The glamorous principality of Monaco is one of the highlights of the French Riviera and a hugely popular cruise destination, welcoming some of Europe’s biggest cruise lines. Arriving at Monte Carlo cruise port is an experience in itself, as you dock beneath the dramatic Rock of Monaco, gazing out across the glittering Mediterranean.
Monaco’s small size makes it easy to explore in a day, and all the top attractions are located close to the port. Be sure to visit the magnificent Prince’s Palace, the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco Cathedral, and the Japanese Gardens, then take a drive around the famous Formula One circuit, where the Monaco Grand Prix is held each spring.
While in port, many cruise visitors opt for a half- or full-day shore excursion combining the highlights of Monaco with attractions along the French Riviera. Over the French border, the markets and beaches of Nice and the hilltop towns of Èze and La Turbie are all within easy reach, while a longer day trip could take in Antibes, Cannes, and the Provençal town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most shore excursions include port pickup and drop-off.
- Half-day tours typically last around four hours, while full-day tours can last up to nine hours.
- Wear comfortable shoes if you plan on walking Monaco’s steep hills, and look for the many public elevators and moving walkways that make getting around much easier.
- For a more flexible or personalized experience, opt for a small-group or private tour.
How to Get to Monaco from the Port of Monte Carlo
Cruise ships dock at Port Hercules (Port d'Hercule), from which it’s a short but steep walk uphill into the Old Town (Monaco-Ville). If you prefer not to walk, consider joining a tour with pickup from your terminal. Alternatively, taxi ranks are located at the port, and water taxis (bateau bus) cross the harbor between the cruise ship terminal and Quai Kennedy.
The official language of Monaco is French, but English is also widely spoken, as well as Italian and Spanish. The local currency is the Euro and most shops and restaurants also accept credit cards.