MONTE CARLO - MONACO FAQ`S
Where is Monaco located? What is the difference between Monaco and Monte-Carlo?
Monaco is situated in the heart of Mediterranean Europe. The Principality is nestled between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, bounded by the French Riviera to the west and the Italian Riviera to the east.
Monaco is the name of the country, while Monte-Carlo is a district within Monaco. Monte-Carlo is not the capital of Monaco but a government district. The country is divided into four areas: Monaco-Ville (the old city), the Condamine (port quarter), Monte-Carlo (business and recreation), and Fontvieille (recreation and light industry).
Do I need to cross a border and go through customs to get in/out of Monaco?
Although not formally a part of the European Union or the European Economic Area, Monaco maintains an open border and customs union with France. You do not need a passport to cross the border from France since Monaco shares border control with France, so if you get into France, then you get into Monaco.
What is the national identity of Monaco?
Due to Monaco`s close cultural relationship with France, many people mistake Monaco as being a part of France, but this is not the case. Monaco is a separate country with its own identity. When in Monaco, make sure not to insult locals by calling them French as this can be offensive to the Monegasque and Monegasque pride. Keep in mind that Monaco`s population retain their own history, their own culture, and their own lifestyle. With that in mind, everyone is approachable, happy to chat with you and globally simply kind.
It is also true that many people are not actually citizens of Monaco nor are they originally from here. Many of the ethnic Italians identify as such, while many of the ethnic French see themselves as French. The Monegasque (defined as those born in Monaco) is the minority population of Monaco. In some ways, what it means to be Monegasque is based on citizenship and lifestyle above all else, but many Monegasque still identify first with their ethnicity and only second with their country.
How do I get from the airport to Monte-Carlo, Monaco?
Monte-Carlo, Monaco is serviced by Nice International Airport.
If you have not booked a private transfer with us then you have a few options. Nice International Airport in Nice, France is the nearest airport about 20 miles away from Monaco. To reach Monte Carlo, Monaco from the airport the various options include: train, buses, private limousine service/airport shuttle vans, taxi, car rental, or helicopter.
The Nice Airport does not have a train station. From the Nice Airport to Nice-Ville station, take bus#99 (bus stop located across the street from the airport), costs about €6, the bus runs every 30 minutes and takes 15 minutes. Trains to Monaco are very frequent, about every 15 to 20 minutes and costs about €8. TER Trains from Nice-Ville is about a 24 minute ride time.
The train station in Monaco (Monte-Carlo Station) is underground, so you`ll arrive inside and just follow exit signs depending on where you want to go. It is about a 10-minute walk from the train station to the Grand Casino.
Airport Express Bus (www.niceairportexpress.com) 110 from Nice Cote d`Azur Airport to Monaco: Express bus 110 departs twice per hour from Nice Airport from 8:45 am to 9:15 pm (picks up at Terminal 1 and 5 minutes after at Terminal 2). The bus uses the highway with limited stops to reach Monaco; drive time is around 45 minutes.The bus will stop at Monaco Place d`Armes, Monaco Casino and Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel. The one-way fare costs about €22 or about €33 open return. Children under 12 cost about €5 one-way. Luggage may be an additional surcharge of up to about €5 per bag.
Also, the Lignesd`Azur (www.lignesdazur.com) runs a bus service at 15-minute intervals aboard line #100 from Nice to Monte Carlo. One-way bus transit from Nice costs €1.50.
Taxis are always available outside the terminal buildings. Taxis from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport to Monaco is by the meter but should be around €90, making it a good alternative to the bus for small groups, families, or when traveling at odd hours. Pre-booked airport shuttles and limousines may work out slightly cheaper. We recommend you negotiate with the taxi driver an upfront fee as taxi drivers in France are notorious for overcharging tourists.
Monaco is well connected to the European road network. From Nice Airport, the drive takes about 30 - 45 minutes in good traffic conditions. Take the A8 for the quickest route. The more scenic route, D6098 coast road takes a bit longer.
There are about 70 daily scheduled (and more private) helicopter transfers that transport visitors between Nice Cote d`Azur Airport and Monaco. The Seven-minute flight is definitely the fastest and most glamorous way to arrive in Monaco from Nice Airport.
Helicopter transfers cost around €130 per person (one-way) on a scheduled flight with discounts for children and seniors. The helicopters arrive at the heliport in Fontvieille at the far western side of Monaco but usually include the road transfer to the final destination in Monaco.
How do I get from the train station to my hotel?
The Monaco-Monte Carlo station is modern and mostly underground located on place St. Devote. There is an exit adjacent to platform C that is a five minute walk to the port. Once off the train, you`ll see escalators going up and down, as well as an exit tunnel. During the day tourist officials are typically available to help foreign travelers get to their final destinations. There are bus stations and taxis located at various exits of the train station that can take you to the rest of the way.
