Monaco-Ville is the old medieval town of Monaco, seated on a rocky headland known as ‘The Rock.’ Here you’ll find the Prince’s Palace, Saint Nicholas Cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum. Even though this ward is one mostly frequented by tourists, it retains a certain serenity due to its winding, old residential streets and the fact that only local vehicles are allowed. The views out over the sparkling Mediterranean from the square in front of the Prince’s Palace and Saint-Martin Gardens are not to be missed – it feels a world away from the yachts below.
Fontvieille is the newest of the four traditional wards in Monaco. It was actually developed using reclaimed land and, even though space is very precious here, about four hectares are taken up by Fontvieille Park and Princess Grace Rose Garden. If you’re looking to explore Fontvieille, definitely make time for this pretty garden, created in memory of Princess Grace Kelly. This ward also contains Monaco Heliport and Louis II Stadium. Spend the evening at one of the many waterfront restaurants.
If you’re looking for the famous Monte-Carlo Casino then – you’ve guessed it – it’s located it the Monte-Carlo ward. You’ll also find Hôtel de Paris, which is on the west side of the Place du Casino. You don’t have to be a guest there to marvel at its impressive façade. Luxury stores and opulent buildings dominate this part of Monaco, so dig deep, find a café and simply sit and people-watch your way through the morning.
If you are arriving in Monaco by train, then it’ll be the ward of Moneghetti you explore first. This ward rises up into the rock, so you’ll probably want to turn your camera at this intriguing urban vista. Due to its hilliness, it is one of the least accessible wards in Monaco, but this is why it’s so interesting; you get a real sense of your surroundings and the people passing by.
This Monaco neighborhood includes the port area of the city, as well as some attractive shopping streets; Rue Princesse Caroline especially so. Make sure to leave enough time to wander down to the port itself – the super yachts are even more impressive up close. Start the day off by visiting the covered market; the colors and smells of local French market stalls and brewing coffee can’t be beaten.
Les Révoires is one of the quieter and more residential wards in Monaco. The reason it’s worth exploring is because of its steep inclines, and so provides incredible views over the city and Mediterranean Sea beyond. Chemin des Révoires, Monaco’s highest point, lies in this ward, as does the popular Exotic Garden. Even though Les Révoires is a little ‘out of town’, the views put the city into a perspective and you can only gain from venturing here.
Larvotto lies southeast of Monte-Carlo, bordering Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. For a day on the Larvotto beach, this is the neighborhood you want to be making a beeline for. Take a stroll along the promenade and enjoy being slightly further away from the hustle and bustle. Make the time to check out the Grimaldi Forum; a conference and congress center that oozes modern style with its geometric glass façade and steel-structured interior.