Visiting Monaco on a budget may seem to be impossible, as it’s associated with luxury and wealth. But being in north Italy, we couldn’t miss the chance to stop off in this city for one day to feel its unique climate. Discover how to see the beautiful Monaco without spending your last money by reading our story :)
We arrived to Monaco by taking a train from Milan to the small border town Ventimiglia and then a French train SNCF to Monte Carlo. The journey took us around 5 hours in total. Actually, we were very impressed even before getting to our destination. It was the most pleasant journey by train that we’ve made so far. The views from the train were breathtaking, because at first we could admire the architecture of Genua and other nearby towns. We were so delighted by the views at that point, that we wouldn’t imagine it could get any better. But it could :)
We visited Monaco in winter time. It was at the beginning of December and we highly recommend to go there in this period, especially that there was a Christmas Festival. Even if there was no snow and it was quite warm, the atmosphere was really exceptional and we could feel Christmas in the air! There were places with artificial snow and Christmas songs were played on the street in front of the Casino.
MONTE CARLO – CASINO & HARBOR
As a mean of transport we chose walking on foot. Well, it’s actually nothing extraordinary in this small country :) Everything is really close there so it’s needless to take buses. To us, the possibility to traverse Monaco on foot was a great advantage because we could enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of it. After arriving at the station, we headed to the Casino Monte Carlo. The place makes an impression and in front of it, there are always parked very expensive cars (lots of tourists make photos with them and we also took some :)). There is a section in the casino that it’s possible to go for free. However if someone wants to go and gamble, then there is charged a fixed fee for entrance.
Then, we walked to the center of Monte Carlo, where there’s a harbor with plenty of private yachts. The access to this place is open to everyone that’s why you can admire them closely.
PALACE OF MONACO
After that we went to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, that is placed on a small hillock. The Palace is not big but is endearing. It is one of its kind because the building is constructed with the old and new part and that goes really good together.
From the place of the Palace there is also a panorama of the whole Monaco – beautiful hills and buildings can be seen from there.
We also loved the Festival that took place in the evening. Everything was well-organized: there were beautiful decorations, food booths and sweets and a band. All these things made a very familiar atmosphere. We were observing what people were buying and decided to try churros with Nutella, that were very popular among others. It was very tasty! We bought only one portion and couldn’t eat it because it was so filling :) After we came back home we checked that churros is a Spanish dish. But, as it’s not available in lots of places in Europe and tastes really good, it’s worth trying in Monaco as well :)
The last thing to do that evening was to arrive at our hotel. As hotels in Monaco are too expensive it’s wise to find the accommodation in some nearby town. We picked Menton as it was fairly close (just 20 min by train) and was situated exactly on the way back, which we planned to go the next day. Our hotel in Menton turned out to be next to the station, so we easily got there and quickly went to sleep.
The next day we took a train to Ventimiglia – a town on the french-italian border. We had a few hours to spend there, so decided to have a walk by the shore and to the nearby park. After that we boarded the train and had a long ride to Milan.
Our visit in Monaco was successful and we can tell that it’s possible to explore this place in one day. People were very helpful there, but unfortunately we didn’t meet many that could speak English :) Also, what’s important, that is a very safe city-state and in general it makes an impression of a place that is full of rich people and keeps the unique atmosphere of the class and elegance.