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Our Guide to the Principality of Monaco

From its captivating history to its opulent charm, Monaco beckons with a blend of luxury, culture, and mystique. Uncover the Grimaldi legacy, explore the exclusive resort life, and follow in the footsteps of icons like Grace Kelly. Whether you seek a yacht adventure, a cultural journey, or simply a taste of sophistication, this principality awaits your visit. Plan your escape today with our guide to the Principality of Monaco.


Our Guide to the Principality of Monaco

Unraveling the Allure of the Principality

Monaco does not disappoint. Only 30 minutes from Nice, nestled along the sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera, you will find Monaco. This destination that exudes elegance, charm, and an air of mystery. Known for its stunning coastline, star-studded affairs, and vibrant culture. If you desire to dive deep into the storied past of this highly contested city-state, see and be seen in the playground of the rich and famous, or simply searching an unforgettable escape, make your way to the Principality of Monaco.

Monaco Explained

Naturally, when thinking about Monaco many questions come to mind. Why is Monaco so small? Who are the Grimaldi’s? Soon you will be asking yourself, When can I visit? Monaco is only 520 acres, just to put into perspective, it fits inside New York’s Central Park (843 acres). While the Principality of Monaco has changed hands numerous times, the Grimaldi Family has remained at the helm since 1297. This is when Francesco Grimaldi seized control of the Rock of Monaco. According to the Ancient Greeks, Monaco may have a more mythical origin story as it is proclaimed that on Hercules’ journey back to Greece after his tenth labor, he built the Rock of Monaco.

Eventually with the opening of the renowned Casino de Monte-Carlo by the Société de Bains de Mer de Monaco in 1863 and the arrival of railway travel in 1868, Monaco established itself as a destination for distinguished travelers on the Côte d’Azur. From this point forward, the tourism infrastructure has continued to evolve. Rather than arriving by train, you can arrive in style with a Private Helicopter Transfer from the airport. This allows you to skip the traffic and take in panoramic views of the dazzling coast.

Helicopter to Monaco
Credit: Blade

History of Monaco

Evidently, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the Principality of Monaco. Beyond the exclusive resort for international jet-setters, there’s a fascinating story. Uncover the history of the nation founded by the Grimaldi’s that went from a perched village to a prosperous country hosting the world’s billionaires. Until 1848, the towns of Menton & Roquebrune were also a part of Monaco, so we recommend continuing down the coast for a visit.

Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco

Follow in the footsteps of Grace Kelly who gave up her career as an actress in Hollywood to marry Prince Rainier III. Her legacy can be seen at the Monaco Cathedral and the filming locations from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘To Catch a Thief’ in which she starred. For those truly enamored by the Monégasque Royal Family, opt for an exclusive, private visit to the Prince’s Palace after hours.

Your Stay in Monaco

Upon arriving to Monaco, make your way to the hotel of your choice: Hôtel de Paris, Hôtel Hermitage, Monte Carlo Bay, or Monte Carlo Beach. These properties represent the finest of Monégasque hospitality with impeccable service, exquisite interiors, and exclusive access to the principality.

During your time on “The Rock” take up the favored pastimes of shopping and yachting. Spend the afternoon with a personal stylist who will assist you in curating your wardrobe in the numerous boutiques found in Monaco. From luxury ready to wear & leather goods from houses such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, to fine jewellery and watches from Boucheron, Cartier, and Chopard. What better way to see Monaco than aboard a yacht? Make your way to the port and embark on a journey to take in the sunshine, sea, and stunning views.

Where to Stay in and near Monaco

Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

Internationally renowned 5-star luxury hotel, enchants visitors with its iconic status and recent 2019 transformation, offering exquisite suites like the Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III suites. From the Louis XV-Alain Ducasse restaurant to the rooftop pool of the Wellness Sky Club, this Monaco gem provides an unparalleled experience.

Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo

This Belle Epoque palace and 5-star hotel is located in sparkling Monte-Carlo by its renowned casino. The Gustave Eiffel-designed glass dome, architectural details, and ornate decoration make this one of Monaco’s most romantic spots. The 277 rooms and suite feature Louis XV-style furnishings. The rooms with terraces offer views on the glistening sea.

Monte-Carlo Beach

This 5-star gem built in the 1930s, invites guests to indulge in the Dolce Vita. With a stunning seafront, terracotta façade, and stunning frescoes, the hotel offers the epitome of luxury. Highlights include the exclusive Diamond Suite, a cabana service by the water, an Olympic swimming pool, a spa, and an organic Michelin-star restaurant set in an exceptional natural site.

Monte-Carlo Bay

The sophisticated 4-star Hotel & Resort, redefines the legendary destination with its relaxed ambiance. Situated on its own picturesque peninsula east of Larvotto, the resort offers breathtaking views of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Featuring a grand private residence entrance, solarium, terraces, and gardens by Jean Mus, this chic Garden of Eden promises a unique experience.


If you’re still asking yourself, “When can I visit?” speak with one of our experts who will curate your perfect stay.

