How to visit Monaco and Èze from Nice

Discover the most luxurious city-state of the Mediterranean and the charming village of Èze during your visit to Nice. You are sure to love the South of France.

Matteo Gramegna

Matteo Gramegna

12 min read

How to visit Monaco and Èze from Nice

Monaco | ©Hans Põldoja

Staying 3 days in Nice but don't want to give up a getaway? An organized excursion to Monaco and Èze is the solution you are looking for. You will travel comfortably, enjoy the explanations of an expert guide and have free time to explore the cities on your own.

The Côte d'Azur is a world-famous tourist destination. Monaco and Èze are two of its pearls and a minivan tour is one of the best things to see and do in Nice.

1. One day in Monaco and Èze

Marvel at the luxury of Monaco| ©Matthias Mullie
Marvel at the luxury of Monaco| ©Matthias Mullie

The tour leaves Nice in the morning and takes the road towards the Principality. Before arriving in the city-state, the minibus stops in the old town of Èze, a medieval village overlooking the Mediterranean from the top of a hill. The stroll through the cobblestone streets ends at the exotic garden built on the ruins of an ancient castle.

Most often, tours include a stop at the historic Fragonard perfume factory. The visit usually lasts a little over an hour. Once finished, after a short drive, you will arrive in Monaco where you will see the following attractions:

  • Place du Palais, the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. Every day, shortly before noon (11:55 a.m.), the changing of the guard ceremony takes place. Tickets can be purchased on the official website
  • Vieux Monaco, the oldest district of the Principality. It is located on top of a hill and is a delightful maze of pastel-colored houses. Here you will find some coquettish gift stores such as Le 19-21 (19 Rue Comte Félix Gastaldi) or Les 5 Saveurs (6b rue Basse).
  • Cathedral Notre-Dame-Inmaculée, a Romanesque-Byzantine building in white limestone. Inside are the tombs of Princess Grace and Rainier III. Admission is free
  • Oceanographic Museum, the Aquarium of Monte Carlo. It was commissioned by Prince Albert I (1848-1922) and is known for its coral reef and the exhibition dedicated to the birth of oceanography. Find all the information about opening hours and tickets on the official website (Avenue Saint-Martin).
  • Casino, symbol of luxury and scene of countless films. This elegant baroque building bears the signature of Charles Garnier, French architect known for having designed the Opera Garnier in Paris.
  • Duration: about 7 hours
  • Price: about 120 €.
  • Means of transport: bus or minivan
  • Important: normally this tour does not include entrance fees to the attractions. If you want to visit the aquarium or the car collection of Princes Rainier III and Albert II, you will have to pay for them on your own.

2. Half day in Èze, La Turbie and Monaco

Enjoy the medieval charm of Eze| ©David Baron
Enjoy the medieval charm of Eze| ©David Baron

Have you booked a weekend on the Côte d'Azur but don't want to give up an excursion? In that case, you should consider this route that takes little more than a morning.

A vehicle will pick you up in the morning and accompany you to Èze where you will have the opportunity to visit both the medieval village and the laboratory of the famous Fragonard perfumery. The stop lasts about an hour, then you will return to the vehicle and drive along the Grande Corniche, one of the most beautiful scenic roads of the French Riviera.

Before arriving in Monaco, you will pass through La Turbie, a village perched on the mountains overlooking the Principality. Its icon is the Trophée des Alpes, a huge Roman monument towering over the rooftops.

Finally, the vehicle will drop you off in Monaco where you will have about 3 hours to enjoy the visit. Normally, the guide will focus on the main sights of the Principality - the Casino, the elegant Hotel de Paris and the splendid gardens of Monaco - but you will have plenty of time to visit the famous city-state at your leisure.

If you have chosen Monaco because you are passionate about cars, I recommend visiting the following attractions and spots:

  • Prince Rainier III Car Collection, an exhibition space that brings together models used by both Rainier and his son, Prince Albert II. The most prominent car is the 1956 Mercedes Benz 300 SL with its typical gull-wing doors. The entrance fee is about 10 euros (Route de la Piscine 54).
  • Statue of Juan Manuel Fangio. The Argentinean driver was one of the best of his time and won two Grand Prix here in 1950 and 1957. The sculpture depicts him next to his single-seater and is located at the famous Rascasse curve.
  • Automobile Club de Monaco, the club that manages the Principality's automobile world. Here you can buy posters and other souvenirs linked to the famous Monte Carlo Rally as well as to Formula 1.
  • Tobacconist or Loewscurve, the slowest F1corner. At this point, drivers slow down to 50 km/h and must be careful not to hit their rivals.
  • Chicane, the harbor curve and one of the few places where you can try to overtake someone.

In general, a drive is enough to see both the most extreme and the most elegant sports cars. At the end, you will return to Nice with some good memories, Monaco leaves no one indifferent.

  • Duration: between 4 and 5 hours
  • Price: more or less 120 €.
  • Means of transport: bus or minivan

3. Tour of the Côte d'Azur

Cannes| ©Bob Zumwal
Cannes| ©Bob Zumwal

Nice and the Principality of Monaco are connected by a scenic road that will take your breath away. Sit back in the minivan and enjoy the view before arriving in Èze. Here you will find the Fragonard Laboratory Factory, an Art Nouveau perfumery that makes creams and fragrances following the traditional method.

