I spent the day exploring Monaco, stopping constantly to drink in the views of the second smallest country in the world.
How to Get There
There is no airport in Monaco because its land size is far too small; the closest one is in Nice. Walk along the promenade through the Nice Port to the bus depot. The bus stop faces away from where you’d logically think Monaco is, but climb on board the 100 bus.
My heart soared at the incredible beauty that appeared on every turn as we wove along the French Riviera. Get off at the Monte Carlo casino – you can catch the 100 back to Nice at the Place d’Armes providing an ideal walking route along the coast.
What to Do & See
Monte Carlo Casino: From the bus stop, wander your way down the hill to start with the most famous place in Monaco, the Monte Carlo. Complete with supercars rushing around the roundabout, this place is straight out of the movies! The casino is open and free to visitors before 2pm. You must be 18+ to enter and you must be dressed appropriately.
Port Hercule de Monaco: If you can bear the heat, walk the entire length of the port from the Monte Carlo along to the Quai Rainier III. As you walk, you can spot the many (many, many) superyachts that Monaco is so famous for.
Plage du Solarium: Hidden away from the yachts and the busy port, you can find seclusion and a gorgeous beach with white steps ideal for sunbathing just around the corner – follow the oceanside path away from the port.
Digue de l’Avant Port: Continue along the path right next to the water for incredible Mediterranean views. From here, follow the signs up towards the Musée Océanographique (Aquarium).
Saint Martin Gardens: Take refuge from the blistering heat and find some shade in the gardens right next door to the Aquarium. Sitting calmly on the edge of a cliff, you’ll find some of the best views over the ports here – especially the secret little bench I found on my way down the paths.
Prince’s Palace of Monaco: Leaving the gardens will bring you directly into the centre of the Place du Palais, or the square right outside the Prince’s Palace. Here, you can buy little Monaco trinkets and there are some sweet cafes dotted around with views of the palace.
It was like stepping into the scene of Princess Diaries, and I half expected Queen Clarisse Rinaldi to come waltzing out! It is in fact Albert II Grimaldi who currently reigns over Monaco, the son of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly.
Rue de Remparts: Hands-down the best view in Monaco is to be had from the balcony at the edge of the Place du Palais. With a panoramic shot of the entire port, from Monte Carlo down the water and along where I just had walked, this was by far my favourite place in the little country.
From here, head through the tunnel to Rampe de la Major to get to Place d’Armes where you can catch the 100 bus back to Nice.