins can be accessed directly from the Hotel Hermitage and Hotel de Paris. It is also free of charge if you stay at the Monte Carlo Beach hotel.
The panoramic sea view can be enjoyed from its terrace or its cardio training room. If you don’t stay at the hotels, Entrance is 150 Euros per person. Les Cinq Mondes is another spa in Monaco. This spa belongs to the hotel of Monte-Carlo Bay and offers treatments combining traditions and innovations from Japan, Morocco, and Polynesia.
28. Brasserie de Monaco
If you love beer, you’ll be happy to hear that Monaco has its very own brewery. With this brewery, Monaco is the smallest country in the world to brew its own beer.
The brewery faces Port Hercules and is the only brewery in the country. it has three regular beers as well as experiments brewed in the stills behind the bar. All beers are organic. Try them for yourself!
29. Walk the country from end-to-end
There’s not a lot of countries which you can walk from one side to the other within a matter of roughly an hour/one an a half hour.
The fact that you can say that you have walked an entire country in one day should definitely be one of the reasons to visit Monaco.
30.Lots of things to do, and always something going on
Monaco is not like several other cities and towns on the French Riviera and around the world which are extremely popular during the summer, and then during the winter, they are completely dead.
While Monaco is more lively during the summer for obvious reasons, it is not dead in the winter. Monaco has events going on all year round, and the country never feels deserted and abandoned. No matter when you visit Monaco, there’s always seething going on, so you’ll never get bored.
There’s nightclubs of great prestige, a large array of museums, events, festivals, and much more.
31.The old town of Monaco
Monaco’s old town is situated on top of a mountain known as ”the rocks of Monaco”.
The old town of Monaco has a laid-back relaxed atmosphere and is quite different from the rest of Monaco – yet equally beautiful. The old town isn’t full of glitz and glamour, yet still ha beautiful buildings and lovely streets you can walk in.
You’ll also find many interesting buildings in Monaco, including Prince’s Palace, St. Nicholas Cathedral, and maybe most importantly, the Oceanographic Museum. There are also a number of cute and picturesque cafés you can sit down and relax at.
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to visit Monaco. Which did you find the most convincing? Let us know in the comment section below!