31 Oct 2014


A long overdue travel blog is here! Still in the South of France ... We took a day trip from Nice to Monaco.

Monaco is the second smallest sovereign nation in the world - behind the Vatican City. Monaco is pretty small .... about 2 square kilometers! It is bordered by France on 3 sides and the Mediterranean on the 4th. Monaco is quite expensive in terms of accommodation, so I would definitely recommend staying in either Nice or Antibes and making a day trip to Monaco. From Nice, We took a train to Monaco in the morning. It's only about 20 minutes away and cost a total of 15.00 Euros return for us both. You can't pre book this particular train, you can only buy the tickets at the station. There are plenty of self service ticket machines at the station.... however, they are all in French with no English option. My knowledge of French is minimal, and unfortunately 'Je mange une pomme' (I am eating an apple) was not an option on the ticket machine. However there was a lovely French couple behind us who could speak English and kindly sorted us out.

Once you arrive in Monaco, you take a short walk downhill into the middle of the city. In my opinion, the best way to get around is by public bus. You can buy a day pass for 5 Euros per person and ride any of the 5 lines all day. The 5 lines cover all of the city spots you will want to visit and you can get on and off as you please. The buses are  very regular (5-10 minutes) and you can buy the day pass at the ticket machines at the bus stops.

The best view of Monaco is from the 'Jardin Exotic' - high above the city. You can catch the city bus up here to enjoy the million dollar view. There is a cafe there with a deck that looks out over the Monte Carlo casino, the harbour and the Old Town. Well worth having a coffee here just to admire the view in comfort.

At the other end of the same bus line is the Old Town. It's totally gorgeous and the buildings are the prettiest colours! I kept thinking why do New Zealand and Korea not have pretty building like this!! There is a little path around the back of the old town that has some otherwise hidden views that are not to be missed!

In the center of Monaco is Princess Grace Drive and of course, the Monte Carlo casino. It's another (mega glitzy) world walking around here. The perfectly manicured lawns (which you aren't allowed to sit on by the way) and the luxury cars really do make you feel as if you aren't in Whangarei (our tiny hometown) anymore :)

One day was enough for us in Monaco, but it was a day well spent and we both loved this glamorous tiny city state. Be sure to check it out if you are in the beautiful South of France!

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