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15 Fun & Best Things to Do in Monaco

Fontvieille Port in Monaco

One of my top recommendations for people visiting the French Riviera is to technically leave the country for a day – by hopping over the border to the Principality of Monaco. This tiny city-state is surrounded by France in the same way that Italy surrounds Vatican City, occupying a prime piece of Mediterranean coastline.

But even besides the stunning coastline and mountain views, everything about Monaco is just beautiful. It’s a playground for the very rich and famous, and you’ll see more luxury cars in a day than you’ve seen in your entire life. Buildings, landscaping, streets, and decorations are carefully manicured to exude perfection.

While Monaco may be a small country, there is no shortage of things to do here. People often make it a day trip from the nearby cities of Nice or Cannes, about 20 minutes and an hour away, respectively. But you can certainly stay a night or more if you want to do it all and live like a rock star in one of the principality’s luxury hotels.

Before you visit Monaco, read my take on the top tourist attractions. Living 45 minutes away has allowed me to come to Monaco scores if not hundreds of times – in fact, my favorite movie theater is here! Follow the tips below on what to see, do, and eat in Monaco, and check out some great places to stay.


Category Recommendation
Most significant landmark Monte Carlo Casino
Best park Exotic Garden
Best free activity Panoramic Viewpoints
Best activity for kids Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
Best activity for adults Touring the Prince’s Palace
Best food Café de Paris
Best place to stay Hôtel Hermitage Monte Carlo

What is Monaco?

Fontvieille Port in Monaco
Woodrow Matthews / ViaTravelers

The Principality of Monaco is a city-state, essentially meaning a tiny country, in Europe, which is completely surrounded by France – the French Riviera, specifically. It’s about 20 minutes to the Italian border in one direction or 20 minutes to the city of Nice in the other; the glamorous, well-known city of Cannes is about an hour away. That makes Monaco a popular day trip for French Riviera visitors.

This tiny country, which is just over 500 acres in size, has been independent for centuries. It has always been considered a strategic piece of land due to the Rock of Monaco, which made for an ideal shelter and fortress and hosts the Prince’s Palace. The House of Grimaldi, once prominent figures in the Italian city of Genoa, have controlled it for over…

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