You don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is a travel destination synonymous with luxury. From fancy cars, luxurious hotels, to world-class restaurants, Monte Carlo has it all. So it’s no surprise that many people think Monte Carlo is a terrible place to visit when traveling on a budget.
Luckily for you, these people are wrong. There are many wonderful things to do in Monte Carlo that won’t break the bank. So if Monte Carlo’s on your travel bucket list, but you haven’t been able to justify the expense, you’re in luck. Here are some of the best things you can do in Monte Carlo on a budget.
Hit the pavement
Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, so it’s not hard to walk around. The entire country comes in at 0.78mi2, but Monte Carlo itself is an easy 0.234mi2. So getting around Monte Carlo on foot is a piece of cake and a great way to save money.
Get a Côte d’Azur card
Admission fees quickly add up. They can become one of the most expensive elements of any trip, especially if you’re a traveler who loves museums and guided tours. Thankfully, there’s a card that will waive those fees; the Côte d’Azur card.
Depending on the type of card you purchase, it’ll cost between €25 to €55 and will give you free admission to a range of attractions along the French Riviera (yep, including Monaco). It’s a massive saving, so it’s a must-have if you’re planning on dropping into any of the museums or exhibits in Monte Carlo.
“Don’t let the extravagant exterior fool you; Monte Carlo is a travel destination that can be enjoyed by all.”
If you know where to look, there is also a wealth of free attractions to entertain you on the cheap while in Monte Carlo.
Visit the Prince’s Palace
The Prince’s Palace is a must-see when visiting Monte Carlo. It’ll cost you €10 to enter the palace, but the changing of the guards happens on the grounds and is free! It happens at noon every day but get there early if you want the best view.
Walk the sculpture path
While there are sculptures dotted all around Monaco, the Fontvieille quarter in Monte Carlo is home to a stunning sculpture trial. It’ll cost you nothing, and it is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Check out the Saint-Martin Gardens
Having a picnic in the Saint-Martin Gardens is a beautiful way to immerse yourself in Monegasque life. The gardens have free entry and are home to native and exotic plants and, unsurprisingly, many beautiful sculptures.
Have a beach day
If there’s one thing the French Riviera does well, it’s beaches. With bright blue water and small white pebbles, Monegasque beaches are straight out of the travel brochures. So why not spend a day lazing in the sun?
Not sure which beach to visit? Larvotto Beach is free to use, close to Monte Carlo, and one of the most beautiful.
Tour the Old Town
Visiting the Old Town should be on your to-do list every time you travel to a European city, and it’s no different for Monte Carlo. It’s free to wander around, rich in history, will make for some beautiful travel shots, and it has some of the best views of Monte Carlo and the ocean! What more could you want?
Test your luck at the casino
You do not have to be a high-roller to spend a night at the famous Monte Carlo Casino. It’s free to enter, and the dress code is actually pretty relaxed – it’s certainly not the black-tie event you might expect.
So while gambling is not a way to travel cheap, the casino is a Monte Carlo icon and should be experienced. Enjoy the architecture, watch the tables, and keep your eyes out for the rich and famous; it’s a great spot to soak up the luxury without having to spend a dime.
While Monte Carlo is an expensive destination in the lap of luxury, it’s also home to wonderful places and experiences that won’t cost a thing. Don’t let the extravagant exterior fool you; Monte Carlo is a travel destination that can be enjoyed by all.
So what are you waiting for? Book your flights and come on over!
A deeper dive – Related reading from the 101:
- The most expensive things to do in Monte Carlo | Vacation 101
See how the other half live.
- Best travel apps evert traveler should download | Vacation 101
Easy, stress-free travel is as easy as downloading these apps.