Visit Monaco for a weekend: what to do?
Are you going to Monaco for the weekend ?
To help you organize your short stay in the principality, I have prepared a detailed itinerary for you to visit Monaco in a weekend.
I have concocted the ideal program for you with all the things to see each day and ideas for super cool activities to try to live a luxurious experience. Thanks to my advice, you will be able to make the most of your 2-3 days!
And at the end of the article, I also give you my selection of the most beautiful hotels to sleep in during your weekend in Monaco for a romantic getaway. And if you’re more up for a family or “low budget” weekend, no worries: I also have what you need!
The best itinerary for a weekend in Monaco
I present to you now my itinerary for a weekend in Monaco.
A small precision: this schedule is based on 2 full days, and I also give you advice for a weekend in PACA extended by 3 days at the end of this guide.
If you still have questions to organize your short stay in Monaco after reading everything, do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the section dedicated to comments, at the very end of the article.
Day 1 – Walk in Monaco
A. The Rock of Monaco
I suggest you start your day with the unmissable place to see in a weekend in Monaco: the Rock.
Le Rocher corresponds to the oldest part of the city, which was founded in the 13th century by the famous Grimaldi dynasty, which still reigns over the principality today.
You will therefore find the emblematic Prince’s Palace and the cathedral there.
The historic heart of Monaco is also full of shops and restaurants distributed in the small streets lined with colorful houses.
The best way to visit the Rock during your weekend in Monaco is to do so on foot , as access by car is prohibited.
But as the access is quite steep, there is also a panoramic minibus and the little tourist train that goes through the old town, if you can’t walk.
B. The Prince’s Palace
Impossible to visit Monaco in a weekend without going through the prince’s palace.
Since the 13th century, it has been the main residence of the Grimaldi family, whose best-known members are the Prince of Monaco Albert II, his wife Charlene of Monaco and their twins Jacques & Gabriella.
In addition to admiring the exterior facade, it is possible to visit part of the interior of the Palace of the Princes (only between the months of April to October ).
You can discover there:
- The main courtyard and its double staircase in marble
- The Hercules gallery and its sumptuous frescoes depicting characters from mythology
- The large apartments: luxuriously furnished lounges where the Prince receives his distinguished guests. You will also have access to the throne room.
The schedules and price of his visits can be found on the official website of the palace.
Every day at 11:55 a.m. sharp, the changing of the guard takes place on the Palace Square.
C. Saint-Martin Cathedral and Gardens
Continue your walk on the Rock by strolling through the picturesque alleys then reach the Saint-Nicolas Cathedral.
Built from 1875, it has a sparkling facade entirely made of white stones, in the Romanesque-Byzantine style.
The cathedral has hosted several major events in the principality, such as the marriage of Prince Rainier to the world famous American actress, Grace Kelly, in 1956. The latter, as well as the deceased princes rest in graves inside the cathedral.
Entrance to the cathedral is free.
Opposite the cathedral, then enter the gardens of Saint-Martin.
Overlooking the sea, this public garden, opened in 1816, offers several pretty viewpoints, particularly over the port and the Fontvieille district (which you will visit a little later in the day).
D. The Oceanographic Museum
Leaving the gardens, you will come directly to the oceanographic museum.
If you have decided to go to Monaco for the weekend with your family, I strongly recommend that you visit this institute, one of whose most illustrious directors was Commander Cousteau himself!
Not only is the building magnificent, but the museum is also very well done and interesting.
You can discover several aquariums where sharks, sea turtles and Mediterranean fish live.
In the second part, you can also admire huge skeletons of whales and dolphins, as well as fossils and models.
The queue for the museum is often quite long. To avoid waiting, I recommend that you buy your ticket in advance by clicking on the link below:
To end the first day of your weekend in Monaco, I recommend that you explore the Fontvieille district.
Located at the foot of the rock, you can reach it in 15 minutes on foot from the Oceanographic Museum.
Built directly on the sea, you can see:
- The marina
- The sculpture path which houses several works by renowned contemporary artists
- The Princess Grace rose garden, a landscape park with more than 300 varieties of roses and access to which is free.
It is also possible to visit several museums in Fontvieille:
- The museum of SAS Le Prince de Monaco’s car collection : more than a hundred cars are exhibited there, from the Lamborghini to the coach
- The Naval Museum of Monaco and its collection of ship models
- The museum of stamps and coins including several rare pieces.
