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Overview

Known for “grace,” sophistication and style

Known for “grace,” sophistication and style

Let’s say you’ve been traveling through France’s quiet countryside, stopping at lavender fields and sampling local wines. "This is relaxing," you say to yourself, but it would be nice to wear that hot little number you’ve packed in your suitcase. Where to go ?

For a dose of fast cars, high rollers, haute couture and hot yachts, look no further than Monaco. This tiny principality is the second-smallest country in the world ; only the Vatican is more diminutive. Bordered on three sides by France, the fourth – the sparkling Mediterranean. This is where the ultra-rich and uber-stylish come to stay, play and bank. Monaco is one of the world’s only countries to not levy income tax on individuals.

Even if you’re neither rich nor famous, or plan on opening a savings account, there’s plenty to do – and that includes people watching.

About France

Get acquainted with Monaco Ville, or "Old Town" Sitting on the "Rock" some 200 feet up, you’ll find the royal palace, government buildings and the renowned Oceanographic Museum on the Avenue St. Martin. The location itself is impressive – rising from a cliffside rock, the building was created using over 100,000 tons of stone. Famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau was its curator for many years, caring for the various species of sea fauna in both stuffed and skeletal form. In 2001 the museum inaugurated a brand new shark tank, now a centerpiece of the aquarium.

The haute heart of Monaco is Monte Carlo, most famous for the Grand Prix – a glamorous event on the Formula One calendar. Each May, the circuit winds around some of the most famous streets in motor racing and around Monte Carlo’s gorgeous port. The grandstand affords you the chance (if not the lifestyle) to rub elbows with the elite.

In the evening, break out the little black dress or wingtips. The Monte Carlo Casino is the center of the city’s sophistication, and where the country has built its reputation for glamour and high-rollers. It even formed the setting for Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale. Built in the Baroque style in 1863, the building overlooks the Mediterranean. Ironically, Monégasques can’t even gamble in their own casinos. So you must bring a passport to have a swing at roulette and other gambling fun.

Ready to play ? Getting to Monaco is easy with your France Rail Pass. There’s service to and from Nice every 15 minutes throughout the day and takes about a half hour (so if you get the urge to shoot craps at midnight, go for it.) And when you’re ready to return to a quieter pace, say Marseille, or want to indulge in a Lyonais lunch, you can get there quicker than you can say "Black Jack."

Monaco station(s)

Monaco city guide

Travel forum

From our travel community

Sick of those american boys! Hi! I am a 26 year old senior at the University of Montana. I am traveling to see my sister in Dublin so I have a base there. I have a ticket to Paris on Jan. 11th and nothing planned after that, but I have 3 months. I figure a month through (...)

Mariah Kelley | 17 November 2028 complete | 4 Comments
Backpacking through europe from greece to scotland What pass should we get? Do we purchase a Global Pass for 1 month or 2 months? The cost difference is $1K which is significant. What is confusing is the reservation fees on top of the price of the pass, as well as the fact that several (...)

Trish | 17 November 2002 complete | 1 Comments
Transport 101 for dummies - munich-fussen-salzburg-vienna-budapest-innsbruck-zurich-basel-strabourg-freiburg-lucerne-interlaken-jungfra Hi all,My itinerary is as below1. Munich 3D- day trip to fussen for the castle2. Munich-Salzburg3. Salzburg-Vienna day trip to wachau valley4. Vienna to Budapest staying for 2D5. Budapest to Innsbrucks6. Innsbrucks to Zurich7. Zurich - basel- (...)

Verah Wang | 14 March 2005 complete | 6 Comments
Can i exchange a reservation? If I want to take and earlier train to my destination and there is space available on the train, can I use my current reservation to take a seat on the earlier train (same destination)?

Leslie Carlseen | 12 July 2023 complete | 49 Comments
3 country, 7 day pass planning on a trip: Paris (CDG)- Bordeaux. BOD- Monaco. Monaco- CDG. I will be traveling with a friend from BOD on. Which pass would you recommend?

tuula | 17 August 2022 complete | 1 Comments

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Customer reviews

  • Monaco to Paris |
    "I thought the entire process was extremely easy to plan and execute. The train was clean, comfortable, and on time. We were a group of 4, no complaints. I'd travel this system again without hesitation. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Quiet  |
    "A very nice clean and comfortable train journey down to the French Riviera ! It was so quiet the family and I were able to take a nice nap before our next part of our trip ! Would recommend to anyone to take this high speed train ! "

  • *****  |
    "It was lifetime experience for ourselves as we are Indian never used this types of facilities can get in running train.your all staff are very very helpful and friendly. We are further planning for another trip with your railway and you please advise how we can get plans for Switzerland trip from Paris. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Very comfortable to Paris |
    "Very comfortable trip but no wifi was the only problem... "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Great |
    "It was a great way to commute between Nice and Monte Carlo. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Delayed... |
    "The train was delayed more than 20 minutes. Alongside that, everything was so ok. "

  • Paris to Nice Ville |
    "Spent most of the trip in the dining car to take advantage of the views from there. Could not fault the service or cleanliness. Great trip. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    mrs |
    "time between nice to Monaco a long , since the train going more often the person could use alternative train more over no seat given it will improve convenience aspect , the rest is perfect "

  • Crowded |
    "it was so crowded so i couldn't find a place to sit. "