Full Day

Itinerary 1 : Monaco of origin

 

1)     Place d’Armes

 

This square lies at the crossroads of six of the Principality’s main roads (Boulevard Charles III, Avenue Prince Pierre, Rue Grimaldi, Avenue du Port, Avenue de la Porte Neuve and the steps of the Rampe Major).

 

Once called “Piaça d’a Fonte Nova” (Square of the New Fountain or, in the Monégasque language, “Funtana Noeva”), this old public square was fed by a stream which ran down the hill of Les Révoires and La Colle. It filled a watering-trough for animals and an old wash-house. Part of the cove of Monaco was filled in to allow for its extension. 

 

First known as “A Cunsigna” (after the name of the gate at the bottom of the Rampe Major), the square was used around 1861 as a place for manœuvres by the Sardinian garrisons. Since the mid-19th century and even after it was restructured in the 1990’s, it has played host to traditional Monaco : here, every day from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., market stalls reflect the colours of the south.

 

Between Avenue de la Porte Neuve and Avenue du Port, you can follow in the footsteps of Princess Grace thanks to the “Parcours Princesse Grace”, an itinerary specially laid out to pay tribute to this charismatic Princess who made Monaco a destination of worldwide renown.

An original and unusual way of discovering or rediscovering the Principality on a pleasant walk.

 

To get to Monaco-Ville (on the Rock of Monaco), wait for bus N° 1 or 2 “Direction Monaco-Ville” at the PLACE D’ARMES bus-stop. Get off at the terminus ( MONACO VILLE bus-stop).

 

2)     Place de la Visitation

 

You will find yourself on this square, the second largest in the Monaco-Ville neighbourhood, after climbing up from the Place d’Armes : the Palais du Gouvernement (Ministry of State) is to the right, the Lycée Albert Ier opposite, together with the Musée de la Chapelle de la Visitation.

 

3)     Palais du Gouvernement

 

The main building of the Ministry of State was inaugurated on June 18th, 1894.

 

Under the High Authority of the Prince, executive power is exercised by a Minister of State assisted by a Government Council (5 members appointed by the Prince). The Council  is comprised as follows :

- Government Councillor for Internal Affairs

- Government Councillor for Finance and the Economy

- Government Councillor for Social Affairs and Public Health

- Government Councillor in charge of the Department of Equipment, the Environment and Urban Planning

- Government Councillor for External Relations.

 

The Government is also assisted by advisory bodies :

The National Council, Communal Council, Crown Council, State Council, Social and Economic Council.

 

Facing the Ministry of State, the Lycée Albert Ier.

 

4)     Lycée Albert Ier

 

This former convent for the daughters of noble families was built between 1665 and 1675 to comply with the wishes of Princess Catherine-Charlotte de Gramont (wife of Prince Louis I). The vaulted cloister of the original building has been preserved. It then served as barracks for Sardinian garrisons during the Revolution and until July 18th, 1860. Italian Jesuit fathers then used it as a college from May 31st,1870, to July 1910.

On September 25th, 1910, a state school was founded by Prince Albert Ist to counter religious establishments. Known as the “Lycée de Monaco”, it was renamed by Prince Rainier III the “Lycée Albert Ier” on December 22nd, 1960, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

 

Next to the Lycée Albert Ier, the Musée de la Chapelle de la Visitation .

 

5)     Musée de la Chapelle de la Visitation

 

In this 17th-century chapel, you will discover  a remarkable private collection of sacred art amassed by Mme Barbara Piasecka Johnson. The works includes paintings by Masters of Italian baroque art, the Spanish School, Rubens, Zurbaran and Ribera.

 

Guided tour possible in English, Italian and Spanish.

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Mondays

Admission : adults 3 €, students and senior citizens : 1.50 €

 

Walk down Ruelle Franzi to the left of the Lycée Albert Ier  to reach the Museum of Oceanography.

 

6)     Musée Océanographique

 

After eleven years of construction work (1899-1910), Monaco’s Museum of Oceanography was finally completed. Built of 100,000 tons of stone masonry brought down from La Turbie, it was inaugurated in 1910 by its founder, Prince Albert I.

A temple totally dedicated to the sea, it is divided into two distinct parts : the aquarium and the part devoted to scientific research.

The basement contains 90 aquariums showing the varied fauna and flora of the Mediteranean and tropical seas. The most awesome attraction which dazzles all visitors is the “Shark Lagoon” (capacity 400,000 litres).

