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During our month-long European road trip, we parked the RV in Italy for a chance to visit Monaco. Monaco doesn’t allow RV parking in the country, so we couldn’t camp in this tiny country. But our Italian campeggio offered a shuttle to a French train station and it was a quick 10-minute ride over to Monaco.
We decided to spend one day in Monaco because, on paper, it sounded like we could see the whole country in one day easily!
Watch our one-day Monaco family vacation to see what it was like:
Is Monaco good for family?
Monaco is the least kid-friendly country we visited during our European road trip. Most of the things to do in the country are gambling, shopping, and yachting. Three things kids generally don’t enjoy. (We happened to visit the day the big yacht show opened, and didn’t find out until after the fact that we could’ve entered the show and toured mega yachts! Major bummer!)
However, if you’re visiting France and want to hop over into Monaco, it does make for a great day trip. Our kids had a blast and enjoyed our one-day adventure.
As we researched things to do in Monaco, the list was pretty short. Probably because the entire country is about half the size of Central Park!
We narrowed it down to three things we could do with our toddler and baby in tow:
Between naps and underestimating how long it would take to push the stroller up the mountainside, we only had enough time to visit the aquarium and take the 30-minute train tour of the country. Oh, and visit a tiny playground we came across as we searched for Monaco’s national dish!
We didn’t get to visit the palace, but we did see it on our tour (see the video above!). And as a lucky bonus: The train boards right across the street from the aquarium, making it extra convenient for families to do both.
If you have more time than we did, you can even visit some of the casinos with your kids during the day. (Each casino in Monte Carlo has different rules and hours, so check before you visit.) Remember to dress smart while in Monaco, especially if you plan to visit a casino where there is likely a dress code of “smart attire.” Flip flops and jeans would not be permitted, for example.
Is Monaco expensive to visit?
Every time we visit Europe, I’m surprised to see how inexpensive the continent is compared to America. We could order a three-course meal in France for $16! (And it was delicious and I’ll be dreaming about it for months.)
We only ate lunch and grabbed snacks in Monaco, but it was more expensive than in France and Italy. Grubers Burgers cost us about $15 for a burger and fries—significantly more than we paid for meals in France and Italy. But if you’re visiting from the States, $15 for a burger and fries isn’t unheard of. So it won’t hit your pocketbook too hard.
Plus, if you’re visiting with young kids, you can save on admission tickets. Our one and three-year-olds entered the aquarium for free (under age 4 is free). We paid $19 per adult. Le Petit Train tour cost about $10 per adult and $5 for our daughter, but the baby was free. As far as ticket prices go across Europe, this was pretty average.
I assumed because of Monaco’s reputation that it would be expensive to visit, but I was happily wrong!
What is the best time of year to visit Monaco?
Like most of Europe, the best time to visit Monaco is in the shoulder season when crowds have thinned and the weather is perfect. We visited on September 28 and it was 75º and sunny. Because Monaco is on the coast but built into the mountains, you can expect to walk all day. Visiting in the cooler spring and fall months will make trekking up and down the country much more enjoyable.
What to do in Monaco with Kids
There isn’t much to do in Monaco with kids—especially young toddlers like ours. With our one day in the country, we enjoyed these two family-friendly activities.
1. Musée océanographique de Monaco (aka the Monaco Aquarium)
As I mentioned we paid $19 per adult when we visited. We bought our tickets online ahead of time, but that wasn’t necessary.
The biggest difficulty with the aquarium was simply getting there. From the main train station, it was a trek. And as you saw in the video, there are a TON of stairs in Monaco. It was not stroller friendly and very difficult to maneuver. However, inside the museum was a little better and offered elevators to get to the different floors.
The aquarium isn’t too big. I would expect to spend an hour or two here.
Is the Monaco aquarium worth it?
Yes! Our kids are very young, so finding something that will hold their attention can be difficult. Our one-year-old practiced walking while pressing his face up against the aquarium glass. And our three-year-old met her new best friend: a sea turtle.
We opted for this train tour of Monaco for a few reasons:
- You see these cute tourist trains all over Europe! We were beyond curious at this point.
- They offer audio tours in multiple languages.
- We knew we couldn’t see all of Monaco without it.
Technically, you can walk across all of Monaco in under an hour. Add two kids and a stroller to that and it would take all day! The train tour was the best way for our family to see Monte Carlo, gawk at the fancy stores, and learn more about the country.
Is the Le Petit Train worth it?
I go back and forth on if this was worth it. It was a great way to get off our feet and see the country, but our kids were past tired at that point in the afternoon. They probably would’ve preferred if we had simply spent 30 minutes playing at the park instead!
But I know with little kids that we couldn’t have seen Monaco otherwise, so I’m glad we did it.
Should you visit Monaco with kids?
As a young family, taking a family vacation to Monaco wouldn’t top my list. France and Italy are much more family-friendly and affordable. But it’s a great day trip to a unique country and very easy to visit.