13 Best Things to Do in Monte Carlo, Monaco [2023]

Monte Carlo is known as a world-class destination for leisure and business events, but it has plenty to offer the traveler in between the Grand Prix and the Yacht Expo.

Whether you are in the principality for business or pleasure, there are plenty of things to do in Monte-Carlo.

If you have an hour or two of downtime or a few days to relax and unwind to explore Monte-Carlo, there will always be something to do.

Here’s our list of the top thirteen things you can see in town.

The  Best Things to Do in Monte Carlo, Monaco

It is almost impossible to tour the city of Monte-Carlo and avoid any association with the principality’s ruling family.

The Grimaldis have guided the development of Monaco since the 1300s and their influence is everywhere, from the Palace to the Port.


1. The Casino

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The Grand Casino of Monte Carlo

The Casino at Monte-Carlo is perhaps the most iconic of all the buildings in the principality and is an absolute must-visit. It is open for tours from 9 am to 12 noon when all the elite international millionaire gamblers are sleeping off the night’s exertions at the roulette wheel.

  • Don’t forget to take your photo ID, such as your passport, or they won’t let you in. 
  • It’s €10 to enter and another €10 for a tour of the gambling rooms. 
  • You will also get turned away if you turn up in your flip-flops or beachwear. In the evening, after 8 pm, gentlemen are required to wear a jacket. 
  • In the public rooms, bets start at €5 and are capped at €2,000, in private rooms there are no limits, it simply depends upon how lucky you feel! 
  • Outside the front of the Casino, there is often a stunning array of expensive cars, from Ferarri to Bentley, Porsche, and Rolls Royce to admire.

2. Café de Paris

Opposite the Casino is the Café de Paris where you can sit and watch the world go by in the Place de Casino. 

  • It is said that one in three people in Monte-Carlo is a millionaire, so this is the ideal place to relax and spot the money. 
  • A coffee or a cup of tea will set you back less than ten Euros, which in one of the priciest cities in the world is a pretty good deal, especially in a setting as unparalleled as this one. 
  • If you want to stay for lunch, prices start at €30 for the Beef Tartar with French Fries.

3. Princes Palace

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The Prince’s Palace

At 11.55 am every day the guard changes at the gates of the Prince’s Palace, the seat of the Grimaldi family’s power for centuries. 

It was built by the Genoese to protect the deep water port at the foot of the rock on which it stands in 1191 but has since been transformed into the palatial building you see today. 

There are seemingly endless stairs up to the top of the rock, or you can seek out the public lifts that are dotted about Monaco to help get between the levels of the steeply inclined geography of the city. Look out for signs saying ‘Ascenseur’, the French for the elevator. 

The Palace is open for tours between April and October from 10 am, with the last entry at 4 pm and 5 pm during July and August. 

Tickets are €10 for adults and €5 for children and students. 

The Grand Apartments are sadly not accessible for wheelchairs. 

A combined ticket can also get you entry into the Prince’s Car Collection.


4. Prince of Monaco Car Collection

The car collection of the Prince of Monaco was begun by Prince Rainier III, the husband of the Hollywood star Grace Kelly, who became Princess Grace. 

  • The iconic Chrysler the Prince imported to bring his fiancé from the port to the Palace before their wedding in 1956 is installed here. 
  • In the 3,500 m2 exhibition space there are seventy extraordinary motor racing vehicles, some of which competed in the Grand Prix, the Pris-Dakar Rally, and the Monte-Carlo Rally. 
  • The specially commissioned Lexus landaulet, built for the 2011 wedding of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene is also on display. 
  • A combined ticket can save money, but children under six enter for free. 
  • Next to the museum is the port filled with luxury yachts, for when you have had your fill of luxury cars.

5. Port of Hercules

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Port Hercules in Monaco

You probably spotted the port from the plaza at the front of the Prince’s Palace.

A natural deep-water harbor, it has been jealously defended by the Grimaldis for centuries and today plays host to cruise ships and an incredible array of expensive sea-going yachts. 

But you don’t need to be a millionaire oligarch to sample the waterside delights of the various restaurants and bars that line the port, and if you want to take to the water, you can. 

The solar-powered water bus will cost you just €2 to cross the harbor. 

At the other end of the scale, if you want to moor your 100-foot yacht in port then be prepared to spend €8,000 a day in high season.


