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Nice is one of the most beautiful cities in France, known for its scenery, heritage, and delicious food. A trip there can be filled with all of these amazing attractions, but you can also escape the city for a day and plan a Monaco day trip while you’re there.
It’s easy to get to Monaco from Nice. In fact, this is one of the most popular day trips from Nice. Spending one day in Monaco during your Nice trip will introduce you to a whole new way of life. Indeed, Monaco is part of the French Riviera, but it is a state independent of France.
How to Get from Nice to Monaco
The Nice to Monaco distance is so short (22 km) that it would be a pity not to make the trip! Here’s the best ways to visit Monaco from Nice:
A Nice to Monaco day trip by train is very easy to organize. The train from Nice to Monaco takes around 24 minutes, although a faster train cuts the journey down to 15 minutes. The train departs from Nice Ville and arrives in Monaco Monte Carlo.
Getting from Nice to Monaco is easy if you have a car. It takes about 20 minutes to drive from Nice to Monaco. This option is great if you plan a French Riviera road trip, but we don’t recommend renting a car only for a day trip Nice to Monaco.
If you need to rent a car, we recommend booking your car with RentalCars.com. This site is great because it takes all of the major rental companies, such as Hertz, Avis, and more, and compares prices for you. This helps to ensure that you get a great price without all the time and work. Check out our best tips for renting a car in France.
What to Do in Monaco for a Day
Now that you have decided to spend one day in Monaco during your Nice trip, let’s go through the best things to do in Monaco in a day:
Le Rocher (the Rock)
If you’re exploring Monaco in a day, then you must see the Le Rocher known as the Rock. This rocky headland protrudes out into the Mediterranean Sea and was a shelter and a fortress in ancient days.
Today, the Rock holds Monaco-Ville, where Monaco’s royal family lives. Wandering around its pretty streets and exploring the shops and other historical attractions is one of the best things to do in Monaco.
Monte Carlo Neighborhood
The Monte Carlo neighborhood is simply gorgeous and must be on any list of what to do in Monaco. This neighborhood has all the glitz and glamor you would expect from Monaco, and it overlooks the glistening bay with the most fabulous views possible.
Monte Carlo is filled with chic areas that offer sublime but expensive shopping to the rich and famous who visit this city. This makes it ideal for people-watching, fine dining, elegant nights at the opera, and spending money at upscale jewelry and clothing boutiques.
Casino of Monte Carlo
Monaco is famous for its casino, so a visit is a must-do on a Monaco day trip. Designed by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Garnier Opera House in Paris, the casino building is a beaux-arts design that boasts opera and ballet performances.
You’ll probably recognize this building when you see it, as it’s been featured in several movies. It’s a smaller casino than you might expect if you’re used to Las Vegas, but the people-watching and gaming are amazing.
Palace of Monaco
The Palace is a must-see of any day trip from Nice to Monaco. Towering above the peninsula of Le Rocher, the Palais du Prince houses the Grimaldi family, rulers of Monaco since 1160. It offers beautiful views and has been renovated throughout the years into the luxurious palace that you can see today.
The Palace is only open at certain times of the year, so make sure you check whether you can enter the private residence before you go. This attraction is really worth seeing on your Monaco day trip from Nice as you’ll get the chance to explore the sumptuous décor of the State Apartments, the Throne Room, which houses official ceremonies, and the Blue Room, used for official state events.
With Monaco’s location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, it’s no surprise that it’s become known for its Oceanographic Museum. First founded in 1910 by Prince Albert I, this museum is a must-see during your day trip to Monaco from Nice.
The museum exhibits are mostly from Prince Albert’s ocean expeditions and include a full whale skeleton and one of the best aquariums in Europe with more than 90 tanks of various ocean species. This museum is great for kids and adults, as the exhibits are interactive and interesting.
French Riviera Boat Cruise
Live the luxury lifestyle during your day trip from Nice to Monaco with this two-hour cruise along the French Riviera in a sleek motorboat. The cruise will take you past Monaco’s most beautiful beaches as well as sites like Cap Ferrat, the Bay of Eze, and Monte Carlo.
During your skippered boat cruise, you’ll be able to discover hidden beaches, coves, and celebrity villas. You’ll also get the chance to look for whales and dolphins while you snorkel in the Mediterranean. So if you want to feel like a movie star for the day, this is how to do it.
Experience the Monaco F1 Circuit on a Ferrari
Have you ever wanted to cruise along the French Riviera in a gleaming Ferrari? Now you can fulfill that dream during your day trip to Monaco. Drive or be driven along the panoramic roads overlooking Monte-Carlo and the Mediterranean Sea, and see the quaint hillside villages of Eze la Turbie along the way.
This is an experience from the golden days of film during which you’ll drive along familiar roads from some of the world’s most iconic films and even be able to experience the Monaco F1 circuit. This Ferrari driving experience is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure that you enjoy the power of the machine under your hands while you explore the beautiful locale.
The Exotic Garden
The Exotic Garden first opened more than 75 years ago and showcases an extensive collection of rare cacti and plants. If you enjoy gardening or love being out in nature, then this attraction must be part of your Nice to Monaco day trip.
There are more than 1,000 plant species in the garden as well as an underground cave. If you want to explore the cave, you’ll need to take an official tour with a guide.