A few basics to know before you walk around Monaco
First of all, it is essential to clarify a point that is often confusing: Monte-Carlo is not Monaco. It is not another name for the Principality. Monte-Carlo is a neighborhood, just like La Condamine or Fontvieille. The area of Monte-Carlo is home to the casino, the most luxurious hotels, as well as an immense colony of luxury cars (not unpleasant to look at, we grant you). He often focuses his attention on the high risk of undermining the image of the city, which for many is no longer limited to its chicest neighborhood.
However, we must not forget the Monegasques, the “real” ones, who have their own identity, far from the jet-setter cliché. The Monegasques are born by their mother because it is through her that nationality is transmitted in the Principality of Monaco. They live in different parts of the city and enjoy certain advantages in terms of Housing and working in this very particular context.
It is this Monaco that we wanted to discover, one of the Monegasques, not only one of the magazines. He’s charming, surprising, authentic and romantic! We can tell you in all sincerity that we were surprised and charmed by this Monaco. And very sincerely, even if it takes a lot of walking, visiting Monaco on foot is the ideal way to feel this authentic atmosphere.
- Palace square with the status of Grimaldi in Monaco
Today, Alexandra and I are going to talk to you about Monaco, an authentic city, with charming little alleys. Many are surprised to learn that Monaco has more to offer than glasses and glitter! So is it possible to visit an authentic Monaco? What’s under the surface? We tell you everything. But be careful, we warn you, since we flew to Monaco, we left to visit Monaco on foot.
Monaco is also full of useful addresses that we had the opportunity to discover on foot; you can find our article on this subject in the following article: visit Monaco on foot: our useful addresses.
- The mythical Rocher de Monaco, an excellent start to your visit to warm up the muscles
Mythical place! In Monaco, two things are very well known: Monte-Carlo and Le Rocher. Amalgam or not, anyway, we knew that we would go to visit The Rock of Monaco, but without great conviction… and there the surprises begin, already we take height with a gentle climb that you will do on foot for the job. The rise is not unpleasant (apart from burns in the legs and shortness of breath), as it offers beautiful views of the city of Monaco. Access on foot allows you to enjoy the view of the harbor or you can also take bus number 2, which will take you directly to the center of the neighborhood.
- Walking through the streets of Monaco’s Old Town
We meet directly in the main square in front of the palace. On The Rock is the Old Town of Monaco, the castle and the famous Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. More than anywhere else in the Principality, we felt like a little piece of Italy. The colorful houses, the tight alleys with here and there windows of restaurants (you know those in white neon) full of panini. It reminded us of some of the lanes in Naples, plus clean, of course, but still. The Rock, it is medieval and quirky, even if it is wealthy and well looked after. For us, that’s not how we imagined Monaco at all. On The Rock, not tall, modern, glittering buildings, but churches, little courts and facades so colorful they look like sorbets. Authentic, I tell you!
- The view that rocks for a perfect visit to Monaco
From the Rock, on either side of the Square in front of the palace, you will have a lovely view over the different quarters of Monaco. Great place for panoramic shots of Monaco and the Port of Condamine. As you get taller, you can even recognize the locations of the mythical Formula 1 circuit.
The market, authentic and ideal for visiting Monaco on foot
I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that a city like Monaco, where every square inch counts, had its market. And yet on the Place d’arme, at the foot of The Rock, stands the market with its beautiful red and yellow tent canvases. They have been serving fruits, vegetables, and a host of other things for nearly 140 years. At this market, there will undoubtedly be some tourists, but above all, you will find the locals in the middle of a typical “Southern” discussion with their market gardener. Isn’t that traditional and authentic?
- Visit the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
We liked it a lot, the oceanographic museum, but liked it! Nestled on a cliff at the edge of The Rock, this “temple of the sea” is a magnificent building to the glory of the Marine World. With its palace looks, it impressed us from the beginning between its style at the beginning of 1900 and its modern and monumental installations. These include a large reproduction of a turtle caught in nets and the garbage that man allows himself to throw into the sea. Image shock! On the rooftop, whose panoramic view of Monaco and the Mediterranean Sea makes it a must-see in the city, is also an immense sculpture of a chromed steel Megalodon shark caught in the tail by a fishing boat. Amazing!
- Visit the exotic garden of Monaco
A big blow of heart (also)! We knew it would be great, because it is on a cliff face, with an elusive view of The Rock of Monaco and part of the city. But what we didn’t know was that one Sunday morning at the opening, there are very few people, so the exotic garden is for you. We also didn’t realize that there were thousands of cacti (to Alexandra’s delight) and that we would feel instantly out of place.