One Day in Monaco with 13 Amazing Itinerary Activities

Spend one day in Monaco, the enchanting city-state nestled along the French Riviera, a playground for the rich and famous.

This glamorous destination is renowned for its luxurious lifestyle, world-class casinos, and stunning Mediterranean views.

From the opulent yachts lining the harbour to the sleek sports cars racing through its streets, Monaco exudes an air of elegance and sophistication. How long to stay in Monaco to see it all you might – it deserves at least one night.

In this article, I will take you through Monaco in a day, as there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this tiny principality. Exploring its cultural landmarks, indulging in delicious cuisine, and experiencing its vibrant nightlife.

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A Day in Monaco: is 1 day enough?

pink building with awning and pink flowers in monaco in one day

Visiting Monaco for a day is not enough to fully experience all the wonders this glamorous city-state has to offer. However, it’s enough time to see some of the main Monaco attractions and get a taste of the local culture.

So, you might be asking just how many days in Monaco should you spend. If you are just wanting to explore Monaco, and not beyond, I would say at least one night giving you a full 1.5 to 2 days.

But, how long to spend in Monaco depends on your overall south of France itinerary. You may wish to make this your base to explore the nearby towns of Menton, Eze, and lesser-known hidden gems like Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Cap-d’Ail and La Turbie.

If you only have a half day in Monaco, I recommend spending it in Old Town.

Summary of Things to Do in Monaco in One Day

  • Old Town
  • Nicolas Cathedral
  • Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
  • Prince’s Palace of Monaco
  • Changing of the Guards
  • Le Marche de la Condamine
  • La Condamine Neighbourhood
  • La Collection Automobiles de S.A.S. le Prince de Monaco
  • Port Hercule
  • Formula 1 Track
  • Casino de Monte-Carlo
  • Sunset Watching and Late Dinner

Now, let’s dive into these 13 things to do in Monaco.

What to Do in Monaco for a Day

Here is your Monaco itinerary! I’ll take you through the perfect way to spend your day (mapped out geographically too!).

1. Monaco Old Town

Start your one day in Monaco with a visit to Old Town. The narrow cobblestone streets, lined with colourful buildings, exude charm and character.

The scent of fresh-baked pastries from nearby bakeries fills the air. Pop into one for your coffee and croissant fix.

What to see in Monaco in one day are some of these incredible buildings in Old Town in Monaco:

  • The Monaco Courthouse: you can’t tour the inside, but the exterior is impressive with its elegant staircase
  • Chapel of the Visitation: is a Baroque chapel dating back to the 17th century which is now an art gallery (with free entry)
  • Old Monaco Museum: is a small cultural heritage museum, including an interesting history of the Monesgasque language (with free entry)
  • Saint Martin Gardens: a pretty park along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea

One of the best things to do in Nice and Monaco is to visit their Old Town so that you can compare which one you like better.

2. Nicholas Cathedral

cathedral with stairs and palm trees in monaco itinerary

I went to Saint Nicholas Cathedral, and it’s an amazing building with a Neo-Romanesque style. It has detailed decorations and tall spires that are just breathtaking.

The stones used to build it come from a nearby hilltop village called La Turbie. I visited La Turbie because it has fantastic views.

When you go inside the cathedral, you’ll see the ceilings are super high, and there are beautiful stained glass windows and a really impressive altar.

This cathedral is in Old Town, and it was built in 1903. They have the remains of old Princes and Princesses from Monaco there. But what really made this church famous was when actress Grace Kelly got married here. It’s definitely something you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Monaco.

  • 🕘 Open daily from 9 am to 6 pm (except during religious services)
  • Free

3. Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

I checked out the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (Musee Oceanographique de Monaco), and it’s in this amazing building on a cliff in Old Town, looking over the Mediterranean Sea.

It was started by Prince Albert I in 1910, making it one of the oldest and most famous oceanographic places globally.

Inside, they feature everything to do with sea life. Families and those interested in learning more about sea wonders would enjoy this. Even though I’m not super into it, I have to admit, the outside of the building is pretty impressive.

