After my 2-day stint in Nice, I took an mid-day train eastward to Monaco for a night. The hotels in Monte-Carlo are really pricey, but thankfully if you move slightly outside of the tiny country into the neighboring French area, hotel prices go down significantly. On Expedia, I found a fantastic hotel called Hotel Victoria in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, just an 8 minute train ride from Monte-Carlo, for a fraction of what I would pay inside Monaco: highly recommended! When I arrived, they even welcomed me with a glass of homemade lemonade 😌 ~ instantly sold. (Also they offer a breakfast buffet for 14€ that was delicious.)
The hotel was right on the beach, where I got to see some stunning views. I didn’t even want to go to Monte-Carlo anymore at that point, I just wanted to stay in the beautiful French Riviera and enjoy the sun.
The water was a beautiful emerald-blue color, and so clear you could see the pebbles at the bottom. Yachts were anchored in the distance. Watermelon, bbq, and Italian fast food was sold on the beach and in nearby restaurants. I didn’t want to leave, but I couldn’t not see Monaco, so I got my lazy butt back on the train.
You could see the wealth of the tiny country the moment you step off the train. The train station had beautiful gold vaulted ceilings that stretched high above the tracks. Elevators along the walls led you to the different platforms from which trains left to neighboring France.
The entire country of Monaco can fit inside of Central Park, so it was pretty easy to visit all of the tourist attractions in half a day.
1. The Palace
Unfortunately the royal Palace was closed by the time I got there, but you can still see the beautiful architecture from the outside, as well as the guards (who are definitely less formal than in other European countries). Around the Palace are beautiful panoramic views of the city and neighboring France.
2. The Oceanographic Museum
One of the main attractions in the city! This is one of the best aquariums in the world, and is actually built into the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. Aquarium is in the basement, while upstairs there are animal exhibitions. My favorite attraction that day.
Didn’t get to go inside because I was wearing jean shorts lol. But everyone was dressed in formal evening attire, and cars with price tags equal to my 4 years’ college tuition were parked in the front. Gotta come back and play some Blackjack next time.
4. Cathedrale de Monaco
Can’t leave Monaco without seeing some Grace Kelly memorandum. The cathedral was actually a lot smaller than I had imagined – it looked really quaint and simple from the outside.
Afterwards, I headed to the Fairmont Hotel, where I made a reservation at their l’Horizon restaurant, which sits on top of the 7th floor and overlooks all of Monaco. Fantastic food and gorgeous views; I literally had the biggest food baby afterwards, thank god I wore a loose top. BTW, don’t know why I didn’t realize this, but this is a nice restaurant where you wear nice clothes – I still had my traveler’s outfit on (adidas, flowy top, jean booty shorts lmao) and everyone else had on suits and cocktail dresses. So note to self: look up the dress code before going out to eat.
Afterwards, headed back to my hotel to get ready for my train to Bordeaux.