Sea Coast of Monaco

Monaco Magic: The Perfect Day Trip from Nice To Monaco

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Just a stone’s throw from Nice lies a tiny country that’s larger than life – Monaco. At only 0.78 square miles, what Monaco lacks in size it more than makes up for in glitz, glamour and a certain je ne sais quoi. Spending just one day in this pint-sized principality is enough to give you a tantalizing taste of the high life.

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  • Monaco is just a 20-30 minute train ride from Nice, making it an easy day trip
  • Or book a private day tour from Nice to Monaco.
  • Arrange a private walking tour with a knowledgable guide
  • Must-sees include the Monte Carlo Casino, Prince’s Palace, Monaco-Ville (Old Town), and the Oceanographic Museum
  • Plan your timings carefully as some attractions have limited opening hours
  • Buy a bus pass to easily get around Monaco’s hilly terrain
  • Enjoy stunning views of luxury yachts, send a postcard from the world’s 2nd smallest country, and soak up the glitz and glamour

And now, on to the full scoop on spending a marvelous day in Monaco…

One day trip from nice to monaco

I visited Nice and Monaco on the tail-end of trip to Spain, and since I was in Nice–– couldn’t resist the allure of Monaco. Trust me––even a short day trip will have you feeling like James Bond or Grace Kelly. The key is planning ahead to make the most of your time in this mini Monte Carlo.

Half day tour from nice to monaco

Port of Fontvieille in Monaco

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Day tours from Nice to Monaco

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What is the best way to get from Nice to Monaco?

taking the train is the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Nice to Monaco for a day trip. The train ride takes only about 20 minutes from Nice-Ville station to Monaco-Monte-Carlo station, with frequent departures throughout the day. This allows you to maximize your time exploring Monaco’s attractions.

Getting There: How to get to nice to monaco

Port of Fontvieille in Monaco

Best day trip from nice to monaco

Joining a guided tour is another great option that can be convenient and informative, especially if you prefer to have transportation and itinerary planning handled for you. Tours often include additional stops like the village of Eze and can provide valuable insights into the region’s history and culture.

Take the train nice monaco

 Hopping over from nice to monaco train. Monaco from Nice is a breeze. Frequent trains run from Nice-Ville station, whisking you to Monaco-Monte-Carlo station in about 20 minutes for just €4. Aim to catch an early train, ideally around 8am, to maximize your day. Grab a seat on the upper level for the best coastal views.

Alternatively–– take the #100 bus from Nice Le Port to Monaco Place des Moulins. It’s even cheaper at €1.50 but takes about an hour. The upside? Incredible scenery along the way.

Helpful Tip: Buy your return train ticket in advance to avoid waiting in long queues at the end of the day.

bus from nice to monaco

While the bus is cheaper (€1.50 vs €4 for the train), it takes about an hour due to the many stops along the way. However, the scenic views along the coast can make the bus ride enjoyable if you have more time to spare.

nice to monaco ferry one way

Unfortunately, there is no direct ferry service between Nice and Monaco. The closest ferry ports to Monaco are in Nice (Port de Nice) and Villefranche-sur-Mer, but these ferries do not go to Monaco. They primarily serve destinations like Corsica, Sardinia, and other Mediterranean islands. The ferry that goes from Nice port takes 45 minutes.

 how long does it take to get from nice to Monaco

Guided Tour: The duration of a guided tour from Nice to Monaco . Most half-day tours last approximately 4-5 hours, while full-day tours that include additional destinations like Eze or Antibes can take 7-8 hours.

By Train: The fastest and most convenient option. Trains from Nice-Ville station to Monaco-Monte-Carlo station take approximately 20 minutes. Trains run frequently throughout the day, often every 15-30 minutes during peak hours.

By Bus: The cheapest option but takes longer due to multiple stops along the way. The bus ride from Nice to Monaco (bus #100) takes about 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic and the number of stops.

