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Picture this… The sun finally sets over the Principality of Monaco. The lighthouses in the port light up as the boats return from their cruises on the Mediterranean. Gradually, the city’s lights lit up, from the Prince’s Palace perched on Le Rocher to the famous Casino of Monte-Carlo. The restaurants and their terraces are starting to fill up as people stroll through the lively streets. The show of Monaco by night can begin!

This little discovery guide will give you some good ideas for spending the evening in Monaco.

 

Watch our short video on Monaco: Facts & Figures!

 

 

Plan your trip to the Principality of Monaco

Fireworks. Photo: @sergiopazzano78 via Twenty20
Fireworks. Photo: @sergiopazzano78 via Twenty20

 

What to see in Monaco by Night?

To appreciate the charm of Monaco at night, I recommend you follow a short itinerary from the Monte Carlo casino to the Rock of Monaco.

 

Monte-Carlo Casino

The Casino de Monte-Carlo is a prestigious Belle Époque casino in the Monte-Carlo district of Monaco.

Charles Garnier (who also built the adjoining Monte Carlo Opera House) designed the current building in 1879.

Monte-Carlo Casino - Monaco by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20
Night-time view of the Monte-Carlo Casino. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20

At nightfall, the casino lights up like a jewel. Maybe we’ll run into James Bond around here!

Then, join the Quai Albert Ier by the Avenue de Monte-Carlo then the Avenue d’Ostende.

In the distance, you can see the Rock and its illuminated buildings, including the Prince’s Palace.

Port Hercule by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20
Port Hercule by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20

 

La Condamine by night

The Quai Albert Ier is the ideal place to admire the millionaires’ yachts docked at Port Hercule.

Port Hercule by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20
Port Hercule by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20
Monaco. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20
Le Rocher and Port Hercule. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20

If the shops are still open, take Rue Princesse Caroline and then Rue Grimaldi for some shopping.

Then, climb to the top of the Rocher for a completely different experience.

 

Le Rocher de Monaco by night

The district of Le Rocher is much less crowded after dark. You will have plenty of time to stroll through the old streets without the crowds.

Monaco Cathedral by night © MSzybalski - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Monaco Cathedral by night © MSzybalski – licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

From the top of the promontory rock, you will discover a striking panorama of Monaco by night: the glittering lights of Port Hercule and Monte Carlo.

Monaco by night. Photo: Maria_Sbytova via Envato Elements
A night view of La Condamine and Port Hercule from Le Rocher. Photo: Maria_Sbytova via Envato Elements
Monaco by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto999 via Envato Elements
Port Hercule by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto999 via Envato Elements
The Principality of Monaco by night @kityyaya via Twenty20
Monaco by night @kityyaya via Twenty20

On the other side, don’t miss the lights of the Fontvielle district reflecting on the Mediterranean waters.

Monaco by night - Fontvieille © Pierre Blaché - licence [CC0] from Wikimedia Commons
Fontvieille by night © Pierre Blaché – licence [CC0] from Wikimedia Commons
The district of Fontvieille by night © Pierre Blaché - licence [CC0] from Wikimedia Commons
The district of Fontvieille by night © Pierre Blaché – licence [CC0] from Wikimedia Commons

Furthermore, the Rock in the Old Town is full of small, typical, friendly restaurants. You can find them along the alleys, some with tables on the terrace. You will discover local specialities with a strong Italian influence in a traditional setting. Pizza, pasta but also meat and fish…

Rock of Monaco by night © Pierre Blaché - licence [CC0] from Wikimedia Commons
The Prince’s Palace by night © Pierre Blaché – licence [CC0] from Wikimedia Commons

More photos of Monaco by night

Monaco by night. Photo: f9photos via Envato Elements
Fontvieille by night. Photo: f9photos via Envato Elements
Night view of Monaco. Photo: lightpoet via Envato Elements
Night view of Monaco. Photo: lightpoet via Envato Elements
Prince's Palace by night © Santiago Puig Vilado - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Prince’s Palace by night © Santiago Puig Vilado – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
The Principality of Monaco at night time. Photo: andreahast via Envato Elements
The Principality of Monaco at night time. Photo: andreahast via Envato Elements

 

Christmas in Monaco

At the end of December, the spirit of the festive season shines through on the Casino’s façade in Monte-Carlo.

Christmas in Monaco © Pierrette13 - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons
The Christmas tree in Monte-Carlo © Pierrette13 – licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

From nightfall and for six days, spectacular illuminations orchestrated on the Casino’s façade offer a fantastic show.

The colouring, sound and masterly projections blend in with the grandiose architecture of the Principality’s emblematic location.

 Christmas in Monaco © Zil - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Allée des Boulingrins in Monte-Carlo – Christmas in Monaco © Zil – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Nearby, Christmas lights decorate the flamboyant Hôtel de Paris and the surrounding buildings.

Christmas in Monaco. Photo: @fabien.bazanegue.photography via Twenty20
Christmas in Monaco. Photo: @fabien.bazanegue.photography via Twenty20

 

Monaco Christmas Market

The Monaco Christmas Market (Village de Noël) takes place every year at Port Hercule (Quai Albert 1er) from the beginning of December to the beginning of January the following year.

Monaco Christmas Market. Photo: @sibuet via Twenty20
The Ferris wheel at the Monaco Christmas Market. Photo: @sibuet via Twenty20

The family-friendly theme of the 2022 edition is “Exploration Campaign in Spitzbergen” (Campagne d’exploration au Spitzberg). The wooden chalets and gourmet stalls will open from 2 December 2022 to 2 January 2023.