How do I get around Monaco using public transportation?
Monaco public transportation is serviced by bus and boat bus.
Bus Services in Monaco are all operated by Cie des Autobus de Monaco (CAM; www.cam.mc) -Tel. 377 97 70 22 22. Lines #1 and #2 link Monaco-Ville with the casino area. CAM`s solar-powered shuttle boat hops between the banks of Monaco`s port every 20 minutes. The ride connects the casino area with the foot of Monaco-Ville. All CAM tickets cost around €2.
Line 1: Monaco Ville, Monte-Carlo, Saint Roman and return
Line2: Monaco Ville, Monte-Carlo, Exotic Garden and return
Line4: Saint Roman, Railway station, Placed`Armes and return
Line 5: Fontvieille, Hospital and return
Line6: Larvotto beaches, Sporting, Fontvieille and return
(Line 3 is a temporary route)
Night bus (Bus de nuit) runs from 9:20 pm to 12:20 am, except for Friday and Saturdays when it continues until 4:00 am taking in all major stops.
By Open-Top Bus: Monaco-Le Grand Tour (monacolegrandtour.com) open-top minibusses allow visitors to hop-on and hop-off at the Principality`s 12 main sights. Day passes cost about €18 adults; about €7 children between 4 and 11; free for children under 4.
By Electric Car: Electric cars and super small two-person cars are available for rent starting around €50 for 4 hours. These electric cars enjoy complimentary parking everywhere in Monaco. Guests renting either vehicle for more than 2 hours may have them delivered to their hotel for free.
How do I call/hail a taxi?
Taxis cannot be hailed on the streets (they won`t stop) - There are two main taxi stands open around the clock at the Avenue de Monte Carlo and the railway station, although it is always best to agree on a fee beforehand or make sure the meter is running. There are four supplementary taxi stands: Place des Moulins, Avenue de la Costa, Fontvieille, Beach Plaza. Most hotels will provide taxis or courtesy drivers. The best is to get the taxi service phone number to be able to call a taxi wherever you are.
Is Monaco a walking country?
Walking is by far the best way to get around due to its compact layout, size, and the fact that most of the tourist destinations are concentrated into primary areas. The roads are generally flat (unless you`re in the mountain area), and there are escalators which service the steeper roads. There are seven public escalators and elevators (all free) that help navigate the steep slopes of the city.
Public Elevators currently in use:
1- between the Place des Moulins and the beaches
2- between the Princess Grace Hospital Center and the Exotic Garden
3- between the harbor and the Avenue de la Costa
4- between the Place St. Dévote and the area of Monéghetti
5- between the Terraces of the Casino, the Congress Centre Auditorium and the Boulevard Louis II
6- between the Avenue des Citronniers and the Avenue Grande-Bretagne
7- between the highway and the Larvotto Boulevard.
If you find yourself on foot and wanting to reach the opposite bank of Port Hercule, look for the small pedestrian-only ferry that runs each 20-minutes or so during daylight; it costs about €2.
How do I get around by bicycle?
There are bicycle rentals at the Auto-Moto-Garage located on the Rue de Millo. Because Monaco is tiny and very steep, it is not particularly user-friendly for bikes.
I will have a car in Monaco, where can I park?
Parking in the Principality is available, just follow the P signs to your first point of your visit but be aware that it`s not cheap.
The Chemin des Pêcheurs parking lot, built to serve Monaco-Ville, is located under the Oceanographic Museum; it can hold 750 private cars.
Fontvieille offers more than 2,700 places for private cars. The other main car parks are located in the Condamine on the Place St. Dévote, in Monte-Carlo under the Boulingrins Gardens, Avenue Princesse Grace (Larvotto and Portier), Boulevarde Belgique, Avenue St. Charles, Avenue des Spélugues (the Metropole Gallery), Boulevard Louis II, Avenue de la Costa and Place des Moulins.
Is Monaco a dangerous country?
Monaco is a very safe, virtually crime-free location, with a strong police presence. Every public space is blanketed with cameras, and any kind of disorder may produce an immediate reaction and the attendance of many officers.
Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
The currency in Monaco is the Euro € and is the sole currency, US dollars are not accepted.
Service at hotels and restaurants is already included in the bill, while tipping for special services is up to the discretion of the visitor.
ATMs/Banks are located throughout the entire city. There are several banks that can be located along Boulevard Albert 1 behind the Port of Monaco.
What is the weather like?
Monaco`s climate is ideal throughout the year. It enjoys mild winters, with 50F degrees minimum (although winds from the nearby Alps can make the city even cooler), and pleasantly warm summers with July and August temperatures hovering around 84F degrees. On average, the Principality enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year. Spring and fall are when most of the rain falls as the temperatures are a bit more unpredictable.
I don`t speak French. Will many people speak English?