By Car: Driving from central Nice to Monaco takes around 30 minutes

Helpful Tip: If you’re taking the train, be sure to check the schedule in advance and plan your departure accordingly. While trains run frequently, it’s always a good idea to allow extra time for any potential delays or busy periods, especially during peak travel seasons.

Sea Coast of Monaco

nice to monaco distance

The distance between Nice and Monaco is approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers) by road.

Here’s a breakdown of the distances based on the mode of transportation:

  • Nice to Monaca distance By Train: The train route from Nice-Ville to Monaco-Monte-Carlo covers a distance of about 12 miles (19 kilometers).
  • Nice to Monaca distance By Bus: The bus route from Nice to Monaco is slightly longer due to the winding coastal road and multiple stops. The distance is approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers).
  • Nice to Monaca distance By Car: If you were to drive directly from central Nice to Monaco, the distance is roughly 13 miles (21 kilometers), depending on your exact starting point and destination within each city. The journey takes about 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

Helpful Tip: If you’re planning to drive to Monaco, keep in mind that parking can be expensive and limited. It’s often more convenient and cost-effective to use public transportation or join a guided tour.

What To See in Monaco &  What To Do In Monaco for a day on nice to monaco day trip

With only a day to spend, you’ll need to be selective with your sightseeing. Here are the spots I consider unmissable:

With a time crunch–– it’s best to book a private walking tour with a knowledgeable guide.

Monte Carlo Casino – Unleash your inner high roller at this opulent casino, even if it’s just to ogle the exterior and the luxury cars parked outside. Go in the morning (10am-1pm) if you want to peek inside without gambling. Dress to impress!

People Walking Near the Building

Prince’s Palace – Head up the hill to Monaco-Ville to tour this lavish royal residence. Time your visit for 11:55am to witness the changing of the guard ceremony. Arrive early to snag a shady spot.

Monaco-Ville (Old Town) – Spend some time getting lost in the colorful streets and hidden passageways of the old town. The viewpoints from the cliffside are spectacular! Send a postcard from here.

Oceanographic Museum – Founded by Jacques Cousteau, this museum’s aquarium may not wow if you’ve been to world-class ones before. But the building itself is beautiful and the turtle rehab area is neat.

Shopping in Nice Monaco

Let’s be real, one of the most fun things to do in Monaco is people (and vehicle) watching. Stroll past the designer boutiques near the casino and play “spot the celebrity.” Down by Port Hercule, admire the mega-yachts and ponder how the other half lives.

For more affordable souvenirs, stick to the shops in Monaco-Ville. And be sure to send a postcard from this unique little nation!

Helpful Tip: Monaco may be duty-free, but prices on luxury goods are similar to France. For deals, hit the consignment shops instead.

Monaco Grand Prix

No trip to Monaco would be complete without mentioning the legendary Monaco Grand Prix. Held annually in May, this iconic Formula One race is one of the most prestigious and challenging motorsport events in the world.

The Monaco Grand Prix has been a fixture on the Formula One calendar since 1929, making it one of the oldest and most traditional races in the series. The street circuit winds through the narrow, twisting roads of Monaco, passing by famous landmarks like the Monte Carlo Casino, the Prince’s Palace, and the harbor filled with luxurious yachts.

The race weekend transforms Monaco into a vibrant spectacle, attracting thousands of fans, celebrities, and high-profile guests. Grandstands and temporary seating are set up along the circuit, offering spectacular views of the cars navigating the tight corners and elevation changes.

If you’re planning a trip to Monaco in May, be aware that accommodation prices soar, and the city becomes extremely crowded during the Grand Prix weekend. However, if you’re a motorsport enthusiast, experiencing the Monaco Grand Prix firsthand is an unforgettable experience.

Even if you’re not visiting during the Grand Prix, you can still get a taste of the racing action. Take a walk along the circuit and imagine the roar of the engines and the skill of the drivers navigating the challenging course. You can also visit the Monaco Top Cars Collection museum, which features an impressive display of vintage and modern race cars. Better yet–– book this Grand Prix experience and drive in the fast lane yourself!