Finally, the Rocher de Monaco and the Prince’s Palace are decked out with beautiful visual decorations around the pines of the Palace Square in the form of a red ribbon.

 

More practical info about Monaco by night

For more info about nightlife in Monaco (theatres, opera, chic bars, ultra-VIP nightclubs, major sports events, Michelin-starred dinners, casinos), check out these two sites:

  • Check out this travel guide for the Top After-Dark things to do in Monaco at night
  • 10 Top Spots for unforgettable nights out in Monaco on TheCultureTrip
Casino of Monte Carlo by night © Casal Partiu - licence [CC BY-SA 2.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Casino of Monte Carlo by night © Casal Partiu – licence [CC BY-SA 2.0] from Wikimedia Commons

 

What to do in Monaco?

Want to know what you can do in and around Monaco? Click on the image below for a list of activities:

 

 

From Private Guided Walking Tour to Lamborghini Driving Experience and French Riviera Cruises, the Principality dazzles with glamorous activities you won’t forget. Here’s a little list of what’s on offer!

 

 

Where to stay in Monaco?

Did you know? There are 12 hotels in the Principality, four ***** and four ****. Unsurprisingly, accommodation in the Principality is very expensive. Unless you absolutely want to stay within the Principality, there is a cheaper alternative. For this, you should look at the Beausoleil district in France, a few minutes walk from the Monaco train station. Prices are much more affordable than in Monaco.

Click here to choose your accommodation in Monaco and its surroundings, or browse the map below:



Booking.com

 

Port Hercule by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20
Port Hercule by night. Photo: @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20

 

English-French Vocabulary

(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs

  • Alps = Alpes (f,p)
  • casino = casino (m)
  • castle = château (m)
  • French Riviera = Côte d’Azur (f)
  • harbour = port (m)
  • marina = port de plaisance (m)
  • Maritime Alps = Alpes Maritimes (f,p)
  • Mediterranean Sea = Mer Méditerranée (f)
  • micro-state = micro-état (m)
  • old town = vieille-ville (f)
  • palace = palais (m)
  • Prince = Prince (m)
  • Principality = Principauté (f)
  • port = port (m)
  • rock = rocher (m)

 

Facts and Figures

Find out more about Monaco in our article: Facts and Figures about Monaco.

 

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How to get to the Principality of Monaco

Monaco Flag. Photo Mehaniq41 via Envato Elements
Photo: Mehaniq41 via Envato Elements

 

Arriving by car

Monaco is accessible from Nice via the scenic coastal Corniche roads:

  • the Corniche Inférieure road follows the coast via Beaulieu,
  • the Moyenne Corniche passes through Èze,
  • and the Grande Corniche crosses La Turbie.
Map of the Corniche roads by French Moments
Map of the Corniche roads by French Moments

The Principality is bordered by the French A8 motorway linking Provence to Italy. Paris is 950 km away via the A6, A7 and A8 motorways.

Thanks to the A8 motorway, you can reach the centre of Monaco in less than 30 minutes from Nice and its airport.

  • Exit 56 “Monaco” in the direction of France -> Italy
  • Exit 58 “Roquebrune Cap Martin” in the direction of Italy -> France

However, please note that access to Monaco-Ville (Le Rocher) is limited to users whose vehicle is registered in Monaco and the French département of Alpes Maritimes [06].

 

How to park in Monaco

Other vehicles should park in the Parking des Pêcheurs, which has pedestrian access to the Rock in a few minutes.

It is advisable to leave your vehicle in one of the many public car parks. The Principality has no less than 40 car parks with 15,500 spaces.

All the car parks are underground, guarded and secure. They are therefore the best solution for parking your vehicle. All public “Monaco Parking” offers free parking for 1 hour. For more information, visit the official website of the Monaco Carparks.

 

Nearest Airport

Nice-Côte d’Azur International Airport links the Principality of Monaco to more than 86 destinations worldwide.

Through Nice Airport (25 minutes away by motorway), Monaco is linked daily to the main European capitals and, beyond, to all continents.

The airline Air France offers 73 flights a day to Nice Airport, directly from 15 cities in France and seven cities worldwide.

Moreover, the airport is 7 km away by helicopter to the Monaco heliport situated in the Fontvieille district.

 

Monaco Train Station

Monaco is located on the Marseille-Ventimiglia railway line. The underground SNCF station at Monaco-Monte-Carlo, offers daily TGV services to Paris, and up to ten other cities, via the nearby Nice-Ville station.

TER trains link Monaco to Menton and Ventimiglia to the north-east, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Grasse and Saint-Raphaël to the south-west.

In addition, there are several daily connections to Turin, Milan and Rome via Ventimiglia.

Monaco Station. Photo: @paulpetyt via Twenty20
The underground railway station of Monaco. Photo: @paulpetyt via Twenty20

Six entrances allow users to access the underground railway station via a series of escalators or lifts:

Sainte Dévote Bridge, Parvis de la Gare (behind Sainte Dévote Church), Port Hercule, Jardin Exotique, Allée Lazare Sauvaigo/Rue Grimaldi/Rue Suffren-Reymond, Avenue Prince Pierre.

 

Featured image: @kityyaya via Twenty20

Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of the Discovery Course on the Secrets of the Eiffel Tower and the Christmas book "Voyage au Pays de Noël".

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