1 day in Monaco – what to see and do [with photos]


View of Monaco

Monaco is known to be one of the wealthiest community in the world, however, this community is also full of working mothers and fathers and their children who are also seeking interesting activities, at a reasonable price.

Monaco is not only known for it’s rich and famous, but it is also very kids friendly. Perhaps more so than neighboring France. There are many attractions and playgrounds for children, as well as many kids friendly restaurants. Monte Carlo the capital of Monaco), is booming with beautiful things to do for everyone – no matter what your budget is.

There is something for everyone in Monaco, and it does not have to break the bank.

In other words, you don’t have to be rich to be Monaco’s girl or guy.

With that being said, hope you enjoy this short video from the Palace of Monaco.

I have not mustered up the courage yet to actually attend one of the many Grand Prix races, as I’ve heard the noise is horrendous. Perhaps in the near future when the kids are well into their teens (now they are 10 & 11). But we do enjoy the ambiance, so every year we take a trip exactly the day after the Grand Prix.

Before I go into what to see and do, if you are traveling there and intend to pack you best Jimmy Choos or Louboutin that’s fine, but you most certainly need flats to walk around. No question, your feet will thank you. Monaco is full of stairs and hills going up, and what goes up must come down. So comfortable shoes are a MUST when visiting. And as a general rule, French and Monacoians do not wear sneakers when site seeing. Instead, they prefer more stylish (or plain) ballerinas and the likes.


Fact: People that were born in Monaco are called Monegasque; however people that are resident of Monaco are called Monacoians.

Here is how we spent our day in Monaco. This day was strategically planned to see the most and do the most in a day. I know Monaco quite well, as I’ve been frequenting there for the past 11 years, so this is what I would do if I were a tourist that wants the most of out my short visit.

Our first stop was The Jardin Exotic (Exotic Garden). Beautiful garden full of magnificent tropical trees and flowers. This is a great shaded walk if you are visiting in the summer months. You can take pictures of the garden, just no tripods allowed. Bizarre.

Jardin Exotique Monte Carlo

Jardin Exotique Monte Carlo

Our second stop consisted of a few places as they are all located in the same area. If you’re going to drive into Monaco you should know there 2 directions one should take when you get there. Either the Casino direction or the Port direction. We headed to the Casino direction at the famous Hotel Paris (go in for a drink, but be prepared to pay at least 30 euros for a cocktail), then we check out the cars – this site always amazes me with the countless Ferraris, Porches, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce parked in front of the Casino – and architecture of the Casino (though we did not go in), and then we rested our feet with a drink (grenadine and Fanta for the kids) at the Cafe de Paris. I always have an excellent time here with a tea, or coffee, or a glass of rosè, while people watching. All three places are located next to each other and only a stone throw away from The Jardin Exotic, so it was an obvious second stop.

Fact: Residents of Monaco (Monegasques and Monacoians) are not allowed to enter into the Casinos.

Pavillion Monte Carlo

The Monte-Carlo Pavilions, also known as the Pavillons des Merveilles and the Pavillons des Boulingrins, are five temporary commercial “buildings” in Monaco

Pavillion Monte Carlo

Pavilion Monte Carlo a stone throw away from the Casino and Cafe de Paris

Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino and Hotel de Paris

Monte Carlo Casino and Hotel de Paris

Monte Carlo Casino and Cafe de Paris

Monte Carlo Casino and Cafe de Paris

After our refreshments, we headed down to the port (literally a 5-minute drive) to have lunch at our favorite spot, Stars’n’Bars.

Cheeseburger at Star'n'Bars Monte Carlo

Cheeseburger at Star’n’Bars Monte Carlo

Stars’n’Bars has been our favorite family restaurant for the past 11 years. Not only do they have some of the best cheeseburgers, but they also serve up a wicked Sunday brunch, which includes eggs your style and bacon -or smoked salmon – and many more choices. They aren’t many like this on The French Riviera, as the typical breakfast is more on the sweet side (pain chocolate, croissant, tartine – baguette with butter and jam).

After lunch, we started out on our climb to the Palace. There are gazillions of stairways in Monaco, so make sure you have the right shoes. Your feet will thank you.

Stairs going to the Monaco Palace

Stairs going to the Monaco Palace

Even at the beginning of June, it got quite hot after lunch. The shaded gardens that lead up to the Palace were fresh and welcoming.

