Monaco is Nice, But Fails to Deliver the Hype

Monaco is surprisingly easy to get to and explore. Just catch the train from Nice, France, or from the Italian Riviera and climb up the steps from the underground station. The central part of the city is small enough to walk around.

There is a small hop-on hop-off bus but it is often so crowded that you cannot get onto the bus without waiting more than an hour as you gradually shuffle up the queue. The cruise boat visitors use the bus to get a scenic ride too and from the casino and so that is the spot where there is most movement of passengers.

The lift to the casino is also very crowded and if you don't push and shove you will never get a ride.

As well as the tourist sights you can go to the beach and swim in the public areas or pay for a deck chair and umbrella in one of the private areas. You can order drinks and food and enjoy the luxurious lifestyle.

Get to the beach very early to beat the crowds. The beach has 'pea-gravel', rather than sand but this is much better than the large pebbles or stones on the beach at Nice in France.

We spent a day in Monaco, but were quite surprised that it was not more opulent. We would have seen more on a second day trip using the excellent taxis.

You can also take guided bus tours from Nice, but there is more to gain by doing it yourself as you get of the well trodden tourist routes.

All Original Photos by janderson99

The public beach area is very nice early in the morning before the crowds arrive
The public beach area is very nice early in the morning before the crowds arrive
For the private beach umbrellas and deck chairs you need to find a spot and pay the hourly charge that varies throughout the day.
For the private beach umbrellas and deck chairs you need to find a spot and pay the hourly charge that varies throughout the day.
The other public area of the beach
The other public area of the beach
The private beach area can get very crowded but the service is excellent and you are guaranteed a spot.
The private beach area can get very crowded but the service is excellent and you are guaranteed a spot.
There are various restaurants and cafes next to the beach area
There are various restaurants and cafes next to the beach area
More view of the private beach area
More view of the private beach area
The apartments on the beach front were much less luxurious than we thought - just like the Gold Coast in Queendland, Australia
The apartments on the beach front were much less luxurious than we thought - just like the Gold Coast in Queendland, Australia
The sun was very nice!
The sun was very nice!
Nice restaurants near the beach area
Nice restaurants near the beach area
Boats in the marina at Monaco
Boats in the marina at Monaco
Fabulous cars are in abundance in Monaco
Fabulous cars are in abundance in Monaco
Unusual sculpture in Monaco
Unusual sculpture in Monaco

Day-Trip Tour of Monaco

Once you have visited the Place du Palais, Casino of Monte-Carlo and perhaps the Musee Oceanographique de Monaco, a good option is to walk along the shore to Larvotto Beach which has public and private areas. You can swim in the beautiful clean ocean and enjoy the beach, which is covered in 'pea-gravel' rather than the large pebbles on the beach in Nice. It is fun to go to one of the private beach areas that have deck-chairs and umbrellas. You can order food drinks and coffee and enjoy them on the beach. Make sure you arrive early as the beach can get very crowded in summer. The beach side cafes and restaurants serve excellent seafood and other dishes. They are very crowded and there is very little space between tables, but the food is excellent and not that expensive.

One outstanding feature of Monaco is the profusion of luxury cars. We counted five Rolls Royce parked at the casino as well as Lamborghini, Porches, Jaguar and many other luxury cars, including vintage sports cars. The harbor area has some of the largest luxury yachts imaginable. Many have 'boot' areas under the main deck that contain a huge array of sporting equipment including small yachts, scuba gear, rubber dinghies and water motorbikes of various types.

The hop-on hop-off bus is very small and dis-functional when there are large crowds. It is worth queuing to get on as it provides a brief tour of the major attractions. Once you have selected one or two places to visit, taxis are a better option, if the sights are too far away to walk.

We would have liked more time to explore Monaco, but one day was enough to get a taste of what was there. Surprisingly it was not as opulent and the extremely high class luxury we had expected, at least in the shoreline areas.

More Images from a summer day-trip to Monaco Monte carlo

© 2014 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 2 comments

Snakesmum profile image

Snakesmum 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Somewhat surprised by how crowded Monaco looks in your photos, and that it isn't as luxurious as I'd thought. It always seemed to be just a playground for the rich and famous to my mind.


SheilaMilne profile image

SheilaMilne 21 months ago from Kent, UK

I love your pictures - they take me right back!

The shoreline is very definitely geared to the masses of tourists. I think you must have been there end of July - August? And of course if you get a cruise ship in everywhere is crowded, especially in the port area. You can find the opulence in the hotels and in the shops and streets away from the shore.

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