Monaco is one of the most expensive travel destinations and a place where some of the wealthiest personalities live. While it seems to be a place for rich tourists, there are ways to explore this luxurious city without going home broke.
Choose Beachfront Accommodations over Fancy Penthouses
Heading to the beachfront won’t let you experience a glass of Veuve Clicquot, but choosing it instead will let you enjoy the beauty of shimmering waters of the Mediterranean Sea, waving on the shore like a glittering turquoise dress. Monaco’s seaside resorts have tons of inexpensive places that you could enjoy during your stay.
Tour a Royal Neighborhood
Visit the Palais Princier de Monaco, located at Le Rocher, Monaco’s old town. It can be seen at sitting at the top of a rocky peak. It is home to the royal Grimaldi Family that is built in 1215. For only $10, you can wander around and take a peek in open state apartments, and get a sense of the Prince’s lasting eminence by watching the guards exchanging shift at 11:55 am every day. Near the area, you can also visit the graves of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III, covered with flowers at the Cathédrale de Monaco.
Enjoy Authentic Local Cuisine at the Condamine Market
Experience the taste of authentic Monaco cooking at newly remodeled, Marché de la Condamine. It specializes in Monegasques cuisine and regional produce. The famous Chez Roger offers wonderful take-out socca, a thin and crispy chickpea pancake that oven-baked for only $5. There is an Italian restaurant in the area that is known for its inexpensive truffle dishes and other upscale meals that you should try.
Visit Musée Océanographique de Monaco
Musée Océanographique de Monaco is an aquatic museum that was inaugurated by Monaco’s modernist reformer, Prince Albert I in 1910. This low-cost attraction is set in a decorative building sitting on a cliff. There, you can find 4000 or more fish species along with maps, model ships, and whale skeletons. During the off-season, you can enter the museum for only $15 and $20 during summer.
Don’t Spend a Fortune just to Swim
There is an Olympic-size swimming pool near the F1 starting line at the heart of Monaco’s new harbor called the Stade Nautique Rainier III. It has several diving boards and lanes and offers the overlooking views of shiny white yachts. Have a relaxing day at this sea-salt pool for only $7 a day.
On the other hand, if you want to be at the beach, you can take a swim at Le Larvotto for free! Though this beautiful pebbled bay is crowded during summer, it is an excellent place to visit during spring and fall.
Don’t Play at Casinos for Too Long!
The casino that is featured in James Bond’s movies, GoldenEye and Never Say Never Again, the Casino Monte-Carlo is one of the most beautiful sights in Monaco. There, you will see belle-epoque architectures, tons of sports car on the casino’s parking area, and hear the clatter of the roulette wheel. You can enter the casino for $15 and buy casino chips worth $25, which is already a bargain compared to others.
Before it opens for gamblers, the casino offers an audio guided tour where you can take a peek inside the individual gaming rooms for a minimum fee of $15. On the other hand, gamblers are free to enter at Sun Casino, and they are serving complimentary drinks to those who are sitting on gambling tables.
Drink at the Right Time
Many bars surrounding Monaco’s new harbor brag fantastic views of lavish luxury yachts docked in calm, blue waters. The drinks at these bars, however, are quite expensive. Although, you can still enjoy drinking without hurting your bank account when you get there during happy hours, along with the young professionals enjoying their after-work drinks.
Brasserie de Monaco, the country’s only brewery, offers pints for only $5 from 5 pm to 7 pm. Le Before that has a huge outdoor lounge is the best place for weekend dancing, wine, and cocktails. On the other hand, if you are looking for a healthier option, an American diner, Stars ‘n’ Bars has “healthy hour” instead of their previous happy hour, and yes, the price of their drinks are still reasonable.
Have a Peaceful Moment at the Jardin Japonais
Jardin Japonais is a mini zen garden created by Prince Rainier III in 1994 as a tribute to Grace Kelly, his wife. It has a calming oasis created by stones, water, flower and paths combined delicately. A Shinto high priest blessed the place where you can walk along its arched Japanese bridge (which represents happiness in Japanese), trickling ponds and streams with different species of koi such as Ogon, Chagoi, and Ki Bekko. Everyone can enjoy a relax and meditate to this peaceful garden for free.
A Million-Dollar Tour for $4
Taking the Line 1 bus route will give you a luxury tour where you can see tons of expensive cars like Ferraris, Aston Martins, and Mesaratis at the Place du Casino right across the 5-star Hotel de Paris. The $4 bus ride will then travel along the lavish Avenue d’Ostende, going down to the harbor. Don’t miss the Yacht Club, which is laid out like a cruise liner; then you will see a display of blow-the-bank superyachts docked along the waterfront.