Back in October I traveled to Monaco to photograph my good friend’s wedding. The day after her wedding, I had a bit of time before having to fly out of Nice so I explored the city for the day and had a really great time!
This was my first solo trip and it was so weird planning out my day without thinking about what our kids would enjoy doing or having to factor in extra time for everything. That said, Monaco seemed very family friendly and given the opportunity I wouldn’t hesitate to bring the whole family for a visit! Here’s what I did my remaining 8 hours in Monaco.
Monte Carlo Casino
I was staying at the Novotel hotel (affiliate link) in Monte Carlo so I started my day off by walking down to the famous casino. It was very impressive on the outside and I kind of regret not going inside (I wanted to make sure I had time to visit a few other things so I ended up missing out on the interior). It totally made me think of James Bond though and I’m glad I got to see it in person!
Prince’s Palace of Monaco
Next, I walked up the main road towards the palace while also admiring the beautiful views along the way. I felt like from almost everywhere I could see the ocean. I also stopped at a little market on the way to grab some fruit for breakfast and finally found a bakery so I could pick up a pain au chocolat (my biggest complaint about Monaco would be the lack of boulangeries compared to what I was used to in France).
The walk to the palace is up a hill which would be somewhat difficult with a stroller, but could be managed. The palace itself is beautiful! I’m a big Grace Kelly fan so I was really excited to see where she lived and learn more about her time as a princess.
No photographs are allowed inside the palace, but there’s a nice audio tour that gives the history of the royal family. I spent a little over an hour there and felt like I saw everything. Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket booth near the palace.
Saint Nicholas Cathedral
After visiting the palace, I checked out the Saint Nicholas Cathedral where Grace Kelly is buried. The cathedral was built from 1875-1903 on top of the site of Monaco’s first cathedral from the 1200’s. I just popped in for a minute, but it was a very pretty both on the inside and the outside.
The last place I visited during my stay was the Oceanographic Museum which includes an aquarium. It was fascinating learning about the history of the royal family and how dependent the country was on the ocean. Prince Albert I in particular did much research on the ocean which led to the founding of this institute. Inside, one can see his vast collection and research.
The aquarium itself was also impressive and is definitely another activity that would be fun for the entire family.
Also, the view from the top of the building was spectacular! I could see down the coast of Monaco and also up the hills inland. The tile floor itself was also very pretty. There was also a restaurant and a little play area up there that would be the perfect place to take a break from walking around the city.
After going through the aquarium, it was time to catch my bus back to Nice where I then flew back to Paris. It was an amazing couple of days in Monaco, but it was also nice to come back home to my husband and little girls.