How to Spend One Day in Monaco from Nice + Itinerary

Wondering how to plan a day trip to Monaco? I’m here to share a comprehensive one-day Monaco itinerary to help you with that.

Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera, Monaco stands as a symbol of elegance, luxury, and sophistication. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco offers a picturesque setting unlike any other.

While Monaco is known for its glitz and glamour, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Beyond the dazzling casinos and exclusive boutiques lies rich history and culture waiting to be uncovered.

From the medieval charm of Monaco-Ville to the modern marvels of Monte Carlo, the principality seamlessly blends old-world charm with contemporary flair. 

It is so well connected with Nice that you can easily plan a day trip to Monaco. And thanks to its compact size, you can easily discover the best of Monaco in just one day, especially if you follow this plan.

So without further ado, let’s dive in and unlock everything you need to see in Monaco in a day with this detailed 24-hour Monaco itinerary.

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Useful things that will help you plan your one-day Monaco itinerary 

🚗 How to reach Monaco from Nice? Take the train or bus 80 from the airport or bus 607 from Port Lympa. As an alternative, you can take the ferry from Nice.

⏰ Don’t feel like planning the whole day? This top-rated tour from Nice will do all the job for you. This tour will take you to the best spots on the French Riviera including Monaco.

📖 Want to know more about Monaco? You will love this private tour with a professional guide.

📸 If you want to keep your memories alive, this photo session will provide postcards of a lifetime.

🏨 Spending a night in Monaco is not for budget travelers, but don’t worry, because making a day trip from Nice is super easy. Discover other great day trip options from Nice.

Overview of your one-day Monaco itinerary 

  • Morning: Monaco-Ville, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Port of Fontvieille viewpoint, Musée océanographique de Monaco or Prince’s Palace of Monaco
  • Lunch: L’Aurore or Conscientiae Monaco
  • Afternoon: Port Hercule and Private Cars Collection of HSH Prince of Monaco (optional), Princess Grace Japanese Garden, Casino of Montecarlo, Opera, Café de Paris, Place Casino and Gardens
  • Dinner: Cipriani Monte Carlo

How to reach Monaco from Nice?

How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco: One Day Monaco Itinerary

To proceed with this one-day Monaco itinerary, you will need to reach it first. While it is relatively easy, I still wanted to cover different ways how to go from Nice to Monaco. If you are planning to spend a night in Monaco, feel free to skip this part.

The best way to reach Monaco from Nice is by train which departs every 20 minutes, however, there are also 2 bus lines. Bus 80 departs regularly from Nice Airport, and you can take bus 607 from Port Lympa to Monaco.

Train journeys from Nice will take you approximately 25 minutes, while the bus from central Monaco to Nice airport is approximately 40 minutes. Bus 607 will take approximately 1 hour depending on the traffic.

The train will cost you 5 euros while the bus ticket will cost 2,10 euros. Keep in mind that the bus gets packed during commute hours as locals use it a lot.

If you want to enjoy views of Monaco from the sea, you can also book this ferry from Nice to Monaco. Not the best option for early birds or those who want to avoid crowds, but great way to see Monaco from a different perspective.

Your one day Monaco itinerary


How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary
How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary

Monaco Ville is the oldest historical part of Monaco. Francesco Grimaldi captured the Rock of Monaco dressed as a Franciscan monk and started one of the longest dynasties in Europe. While the Grimaldi family was originally from Genoa, descendants of the Grimaldi family, still rule Monaco today.

In this part of the town, you can find some of the most iconic places of the whole region like the Prince’s Palace of Monaco or the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, and several panoramic viewpoints to admire the beauty of the city of Monaco.

Exploring the Old Town of Monaco will be relatively quick as it is pretty compact and easy to walk, so let’s see in detail what spots you can’t miss for your one-day Monaco itinerary.

Saint Nicholas Cathedral

How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary
How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary

Start your day in Monaco with a visit to Saint Nicholas Cathedral, which is one of the most iconic and historically significant buildings in the city. 

This cathedral, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the venerated title of the Immaculate Conception, is a must-see for visitors exploring Monaco’s rich cultural heritage.

The church is built in an atypical Roman-Byzantine style and dates back to 1875. It’s constructed using white stone from La Turbie, close to Monaco.

One of the notable features of Saint Nicholas Cathedral is its role as the final resting place of Monaco’s former Princes, including the beloved Grace Kelly. The cathedral holds a special place in the hearts of locals.

Visitors to Saint Nicholas Cathedral can explore the interiors, its mosaics, and religious artifacts free of charge (except during religious services) from 9 am to 6 pm daily.

Port of Fontvieille viewpoint

How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary
How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary

Thanks to its location perched on a hill, Monaco Ville offers some extraordinary viewpoints to admire the city and the beauty of the landscape.

The Port of Fontvieille viewpoint is probably the most photographed panorama in Monaco, where you can admire the beauty of the Monaco architecture and the mountains meeting the sea. 

Another popular spot is the Monaco port view just next to the Palace of Monaco, where you will be able to admire and photograph Port Hercule.

If you keep walking to Rue des Remparts you will find another privileged location to admire the city from the top, the last spot you can’t miss is the one next to the Musée océanographique de Monaco.

Musée océanographique de Monaco or Prince’s Palace of Monaco

How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary

Depending on your interests, I am sharing two alternatives on what to visit to finish the morning of your Monaco 1 day itinerary.

Are you passionate about sea life? Or visiting Monaco in 24 hours with kids? Then you simply can’t miss the Musée océanographique Of Monaco. The visit will take you through spectacular aquariums and exhibitions that will make you understand better the history of Monaco.

