For a relaxed, sustainable, eco-friendly, and mobility-accessible way to see the sights in Monaco, you would have to try very hard to beat the open-top bus tour. The ticket takes you around the Principality with convenient stops at all the major attractions.
The Monaco open-top bus tour is a superb way to ensure you don’t miss out on all the best spots around town. The bus will take the strain of the hills that are a feature of Monaco, getting you to every level with ease.
From the upper deck, you can commandeer amazing views. Be selfie-ready when the bus glides past Port Hercules, and pick out the super-yacht you would choose when your lottery numbers come up!
The open-top bus option has to be one of the best value tours in Monaco, at just €23 for a one-day adult pass and €26 to stretch it to two days, it is an absolute bargain. Children aged 4-11 years cost €8 whether you take advantage of the two-day extension or not.
You can listen to a pre-recorded commentary in any one of eight languages, including French, English, Mandarin, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and German.
Catch the bus at its starting point at the Bateau Bus Stop by the port opposite the larger yachts. If you already have a ticket, hop on and pick a seat.
If you don’t yet have a ticket, no problem, the driver will be able to sell you a pass.
If you are arriving in Monaco by train, there is also a stop at the railway station, so if you have already purchased your day ticket, your tour can mesh seamlessly with your other travel arrangements.
All the buses are wheelchair accessible, and children under four travel for free.
Buses run from 10 am to 5.30 pm every thirty minutes, so if the first bus looks too full, there won’t be a long wait for the next one.
If you are traveling late in the year, the bus doesn’t run on the 19th of November, Monaco’s National Day holiday.
A Route Like No Other: Highlighting the Open-Top Bus Tour Path
From Bus Stop 1 at the Port to the Casino, to the Palace, to the Larvotto Beach, to the Grand Prix starting line, the bus tour takes in all the iconic, landmark and unmissable sights in Monaco.
Bus Stop 1: The Boat Bus
Take the boat bus across the port for free with your all-day tour bus pass.
This incredible Japanese-style garden has been carefully created in partnership with the award-winning Japanese master of Zen gardening Yasuo Beppo, who still visits every year to maintain and discuss the design.
Visit the tearoom and admire the diverse planting and the traditional koi carp pond. Amid the glitz and glamor of the city the Japanese Garden represents a calm spot at the heart of it all.
Bus Stop 3: Sporting
This is a great stop for taking in the beach life of Monaco. Located on the border with the Beausoleil you can visit the Hotel Monte-Carlo Bay with its views back across the sea to the center of town.
Bus Stop 4: Villa Sauber
The Belle-Epoch Villa Sauber looks like a fairytale creation with fancy sculptural stonework decorating every face of the building. It is the New National Museum of Monaco, and it regularly hosts world-class visiting exhibitions, as well as an impressive permanent collection.
Probably one of the most iconic sights in the entire Principality of Monaco is the Casino in the eponymous square in Monte-Carlo. It has starred in many of Hollywood’s most glamorous movies and could soon have a role in your own production!
Check out the roll call of luxury automobiles regularly lined up in front of the casino or stop for lunch at the legendary Café de Paris. Here you will also find the Opera and the Galerie Metropole.
If you want to visit the Casino, it is not open to the public until the afternoon.
Bus Stop 6: Grimaldi/SNCF
As this stop is right on the doorstep of the railway station, it sometimes serves as the first stop for many visitors, but there are other things to see here too.
Bus Stop 7: Place du Palais
It was built as a fortress by the Genoese to protect Port Hercules but was overtaken by the enterprising Grimaldi family some seven centuries ago, and they have since turned it into a sumptuous European palace.
The state apartments are open to the public throughout the summer months.
Bus Stop 8: The Oceanographic Museum
The good news is that you can use your hop-on hop-off bus tour pass to secure a discount on the entry ticket to the Oceanographic Museum, saving €2.50 each. Inside the museum check out the massive shark tank and the 6,000 species on display.
Find out how the museum contributes to ongoing ocean conservation work around the world.
The Rose Garden is probably the most fragrant spot in the entire Principality, and it is not only stacked with 150 different species of rose but also contemporary sculpture, which makes it a fascinating garden to walk around.
Next door is the Naval Museum, filled with an extraordinary array of model ships. To the South is Monaco’s heliport. Keep an eye out for celebrity arrivals!