The visit is free and I recommend you do it. You will have enough time to discover the history of this place (the visit lasts half an hour) and to stroll through the old town of Èze before returning to the road.

The next stage is the most glamorous destination of the Mediterranean: Monaco. During the itinerary you will have plenty of time to explore the city-state. Among other sites, it is worth seeing the Grand Théâtre, the Jardin Exotique (a collection of succulent plants brought from Mexico) or Larvotto Beach, probably the only public beach designed by Renzo Piano.

After a stroll through the cathedral and the narrow streets of the old town, it is time to continue the itinerary:

  • Cannes, the city of cinema. It is world famous for La Croisette, an elegant boulevard that runs along the sea. From here you can easily reach the Suquet, the historic center and the Vieux Port district. If you want to spend more time here, you can book a day trip to Cannes from Nice.
  • Antibes, a picturesque village surrounded by a bay with crystal clear waters. The Vieille Ville (old town) is home to a host of charming stores and attractions such as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-la-Plateau d'Antibes (1 Rue du Saint-Esprit) or the Picasso Museum (Place Mariejol).
  • Saint Paul de Vence, a medieval village that is home to artists, painters and craftsmen. If there were no tourists, you would say that time has stopped. You will find art galleries such as Seiller (23 Rem Sud-Ouest Courtine Sainte-Anne), Di Allure (53 Rue Grande) and more.

After a day of travel, the minivan takes you back to Nice.

  • Duration: 9 hours or a little more
  • Price: around 100 €.
  • Means of transport: bus or minivan
  • Important: normally, this excursion does not include lunch.

Book your excursion to Cannes from Nice

4. Cruise ship route to Monaco and Èze

Villefranche-sur-Mer| ©Javier Doren
Villefranche-sur-Mer| ©Javier Doren

Being an excursion dedicated to cruisers, a bus or minivan will pick you up at the port of Villefranche-sur-Mer, a charming seaside town a few kilometers from Nice. From here you will first travel to Èze and then reach Monaco.

In addition to transportation, the price includes an expert guide, although you will have time to visit the two locations (especially Monte Carlo) at your own pace.

Please note that, being an excursion designed exclusively for cruise passengers, all times are calculated so that you will be back on the ship before it departs. In the rare case of a delay, the minivan will accompany you to the next stop of the ship and you will not have to pay any extra.

  • Duration: about 7 hours
  • Price: about 120 €.
  • Means of transport: bus or minivan

Can I visit the two cities on my own?

Train in Nice| ©Maryphoto92
Train in Nice| ©Maryphoto92

Of course you can, but it will cost you more in time or money. If you have booked a rental car, you will arrive quickly but you will have to pay for gas and tolls.

On the other hand, public transport is affordable but you will depend on the timetables of the means of transport. In the case of Monaco, you can choose between:

  • Bus, line 100 (Nice - Monaco - Menton) connects the two localities and departs from Le Port. The route is panoramic and the ticket costs about 1,50 €. You can also opt for the express bus 100X which runs along the freeway. In this case, the ticket costs about 5 €.
  • Train between Nice-Ville and Monaco Monte Carlo stations. Normally, there are two departures every hour and the journey costs about 4 €. You can find more information on the French railroads website.

In the case of Èze, the train is the same as Monaco (TER C3), but the bus is different. In this case, you will have to take line 82 leaving from Vauban bus station (16 Avenue des Diables Bleus).

Book a guided tour of Nice

When is the best time to visit Monaco and Èze?

Streets of Monaco| ©dorinse
Streets of Monaco| ©dorinse

The south of France enjoys a Mediterranean climate and there is really no bad season to visit. Therefore, I'm going to "turn the question around" and point you to the dates that would be best avoided:

  • During the Monaco Grand Prix. It is the Formula 1 world event and the streets are closed to welcome the single-seaters. A trip to Monte Carlo is not possible on these dates, but in any case I would not recommend it. The city hosts a large number of fans and it is impossible to see the city quietly. It is also difficult to find a place to watch the Formula 1!
  • During the month of August. There is no doubt, the Côte d'Azur is splendid in summer but in this month it is particularly crowded. If you want to travel in this season, choose June, July or September.

Book your transfer from Nice airport

Where can I eat?

At Le Nid d'Aigle| ©Will
At Le Nid d'Aigle| ©Will

If you have time for a gastronomic break, it is important to know the best establishments to take advantage of your free time.