Then discover on the upper floors the many items brought back by the Navigator Prince from his many expeditions.

Temporary or annual exhibitions are also organised on the Museum’s agenda.

 

Open daily (except on the day of the F1 Grand-Prix)

January, February and March : from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April, May and June : from 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. July and August : from 9.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. September : from 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. October, November and December : from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission : Adults 13 € : Children and adolescents (aged 6 to 18), students (on presentation of their student card) and the handicapped 6.50 € ; children aged under 6 free of charge.

  

On leaving the Museum of Oceanography, turn right and walk down to the gallery of the Parking des Pêcheurs. Just left of the bureau de change and information office, you will find Monte-Carlo Story.

 

7 ) Monte-Carlo Story

 

This multivision show lasting 35 minutes traces the authentic and thrilling history of the dynasty of the Princes and Princesses of Monaco from 1297 to the present day.

 

Simultaneous translations in 9 languages are proposed to the public.

Screening times : 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. *

(* July/August). Closed from December 1st to 25th.

Admission : adults 7 € ; students 5.50 € ; children 3.50 €.

Easy access for persons of reduced mobility.

 

Retrace your steps to face the Museum of Oceanography.

 

Continue your visit by strolling through the Saint-Martin and Sainte-Barbe Gardens, to the left of the Museum.

 

8)      Jardins Saint-Martin

 

Created in the 1830’s, these gardens are laid out on either side of the Museum of Oceanography. Suspended from the south-eastern façade of the Rock of Monaco, wild and luxuriant Mediterranean flora flourishes all along the paths winding their way along the crest.

From here you will enjoy an unimpeded view of the Fontvieille neighbourhood, built entirely on land reclaimed from the sea.

 

 

9)      Cathedral consecrated to our Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

 

Built on the square of the Church of Saint-Nicolas, torn down in 1874, Monaco’s Cathedral is a building in neo-Romanesque style whose first stone was laid on January 6th, 1875. Entirely built of white stone from the quarries of La Turbie under the reign of Prince Charles III, it was completed on November 12th, 1903, and consecrated in 1911.

Every year, crowds of tourists come to visit, all intent on following the ambulatory to pay homage to the Princes and Princesses of Monaco who are buried here.

You will also be able to admire, among other things, the altarpiece of Saint Nicolas, made by the Niçois artist Louis Bréa in 1500.

 

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in winter, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in summer, except on the first Thursdays of the month and during religious services.

Open all the days of the week from May to September.

10)  Palais de Justice

 

Inaugurated in 1930, the Palais de Justice was made of solid tufa, a porous, grey stone also used to build the ramparts.

Before its construction, the first Town Hall had been built around 1660. Then during the Revolution, it played host to the prison and constabulary.

 

11)  Conseil National

 

Initially the property of the Vignalis family, then sold in 1832 to the Abbot Dom Sixte Cauvin, the building which is today’s National Council served as a dormitory for students attending the first business college founded in 1832.

Before playing host to the National Council, it also housed Monaco’s Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology.

 

Continue your tour by following the Ruelle Sainte Barbe and its gardens. 

 

12)  Ruelle Sainte-Barbe and its gardens

 

Linking Avenue Saint-Martin to the Place du Palais Princier, this narrow street owes its name to a small chapel situated in a corner of the Palace Square as we know it today.

Dedicated to Saint Barbara, patron-saint of artillerymen, this chapel was the Spanish garrison’s place of worship.

The children’s parks bearing the name of Sainte-Barbe that you will see down below the Prince’s Palace date back to 1923.

 

13)  Place du Palais Princier and the Grands Appartements

 

Covered with dry mud in the olden days, the “Gran Piazza” was used for army exercises by the various garrisons that were stationed in the Principality. It was also called the “Piazza d’Armi” until the 17th century. Army exercises were then transferred to the Place de la Fontaine-Neuve (today’s Place d’Armes).

 

Opposite the Prince’s Palace, you will notice the Caserne des Carabiniers. Created on December 8th, 1817, the Carabiniers fulfil several assignments :

-         guarding the Prince’s Palace (Changing of the Guard every day at 11.55 a.m. on the Place du Palais)

-         ensuring the safety of the Prince’s Family and the security of his properties and residences

-         providing services of honour to the Sovereign Prince

-         ensuring that laws are properly observed

-         participating in the maintenance of public order.

