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What to see in Monaco

People are usually very surprised by Monaco, they are either disappointed that it is not literally paved with gold or enthralled at how tiny it is nestled between the blue waters of the Mediterranean and the sheer cliffs of the Alpes Maritimes. It is simply one of the most unique and interesting countries in the world. In order to not be disappointed you have to remember that Monaco is a working, functioning town with lots of young people living and working there too, not just millionaires holed up in fancy pads.

There is a lot of 'ordinary-ness' to Monaco too. Ordinary apartments, ordinary people doing ordinary things but in an exceptional location. It is rich with life, with history, with beauty and is a stunning environment to find yourself in. There are lots of things to see depending on where your interests lie, from the historical and architectural beauty of the old city to the gentle sights of the numerous public gardens. The beauty is that it's contained in this nutshell sized country so you can see it all.

Monaco by nightFireworks over the water, MonacoMonaco port at night

Historical Monaco

To get a real sense of Monaco's history you have to go up to 'The Rock'. Once upon a time this was all there was to Monaco and the surrounding area was used as farmlands and grazing. Wandering through the narrow maze of beautifully tended streets is a slightly surreal experience as if have entered a storybook or slipped back in time to another era such is the preservation of the Old city.

Landmark buildings to look out for are the Princes Palace, the Cathedral of Monaco, the Oceanographic Institute and the former early XVIII century fortress that is now the Fort Antoine theatre in the Old Town. In Monte Carlo and Monaco Ville look out for the Casino, the Church of Sainte Devote and the Monaco Opera House.

The Princes Palace Monaco

The tour of the Princes Palace is a must see for anyone who is remotely interested in history, has a sense of romance or simply wants to get a good view of the area. It will even appeal to children with its wide open courtyard, real cannons and viewing platform.

On entry you will receive a headset with the commentary set to the language of your choice which will guide you through the state apartments. This leaves you free to explore the rooms at your leisure without being hurried through by a tour guide.

The palace was built in 1215 by the founding Genoise family. It is a stroll through the centuries represented by the incredible architecture as well as the gifts and artifacts that have been presented to the ruling family throughout the ages. The decor rivals that of Versaille and, in La Cour D'Honneur, the incredible winding staircase carved from a single piece of Carrara marble is not to be missed.

Palais PrincierPlace du Palais, Monaco
StatuePalace Square
On guard at the Princes Palace, MonacoPalais Princier, Monaco
On GuardClock Tower
The Palace is full of works of art and original rooms maintained in their original style. The Palace is still used today and is occupied by the Sovereign Prince Albert II and his government.

The staterooms are used for formal ceremonies and receiving dignatries but the main courtyard is also used for the famous summer concerts making the Palace accessible to all.

Museums in Monaco

For such a small place there is no shortage of museums in Monaco. It comes with having such a long history, there is much to document and despite its size Monaco has a strong cultural identity and sense of its own history. Find the Museum of pre-historic anthropology, the Museum of Napoleonic Souvenirs, the Museum of Monegasque Traditions, the Naval Museum of Monaco or for something more recent visit Prince Rainier III historic car collection, the Stamp and Money Museum or the Museum of Dolls dressed in accurate period clothing.

The Oceanographic Museum

If you visit one museum in Monaco then this should really be it. Set in a magnificent turn of the century building that is perched on the furthest tip of the 'Rock' this Aquarium and museum features more than 90 fish tanks and thousands of species of fish.

It takes the water for these tanks directly from the Mediterranean sea in an elaborate pump system of which there is a display model. There are fish kept that have never successfully been held in captivity before, deep sea fish and an ancient old Moray eel more than 40 years old.

The museum, of which Jaques Cousteau was a director, features ocean exploring equipment, marine skeletons and educational exhibitions. The Institute is world class with Laboratories used by scientists from all over the world and carries out important global marine research. It is an absolute wonderland in this museum, one in which you can lose yourself for hours.
Entrance to Oceanographique MuseumOceanographique Institute, Monaco
Yellow submarine, MonacoOceanographique Institute and Museum, Monaco
SubmarineFront view
The Museum is situated in Monaco's old town and is opposite the Cathedral. The leisurely way to get to it is to take the number 1 bus up the hill and then stroll back down when you are leaving.