Who said you have to spend an arm and a leg to eat in Monte Carlo? The list below lists some good, nice and cheap restaurants:

  • Lo Sfizio, a take away with pizza, stuffed focaccia, supplì (crispy rice balls stuffed with mozzarella) and more. Gluten-free options are also available (14 Avenue Saint-Charles).
  • Grubers, in case you feel like eating meat. It only sells Cheesegrubers: burgers with 100% ground beef, creamy sauce, cheese and a soft bun-type bun. You have 8 delicious toppings to choose from (20 Rue Princesse Caroline).
  • Il Terrazzino, Neapolitan cuisine in the principality. The establishment is located near Les Jardins de la Petite Afrique (Rue des Iris).
  • U Cavagnetu, a restaurant specialized in Monegasque food. Take advantage of your stop to try the Barbagiuan, fried ravioli stuffed with cheese, pumpkin or sliced meat (14 Rue Comte Félix Gastaldi).
  • Giacomo, to eat in front of the sea without spending too much. It is very colorful and offers fish-based recipes. Reservations are recommended in advance (Complexe du Larvotto, Local L27).
  • Chez Roger, the ideal destination for socca. It is a delicious chickpea focaccia, typical of Provençal cuisine (Marche De La Condamine Place D'Armes).


Èze is also not lacking in dining options. One of the best restaurants is Le Nid d'Aigle, which has a picturesque terrace under a pergola. Among its specialties it is worth mentioning the sea bream fillet with white butter, basil and zucchini tatin or the original squid and chorizo wok (1 rue du Château).

Another highly recommended destination is Le Cap Estel which is located on a promontory overlooking the Mediterranean. Be warned, it's not cheap but it's worth it to dip into your wallet. You can enjoy their best dishes on a cozy terrace, ideal for the hottest days (1312 avenue Raymond Poincare Bord-De-Mer).

Why take a trip to Monaco and Èze?

Oceanographic Museum| ©David Ordonez
Oceanographic Museum| ©David Ordonez

Nice is a beautiful city, but so is its region. You only have to go a few kilometers away to discover simply wonderful destinations. If you like luxury, you can't miss Monaco.

However, the city-state is not only synonymous with luxury cars and penthouses overlooking the Mediterranean. Also worth a visit are the Oceanographic Museum (famous for its Arctic and Antarctic exhibits), the Notre-Dame-Inmaculée Cathedral (where Ranieri III and Grace Kelly were married) and the splendidly preserved old town.

In the case of Èze, you will have the opportunity to stroll through a medieval village with narrow streets and stone houses decorated with colorful flowers. It is also worth going to the viewpoint "Un balcon sur l'Azur" where you can enjoy an incomparable view of the sea.

What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting Monaco and Èze on my own?

Summer in Nice| ©Javier Doren
Summer in Nice| ©Javier Doren

Spending only a few days in Nice and want to explore the surroundings? In this case, an organized tour is the best option. The advantages are essentially three:

  • Savings. Renting a car is certainly more comfortable but also more expensive. In addition, parking in the principality can be very expensive and some of them are only for residents.
  • More destinations in one day. The low price of the excursion allows you to see two or more cities, in this case Monaco and Èze.
  • A guide is included. It is useful to hear the explanations both inside the bus and outside. If you travel on your own you have to organize everything separately.

If you are short on time, I recommend reading the article explaining how to plan a three-day vacation in Nice.

Book your excursion to Provence from Nice

What are the must-see villages on the Côte d'Azur?

Cagnes-sur-Mer| ©JJarA
Cagnes-sur-Mer| ©JJarA

Monaco and Èze are not the only destinations worth visiting:

  • Cagnes-sur-Mer, a fishing village that has become a popular resort since the 1970s. The town also boasts a castle, the Château Grimaldi, which dates back to the 14th century.
  • Saint Tropez, the city of celebrities. In addition to the yachts of the old port, it is worth admiring its colorful old town nicknamed La Ponche. The coast deserves a separate chapter. Saint Tropez alternates between wild beaches (Plage des Graniers), lonely (Plage de la Moutte) or with a long strip of golden sand, such as the Plage des Canoubiers. If you feel like visiting it, I recommend you to read the post about day trips to Saint Tropez from Nice.
  • Ramatuelle, a typical Provencal village with stone houses and flower pots adorning the streets of the center. It is located at the foot of the Massif des Castellas and has a characteristic snail shape. A short distance away you will find the Moulins de Paillas, five windmills built between the 16th and 19th centuries.
  • Tourrettes-sur-Loup, known for two reasons: for being located on a rocky spur and for the cultivation of violets. Every March there is a festival dedicated to this beautiful flower.
  • Mentone, a quiet town a few kilometers from the Italian border. If you travel with your partner, you can surprise her by taking her to the Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden. In Persian it means "valley of tranquility" and is home to several endangered species. To enjoy an incredible panorama, I recommend climbing the cemetery of the old castle (Cimetière du Vieux Château).

Book your excursion to Saint Tropez from Nice

Is it advisable to take a trip to Monaco and Èze with children?

Promenade du Paillon| ©Lodan
Promenade du Paillon| ©Lodan

It depends on the age. If your children are very young, these excursions may be too long. It is not a problem, in Nice there is no lack of options for activities with your children. Here are some of them:

  • Promenade du Paillon, a 12-hectare park in the heart of the city. It is dotted with playgrounds and large structures representing marine animals.
  • Le petit train, an electric train that runs through Nice and reaches landmarks such as the castle and the old port. The price ranges from 10 € to 12 €.
  • Parc Phoenix, a large park with a pyramid-shaped greenhouse and numerous animal species. To enter you have to pay about 5 €. It is located near the airport (405 Promenade des Anglais).