 

 

On the site of a fortress built by the Genoese in 1215, the Palace is comprised of four square towers connected by a courtine wall. During the night of January 8th, 1297, François Grimaldi, nicknamed “Malizia”, seized the fortress, disguised as a monk. It wasn’t until 1341 that Charles I became the first Lord of Monaco.

 

In the 15th century the following buildings were successively added on : the main building composed of two floors, a crenulated wall adorned with the Sainte-Marie, Milieu and Midi Towers…

Then, after being damaged during the siege raised against Genoa (1506-1507), the walls were built higher and the old fortress was restored.

 

Many artists contributed towards its renovation, including the architect Dominique Gallo and the Genoese painter Luca Cambiaso… It was, however, more particularly under the reign of Honoré II that the château was embellished.

 

Prince Rainier III, known as the “Builder Prince”, had a new wing built to accommodate his private apartments, the Museum of Napoleonic Souvenirs and the Archive Collections from the Prince’s Palace.

 

The Court of Honour, surrounded by frescos, columns and its majestic double flight of steps, entirely carved out of Carrara marble, has been the setting for summer concerts since 1961.

 

Before entering the Grands Appartements, you will cross the Galerie d’Hercule adorned, among other things, by frescos painted by Orazio dei Ferrari (1605-1657). From one room to the next, you will discover furnishings, drapes and decorative items which have witnessed the long succession of the various Princes and Princesses of Monaco.

 

Open all the days of the week

From April 1st to 30th : from 10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

From October 1st to 31st : from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. 

From May 1st to September 30th : from 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Closed from January 1st to March 31st, and from November 1st  to December 31st

Admission : adults 8 € ; children (aged 8-14) 3.50 €

Internet site : www.palais.mc

 

On leaving the Prince’s Palace, turn right to reach the Museum of Napoleonic Souvenirs and the Archive Collections from the Prince’s Palace.


            14)  Musée des Souvenirs Napoléoniens & Collections des Archives Historiques du Palais

 

This Museum evokes the Principality’s past through a rich collection of over 1,000 objects and documents on the First Empire amassed by Prince Louis II.

You will see items such as busts of Napoleon by Canova and Houdon, insignia, the flag of the Isle of Elba, medals, decorations etc…

 

Open all the days of the week

From January 2nd to March 31st : from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From April 1st to 30th : from 10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

From May 1st to September 30th : from 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.

From October 1st to 31st : from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

From December 1st to 31st : from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed from November 1st to 30th, December 25th and January 1st

 

Admission : adults 4 € : children (aged 8-14) 2 €

No access provided for persons of reduced mobility

 

Double passes for the State Apartments and Napoleonic Museum

Rates : adults 9 € ; children (aged 8-14) and students 4.50 €.

Internet site : www.palais.mc

 

On leaving the Napoleonic Museum, take a few minutes to admire the unimpeded panoramic views. To your right, the  Fontvieille neighbourhood, entirely reclaimed from the sea, to your left the neighbourhood of La Condamine.

 

Every day at 11.55 a.m., you can watch the Changing of the Guard performed by the Prince’s Company of Carabiniers.

 

Then walk down Rue Emile de Loth.

 

15)  Place de la Mairie

 

Previously located on the site of today’s Palais de Justice, the Town Hall is a building in Renaissance style with a Florentine influence, designed by the Monégasque architect Fulbert Auréglia.

First a prison, then a police station, then a Tribunal under Prince Louis II, the Town Hall assumed its modern-day functions under the reign of Prince Albert I in 1901.

The Post and Telegraph Office was inaugurated on January 16th, 1908, by Prince Albert I.

 

16)  Chapelle de la Miséricorde

 

The Chapelle de la Miséricorde, whose first foundation stone was blessed on June 13th, 1639, by the Curate Pacchiero, is comprised of a single nave.

 

Continue along Rue Emile de Loth as far as the Place de la Visitation.

Turn down the Ruelle Franzi, then turn left facing the Museum of Oceanography. Walk along Avenue Saint Martin.

 

17)  Fort Antoine

 

Built between 1709 and 1713, we owe this Fort to Guiraud and Lozières d’Astier.

Here you will find a coat-of-arms bearing an inscription in Latin and the Grimaldi blazon.

Transformed into gardens by Prince Charles III, the fort was partly destroyed in 1944 before being rebuilt in 1953 at the instigation of HSH Prince Rainier II.