Be inspired by one of our sample itineraries: Cultural Discovery of Monaco, Unforgettable Trip to Monaco, & Family Trip to Monaco.

How to Spend a Weekend in Monte Carlo

Royalty, sea views and luxury: Monte Carlo is a gem waiting to be discovered. The Principality of Monaco isn’t even one square mile. Although this microstate may not boast size, it packs history and luxe into each square inch. From the Monaco Grand Prix to the Hollywood star-turned-princess Grace Kelly, this microstate’s rich culture is waiting to be explored. If you’re dreaming of a luxurious escape to the French Riviera, a trip to Monte Carlo is essential. Here are some of French Side Travel’s best tips to spend the weekend in Monte Carlo.


How to Spend a Weekend in Monte Carlo

Is Monte Carlo in France?

No, Monte Carlo is not technically in France. The principality of Monaco is sandwiched between southern France and the Mediterranean Sea; Italy is a short drive away. And Monte Carlo is one of Monaco’s most popular districts. Monaco hasn’t always been sovereign; it was part of the French First Republic, according to the Department of State. And later, it was under the protection of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. Today, Monaco is a sovereign microstate with Prince Albert II being its leader.

How to Get to Monaco

Monaco doesn’t have its own airport, but don’t fret: this microstate is easily accessible from France. We recommend flying into Nice, where we can pick you up and make the 30- or 45-minute drive to Monaco. Monaco is also accessible by train from Nice with an arrival at the Monaco-Monte-Carlo train station.

Take a Private Tour of the Prince’s Palace

Credit: Unsplash, Kirsten Frosh

Discover the lavish Prince’s Palace in Monaco along with the history and art of the Grimaldi family. We’ll organize a private, guided tour of the palace either before or after its hours for the public. Take a step into the life of the royals as you explore the throne room, Grand Apartments and the Cour d’Honneur.

Stroll the Saint Martin Gardens

Credit: Round Trip Travel

Step into a tropical paradise in Monaco’s first public garden. The Saint Martin Gardens were opened in 1816 for the purpose of creating work for locals during a famine, according to Visit Monaco. The gardens are sprinkled with tropical plants and flowers; they’re the perfect spot for a stroll overlooking the Mediterranean.

Feed the Sea Turtles

Credit: Unsplash, Pratik Mehta

Perfect for the whole family, a trip to the Oceanographic Museum will allow you to learn and experience the beauty of the ocean. We’ll organize a private tour where you’ll prepare the meal and feed the land turtles at the aquarium. You and your kids will be able to touch starfish and even pet a baby shark! Marvel at the breathtaking species in the aquarium filled with 450,000 liters of seawater.

Go for a Drive in Vintage Style

Credit: Unsplash, Reynier Carl

Prince Rainier III had a knack for collecting old cars, and you can visit his collection while in Monaco. You can admire former racing cars as well as classic Rolls Royces, Ferraris and Maseratis. These pristine cars may have you aching to get behind the wheel. France Side Travel offers vintage car rentals with or without a driver. You’ll be able to choose your wheels, from a Jaguar E Cabriolet to an Austin Healey 100/6. 

Upgrade your Wardrobe with a Personal Shopper

Shopping in Paris

If you have an eye for luxurious fashion, we’ll organize a private session with a personal shopper. In Monaco, our personal shopper will take you to confidential addresses and ateliers as well as introduce you to the designers. Your wardrobe will be the crème de la crème

The Principality of Monaco might not be expansive, but each nook and cranny promises luxury and exploration. Whether you’re interested in visiting the palace or its casinos or perhaps just lounging in the hotel’s private pool, you will fall in love with Monte Carlo.

Where to Stay in and near Monaco

Hotel Hermitage Monte Carlo

This Belle Epoque palace and 5-star hotel is located in sparkling Monte-Carlo by its renowned casino. The Gustave Eiffel-designed glass dome, architectural details, and ornate decoration make this one of Monaco’s most romantic spots. The 277 rooms and suite feature Louis XV-style furnishings. The rooms with terraces offer views on the glistening sea.

You’ll be tempted by its private beach, spa, heated saltwater swimming pool, a hammam, and a Jacuzzi overlooking the Prince’s Palace. When looking for the best restaurants in Monaco, no need to wander far: the hotel’s Le Vistamar restaurant offers Michelin-star seafood on a fabulous terrace.

Hôtel la Perouse

This four-star hotel promises more than just luxurious rooms and exemplary service; it also boasts views of the Baie des Anges on the Mediterranean. Located in Nice, this hotel is a stone’s throw from a flower market and the city’s old port. Feel free to wander this boutique property’s fitness center, sauna, a rooftop terrace, and a heated outdoor pool with an epic backdrop. Hôtel La Perouse also offers private beach access so that you can make the most of your French Riviera stay.


Drooling over these dreamy destinations but not sure where to begin? Say no more; we’ll take care of the details. Be inspired by some of our top tours: The Best of The French Rivieras History and Culture in a Week, A Romantic Trip to the French Riviera and A Unique Wine and Food Excursion to the French Riviera. We’re ready to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

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