4 In Destinations

A Day Trip to Monaco From Nice: The 3 Best Things to Do

Last Updated on January 16, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow

casino monte-carlo monaco

Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world after Vatican City. Being such a tiny country, a day trip to Monaco from Nice, France is enough to explore this place.

I didn’t really expect to like it very much, but I did.

you can easily do a day trip to monaco from nice

And that’s why I’m a big advocate for visiting countries you may feel you won’t like. The only reason I ended up going was that I was in nearby Nice, and a day trip to Monaco from Nice is a popular activity. And while traveling to the most densely populated country in the world might seem stressful I figured I’d take the opportunity.

houses in  monaco

To be quite honest, as a person who grew up in a disadvantaged neighborhood, the idea of visiting a country whose population is 30% millionaires was a bit strange. Everyone from the lower to lower middle class would probably feel like they don’t belong in the wealthiest and most expensive country in the world. But then I figured I probably wouldn’t have so many chances to see such a wealthy country again. So I decided to go to Monaco.

And that’s also why I only did a day trip to Monaco from Nice. I really didn’t want to have to pay for accommodation in this costly country. Plus, there were so many other things to see in the vicinity of Nice. Monaco seemed like the perfect place to explore on a day trip. And I could always go back if I really liked it. So I hopped on the train from Nice to Monaco. There, I met up with a traveler from New Zealand. Here’s how you can explore Monaco.

opera monaco

Hiking During Your Day Trip to Monaco From Nice

For the most striking views over Monaco, you need to do a bit of hiking. You can either hike along the coast or up Tête de Chien and will be rewarded with scenic views and photo ops. Hiking isn’t one of the most popular things to do in Monaco so you will also have some of those panoramas all to yourself.

Jardins Saint-Martin

The Jardins Saint-Martin are a gorgeous park that offers lovely views. It may not be as impressive as the Jardin Exotique further uphill. But it’s free and a welcome oasis of green in this densely populated country. The park is located at the southern end of Monaco City which I will get to in a minute. I found the park perfect for a stroll.

And in an expensive country like Monaco, any free sight is worth seeing in my opinion. Given that a regular ticket to the Jardin Exotique costs €7.40 you might prefer the smaller Jardins Saint-Martin. I for one was impressed with the beautiful plants in the park.

Monaco City

windows monaco city

I also didn’t really know that Monaco had something like an old town. As I really wasn’t interested in the casino, I spent most of my time in Monaco City and its quaint alleys. Here, you can visit the Prince’s Palace, the Cathedral that houses the remains of Grace Kelly, and the pretty architecture. If you want to get to know another side of Monaco you absolutely have to take a stroll through Monaco City.

st. nicholas cathedral
colorful houses on a day trip to monaco from nice

Make Sure You Plan a Day Trip to Monaco From Nice

I didn’t know that Monaco was more than rich people, fast cars, and the casino. But I’m really glad I gave this tiny country a chance. Too often, we have an image of a place in our minds and think we already know all there is to know. But what you see on tv or online isn’t always the full story.

detail of the opera building monaco
day trip to monaco from nice pin lemons and luggage

Monaco was a pleasant surprise for me, and I absolutely recommend a day trip to Monaco from Nice. Have you ever been?


  • Reply
    March 3, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    I had a great few days exploring Monaco at the end of a cycling trip. It was so much more relaxed and laid back than I was expecting. I would love to go back one day.

    • Reply
      Nina Ahmedow
      March 4, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Oh, a cycling trip on the French Riviera sounds breathtakingly beautiful! I’m sure you had an amazing time and got to relax in Monaco.

  • Reply
    Jason Reid
    April 13, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    It’s great to read that Monaco was a pleasant surprise for you. I’ve always liked the idea of visiting Nice and Monaco for some reason but yet to get to either, I’d definitely only do Monaco as a daytrip for the same reasons as you though.
    I had no idea Monaco had its old own town, Monaco City looks pretty in your photos.

    Great read! 🙂

    • Reply
      Nina Ahmedow
      April 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      Yes, it’s actually fun for a day trip, and the old town really surprised me!

    Leave a Reply

    I accept the Privacy Policy

    The following GDPR rules must be read and accepted:
    This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.