20 Unmissable Attractions in Monaco

Monaco
Monaco | © David Mark / Pixabay

Monaco can be overwhelmingly over the top, intense and oh-so-bright on first sight, so follow Culture Trip’s 20 unmissable attractions to navigate yourself around the alluring principality with ease.

1. Oceanographic Museum

Aquarium, Building, Museum

1. Oceanographic Museum
© Aanjhan Ranganathan / Flickr

One of the most beautiful buildings and landmarks of the principality, the Oceanographic Museum is a must-see. Perched on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean, it houses various exhibitions throughout the year as well as an impressive aquarium.

Oceanographic Museum | © Cyril Bèle / Flickr

2. Prince's Palace of Monaco

2. Princes Palace of Monaco
© Niels Mickers / Flickr

The Prince’s Palace is home to the royal family. In front of the palace, every day at 11:55 am, the traditional ritual of the Changing of the Guard takes place. Definitely worth planning your day around.

Prince’s Palace of Monaco | © Niels Mickers / Flickr

3. Saint Nicholas Cathedral

Cathedral, Church

Monacos Architecture
© Hans Braxmeier / Flickr
Monaco’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral is the resting place of numerous members of the Grimaldi family – Monaco’s royal family – including Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier. The exterior is an impressive sight, built from light limestone from La Turbie.

4. Princess Grace Rose Garden

This gorgeous garden was cultivated in 1984 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco, two years after the death of his wife, Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco. Her favourite flower was the rose so the garden is very much in her honour.

The Princess Grace Rose Garden, Fontvieille, Monaco, France +37 792 166 116

5. Larvotto Beach

Natural Feature

5. Larvotto Beach
© Gabriella Szekely / Flickr
Monaco’s man-made beach, Larvotto, is made up of both a private and free public area. The sand is imported fine gravel, making the whole stretch feel tidy and polished like the city itself.

6. Monte-Carlo Casino

Casino, Opera House

Monte-Carlo Casino
© unserekleinemaus
Monaco’s Monte-Carlo casino is theiconic attraction in the principality. Read our guide on everything you need to know about this historic landmark.

Rock of Monaco

Le Rocher is the old town of Monaco, which perches on a rocky headland and is home to the principality’s royal family. Head to the old town to find winding streets and characterful buildings.

The Rock of Monaco

7. Sainte-Dévote Chapel

Church

7. Sainte-Dévote Chapel
© Herry Lawford / Flickr
Monaco’s Sainte-Dévote chapel is situated in the Valley of the Gaumates and dedicated to Saint Devota, the patron saint of Monaco. For Grand Prix fans, an interesting fact is the first corner of the famous circuit is named after it.

8. Japanese Garden

8. Japanese Garden
© Steve Collis / Flickr

Stroll through this uncrowded landscaped Japanese garden for a moment of Monaco calm. Centrally located and very well maintained, it’s a sweet pocket to explore in the principality.

Japanese Garden | © Steve Collis / Flickr

The Sculpture Path

Dotted about the principality are almost 100 sculptures. The Fontvieille district houses The Sculpture Path, a pedestrianised street solely for these impressive pieces of art.

Monaco Sculpture Trail

9. Rainer III Outdoor Pool

Stadium

The Rainier III Outdoor Swimming Stadium
© Hans Braxmeier / Pix

Run by the municipality, the Rainer III Outdoor Pool is open from May through to October and in the wintertime it is turned into an ice-skating rink.

Rainier III Nautical Stadium, Route de la Piscine, Monaco, France +37 793 306 483

The Rainier III Outdoor Swimming Stadium | © Hans Braxmeier / Pix | © Hans Braxmeier / Pix

10. Café de Paris

The perfect place to wine and dine or simply people watch in Monaco, Café de Paris is the café to be seen in in Monaco.

Café de Paris, Place du Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco, France +37 798 067 623

Cafe de Paris | © Jan Krömer / Flickr

11. Louis II Stadium

Park, Stadium, Swimming Pool

This stadium located in the Fontvieille district of Monaco is home to the Monaco national football team. The land it’s built on was actually reclaimed from the sea.

Louis II Stadium, 7 Avenue des Castelans, Monaco France +37 792 054 021

12. Hercules Port

Hercules is Monaco’s only deep-water port. Major cruise ships also dock here; quite the sight when some can measure up to 300 meters in length.

Hercules Port | © teddy06 / Pixabay

13. Exotic Garden

The Exotic Garden, opened in 1933, is filled to the brim with exotic plants, such as cacti and succulents. As well as the garden itself, hit the steps (almost down to sea level) into the observatory cave as part of your visit.

Exotic Garden, 62 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, Monaco, France +37 793 152 980

Monaco Gardens | © Chris Brown / Flickr

14. Monaco Top Cars Collection

Museum

Prince Rainier III was an avid car enthusiast and since 1993, visitors to Monaco have been enjoying his private collection of cars. There are around 100 models on display.

15. Zoological Gardens

Zoo

15. Zoological Gardens
© Gabriella Szekely / Flickr

Prince Rainer III established these Zoological Gardens, built into the Monaco rocks in 1954. Keep a look out for the infamous hippo – the star of the show.

Zoological Gardens, Place du Canton, Monaco, France +37 793 504 030

Monte Carlo Zoo | © Gabriella Szekely / Flickr

16. Fort Antoine Theatre

16. Fort Antoine Theatre
© Hans Braxmeier / Flickr

This open air theatre used to be – and the clue is in the name – a fortress, with an incredible position overlooking the Mediterranean.

Fort Antoine, Avenue de la Quarantaine, Monaco, France

Fort Antoine Theatre | © Hans Braxmeier / Flickr

17. Le Metropole shopping centre

Shopping Mall

Monaco’s shopping centre offers up designer shopping at its best. Visit for a stunning sweeping marble staircase, chandeliers and chic people-watching.

18. Fontvieille Port

Fontvieille is the newest of the four traditional wards in Monaco. It was created using reclaimed land and is a calmer section of Monaco to escape to with an attractive waterfront.

Fontvieille Port, Monaco, France

Port Fontvielle | © João André O. Dias / Flickr

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