Monaco is one of the glamorous cities in France, and although it stretches for just about two square kilometers in terms of size, it makes up for this in style. Monaco is headed by a prince who is referred to as The Prince of Monaco, and it is one of the cities in the world that has a vast abundance of natural attractions. Because of this, it is regarded as one of the few most affluent places one can be in the world.
Monaco is one of the best places one can go for holidays, and a lot of people know this. However, there is one notion about Monaco that a lot of people assume to be accurate, which influences their decision when deciding their winter trip destination. A lot of people assume Monaco is one of the places to be only during summer and that the city is only lively during the summer months. This notion is false and should be discarded.
Monaco is a year-round city that can be visited at any time of the year, irrespective of the season. A quick question and answer session with the people living in Monaco will give you an insight into just how many events are packed in the yearly calendar of the city. Just like in Summer, there are various things you can do in Monaco in winter, which are as fun as the things people usually do during their summer visit even though it might look a lot more quieter.
So for those looking to visit Monaco for their winter holidays, we will be looking at 15 amazing things you can do in winter during your stay. Some of these things include visiting some incredible places, and some involve engaging in a type of sports event that can only be played in winter. Summarily, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied and entertained during winter in Monaco.
1. Pay a visit to the famous Oceanographic Museum
The famous Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, which the locals call Musee Oceanographique, is high up on the list of things you should do in Monaco. One can even say a visit to the museum is compulsory.
The Oceanographic Museum is about a century old, but the picturesque landscape it has is stunning. Coupled with the architecture of the building structure, you have a genuinely breathtaking attraction already without even mentioning the main attraction – the marine life specimens.
The museum is situated just above the sea on cliff rock, and there are thousands of different sea creatures for exhibitions.
To gain entry, you need to purchase an entry ticket. The price of the ticket varies depending on the time. Generally, the prices vary based on the season as well as the age of the person that wants to use the ticket. The price range for adults is about 11 – 16 Euros and that of teenagers and kids is 5 – 12 Euros.
The museum opens around 10 AM and closes around 6 PM. The location of the museum is not accessible by car. You will have to go on a walk before you reach the museum.
2. Visit Monaco’s most famous Casino – Monte Carlo casino
When talking about Monaco, one of the things that usually pop up in the discussion is the city’s well-known Casino. The Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco is not just a place where people gamble; it is also one of the most exciting and famous tourist attractions in the city.
The casino is located in the heart of the city, and it is flanked on one side by the Café de Paris and the other by the Hotel de Paris. The casino is one of the few places where you can see and learn a few things about the world of celebrities. The number of expensive and luxurious cars you will see being driven pass your eyes is almost insane.
If you are curious about what lies inside the casino, the casino organizes a tour of the casino, but you have to purchase a ticket.
NOTE: You are not allowed to take pictures or photos once you are in the casino.
3. You don’t want to miss a visit to Monaco’s sterling Opera house – Opera de Monte-Carlo
Opera de Monte Carlo was opened to the public in 1879. It is part of the Monte Carlo Casino, and it is your chance of creating a lasting cultural experience.
Most of the famous artists in the world have one time or the other performed in the Opera House. The unique decorations and architecture of the building can also not be overlooked. Simply put, the opera house is a magical and special place.
4. Stay till May to attend the Grand Prix
Visiting the Grand Prix is one of the most popular things people do in Monaco. Attending the Grand Prix does not require you being an expert or massive fan of Formula One. The Atmosphere is always vibrant, which makes it easier to blend and relate with the crowd who are into the sport. Besides, Formula One in Monaco is held yearly, and you have the chance to see some all the best F1 drivers take on each other.
If you have a car, you can even drive through the street, which will later serve as the track for the GP race. Also, the road signs change, which means that you can even start your drive exactly where the race will start.
If you are lucky, you might even get an autograph from one of the top 10 Formular one drivers.
5. Go on a tour of the Palais du prince
The Palace of the Prince of Monaco (map link) stands as a power symbol in Monaco, and its location pretty much backs the point up even more. The palace has been around since the 12th century, and it is one of the most important places you can go and also tour in Monaco. There are two things to do at the palace.
The first one is that you can enter the palace if the prince is not available and is in another of his residence. You can quickly know this by checking if the palace’s central tower has a flag or not. If the prince is not at home, the flag will not be raised. The most exciting thing you get to see in the palace is the gallery. You also get to see the renown Blue room and its exotic decorations. The Throneroom can also not be overlooked!