Today, this ancient fortress is an open-air theatre.

 

Head for the new harbour wall and take the Taxi Boat across Port Hercule.

 

Depending on the time of year, the electric taxi boat proposes either a crossing of the Port Hercule connecting Monte-Carlo to Monaco-Ville (20 minutes).

It runs daily.

Port Crossing

Rates : adults 1 € (single or immediate return trip) ; children under 7 years old free of charge

Internet site : www.riviera-cruise.com

 

Walk along the Quai des Etats-Unis as far as the Church of  Sainte Dévote.

 

18)  Église Sainte Dévote.

 

Dedicated to the patron saint of the Principality and the Prince’s family, the Church of Sainte-Dévote has nestled in a cranny of the Vallon des Gaumates since the 11th century.

 

In the 4th century A.D., Corsica had been the scene of Christian persecution. A young Christian called Dévote was imprisoned and tortured. After her death, the Governor of the province ordered her body to be burned. Other Christians took it away and placed it in a little boat. A storm blew up, and a dove flew out of Dévote’s mouth. The same dove guided the boat to the Vallon des Gaumates. An oratory was erected on the site of her burial place.

 
Every year on January 27th, the relics of the Saint are borne along in a procession from the Cathedral to the Church of Sainte-Dévote, with a blessing of the sea, then the burning of the boat along the way.



Itinerary 2 : « Monaco Belle-Epoque »

 

 

take bus N°2 at the PRINCESSE STEPHANIE bus-stop, direction Jardin Exotique, and get off at the ROTONDES bus stop. 

 

Cross the steet and walk up the Boulevard du Jardin Exotique on the left side of the street. The itinerary starts at the Jardin Exotique.

 

Continue along the Boulevard du Jardin Exotique.  20 metres from the Princes Antoinette Park, you will find the Villa Paloma.

 

1)            Nouveau Musée National de Monaco - Villa Paloma

 

The Villa Paloma, built at the beginning of the 20th century, has managed to preserve its original decor.

Surrounded by 800 m2 of a magnificent Italian gardens, It holds temporary exhibitions featuring modern and contemporay art, architecture and design.

 

The Villa Paloma opened to the public September 18th, 2010. It's the second exhibition place of the "Nouveau Musée National de Monaco" together with the Villa Sauber (located Larvotto)

 

Open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on January 1st, May 1st, during the Grand Prix, on the National Fête Day of November 19th, and on December 25th. 

Internet site : www.nmnm.mc

 

50 metres further on from the Villa Paloma, you will finally arrive at the Exotic Gardens where our tour really starts. 

 

2)         Jardin Exotique, Grotte de l’Observatoire & Musée de l’Anthropologie Préhistorique

 

Inaugurated in 1933, the Exotic Gardens are home to thousands of plants known as “succulent” which flower all year round. On the same site, visitors can explore the Grotto of the Observatory with its  stalactites, stalagmites and limestome concretions, or go back in time following the tracks of mankind in the Museum of Prehistorical Anthropology. 

 

Open all year round (except on November 19th and December 25th)

• from May 15th to September 15th : from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• from September 16th to May 14th : from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or nightfall.

 

Admission : adults 7 € ; children (aged 6-18) and students 3.70 € ; retired (+ 65 years old) 5.40 €

Internet site: www.jardin-exotique.mc

 

 

Take bus N°2 in front of the Exotic Gardens and alight at the CASINO bus-stop. Go straight down Avenue Princesse Alice to reach Square Beaumarchais.

 

3)         Façade of the Hôtel Hermitage

 

Built in 1900, the Hôtel Hermitage evokes the “Belle Epoque” style with its banquet hall with pink marble columns and a ceiling with frescos recalling the Grand Trianon of Louis XIV, or its winter garden designed by Gustave Eiffel.

 

Continue along the Avenue Princesse Alice,  then take the Avenue d’Ostende in the direction of the Port.

 

The lower part of this steep road boasts one of the oldest villas built in Monte-Carlo in the 19th century. Nearby, the Princess Grace Theatre proposes a year-round program which has nothing to envy of Parisian theatres.

 

Walk up towards the Casino following the Avenue de Monte-Carlo. Walk down the few steps on your right to get to the Terrasses du Casino.