6. St Nicholas Cathedral

St Nicholas Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception but is better known by the name of the former parish church that stood on the site until 1874. 

  • It is free to enter, rare for Monte-Carlo, and is well worth a visit for the fine art and frescoes. 
  • The most glamorous 20th-century wedding was held in the cathedral in 1956 between Prince Rainier III and the Hollywood star Grace Kelly.
  •  The fairy tale had a tragic end when the Princess died in a mysterious car accident. 
  • She is also buried here alongside her Prince.

7. Sainte-Dévote Church

Monte Carlo Sainte-Dévote Church
Monte Carlo Sainte-Dévote Church

The Sainte-Dévote Church sits quietly beneath an overpass in a ravine called the Vallon des Gaumates, where traditional folktales tell that the boat carrying the saint ran aground in the fourth century.

  • On January 26th of every year, local Catholics ceremonially burn a boat at sunset in commemoration of the principality’s patron saint. 
  • In another traditional act, Royal brides lay their bouquet on the steps of the chapel after the marriage ceremony in the cathedral.

8. Oceanographic Museum

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Oceanographic Museum in Monaco

If Prince Rainier II was the motor racing Prince, then Albert I was the sea-going marine-researcher Prince whose enthusiasm for the underwater life of the Mediterranean Sea led to his inauguration of the Oceanographic Museum in 1910.

  • Dedicated to research and conservation the museum also hosts a sanctuary for injured sea turtles who receive treatment at the facility. 
  • World-famous French Oceanographer and documentary maker Jaques Cousteau was director of the Institue from 1957 to 1988. 
  • Adult tickets are €19, children and students €12. 
  • There is good access for disabled visitors and a further discount ticket price of €9.

9. Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology

The Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology is also the brainchild of the seagoing explorer Prince Albert I. 

  • Open from 9 am to 6 pm daily it showcases prehistoric remains, fossils, and other artifacts from across Europe and Asia. 
  • The ticket price is an absolute bargain too. A nominal charge of €1 will get you entry to all the exhibits.

10. New National Museum of Monaco 

The New National Museum of Monaco is a museum of creativity and is housed within the historic villas Sauber and Paloma. 

  • It showcases modern artists and the avant-garde hosting a Jean Cocteau retrospective in 2023.
  • The gardens are free to enter on a Sunday for those under 26, or disabled.

11. Larvotto Beach

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The beautiful Lavrotto beach in Monaco

There are only two beaches along the four-kilometer coastline of Monaco, and Larvotto Beach is the one to see and be seen on. 

  • In high season you need to be there early to guarantee a spot as it’s not the biggest beach in the world and much of it is private with a beach chair rental at €30 a day. 
  • The beach is fine gravel and pebble but the water is absolutely crystal clear. 
  • In July and August, there might not be much room to spread out, but the beach has all the modern amenities you could wish for, and there’s no entry fee.

12. The Rock or Le Rocher

Overlooking the port is the old town. A superb spot to take in views of the port, the beach, and the city as it spreads along the coast below the mountains. 

  • The old medieval streets are a colorful delight, and narrow, trapping shadows in the middle of summer when temperatures can hit 90°F on the beach. 
  • Follow the red brick road, the Rampe Majeur, through the old city gates built in 1533 and 1714. 
  • Take in the St Martin Gardens, built on what was wasteland back in 1810 and today makes for a peaceful place to escape to.

13. Avenue Princess Grace and the Carre d’Or

If you don’t have a million dollars burning a hole in your pocket that’s absolutely fine. You can still window-shop for free right? 

  • In the Avenue Princess Grace check out the supercar showrooms and take a peek at the Bentleys, the Rolls Royces, the Porches, and Ferraris on display. 
  • In The Carre d’Or designer clothes and jewellery showcase the top names in haute couture. 
  • For those with a slightly lower budget, but still want some bling, go visit La Durée where you can buy a gold or silver-coated macaron for €4.50. Deliciously expensive.

Closed for Refurbishment in 2023

Monaco Naval Museum

The Monaco Naval Museum takes you on a journey through the maritime history of this small coastal country. You can tour eighteenth-century ships, a submarine, and a warship, and there are over 250 model ships on display too.

Jardin Exotique de Monaco

The Exotic Gardens at Monaco were founded over 150 years ago and some of the original cacti are still here on public display. 

Both attractions are scheduled to reopen in 2024.