The Exotic Garden of Monaco (Jardin Exotique de Monaco) is an open-air display of succulent plants from arid regions around the world—namely the Americas, Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. At the base of the cliff is the Observatory Cave, a large cavern fit for visitors and local spelunkers to explore its prehistoric rock formations.
The Exotic Garden has wowed visitors with its foreign plants on the seaside cliffs of Monaco since 1933. The succulents and cacti bloom at various times of the year and stand out against the chalky cliffs. You can gain insight into growing succulent plants as well as admire the views of the Mediterranean below. A stop at the Observatory Cave is a must for those interested in the presence of prehistoric humans in the area, as is a visit to the Prehistoric Anthropology Museum next door.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Exotic Garden is a must-visit for phytophilies and those looking for great views.
- Reduced rates are offered for those with limited mobility, as the topography of the garden is not well suited for wheelchair users.
- The Observatory Cave is not accessible to wheelchair users nor is it suitable for those with limited mobility.
How to Get There
The Exotic Garden is located near the northwest entrance of Monaco. Either take a cab to the garden or walk about 25 minutes from the train station.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Monaco is during spring and summer, when the weather is pleasant, plus the gardens host a cactus expo in April and celebrate exceptional bonsai in June. The arid plants bloom at various times during the year depending on their origins, such as aloes and African crassula in winter and most cacti in spring and summer.
The Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology
Located within the Exotic Garden, the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology showcases archeological remains from Monaco and nearby regions, mostly France and Italy. The collection focuses on the glacial and interglacial periods, and the evolution of the human race in the Côte d’Azur. It also shows how the French Riviera has been a favored region since prehistoric times. A highlight is the remains of a mammoth skeleton excavated in Siberia.