  • 🕘 Open daily from October to March 10 am to 6 pm, April to June and September from 10 am to 7 pm, July to August from 9:30 am to 8 pm
  • 18€, pre-book your entrance tickets

4. Prince’s Palace of Monaco

stone courtyard and palce with gaurd standing in what to do in monaco for a day

I went to the Prince’s Palace in Monaco, and it’s been where the Grimaldi family has lived for more than 700 years. The history and the building are amazing.

When you walk around inside, you are immediately struck by the world of opulence and grandeur.

My favourite part was the palace gardens. They have beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s worth taking a moment to soak it all in.

  • 🕘From April to June and September to October 15 open from 10 am to 6 pm, from July to August open from 10 am to 7 pm | Closed from October 16, 2023, to April 1, 2024, and the Formula 1 Weekend
  • €10

5. Changing of the Guards

4 guards with blue hats, black jackets seen on a day in Monaco

Wondering what to see in Monaco, this is it! The Changing of the Guards is a timeless ceremony that is steeped in tradition and history.

Every day at 11:30 am the sight of the immaculately dressed guards, with their bright black tunics and bright azure blue hats, marching in perfect unison is something to see.

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to experience a slice of cultural heritage, the Changing of the Guards is a fun activity to watch.

6. Lunch at Le Marche de la Condamine

Next, I recommend having lunch at Condamine Market in Monaco.

This bustling market, located in the heart of the Le Condamine neighbourhood, boasts an array of vendors offering fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and mouth-watering street food.

I recommend going to Chez Roger who makes the best socca. Pull up a chair and enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the vibrant atmosphere of the market.

If you’re looking for a bit more refined lunch experience, but still something that won’t break the bank head to Castelroc in Old Town.

One of my favourite things to do in Monaco in one day enjoying a meal.

7. La Condamine neighbourhood

The Condamine neighbourhood in Monaco is a vibrant and bustling area full of charming boutiques, local shops, and lively cafes.

Take a stroll through the narrow streets and alleyways, soak in the lively atmosphere, and marvel at the historic architecture that surrounds you.

What to visit in Condamine:

  • Le Dressing: a high-end thrift store selling luxury French brands like Hermes, Celine, Christian Dior and Yves St Laurent (1 Rue Princesse Florestine)
  • The Jardin Exotique: is a lovely botanical garden perched on a cliff, giving you uninterrupted views of the bay in Monaco. Just so you know, it’s closed for renovations in 2023. But you can still check out the greenhouse, which is open to the public (62 Bd du Jardin Exotique)

8. La Collection Automobiles de S.A.S. le Prince de Monaco

I didn’t go to this, but if you love cars, you definitely shouldn’t miss the Prince of Monaco Collection Automobiles.

The collection has more than 100 rare vehicles, making it one of the best things to do in Monaco for a day for car enthusiasts.

  • 🕘 From July to August open daily from 10 am to 7 pm, from January to June and from September to December open daily from 10 am to 6 pm
  • 10€

9. Port Hercule

boats, yachts in bay with dense highrise buildings one day in monaco

The bustling Port Hercules in Monaco is a sight to behold, with luxury yachts and boats bobbing in the shimmering blue waters. From the marina, take in the breathtaking views of Monaco’s skyline and the surrounding hills.

Whether you’re people-watching or just soaking in the high-life atmosphere, a visit to this iconic port is a must for your 1 day in Monaco.

10. Formula 1 Track

yachts in bay, high rise buildings agains mountain in a day in monaco

The Formula 1 Track in Monaco is one of the most iconic and challenging circuits in the world of motorsport. The streets of Monte Carlo have been hosting speedy and skilled drivers for more than a hundred years, making the track full of history and prestige.

My husband really wanted to check it out, and I have to say, it’s impressive. The track has tight corners, narrow straights, and steep inclines, making it a real test of precision and skill.

Whether you’re a big fan of motorsports or just curious, visiting the F1 Track in Monaco is a must.

