Half day circuits

4 Half-Day Circuits :

1/ Explore the old town: LE ROCHER 

Highlights - not to be missed

* Alleys which mostly date from the18th Century
* The ‘Chapelle de la Paix’ (in the gardens near the ‘Place de la Visitation’)
* ‘Placette Bosio’ dedicated to the famous Monegasque sculptor
* Monaco Cathedral, built in Romanesque–Byzantine style, housing the tombs of late Princes
* The façade of the ‘Palais de Justice’, reminiscent of Italian Gothic palaces
* ‘Place Saint Nicolas’ (behind the Palais de Justice) and its fountain topped with a statue
* ‘Saint Martin’ Gardens, looking out to sea with notable statues and bronzes, including the monument erected in 1951 in memory of Prince Albert I
*The façade of the ‘Palais’. Guardian of a secular tradition, this palace, situated in a unique location, was built on the site of a fortress set up by the Genoese in 1215
* The 16th Century ‘Rampe Major’, paved with red bricks and fortified with two doors   

Major Sites : 
Visiting the ‘Palais Princier’ and its state apartments :
The visitor is taken through the centuries from the Renaissance to the Napoleonic era (length of visit: 30 minutes )
Open every day from 2 April to 31 October from 10 am to 6 pm

Changing of the Palace Guards at the ‘Place du Palais’, every day at exactly 11.55 am        

Visiting the ‘Musée Océanographique’:
Inaugurated on 29 March 1910, the Museum was set up by Prince Albert I of Monaco (1848-1922). From the beginning, it was designed as a palace devoted to Science and Art, intended to present the results of its founder’s scientific campaigns and publicize new research into the sea and the riches of the ocean.(length of visit: 1hour 30 mins. to 2 hrs) 

Musée Océanographique –open all year:
·     April, May, June: 9.30 am to 7 pm
·     July and August: 9.30 am to 7.30 pm
·     September: 9.30 am to 7 pm
·     October to March: 10 am to 6 pm

Shopping on the ‘Rocher’:
Around fifty shops spread over the historic centre of Monaco offer a wide variety of Monegasque souvenirs.


Discover the amazing history of Monte-Carlo :
The Monte-Carlo Casino is a renowned, baroque-style casino. The present building was designed in 1879 by Charles Garnier (who also built the adjoining Opéra de Monte-Carlo). It follows on from the first casino which was inaugurated on this site in 1865 by HSH Prince Charles III and François Blanc. 

The casino is surrounded by gardens and the view from the terrace stretches over the Mediterranean Sea, from Monaco to the Bordighera Point in Italy. 

The beginnings of the ‘Société des Bains de Mer’:
François Blanc founded the ‘Hôtel de Paris’ en 1864 on the spot called ‘Les Spélugues’ (the caves). He inaugurated the casino in July 1865, the magnificent gardens in the ‘Place de Casino’ and finally, in 1868, the renowned ‘Café Divan’ which would become the ‘Café de Paris’.
The completion of the Nice-Ventimiglia rail link in the same year assured the prosperity of the new complex.
Birth of the Monte-Carlo district :
‘Les Spélugues’ gave way to the new district, built from scratch and devoted to holiday-making and luxury, with sumptuous buildings and villas. In 1866, it was renamed “Monte Carlo” (‘Charles’ mountain’ in Italian), in honour of Prince Charles III. 

Completion of the project with the construction of the Opera :
In 1878, Marie Blanc, François Blanc’s widow (he died in 1877), commissioned the architect Charles Garnier to build the Opéra de Monte-Carlo and the new Casino, lavishly decorated with luxurious tapestries, paintings and baroque gilding.
For more than a century, its stage has been the setting for international operas, prestigious concerts and exceptional ballets. 

Restricted access to the casino (no admission under 18 years old). Proof of identity required. Strict dress code in the gaming rooms.
Open every day
·     from 2 pm on weekdays
·     from noon at the weekend and on public holidays 

Shopping in Monte-Carlo
In the streets around the Casino, the boutiques in the ‘Cercle d’Or’ (Golden Circle) and Park Palace Gallery carry the most prestigious brands. The Metropole Shopping Center, opposite the Casino gardens, tempts you to stroll through more than 80 boutiques. 

There are other luxury goods shops and restaurants not far away on Boulevard des Moulins, Boulevard d’Italie, Avenue Saint-Charles and Avenue Princesse Grace. 

3/ LARVOTTO: Exhibition district  

VILLA SAUBER: History of the Villa and its Garden 

The Villa Sauber is one of the last Edwardian Villas in Monaco. It was built in the 1900’s. It belonged to the Blanc family who played a fundamental role in the setting up and expansion of the ‘Société des Bains de Mer et du Casino de Monte-Carlo’. 

At that time, the district which bordered the shoreline was called “Quartier des Bas-Moulins” and the beaches did not yet exist. The property went right down to the path which ran along by the sea.  It was in 1904 that the painter Robert Sauber bought the villa from Edmond Blanc. The London painter set up his studio in the west wing of the Villa. 

In view of the similarities between the Villa and the Opera, built at the same period by Charles Garnier, it is tempting to attribute the construction of the villa to the famous Edwardian architect.

Jardin Japonais (Japanese Garden) :
An allegorical, stylistic reproduction of nature, with its mountain, waterfall and stream. This 7,000m² garden is a real work of art, inspired by Zen thinking. Stones, water, plants and architecture combine harmoniously, creating a serene space. 

Free entry every day from 9 am to sunset. 

4/ ‘JARDIN EXOTIQUE’ (Exotic Garden) District  

An astonishing setting with unexpected plants. This paradise for succulents, laid out on the side of the rock face, has an exceptional panoramic view of the Principality of Monaco as well as the French and Italian Riviera.  

This 11,500m² municipal garden was inaugurated in 1933 by Prince Louis II. It is the result of a collection of plants started in 1895 and a huge development project.
Footbridges and archways allow visitors to move about freely in the middle of enormous, surprising plants.  

Thanks to 2,400 hours of sunshine annually, flowers of different colours and sizes bloom throughout the year. Spring and summer flowering cacti are followed by autumnal Euphorbia. In winter, the fireworks finish with the red spikes of many different Aloes.  

The Observatory Cave:
The interior of the cave is a complete surprise.  Concretions such as stalactites, stalagmites and curtains blossom everywhere.
The cave enhances the feeling of being transported to exotic new surroundings given by the garden.  

Finally, no visit is complete without going to the ‘Musée d’Anthropologie Préhistorique’ which relates the most important milestones in the history of humanity in a journey through time which will delight visitors of all ages.  

Opening times:
All year (except for 19 November and 25 December)
·     15 May to 15 September: 9 am to 7 pm
·     16 September to 14 May: 9 am to 6 pm or nightfall
Length of visit: 2 hours    


Exhibition For its reopening to the public, Monaco's Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology is presenting its now exhibition. "The Evidence of Time - Man Faced with Climate Change", by Professor Yves Coppens. Founded in 1902 by Prince Albert 1st, the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology exhibits areas.
[Jardin Exotique / Anthropological Museum - Tel. +377 98 98 80 06]  


The Villa Paloma is one of the most beautiful patrician residences in the Principality. Even if we do not know exactly when the villa was built, the design of the garden was entrusted to Octave Godard, the most talented of the pupils of the famous landscape architect Edouard André (1840-1911). For the villa, Godard designed one of the classical gardens which he made his speciality. The stained glass in the entrance hall was designed by the Master Glazier Fassi Cadet of Nice.