Spectacular gardens of Monaco

Spectacular gardens of Monaco

What a sight! I have never seen so many cannons and historical guns in one place. This was truly a unique take on The Palace’s ground decor. My imagination couldn’t help but run wild thinking of the old battle days. The perfect lookout.

Cannon Outdoor Prince's Palace Monaco Monte Carlo

Cannon Outdoor Prince’s Palace Monaco Monte Carlo

The Palace guard patrols all day, rain or shine, he’s walking.

Guard outside the Prince's Palace in Monaco

Guard outside the Prince’s Palace in Monaco

We ran into some different takes of sculptures just below the lineup of cannons. Just on the way to the children’s park, located in perfectly shaded gardens that beat the summer heat.

 Fille Sur Une Chaise (Keld Moseholm Jorgensen 1981); Promenade Sainte - Barbe, Monaco

Fille Sur Une Chaise (Keld Moseholm Jorgensen 1981); Promenade Sainte – Barbe, Monaco

This children’s playground is a must if you have children and you’re visiting when it’s a bit hot. It’s shaded by gigantically beautiful trees that seem perfectly place to shade the little ones. Sit on the bench have a picnic (or just finish your lunch in peace) while the kids run wild in this super safe, super view, super Monaco playground.

Playground for children in the Principality of Monaco

Playground for children in the Principality of Monaco

After relaxing in the playground (my kids are 10 and 11 years old and still enjoyed it) for 30 minutes, we headed back to the car. Our feet were exhausted, but it was a great great day. Not too long (we started at 11 am and finished at 4 pm), but it was enough sightseeing for us for 1 day.

If you have more time it’s easy to do more in a day, but if your goal is to savor each moment and if you’re okay with a few things, then I suggest you take it easy. There is a lot to take in as far the environment around you, the cafes, the people, and of course the magnificent Mediterranean.

If you have additional time (we did not on this particular day), The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is absolutely breathtaking. That is, however, a whole review by itself.

I hope you enjoyed this Monaco, Monte Carlo review.

Drop a comment if you wish to know about anything I did not mention, I always happy to advise and share the beauty of the French Rivira!


9 comments for “1 day in Monaco – what to see and do [with photos]

  1. June 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Interesting post. I also visited Monaco many years ago when studying in Southern France. I found it quite boring at that time but considering your post I should probably return soon and try again 🙂

    • MademoiselleFRG
      June 13, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Juan, definitely not boring! This was more of a family friendly review, but I have been to many events (sans enfants) that have been anything but boring! I would say take a trip back. BTW, great idea, maybe next time I’ll do an evening in Monte Carlo review 😉

      • June 14, 2017 at 7:46 am

        Great. Looking forward to the Monte Carlo nightlife post 🙂

  2. June 13, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    What an interesting article, and it seems like a beautiful place. You’ve given me an idea for my next holiday! I’ve always thought Monaco was just a place to go if you’re interested in gambling, like Vegas, but I never realised there were so many other things to do there, as well as it being family-friendly. Can you recommend any hotels in Monaco that you’ve stayed in?

    • MademoiselleFRG
      June 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Jack, it’s really a wonderful place – the Casinos are the least of the attraction in Monte Carlo. As a matter of fact, residents of Monaco are not allowed into the casinos! Are they protecting their residents? Go figure 😉

  3. June 13, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Wow this place looks awesome! I know this place tends to be a more expensive place to visit (depending on what you want to do), but just how much more expensive is than other popular places?

    • MademoiselleFRG
      June 14, 2017 at 6:28 am

      Hi Jake, while prices in Monaco are a little steeper than in neighboring France, you can find great places and things to do on a budget. For example, when we headed out on this day (my 2 kids and I), we had drinks (cafe noisette for me, and juices for the kids) at Cafe de Paris, then lunch with a carafe of water (free at all restaurants) at Stars’n’Bars, and finally excellent homemade Swiss ice-cream next to the Palace. All of this for the cost of 70 euros. I would call that affordable even on a budget.

  4. June 13, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    I love your website as it brought back many memories of my 1 day in Monaco. The videos were fantastic! I think I’m ready for another trip now!!!

    • MademoiselleFRG
      June 14, 2017 at 6:30 am

      Hi Diane, Thanks! Glad you like the videos, please ask me whatever if you decide to come out here. It’s really a magical place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *