Monaco : Fancy cars and French macarons

We enjoyed our day trip to Monaco – we decided to take the train from Nice to Monaco since we had done the boat trip over to Saint Tropez just a day ago.  Monaco also known as Principality of Monaco is a sovereign city-state and microstate, located on the French Riviera sounded by France on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco has four traditional quarters. From west to east they are – Fontvieille (the newest), Monaco-Ville (the oldest), La Condamine, and Monte Carlo. Many of the James Bond movies features the Monte Carlo casino, Monaco is famous for its fancy cars and the Glitz and Glam!

Once we got off at the train station we took a bus to Monte-Carlo – we were not really interested in gambling or going inside the Grand Casino.  You can talk kids inside till 12 noon after which the casino is closed for public and only people interested in Gambling go inside.  You need to be dressed in some classy threads and be a high roller to play the stakes here.

The Monaco Grand Prix race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One.  The Formula One motor race is organized by Automobile Club de Monaco and held each year on the Circuit de Monaco.  During the Grand Prix weekend spectators crowd around the Monaco Circuit. There are a number of temporary grandstands built around the circuit, mostly around the harbor area. The rich and famous arrive on their boats and the yachts in the harbor fill with spectators. Balconies around Monaco become viewing areas for the race too!  How fun it would be to watch the cars zipping by!

Citizens of Monaco (Monégasques) don’t pay taxes. The traditional Monégasque dialect is, broadly speaking, a mixture of French and Italian.  We found the city very clean with no graffiti anywhere and well manicured gardens and flowers.  The Monégasques were friendly, we had a hard time finding the location of The Private Collection of Antique Cars of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III  which houses the exotic cars  from different eras including some old F1 cars.  It is the private collection of the Prince.

There is a lot more to see and do in Monaco like Oceanographic museum, The Museum of Stamps and Coins and Changing of guard  the Royal Palace which sits high on the hill on the opposite side of the harbor from the casino. Every day at 11:55AM sharp, the Royal Guards parade onto the palace’s front square, some with swords drawn, other shouldering rifles with bayonets.

Instead we opted for a leisurely lunch at Café de Paris, watch the expensive and classic cars rolling in to the casino area, gawk at the luxury yachts and boats at the marina and stop for some French macaron at the Café Laduree before heading back to Nice.  We spent most of our day at Prince Rainer’s private collection of cars which ranges from military, horse-drawn carriages, popular, veteran, vintage, sports and classic cars.  Mr. OutsideSuburbia and D spent the day gleefully admiring each car old and new!

Additional Information for Monaco’s Top Car Collection
Website: H.S.H. Prince Rainier III’s private collection of Antique cars
Address: Les Terrasses de Fontvieille MC 98000 MONACO
Phone: +377 92 05 28 56
Entrance cost – Adults: 6.50 euros, Children (8-14 years old): 3 euros

How to get there

  • Coach or car : recommended parking at the “Parking de Fontvieille” ; direct access to the Terrasses de Fontvieille by lift and escalator.
  • Bus n° 5 and 6 – stop to the Centre Commercial Fontvieille
  • 5 minutes walk from the railway station and 20 minutes walk from Casino Square.

Here is a Photoblog of our day in Monaco!

Outside Suburbia - Monaco

DSC_0639 Bugatti spotting !!
DSCN1506 Monte Carlo Casino
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DSCN1507 The Ritzy Hotel de Paris
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IMG_1164 The pretty menu and lunch at Café de Paris (I almost sneaked one)

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IMG_1165 Salad Nicoise, a French composed salad with tuna, green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, onion, capers, and potatoes –  with some Monaco beer
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DSCN1513 Café Laduree Montecarlo, the only one without long lines for the mararons.

If you fancy these delicate French treats made of almond flour, two light as air macaron shells filled with yummy fillings then Laduree is place to get them.   We found most other boutiques in France had long lines of patrons waiting to get the macarons in so many different flavors, packaged in a keepsake box.  The café in Monte-Carlo was quite with amazing view of the Mediterranean coast, a carousel and a cute ice cream cart.  We were in heaven!
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DSCN1520 Laduree Ice cream stand
DSCN1538 The Monaco harbor with the big yachts DSCN1550 Sightseeing toy train around Monaco, might have been better to take this than walk around like we did.

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DSCN1552 In memory of William Grover-Williams who drove a Bugatti Type 35B painted dark green at the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix and won

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Automobile Club de Monaco boutique storeDSCN1644H.S.H. Prince Rainier III’s private collection of Antique cars

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12 thoughts on “Monaco : Fancy cars and French macarons

  1. I love that Monaco is such an easy day trip from Nice. We rocked up on the public bus a couple years ago. We spent a bit of time in the casino smug in the knowledge that we’d paid about a euro to get here while I’m sure many folks around us spent way more on their fancy sports cars. Thanks for sharing some #wkendtravelinspiration
    Jennifer (Dr. J) recently posted…Cycling the Great Western Greenway – From Achill Island to Westport Ireland on Electric BikesMy Profile

  2. Beautiful photos! This looks like such a fun place to visit offering something for everyone. Monaco has always been high on my travel wish list. Glad you enjoyed your trip. Love Laduree and yes, the Paris ones are always crowded! This one looks very charming. My husband and son would love all those fancy cars.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Mary, it sure was fun – you and your family would love it. We didn’t get to visit the palace and a few other spots, hoping to go back sometime!

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