This affords you the views over the Port and the rest of Monaco without so much of the effort. Take the time to wander into the gardens off to the right of the museum for beautiful views over the Mediterranean Sea.

Gardens in Monaco

All along this coast is famous for its flora and gardens. The entire French Riviera is impeccably manicured from the tiniest village to the largest town squares. The visual beauty of a place seems to feature highly on the scale of what is important iin a town which means something for everyone to enjoy the benefit of. Research shows that the French Riviera is most popular with Italians, after the French themselves, with the most common reason for visiting cited as 'because it is so clean, so well maintained and so beautiful'. Monaco, with quite a reputation to uphold, is possibly better than anywhere else and you cannot fail to find yourself ambling through at least one of its public gardens.

Gardens in Monaco

Monaco is full of public parks and gardens, whether you are interested in them specifically, you cannot fail to walk through them and it's worth taking the time to notice your surroundings, it's one of the reasons that Monaco is so special.

The Allee des Boulingrin is the name of the park opposite the famous Monte Carlo casino. It is 'the' photo opportunity in Monaco. Look out for frequent exhibitions of sculptures that are dotted along the winding pathways.

Les Jardins Exotique are also a popular stop on the tourist trail. Situated on the hill that winds down into Monaco from the direction of Nice you will find incredible views along with the 7000 types of cacti and plants. The Musee d'Anthropologie (Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology) is right next door and also and the Grottes de l'Observatoire (Observatory Caves) underneath. The entrance fee covers all of these locations.

Famous gardens in MonacoMonaco parks
FishpondsOld Town
Japanese gardens in MonacoSailing in crystal water, Monaco
East meets westBeautiful backdrops
The Jardin Japonais (Japanese Garden) was instigated by Princess Grace herself to fulfill her desire to have Japanese gardens in Monaco. It is a surprising place to stumble across as you stroll along the sea front and is like entering a different world.

Designed by architect Yasuo Beppu it features a waterfall, Zen garden and pond. It is a calm and serene place to be far from the glitz and glamour of Monaco.

There are many things to see and do in Monaco, these are just a few of them. To find contact details of the places mentioned then go to the RG directory and look under 'Monaco'. If you are interested in booking a rental property, a holiday villa or renting a luxury apartment then please use the facility below to browse our property pages.

Renting vacation accommodation in Monaco

If you are ready to rent a holiday apartment in Monaco then please use the search facility below to help you find your perfect vacation rental, from small apartments to full on luxury accommodation. If you'd like to find out more about Monaco then please continue on through the next section.


Some top holiday rentals in Monaco

Port Palace View

French Riviera » Monaco » Beausoleil 100 sq.m. Apartment 0682
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$232.38
»Per person (x6):$38.73
Tranquil, Sea View
“Very nice apartment with a fantastic view of Monaco. Very well located as well. Excellent service by Riviera Rental Guide.” - famagusta
A contemporary, newly built modern, 2 bedroom apartment that enjoys really fabulous panoramic views of Monaco Port, the Prince's Palace and the famous Monaco Grand Prix track. Beautifully furnished, fully equipped and luxurious in size and layout.

Monte Carlo Casino View

French Riviera » Monaco » Beausoleil 100 sq.m. Apartment 1131
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$240.39
»Per person (x4):$60.10
Contemporary, Tranquil
A fantastic two-bedroom apartment in sunny Beausoleil with a large terrace and balcony that offer breathtaking panoramic views of Monte Carlo, the lush surrounding hills, and the vibrant blue Mediterranean Sea.

Monaco vista 2 bed

French Riviera » Monaco » Beausoleil 55 sq.m. Apartment 0391
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$248.40
»Per person (x6):$41.40
Contemporary, Tranquil
“Beausoleil is a lovely French resort very close to Monaco. It is a typical French town with many lovely local shops and friendly residents.” - janicecameron
A fresh, spacious 2 bedroom apartment with balconies offers wonderful sea views over Monaco and the deep blue Mediterranean sea. Close to shops, markets and Monaco beach and within easy walking distance of all of Monaco.


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