A Day in Monaco
From our camping at Camping Les Cigales in Cannes it was a relatively straight forward day trip to Monaco. We did the same bus to the central train station in Cannes and then a longer train ride to the Monaco Ville stop. In all honesty, it was a little confusing trying to figure out the right train. We erred and got on the regular train and not the express, so we ended up stopping at every station from Cannes to Monaco, a much longer trip than we had expected!
Still, riding a train on the French Riviera isn’t such a bad way to spend some time. Unlike Andorra and Gibraltar, there are no immigration or customs formalities when you enter Monaco. The station is a short walk from the center of town and the marina which is filled with luxury yachts. Some boats had helicopters, and other boats had extra boats in the ‘garage’. It was a pretty impressive display of wealth for sure.
After an enjoyable wander amongst the boats we navigated into the the city and walked the narrow streets. There was some sort of children’s carnival going on that we somehow got caught up in which was mildly annoying but we survived.
We had a quick stop at a market for some snacks and then it was up to Le Rocher, or The Rock of Monaco which is perched on top of a hill and was the fortified old town and is the location of the royal palace. The narrow medieval streets twist and turn and contain ample tourist restaurants and bars among the 16th century houses and buildings.
After wandering the old town and peering down at modern Monaco and Monte Carlo on one side and the Mediterranean on the other we had worked up a powerful thirst. While our perpetual indecisiveness over where to eat and drink is getting a bit better, we still spent the better part of an hour going from patio to patio before we settled on a nice spot with a view of the central square and palace.
Other notable sites on the Rock are a botanical garden, no dogs allowed, and Saint Nicholas Cathedral. The royals are buried here, including Princess Grace Kelly.
Another interesting thing we saw near the church was a tour group but it only included 2 Indians, a man and woman, being driven in a bright read Ferrari convertible and getting their photos taken by a ‘paparazzi’. At first we thought they must be Bollywood stars or something like that but the more we observed we became convinced it was part of a paid trip. If this sounds like something up your alley, Viator can help you book a tour.
After drinks and some people watching it was time to head down the hill and catch the train back to our camper van. Of course, no visit to Monaco is complete without seeing the Monte Carlo casino. As the sun was starting to fade, we power walked up the hill to get a few pictures while we still could. With the dog in tow we didn’t try to go in. It’s probably for the best as I had forgotten my tuxedo anyways.
We really enjoyed our day out in Monaco and would highly recommend a visit if you get the chance. Stay tuned as we head into Italy, visit the amazing Venice and finally duck out of the Schengen Zone and into Croatia.