 

Opposite the entrance to the Casino de Monte-Carlo, on the sea side, we invite you to discover the façade of the Opéra Garnier, a replica of the famous Opéra Garnier in Paris. Entirely renovated not long ago, this façade faces the Mediterranean.

 

Walk to the far end of the Casino terraces. Go down  the stairs whichlead from the Cabaret to the Hôtel Fairmont Monte-Carlo,

 

The first hotel establishment here, known as the “Loews Monte-Carlo”, was inaugurated on November 22nd, 1975, on the site of the old Monte-Carlo railway station. It then became the “Monte-Carlo Grand Hôtel” before becoming the “Hôtel Fairmont Monte-Carlo” which we know today.

 

Retrace your steps to return to the Place du Casino.

 

4)         Casino de Monte-Carlo

 

Built within the territory of the Société des Bains de Mer created by François Blanc in 1863, the Casino de Monte-Carlo was built by Charles Garnier in 1878. The architect of the Paris Opera-House had a marble-paved atrium built, surrounded by 28 Ionic columns in onyx, giving access to the Opera-House also known as the “Salle Garnier”.

 

 

5)         Façade of the Hôtel de Paris, Café de Paris

 

The Hôtel de Paris, which possesses all the charm of grand hotels of the 19th century, underwent many transformations and developments since its inauguration in 1864 before arriving at its current splendour.

We invite you to take a pause in the famous Café de Paris which faces the Hôtel de Paris, and enjoy its sunny terrace. 

 

In front of the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the Jardins des Boulingrins and further right, those of La Petite Afrique.

 

6)         Jardins des Boulingrins & Jardins de la Petite Afrique

 

These gardens offer many beautiful flowerbeds on perfectly kept lawns which are further embellished by fountains.

 

Then follow the Boulevard des Moulins and admire the Belle Epoque façades on both sides of the street. 

 

Nowadays a residential and shopping area, the Boulevard des Moulins owes its name to three oil-mills and four flour mills, some of which were still functioning at the end of the 19th century.

 

In the centre of the Boulevard des Moulins, on your left, the Saint-Charles Church.

 

7)         Eglise Saint-Charles

 

Inaugurated in 1883, the Saint-Charles Church with its campanile bell-tower 30 metres tall was built in the purest French Renaissance style. 

 

At the far end of the Boulevard des Moulins, on the right side, take the public elevator to reach Monaco’s New National Museum.

 

8)            Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber

 

The Villa Sauber, a magnificent “Belle Epoque” residence, invites visitors to admire the Villa’s rose garden greets you at the beginning and end of your visit for a pleasant and relaxing moment.

 

A cycle of four temporary exhibitions per year, each based on varied themes, provide a rhythm in the life in the New Museum.

 

Open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on January 1st, May 1st, during the Grand Prix, on the National Fête Day of November 19th, and on December 25th. 

 

Admission : Adults 6 € ; children, students, invalid and handicapped persons 3.50  €; children aged under 6 and Monésgasque nationals free of charge.

Reservation obligatory for groups.

No access is provided for people of reduced mobility.

Internet site : www.nmnm.mc

 

Leave the Nouveau Musée National of Monaco and cross the street : the Grimaldi Forum stands just in front of you.

 

9)         Grimaldi Forum

 

This new congress space of 35,000 m2 was built in the year 2000.

 

Benefiting from 3 main meeting rooms, 11 committee rooms and a surface area of 10,000 m2, it is capable of hosting special events, congresses, lectures, conventions, trade-fairs, seminars, exhibitions etc…

 

High-tech methods of communication combined with the modularity of the rooms make the Grimaldi Forum an essential address in the Principality.

 

A great summer exhibition as well as many others are scheduled throughout the year at this multi-purpose centre.

 

In front of the main entrance to the Grimaldi Forum, walk  through the main gate (called Shô-mon) and enter the Japanese Gardens.

 

10)       Jardins Japonais

 

Designed by the architect Yasuo Beppu, the Japanese Gardens were inaugurated in 1994.

In 7,000 m2, the Japanese Gardens, obeying the strict rules of this Japanese art, offer a haven of peace and quiet with a harmonious blend of stone, water and vegetation.

 

As soon as you exit the Japanese Gardens, cross the street and turn right toreturn to the front of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.

 

Take bus N°6, direction FONTVIEILLE, at the MUSEE NATIONAL bus-stop and alight at the PRINCESSE STEPHANIE  bus-stop.