Still in case you are looking for an activity to do in a weekend in Monaco with children, you can also take them to the animal garden.
Located near the Terrasses de Fontvieille, it collects abandoned or donated animals . None of the hippos, turtles, birds and other animals found there have been purchased.
Day 2 of this weekend in Monaco: what to see and do?
A. The Exotic Garden of Monaco
For the second day of your weekend in Monaco, head to the exotic garden, located on the heights of the city.
On nearly 15,000 m², you can admire hundreds of cacti and exotic plant species, from a good part of the American continent.
In addition to being very rich, the garden offers a splendid panorama of the principality and the Rock.
With your entrance ticket to the exotic garden, you can also visit 2 other places nearby:
- The observatory cave and its caverns where the remains of bones were found proving the presence of prehistoric men. Guided tour once per hour.
- The museum of prehistoric anthropology focusing on the evolution of humanity and presenting a mammoth skeleton.
Timetables and prices on the official website.
B. La Condamine
Then go back down to the center of Monaco to discover the Condamine district.
This small shopping district is home to several shops, restaurants and cafés, mainly located on rue Milo, rue Grimaldi, rue Terrazani and rue Princesse Caroline.
On the Place d’Armes, you will also find the Condamine market and covered halls offering Monegasque and Italian specialties as well as good fruits and vegetables from the sun.
C. Port Hercules
La Condamine is located just on the edge of Port Hercule where yachts and other luxury pleasure boats are moored .
You can stroll along the quays for the pleasure of the eyes!
If you have decided to go to Monaco for the weekend at the end of the year, Port Hercule hosts the Christmas market every year, rides and a large outdoor ice rink.
In October and November there is also a carnival on the quays.
D. The Japanese garden
Walk along the seaside for about 1.5 km (20 minutes on foot) to reach the Japanese garden.
With its ponds filled with Koi carp and its typical Japanese pavilions, the garden is a real little haven of peace, in total contrast to the buildings that surround it.
Most of the elements that were used in its development, such as wood or tiles, were directly imported from Japan.
Access to the Japanese garden is free.
E. The Monte-Carlo district
And I suggest you spend the rest of your weekend in Monaco in the most famous district: Monte-Carlo.
This is where the famous Casino de Monaco is located, where you can admire the luxury cars parked in front. The building, made by the same architect as the Opéra Garnier in Paris, has a very beautiful exterior facade.
Inside is the Salle de l’Opéra where concerts and gaming rooms are held. If you feel in a flamboyant mood, you can spend your whole evening there!
In Monte-Carlo, you can also heat up your credit card in the luxury boutiques and jewelry stores of the Carré d’Or. If you want to get the latest Chanel handbag or a Cartier set, it’s possible!
The Metropole Shopping Center, as well as the Boulevard des Moulins, the Boulevard d’ Italie and the Avenue Princesse Grace concentrate most of the high-end boutiques.
In the evening, treat yourself to a small cocktail with a view of the Casino at the Café de Paris before (if your budget allows it) invite your other half to the restaurant “Le Louis XV”. Led by chef Alain Ducasse, it has been awarded 3 stars in the Michelin Guide.
Extended weekend in Monaco
If you have decided to visit Monaco during a long weekend of 3 days, on the last day, I advise you to discover the surroundings.
Even without a car, you can very easily reach 4 beautiful places (the choice is yours) to conclude this long weekend in Monaco:
1) In 10 minutes by train, I suggest you go to Menton, a charming little town with its facades of houses in warm colors.
You can discover the Saint-Michel basilica, the chapel of the Penitents, the rue Longue or the park of Pian.
2) In 20 minutes by train, you can also go to Nice and visit one of the most famous cities of the Côte d’Azur.
To know how to organize your day in Nice, you just have to read my article: What to do in Nice?
3) Another beautiful little village accessible by train from Monaco: Eze . Perched on top of a cliff, you can visit the exotic botanical garden and enjoy views of the coast.
4) For those who would prefer a short hike, I advise you to go around Cap Martin, located between Menton and Monaco.
The viewpoints along the trail are really nice and you can also swim.
There are 2 options for this walk:
- A 5 km loop starting from Carnolès beach
- A 10 km walk from Monaco to Menton and passing through Cap Martin. Allow 3 hours on foot. Return by train to Monaco.
