Do you have two days to spend in Monaco and aren’t sure where to start? Check out our travel tips to find out what things to see and do in this treasure in the heart of the French Riviera. Explore prestigious locations, enjoy a change of scenery with a stroll through green parks and gardens, make a reservation at renowned hotels and restaurants, and more. Over a weekend, the Principality of Monaco will introduce you to the sweet Mediterranean way of life.
Perched on the coastline, surrounded by Cannes, Antibes, Nice and St-Tropez in France, the city-state is easy to get to by train or car . But, if you really want to arrive in style, why not come by boat? Port Hercule, Monaco’s main harbor, hosts pleasure craft alongside luxury yachts and superyachts. You can also moor at Port de Fontvieille, a charming marina at the foot of Le Rocher near attractions such as Stade Louis II and the Palais Princier. If you are in a hurry to get the most out of your weekend in Monaco, you can arrive by helicopter. Monac’Air will fly you from Nice-Côte d’Azur international airport to the second smallest country in the world’s heliport in just 7 minutes – enough time to reread this guide and choose what to do in Monaco for a weekend!
Start your trip to Monaco off on the right foot with a visit to some of its iconic attractions. First head to marvel at the magnificent Place du Casino in Monte-Carlo and the legendary casino itself. The nearby tourist office is the ideal place to pick up some tips for what to do in Monaco for a weekend. Feel free to take a walk around the Casino de Monte-Carlo to admire the back of the Belle Époque building, which is just as extraordinary as the front. Then enjoy a view of the Mediterranean coast by heading down to Port Hercules. Take a welcome break to daydream while admiring the yachts moored in the harbor and the cruise ships in the distance.
During your weekend in Monaco, make sure to visit the Musée Océanographique. This unique museum, built into the side of Le Rocher, has an aquarium that is home to over 6,000 species: Sharks, sea turtles, and tropical and Mediterranean fish. Its ocean discovery exhibition is also well worth a visit. If you are more into cultural tourist attractions than the ocean, then visit the Grimaldi Forum for its major summer art exhibition focusing on a particular artist or theme. You may also want to take a look at the contemporary art exhibitions at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. These regularly changing exhibitions are held in the Villa Sauber, in the Larvotto district, and the Villa Paloma, near the Jardin Exotique.
During your two-day trip to Monaco, you will have plenty of time for a few outdoor escapades. Depending on your mood and whereabouts, walk along to the Jardin Exotique, for example, for a stroll through its collection of “succulent” plants. Laid out on a cliff face, it also offers a magnificent hilltop view of the Mediterranean sea and the Principality. In the heart of Parc de Fontvieille, the Roseraie Princesse Grace de Monaco is a genuine haven of peace boasting nearly 300 varieties of roses. Another excellent walk involves climbing to the top of Le Rocher via the Old Town’s typical narrow streets of colorful Renaissance buildings. They lead to the Place du Palais Princier, the seat of Monegasque power and home to Prince Albert II and the Princely family. Finally, near the Plage du Larvotto, one of Monaco’s sandy beaches, the Jardin Japonais invites you to indulge in a moment of Zen surrounded by bamboo, waterfalls, and pools. The perfect location for your picture of the day!
When planning your trip, you can’t just think about what to do in Monaco for a weekend, you also have to think about where to stay. Choose an unforgettable experience by booking a night at one of Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer’s hotels. The prestigious Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo offers a dream stay in the city center. It provides the perfect balance between the modernity of an exclusive establishment and the discretion of an iconic palace. Like a seaside villa, the Monte-Carlo Beach offers a natural and intimate setting for a weekend spent sunbathing by the sea. Another exclusive experience awaits at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, which boasts a Spa Cinq Mondes, a magnificent lagoon, a 4-hectare garden, and a casino.
A visit to Monaco would not be complete without a chance to enjoy the magical atmosphere of its nightlife. The Blue Gin is the ideal bar – you can sip a cocktail in its cozy interior or enjoy its incredible panoramic sea view from the terrace. Located on the bend of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix track, La Rascasse is the place to go if you are looking for a legendary night out, DJ set, or concert. If jazz is more your thing, head to the Bar Américain at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. It is famous for its refined cocktails, live music, cozy setting, glitz, and glamour.
No travel guide about what to do in Monaco for a weekend is complete without a section on its eateries. Take full advantage of your vacation to enjoy some of the best restaurants the city has to offer. If you are looking for somewhere for lunch that fits your busy schedule, then Le Limùn is an excellent choice. Adjoining the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, it offers salads, organic burgers, and lobster in a peaceful atmosphere. It is also ideal if you want to indulge in a sweet afternoon tea. For dinner, enjoy a culinary voyage in the Belle Époque setting of the Train Bleu, one of the restaurants at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Its specialties showcase Italian cuisine and Mediterranean produce. At lunchtime or dinnertime, savor the flavors of the big blue sea at the restaurant Ômer, overlooking the gardens of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. Mezzes and flavors inspired by Greece, Lebanon, and beyond will take you on a tasting tour of the Mediterranean.
During your two days in Monaco, you are bound to find some time to shop in one of the most luxurious shopping areas on the Côte d’Azur. In the Principality’s Carré d’Or district, near the Place du Casino, the Monte-Carlo Shopping Promenade has around 40 boutiques selling fashion, perfume, and jewelry from the world’s leading brands, making it a paradise for fashionistas. If you want something else to remember your weekend on the Côte d’Azur, this is the place to treat yourself.
Has our shortlist of what to do in Monaco for a weekend made you want to stay and enjoy the Mediterranean climate for longer? Are you planning to stay in Monaco for a week? A host of activities await! Also, check out our ideas for places to visit during a day trip to the Principality and our recommendations for a great night out.