Helpful Tip: If you’re keen on experiencing the Monaco Grand Prix, plan your trip well in advance and be prepared for higher prices and larger crowds. Consider booking a grandstand seat or a hospitality package for the best views and exclusive access to the race weekend events.

Helpful Tips for day trip monaco:

  • To easily travel between Monaco’s steep streets, buy a bus day pass for €5.50. There are also public elevators.
  • Keep in mind the cathedral by the palace closes over lunch.
  • Check the casino and palace websites for current opening hours.

Wha’ts special and Unique about Monaco: Monaco fun facts

Beyond the glitz, what makes Monaco so fascinating? A few fun facts:

  • It has the world’s highest life expectancy at 89 years
  • There’s one police officer for every 100 residents, and cameras everywhere, so crime is virtually nil
  • It’s not just a tax haven, it’s a billionaire’s playground with the highest density of millionaires globally
  • Monaco’s pint-sized but its influence is mighty – it even has a seat at the UN

Feel free to casually drop these tidbits as you explore!

Where to Eat in Nice: Nice Restaurants

Feeling peckish? Here are some spots to refuel:

  • Cafe de Paris: Touristy but iconic, perfect for a splurge lunch. Great for people-watching too.
  • Pizzeria Monegasque: Tasty pizza and more, ideal for a quick affordable bite in Monaco-Ville.
  • Condamine Market: Hit up this lively market in La Condamine for fresh local snacks and picnic fixings.
  • Marché de la Condamine: Another great food hall option near Port Hercule.

Back in Nice, treat yourself to dinner at La Voglia or Olive & Artichaut. You’ve earned it after all that walking!

Alternative Itinerary: Eze

If you have time, consider combining your Monaco trip with a stop in the medieval village of Eze. Perched high above the coast, it’s a true gem. Wander the charming streets, tour the exotic botanic garden, and create your own perfume at the famed Fragonard perfumery. Catch the #112 bus from Nice or the #82 from Monaco.

Where to Stay in Nice

For a budget stay, Hotel de France offers great value and fun extras like in-room Nespresso machines.

Splurge on a sea view at the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée. Or go all-out at the iconic Hotel Negresco for a taste of historic glamour.

See the full scoop in my Nice accommodation guide!

Is a monaco day trip from nice Worth It?

So is Monaco worth the hype? If you’re expecting non-stop excitement and sights, you may be underwhelmed. But if you go in with an open mind, a day trip to Monaco makes for a wonderfully surreal experience. Walking in the footsteps of Grace Kelly, gaping at unimaginable wealth and grandeur, and ticking another country off your list – it’s all part of Monaco’s inimitable charm.

Just be sure to plan ahead so you don’t miss key opening times. Start early, dress the part, and enjoy feeling like royalty for a day!

Helpful Tips to Visiting Monaco from Nice day trip

  • Bring cash as some small businesses may not take cards
  • Prepare for hills and steps – wear comfy shoes!
  • Carry sunscreen, water and layers as the weather can shift
  • Be camera ready, you never know who you might spot

Have you been to Monaco? Do you have any other tips for making the most of a whirlwind visit? Let me know in the comments! And if you found this helpful, please share it with your travel buddies.

Bon voyage! –– CT


Q: How much time do I need in Monaco?

A: You can see the main highlights of Monaco in one full day. Ideally plan to arrive around 8-9am and leave in the early evening.

Q: What should I wear in Monaco?

A: Dress up a little, especially if you want to enter the casino. Think business casual at a minimum. Bring comfy shoes for walking.

Q: What currency does Monaco use?

A: Monaco uses the Euro, same as France. Credit cards are widely accepted but it’s good to have some cash on hand.

Q: When is the best time to visit Monaco?

A: April-October has the best weather but biggest crowds and highest prices. Aim for shoulder season if you can. The Grand Prix is in May.

Q: Where should I eat lunch in Monaco?

A: For a splurge, have lunch at the famous Cafe de Paris by the casino. For more affordable options, try the cafes in Monaco-Ville.

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