The Monte-Carlo Casino is an integral part of Monaco’s past and present and shouldn’t be missed on your visit to the principality. Culture Trip’s guide to this famous landmark provides you with everything you need to know, from a little history to some handy visiting tips.
Before the early 1860s the land on which the casino was built, Plateau des Spélugues, was cultivated for growing citrus trees. A very different vista from the glitz and glamour we see today.
The construction of Monte-Carlo Casino was heavily down to Société des Bains de Mer‘s founder, François Blanc. He had a new vision for Monaco as a world-renowned destination for gaming. The build started in 1863 and five years later, the casino was inaugurated. Charles Garnier, the architect whose work also includes the majestic Paris Opera, designed the casino – only adding to its stature on a world scale.
Over the decades, the Monte-Carlo Casino has played a large part in how Monaco has evolved and adapted with the times. From the roaring twenties to the present day, the casino will always be the beating heart of the principality; it is a beacon of wealth, fun and excess.
These are the most important things to know before you visit Monte-Carlo Casino. Helpfully, the cashier exchanges any currency so wherever you’ve come from you’ll be able to be a part of the fun.
You’ll need photo identification to enter the casino and everyone has to be over the age of 18. Admission cost is €10 per person and then an additional €10 for entry to their private rooms. Every day – except during the Formula 1 Grand Prix in May – the casino is open to groups and tours, from 9am until 12pm. Entry is €10 for groups of 10 or less, €7 above 10. If you are a Circle Monte-Carlo Players Club cardholder then lucky you; free entry!
There is no specific dress code for the casino, but ‘proper attire’ is required. This means no shorts, sports shoes or flip flops to be worn at any times. So if you want to play make sure you have alternatives for those three items, even if you do wear them for the rest of your stay. After 8pm, the casino recommends jackets to be worn.
In the main casino hall, the minimum you can bet is €5 and the maximum is €2000. If you take your gaming to a private room, the minimum increases to €10 and, unsurprisingly, there is no cap on maximum bets.
For a room entirely for slot machines, the Salle des Amériques is where you need to go (not to mention the incredible decor). The iconic private room of Salle Médecin is for lovers of the table game, as well as James Bond fans: this is the room Pierce Brosnan frequents in Golden Eye.
Did you know that the horse’s shiny leg on the Louis XIV statue in the Hotel de Paris lobby gives you good luck if you rub it?
If you can tear yourself away from the Casino itself, there are some other intriguing sights all within a five minute walk.
If you walk behind the casino to the edge as far as you can go, you’ll be able to see Victor Vasarely’s colourful mosaic, Hexa Grace. This is the roof of Monaco’s centre of congress and there are also incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea with its super yachts and cruise ships.
Visit the Monte-Carlo Pavillions in the casino’s gardens while you can, these incredible pebble-shaped temporary buildings are scheduled to be demolished in 2018. Opened in 2014, they were designed by architect Richard Martinet as a new design take on a shopping centre.
Café de Paris
Café de Paris sits right opposite Monte-Carlo Casino, so if you are looking to pause your trip to the casino for a spot of sun and people watching, this is the place to be. Whether you’re looking for an espresso or a slap-up lunch, the brasserie has an extensive menu.