Keep in mind that you will need approximately 2 hours for a proper visit to the site. The Museum opens every day except Christmas Day and the F1 Grand Prix weekend.

The ticket for an adult costs 19 euros while kids pay 12 euros and can be purchased here. If you think you won’t have time or you are curious to see what to expect, you can virtually visit the museum here.

If you are passionate about art and history, then the Prince’s Palace is one of the best places in Monaco to visit. Guests can find over 600m2 of sumptuous interiors and beautiful frescoes that date back to the Italian Renaissance.

A visit to the palace will take you approximately 30 minutes and the ticket price is 10 euro for adults and 5 euros for children. You can check the opening times and purchase your tickets here.

Your one day Monaco itinerary
How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary

No matter what you decide to do, don’t miss the appointment with the Changing of the Guards at 11.55 am. It is a military ritual performed with perfect coordination and one of the best things to see during your one-day Monaco itinerary.

Lunch: L’Aurore or Conscientiae Monaco

The lunch of your one-day Monaco itinerary has two alternatives according to your taste, time, and mood.

If you are looking for an informal and quick lunch in the town, head to L’Aurore. The restaurant is located in the heart of the Old Town and has served locals for years. It offers a simple menu of Italian and French specialties at a fair price and with a good quality of food and hospitality.

If you are in the mood for a more stylish vibe near the water, Conscientiae Monaco is one of the best places in the city. It has chic vibes and modern dishes making it a perfect location. Despite the beautiful vibes, the prices are great. The lunch menu is available for 30-40 euros.

Port Hercule and Private Cars Collection of HSH Prince of Monaco

Your one day Monaco itinerary
Your one day Monaco itinerary

Once you finish your lunch, enjoy a walk in the luxurious area of the Port Hercule, a little bay with a panoramic view of Monaco Rock and the modern site of the city.  Port Hercule is also the perfect place to enjoy views of some of the most incredible yachts.

If you are passionate about Formula 1 and cars, you can’t miss the Private Cars Collection of HSH Prince of Monaco. 

This museum showcases a wide collection of Prince Rainier III’s high-end, vintage automobiles and tells a story about how the car industry is related to the city of Monaco. The collection includes some unique vehicles that made the history of Formula 1 or the city of Monaco itself.

The admission fee for adults is 10 euros and 5 euros for kids. Depending on the season, this museum closes between 6 pm and 7 pm with the last entrance one hour before closing time.

Princess Grace Japanese Garden

Your one day Monaco itinerary

Take the bus or walk for 20 minutes to visit the picturesque Princess Grace Japanese Garden. Spanning 0.7 hectares, the Princess Grace Japanese Garden offers a peaceful escape from city life.

The gardens were designed by Yasuo Beppu, the winner of the Flower Exhibition of Osaka in 1990. The garden is a miniature representation of Shintoist philosophy, a little corner of Japanese aesthetics and philosophy on the French Riviera.

In the garden, you’ll see crafted features, including a stylized mountain, hill, waterfall, beach, brook, and a Zen garden designed for meditation. Each element is designed to evoke a sense of harmony and tranquility, providing the perfect backdrop for relaxation and reflection.

The Princess Grace Japanese Garden opens its doors daily from 9 am until sunset and has no admission fee making it one of the best free things to do in Monaco for one day.

After you visit the Japanese garden, head to the next location going through the iconic Fairmont Hairpin.

Casino of Montecarlo, Opera, Café de Paris

Your one day Monaco itinerary
Your one day Monaco itinerary

Any Monaco itinerary couldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic Casino, and the Café de Paris. This coffeehouse and restaurant was built in 1868 in the Belle Epoque style and it is one of the most iconic cafes not only in Monaco but the whole of Europe.

When visiting the casino, you have several options. Opt for an audio-guided tour to learn about its fascinating history, try your luck at the tables, or take a quick, free visit to the building, though keep in mind that there is limited access.

The casino offers tours daily from 10 am to 1 pm, with the last entry at 12.15 pm. Gaming enthusiasts can try their luck in one of the beautiful rooms starting from 2 pm.

Adjacent to the casino is the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, a stunning opera house designed by Charles Garnier, the architect behind the Opéra of Paris. This magnificent venue adds class and beauty to the whole Monte Carlo complex.

Place Casino and Gardens

Your one day Monaco itinerary

After visiting the spectacular halls of the Casino, enjoy the luxurious vibes of the square and its gardens, a beautiful place to admire the sunset coloring Monaco and its skyline. 

There are several restaurants and luxury shops in the square and you will probably see some of the most incredible cars ever made.

For a glimpse into the fanciest lifestyle, head to the Metropole Shopping Monte-Carlo. An upscale shopping center with a luxurious feel, with beautiful marble floors and impressive crystal chandeliers.

Cipriani Monte Carlo

If you are planning to finish your one-day in Monaco itinerary with dinner, make it memorable at the Cipriani. Despite being relatively a new restaurant, it is already a leading institution of fine dining in the city of Monaco.

Cipriani is not only a restaurant, it is a luxurious experience that will stimulate all your senses. Cipriani opened in 2010 but its history goes back to 1931 when Giuseppe Cipriani Senior opened Harry’s Bar in Venice. 

Here you can try classics of Venetian cuisine like the risottos, and beef carpaccio, and modern dishes too like wagyu or beef Rossini.

Keep in mind that reservation is required and dress code applies.

In conclusion…

 How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary

This is the end of your one-day Monaco itinerary and I am sure you are super excited about your trip to Monaco.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

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How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary
How to Plan a Day Trip to Monaco from Nice + Itinerary

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