The other thing you can do is to witness the changing of the guard ceremony. This is done just before noon every day, and it usually draws a lot of spectators. If you have not seen the ceremony before, you should try to get to the palace very early before the best spots are taken.
6. Explore and admire beautiful parks and gardens
The Jardin Exotique de Monaco is one of the most magical and beautiful places in Monaco. The Jardin Exotique Garden is so serene and beautiful you should not miss it as words cannot describe just how amazing it is. The garden is quite famous for its succulent plants, which makes it one of the best places to relax and even read a book.
Another fantastic garden is the Japanese garden, which has lots of water ponds as well as small bridges.
There are also impressive parks you should visit. Our top picks include the Fontvieille Park (more info about this park will be discussed below) and the Princess Antoinette Park.
7. Drop by Monaco’s Cathedral
Only a few cities in Europe do not have Cathedrals. Most of the European Cities have cathedrals, which are almost as old as the city itself. (map link)
Monaco has the main cathedral, which was built using classic designs. The cathedral is home to the remains of all the previous Princes of Monaco. The cathedral is not hard to miss as the white stones used in constructing it makes it stand out in its landscape
8. Tour Monaco’s Naval Museum
While this does not look like a fun thing to do, it is a way of learning more about the technology advances that have been made in Monaco in terms of how ships and boats are built. There are more than 250 model ships in the collection of the museum.
The Naval Museum of Monaco overlooks the marina in Monaco, and it was opened to the public around 1990. Walking through the museum and looking at the ships on display gives you a vibe that you are back in time to when the ships were being used. There are roman warships, sleek Spanish galleons, longboats used by the Vikings, among others. (map link)
NOTE: Most of the ships on display in the museum were donated to the public by Prince Rainier III, who had an impressive ship collection.
9. Watch a Ligue 1 Professional Monaco match at the Louis II stadium
There is no time of the year that you cannot visit the stadium although it is not advisable to go when the football season has finished, and the players are on the break. However, if you do, you can always pay a small fee for the tour of the stadium.
The Louis II stadium (map link) is the home pitch of one of the biggest club in France i.e., Monaco. International football matches are also played at the stadium occasionally. If you are in Monaco for winter, going to the stadium to see Monaco and share the togetherness of the fans should be on your bucket list of things to do.
10. Visit the Elegant Fontvieille Park
Yes, the Fontvielle Park (map link) deserves mention on its own even if we already mentioned it in one of the things to do in Monaco earlier on in this write-up.
The park is very close to a very stunning garden – Princess Grace Memorial garden so you can visit both the lawn and the garden at the same time. The Olive groves, as well as the palm trees in the park, offer the right resting place in the summer but not so much in winter. There are also some pretty cool lakes and ponds in the park. The park has a shopping center where you can buy some very good items, including furniture.
11. Do some luxury shopping or Window shopping
It does not matter whether you have money or not; there are lots of boutiques and stores with high-end stock that you can visit for wears and what have you.
Ladies would love their fashion and jewelry stores. There are also beauty and health shops in the city. Take a short walk, and you will be amazed at the number of stores and boutiques you can either window shop at or buy something.
12. Ski at any of Monaco’s Skiing resorts
There are several skiing resorts in Monaco, and they are always open to tourists and visitors, especially during the winter months.
If you are up for excellent full-body exercise activity, you need to head to the ski resorts that are very close to you. There are lots of sunny days in Monaco during winter, which creates a perfect opportunity to ski.
TIP: We will recommend you to try and ski at any of the following resorts for maximum skiing experience:
13. Explore the Moneghetti District
The district is around the western part of the city, and speaking it is where the wealthiest people in Monaco live. Each house shows off well-manicured gardens, family villas, and a serene environment. (map link)
Getting to the district is only for those that are physically fit, at it can be very stressful. The road is steep and also too windy.
14. Take pictures at the Casino Square
If you are a movie fanatic, there is a high chance you have seen one or two James bond movie. If you are, then you will be thrilled to know that the Casino square was one of the places where the movie was shot. It is also home to Monte Carlo Casino as well as other famous buildings.
15. Pay a visit to the Christmas Village in Port Hercule
The best time to do this is at Christmas. At the Christmas village, you get to see some fantastic fireworks which are usually organized by the City Hall. (map link)