There are 125 different nationalities that reside in Monaco, hence many languages are spoken. French is the sole official language; however, Monégasque is the national language and some natives still speak the ancient Monégasque. Italian and English are widely understood and spoken. We suggest you get agood English-French guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.
What is the food like?
Food in Monaco is universally excellent and no gourmet traveler will ever be bored here with the diversity of offerings. Due to the location of Monaco, being on the sea, seafood seems to dominate the menu. Among the seafood here, cod and anchovy are perhaps the most common for food, although dozens exist. There is also numerous fresh fruits and vegetables because the country has a great growing climate for it, such as onions, garlic and olives (or olive oil) readily available and incorporated into many dishes. For the most part, you will find Monaco`s cuisine fairly loyal to its Mediterranean roots, the French and Italians have also made a substantial impact on the food. French dishes are extremely common in Monaco as well as Italian pasta.
Some favorite food items regional specialties include: Barbagiuan, a sweet pastry filled with rice, cheese, leeks and either pumpkin or spinach; Fougasse, another sweet pastry made from orange-infused pastry and topped with nuts and anise seeds; Socca, pancakes made with chickpea flour; Stocafi, dried cod cooked in tomato sauce, and Bouillabaisse is excellent here!
Monaco is famous for its fine dining scene, which caters to an upscale clientele. The exclusive restaurants are designed for foodies with a refined palate who appreciate the best meals that money can buy. If you`re prepared to indulge and splurge, there are numerous celebrated restaurants here to try. The most famous is Le Louis XV restaurant, which boasts three Michelin stars amongst many others.
Note: Generally, when you eat out, your bill will include a service charge and no additional tip is expected. If service is exceptional, it is not entirely uncommon to add an additional tip of up to 10%, but it is not necessary. Also, during the winter months, you will find the restaurants to be more decently priced--for Monaco.
What are the best areas for nightlife?
Nightlife in Monaco is exclusive and elaborate. However, it is possible to enjoy a night on the town in Monaco that suits your budgets and tastes, from the ultra-refined night club to the low-key Irish pub.
At Sunset and early evening head down to the port where you`ll find many bars and restaurants offering stunning views of the beautiful yachts in the harbor. There`s live music and DJ`s as well if you stay into the evening.
Later in the evening, there are many late night clubs offering sophisticated settings and decadent décor. You`ll also find jazz and blues clubs, terrace bars, beach bars and piano bars. There is truly something for everyone.
There are two Casinos in Monaco, the Monte-Carlo Casino, and the brightly lit Sun Casino. The Monte Carlo Casino offers breathtaking seaside views in Monaco`s wealthiest district. Enjoy a cocktail in the infamous Café de Paris and watch the procession of Lamborghinis and Ferraris pull up with masses of beautiful people. To enter the casino you must be at least 18 and show a passport or other photo ID. There is also a Opera in the Casino headquartered in the lavish, Belle Epoque Salle Garnier of the casino.
The Sun Casino, situated in the Fairmont Monte-Carlo, is brightly lit and feels more Vegas than Monte Carlo.
What are the major events of Monaco and when do they take place?
Le Ralley: Car Racing Event in January
Grand Prix: Grand Prix in May
Monte-Carlo International Fireworks Festival: Lasts all summer long
Monte-Carlo Masters: ATP Tennis Tournament in April
What are the best areas for shopping?
Shopping in Monte Carlo is usually quite exclusive and is definitely no place for the budget shopper! There are plenty of areas to shop alongside Europe`s high rollers, these shopping areas include:
For chic clothing shops head to the Golden Circle, framed by Avenue Monte Carlo, Avenue des Beaux-Arts and Allees Lumieres, where Hermes, Christian Dior, Gucci and Prada all have a presence. The area on and around Place du Casino is where you will find high-end jewelers such as Bulgari, Cartier and Chopard. As you stroll these shopping areas, you`ll find that most of the tourists are simply enjoying wandering the area and window shopping.
The Condamine Market, located in the Place d`Armes, offers a more cultured take on shopping in Monte Carlo. This market has been around since 1880 and is a lively attraction offering hours of time spent wandering around, bargaining for souvenirs from the many tiny shops, boutiques and friendly locals.
If you`re looking for more `mainstream` shopping try the mall at Fontvieille Shopping Center. This mall offers 36 shops selling everything from electronics, clothes and accessories, as well as a Carrefour supermarket and a McDonald`s.
The tourist office provides a useful free shopping guide to the city to discover all the specific areas and stores. The normal shopping hours are from 9:00 am to noon and 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
What is the country code to make a phone call to Monaco?
The country code, 377; and then the eight-digit local phone number.
What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?
In an Emergency dial 112
To reach specific service, call 18 for an ambulance, 17 for police, 18 for fire.
Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace, Avenue Pasteur, 98000 Monaco, Tel: +377 97 98 9900.
On-duty Doctors and Night Pharmacies, Tel. 141.