Bus Stop 10: Stade Louis II
If you are visiting Monaco by car, then the Stade Louis II bus stop to the left of the stadium entrance, is where you will want to start your tour as it is right next to the main, and most convenient visitor car park.
Hop off here to visit the port at Fontveille, where you will find more yachts, more eateries, and the most modern district that was reclaimed from the sea!
The stadium itself is home to Monaco AC and has an impressive, and very distinct nine-arch design at the away end of the ground.
Bus Stop 11: Princess Stéphanie (Rascasse)
Back at Port Hercules, this stop delivers you to the starting grid of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit. The bus tour itself follows most of the F1 route, including the hairpin and the tunnel, but you can be sure that the drivers won’t be enjoying the panoramic views you will be!
There is one more stop on the quayside that is for those arriving by cruise ship, the Digue Croisieres Stop.
Photo Ops: The Best Spots to Snap the Perfect Picture
Honestly, Monaco is one of the most photogenic locations on earth, so wherever you snap a selfie, or line a shot up, it’s not going to be too shabby.
Put on your glad rags and catch some pics in Casino Square where the rich go to throw around their disposable income.
Catch the sunset at the end of the day in the Princess Grace Rose Garden.
From the top of the Rock, in front of the Prince’s Palace, pose with the bay behind you for an iconic shot that takes in the grand panorama of the port.
Comfort and Convenience: Amenities on the Open-Top Bus
Pass holders get to ride the solar-powered bateau bus across Port Hercule for free!
Cruise ship passengers can benefit from a transfer shuttle bus every 15 minutes from the quayside to the main tour.
There are 59 seats on a bus, with 42 of them on the open-top, so plenty of room with a view.
There are eight languages to choose from on the tour, with disposable earphones provided as part of the ticket price.
The buses can be hired for private events, and catering can be included too.
Making the Most of Your Tour: Handy Tips and Tricks
High season is officially June 1st to November 1st when Monaco is at its busiest, buzziest, and best, but it can also be crowded.
Take the bus in the morning to the most popular destinations and take advantage of the discounted two-day offer. That way you will be able to catch up on the spots you didn’t get time for on day one.
Pre-book your lunch stop to maximize your sightseeing and minimize your queuing time.
Apart from the National Day on November 19th be aware that there are several events throughout the year that will impact bus tour availability, including the F1 Grand Prix, the Classic Car, and Formula E racing schedules.
Lunchtime is almost a religious observance for many French, and other Southern European tourists, so the hours between noon and 2 pm, will be less crowded. To take advantage of this plan a late brunch or early dinner.
The tour takes an hour to get around all the sights if you stay in your seat. Doing this can give you a great overview of Monaco, and where you would like to explore further.
Pit Stops: Where the Bus Pauses for Exploration
Bus Stop 6: A Foodie Paradise Awaits
Don’t miss the Condamine Market, open from 7 am to 3.30 pm, then again from 6 pm, it is a great place to stop and try out local specialties. It’s where the locals shop and eat too, so expect good food and terrific value for money.
Bus Stop 7: Delights of the Old Part of Town
While you are in this location, wander the medieval streets of the old town, where you will find many smaller restaurants and galleries, amongst other points of interest.
Visit the Cathedral, where you can see the last resting place of Princess Grace, the Hollywood star of her own romance with Prince Rainier III.
Also, here in the older part of the city are the Napoleonic Museum and the Church of the Visitation. Both must-sees for the adventuring sightseer.
Conclusion: Ending Your Journey on a High Note
The open-top bus tour in Monaco has to be one of the best value, in terms of iconic sights, in the world. From the Casino to the Mediterranean Sea, the Prince’s Palace to Port Hercules via a Formula One racetrack. What other bus journey can claim to cover such a route?
Go on a journey through history, culture, art, and the art of botany, conservation, and the pursuit of science. The range and vision on display in Monaco is why the two-day offer was born. Take advantage of it, and enjoy it as much as you can.
FAQs: Your Monaco Open-Top Bus Tour Questions Answered
Can I bring my dog?
The tour operator doesn’t mind dogs as long as they are either assistance dogs or they are small enough for you to keep them on your lap.
Can I bring my child in a pushchair?
Pushchairs are allowed, however, they should be folded and stored, and the child must occupy a seat.
Is there a limit to how many times I can get on and off the bus?
There is no limit to the number of times a day that you can leave or rejoin the tour. The ticket is valid for daily access from 10 a.m. up until 5.30 p.m.