Type: Day trip
Length: 6 hours (minimum time to explore – 1 day)
Getting there: Train – sncf.com | Rail time from Nice ~25 mins – €3.90 one way
The Low Down: When I lived in Nice I would literally be here every second weekend. I love this place. I love the cars, the yachts, the vibes and hey its a good excuse to dress up 🕺 I came back just for the evening this time round whilst partaking in my old hostel crew reunion, but for first timers you really need the full day to explore.
After training from Nice we had a bit of time to kill before the rest of the gang arrived, so we headed straight for the casino. I’m not really a gambling man (i hate losing) and as the Casino de Monte-Carlo is mostly private and for the super rich, we camped out front for some people watching. And there is no better place to do that than here. With the trifecta of the Hotel de Paris, the Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Cafe de Paris, there is no shortage of suitable candidates. My advice would be to grab a drink (just one, as your bank account may hate you after!) at Cafe de Paris, sit and observe. This place is another world.
Having drooled over a Lamborghini Aventador fire up and take off, we decided it was probably time for drink. The first of our venues for the evening was Brasserie de Monaco, which we timed impeccably to take advantage of happy hour (daily from 6pm to 8pm). Brasserie is right in Port Hercules, overlooking the F1 track and super yachts galore. Sounds expensive right? You’d be wrong. So normally drinks are the same price here as they are in Nice. But between 6pm and 8pm, they are all half price (so that makes it €3.50 for beers and €5 for cocktails). The food is awesome too (burgers €16, pizza’s from €12). They also brew their beer on site.
After 8pm came around we decided it was probably best to keep the cheap drink theme going, so we headed to La Rascasse, about 100m away with the same view. Here Happy Hour starts at 8pm and finishes at 10pm, which is quite convenient. Drinks are a little more expensive, cocktails are €7, but hey when you’re in Monaco looking at super yachts, whats an extra €2…
One thing to bear in mind is getting home. Trains back from Monaco to Nice do stop before midnight, so make sure you keep track of time! As a taxi will cost you circa €80.
Some other things to check out if you have time are:
- Oceangraphic Museum of Monaco (oceano.mc) – Prices vary by season
- Seriously cool Aquarium hanging off the edge of a cliff. Need at least 2 hours here.
My Top 3
1 – Brasserie de Monaco (brasseriedemonaco.com)
Possibly one of the best experiences you could have in Monaco. Open air seating, alongside the F1 track overlooking super yachts. As I mentioned earlier, get here between 6pm and 8pm to take advantage of those half price drinks. It’s also a great option for dinner.
Once happy hour finishes head to La Rascasse where happy hour kicks on from 8pm to 10pm. Food is also good and all tapas style.
2 – Casino de Monte-Carlo (casinomontecarlo.com) – Adults from €12
The famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. While impressive inside, it is quite small. Expect all the main tables but only 1 of each. As most of the gambling here is done in private, the casino part is a little underwhelming, however a visit to the lobby is definitely worth doing and that’s free. The best bit of the Casino though is out front. The cars and the people watching. Do yourself a favour and grab a pew out front Cafe de Paris. Grab a drink and people watch here for a hour or so, guarantee you’ll have some stories to share.
3 – Walk the Formula 1 Track (Map Here)
One great way to see Monaco is to walk the F1 track. It ticks off some major sights and takes only about an hour to do. Visiting 2 weeks either side of the grand prix (last weekend in May) is quite cool as all the barricades and sponsor signage will be up. The best part is the tunnel. And if you’re lucky enough a Ferrari might even put on the jets for you while you’re there.