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Monaco is one of the most beautiful places I have been to. No matter which part of the city you visit, you will be surrounded by stunning scenery, amazing architecture and super friendly people. Monaco is also very safe and clean which makes discovering the city even more enjoyable.
The Principality of Monaco is classified as one of the most luxurious holiday destinations where the rich & famous spend their summer. After visiting Monaco myself in June I have a few tips on how to have a great time without going bankrupt.
Below you will find a list of all the things I did in Monaco for free or a very small fee.
Monaco’s Japanese Gardens
Japanese gardens are located in the heart of Monaco. They are free to enter and they are absolutely stunning. The actual gardens are not very big and you could probably walk around in about half an hour, but you could easily spend an entire day there. Relaxing on the bench, watching the world go by.
We had a great time just walking around, looking at the crazy expensive boats and googling who they belong to. If you’re lucky enough, you might even spot some celebrities, but they are like vampires- only coming out at night 😉
For a €2 per person, you can take a short boat trip from one end of Marina to the other.
Lunch with a view
Yes, you can queue forever to get to a swanky restaurant with a beautiful view just so they can sit you in a dark corner right by the toilets and charge you a fortune for the pleasure or… You can go to the local supermarket, buy your lunch and eat it on a bench in the marina. Supermarkets in Monaco have delicious freshly made sandwiches, cakes and freshly squeezed orange juice for a fraction of the price. You can also buy small glasses of wine- you’re on holiday after all 😉
Monaco Old Town
There is so much to see in the old town. From beautiful panoramic views of the City to changing of the guards in front of the Palace. You can spend hours walking around small, narrow streets looking around local shops and cafes.
St Nicholas Cathedral
A short walk from the palace there is the beautiful St Nicholas Cathedral. Unfortunately for us there was a First Communion happening that day, so we could not go inside, but even from outside it was spectacular!
The Oceanographic Museum
Another spectacular building inside the walls of Monaco is The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Yes, you do have to pay to go inside but even walking around it is amazing. The building is surrounded by stunning gardens and amazing view of the coastline.
There is a Monaco tour train. It leaves from outside of Oceanography Museum and it costs only €10 per adult. In my opinion, it’s worth doing. The Train goes around the old town, crossing the Grand Prix start line. You will be able to see all the major landmarks like the Monte Carlo Casino and Hotel de Paris. It also goes past the exclusive, members-only Yacht Club. Each seat is supplied with headphones, so you can listen to a guide and learn some interesting facts.
Monte Carlo Casino
You need to have quite a substantial amount of money to go inside and of course follow the dress code. But it is absolutely free to stand outside and watch all the supercars drive past. Monte Carlo Casino is where James Bond was filmed so you definitely can’t miss it.
You’ll notice that Monaco is full of red Ferraris driving around. That because for €180 You can rent one to live the high life for half an hour
Exotic Gardens of Monaco
At the top of town, there is a beautiful cactus garden- Le Jardine Exotique. The entrance wasn’t very expensive- I think it was around €12 but you will definitely spend a couple of hours there. Included in the price of the ticket, is a tour around the caves. Plus the views of Monaco from the gardens are just stunning. Definitely a must!
If you don’t fancy walking around in the heat you can easily discover the City using public transport. Buses cost only a couple of euros per journey. Public transport is very punctual and clean.
Shop till you drop
Monaco is full of designer shops such as Gucci, Chanel and Hermes. Yes, you need to be super rich to buy anything, but if you are like me, it’s fun just to walk around and look at the beautiful creative windows. You can also have fun trying on things and just pretend you have all the intention to buy something. If you’re good at pretending and don’t look completely like a tourist, most shops will over you a complimentary glass of bubbly. #livingthehighlife
If you visit the tourist office, you can get your passport stamped absolutely free. Nice little souvenir to remind you of your holiday
Walk the Walk
Spend time walking the streets and discovering the city. Each corner hides beautiful building’s, independent cafes and shops full of unique product. When you walking around all you can hear is supercars raving their engine’s.
Hotels in Monaco can get booked up very fast, especially during summer. Plus, the prices are rocket high. Staying in the local villages can save you a little fortune. On top of that, it will give you the opportunity to discover the local area and get dinner in a nice restaurant for much less than you would have paid in Monaco. We stayed in the beautiful village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin only 5 mins train ride from Monaco that we booked through Booking.com. You can read more about our accommodation here.
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