11. Casino de Monte-Carlo

stone couryard with reflecting mirror, palm trees, building with towers in monaco in a day

I stepped into the lobby of the Monte Carlo Casino, and it’s this legendary symbol of luxury and glamour. The architecture, the fine details, and the rich decorations make you feel like you’re in a world of extravagance and indulgence.

Even just in the lobby, you can feel the excitement from the casino floor – the sound of chips clinking and the buzz of anticipation. Whether you’re someone who likes to bet big or you just want to soak in the atmosphere, the Monte Carlo Casino is a place you have to visit during your one day in Monaco.

  • 🕘 Open daily, 24 hours
  • Free to enter the atrium and the area with slot machines and €17 to enter the gaming area
  • Optional things to do:
    • take a stroll through the Japanese Garden which is the park in front of the Monte-Carlo square
    • Café de Paris Monte-Carlo is a fun spot for people-watching with an overpriced cocktail in hand

12. Sunset Watching

garden with statue of two people in embrace on a day in monaco

When it’s time to catch the sunset in Monaco, you’ve got two fantastic options: Fontvieille Harbour and Larvotto Beach.

Fontvieille Harbour is calm and beautiful. You can see the sun go down, and the yacht lights start to shimmer on the water. If you’ve got some extra time, it’s worth taking a romantic stroll through the nearby Princess Grace Rose Garden.

Larvotto Beach has a livelier vibe. There’s the hum of beachgoers and the soothing sound of waves hitting the shore. Both spots give you an amazing view of the sun setting over the Mediterranean, making it a moment you won’t forget.

13. Dinner

pink building with iron balconies in monaco in a day

Monaco is famous for its food scene, and there are plenty of restaurants with amazing food and views.

  • If you’re looking for a romantic and luxurious dining experience, try the Michelin-starred Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris. It’s a place where you can have an unforgettable gastronomic adventure, and where to stay in Monaco if you like to indulge in a little luxury.
  • Another great option is the Blue Bay at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. They serve a mix of Mediterranean and Caribbean flavours, and you can enjoy it while taking in stunning sea views.
  • If you want something more laid-back, check out Les Perles de Monte-Carlo. They grow their own oysters and offer fresh seafood in a seaside setting. It’s a more casual but still delightful dining experience.

FAQ One Day in Monaco

hotel with awning, car pulled in front in monaco

Is Monaco worth visiting?

Yes, Monaco is worth visiting as it’s considered the jewel of the French Riviera boasting stunning coastal scenery, and the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino.

How do I get to Monaco?

To get to Monaco, you can travel by train, bus, or car. The nearest airport is Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, and from there, you can take a short train ride or drive to reach Monaco.

Is Monaco a day trip from Nice?

Yes, Monaco is an easy day trip from Nice, only 20 km away, and reachable by car, train or bus. Spend the day exploring and return to Nice for a nightcap to reflect on your day in Monaco.

How long does it take to walk around Monaco?

It won’t take you long to walk around Monaco seeing it’s just 2 km². It roughly takes an hour to walk from one end to the other, but add time to fully explore its attractions and hidden gems.

When is the best time to visit Monaco to avoid crowds?

To avoid crowds, consider visiting Monaco in the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November). These months offer pleasant weather and fewer tourists.

When should I avoid visiting Monaco due to the Monaco Grand Prix?

Avoid visiting Monaco during the Monaco Grand Prix, typically held in late May. The Monaco Grand Prix F1 2023 dates are May 27-28. Unless you have pre-booked race day tickets, it is advisable not to visit Monaco during this weekend, as it attracts large crowds and may impact accessibility to various areas.

As a Holidaymaker

There you have it – your perfect Monaco 1 day itinerary! This Monaco travel itinerary has a little something for everyone to enjoy.

Next, you might want to visist my Travel Guide of France page, it’s here that you’ll find all the trip planning resources, including a list of all my articles in France. Whether you’re next destination is Paris or along the French Rivieria I have lots of inspiration for you.