5) Book a private boat trip from Monaco
In my opinion, this is the best way to make the most of your day at sea in Monaco!
You rent a boat with a skipper, and he will take care of taking you to the most beautiful corners of the Côte d’Azur.
Motor boat, sailboat, catamaran or even yacht : it’s up to you to choose the boat that suits you to spend a dream day!
Other activity ideas to do during a weekend in Monaco
Do you want to add other activity ideas for your weekend in Monaco?
Here are some examples of things to do for a short stay in Monaco in addition to everything I have already told you about (click on the links in orange to access the info):
- A guided tour of Monaco by night. The visit is done in a small group of max 8 participants and the guide is top notch.
- Hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour
- Attend a concert/show or discover an exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum
- Visit the Louis II stadium where AS Monaco trains
- Take advantage of the Larvatto beach for swimming or practicing nautical activities
- Drive a Lamborghini or a Ferrari and think you’re a driver!
- A jet ski trip with an instructor or a jet ski rental to go where you want
- A flyboard session
- A day of discovery of apnea with Pierre Frolla, quadruple world record holder in the discipline
- Fly over Monaco in a helicopter for a unique experience.
Weekend ideas in Monaco: where to sleep?
Now that you know what to do in a weekend in Monaco, it’s time to take the last step to organize your stay: book your accommodation.
To help you, I have prepared a selection of the best hotels in town . I have found some ideal weekend ideas for you for a short romantic getaway.
A clarification: there are only about fifteen hotels in Monaco, so it is better to book in advance to be sure of having availability on your dates and benefit from the best price (knowing that most are 5 * ).
And if you prefer to have a cheap weekend in Monaco, it is best to stay in Menton or Nice for example. You’ll find travelers’ favorite hotels in these 2 cities here:
Luxury weekend in Monaco
For a luxury weekend in Monaco, I recommend spending a night in the emblematic hotel: the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo.
Enthroned right on the Place du Casino, right next to the Casino and opposite the Café de Paris, it occupies a splendid historic building dating from 1864.
This 5* establishment offers sublime rooms and suites, very elegant and refined, and decorated with great taste. I really fell in love with the design and comfort of these.
For this luxurious getaway in Monaco, you will stay in an exceptional setting and can also take advantage of the hotel’s top-of-the-range services to relax: an outdoor swimming pool on the roof with a view, an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and free access to the Spa at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo.
In summer, you will also benefit from a free shuttle to reach the private beach of the Hotel de Paris.
For dinner, remember to book your table at Alain Ducasse ‘s “Louis XV” gourmet restaurant, awarded 3 stars in the Michelin Guide.
The Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo is truly the best choice for a luxury weekend in Monaco!
Book your stay using the link below:
Book my weekend in Monaco now!
Spa weekend in Monaco
Always in the spirit of a relaxing and luxury stay, I now offer you a short spa weekend in Monaco.
For this, I recommend that you stay at the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, which is located a hundred meters from the Place du Casino.
This prestigious establishment recently won 1st place in the “Best hotel in France/Monaco” category and 3rd place in Europe in the Reader’s Choice Awards awarded by the Condé Nast Traveller.
The luxury hotel has a Givenchy Spa including an indoor heated seawater swimming pool, and offering treatments, as well as several relaxation areas .
You will also have a heated outdoor swimming pool open all year round, surrounded by a garden and a lounge bar/restaurant, all designed by Karl Lagerfeld.
On site, you can dine in one of the hotel’s 3 restaurants run by Joel Robuchon. Whether you fancy gourmet, Japanese or Mediterranean cuisine, you are guaranteed to taste excellent dishes.
To book the night, click here!
Romantic weekend in Monaco
For another romantic weekend idea in Monaco, I have selected the Hermitage Monte-Carlo hotel.
The 5* hotel is located 200 meters from the casino and 800 meters from Larvotto beach.
Classified as historical monuments, the palace has magnificent rooms in the Belle Epoque style, comfortable and warm. The hotel also has a 7000 m² Spa and a winter garden.
And to top it all off, you can have a drink at the Crystal bar, before enjoying excellent gourmet cuisine on the terrace with a view of the port at the Vistamar restaurant, 1 star in the Michelin Guide.
Book your weekend for two in Monaco now with the link below:
Book my romantic weekend in Monaco now!