World Borders: How To Get From France to Monaco (And Get Your Passport Stamped in Monte Carlo)

“Give me something I can rely on, far away from the life that I once know – Monaco.
World Borders: How To Get From France to Monaco (And Get Your Passport Stamped in Monte Carlo)

World Borders: How To Get From France to Monaco (And Get Your Passport Stamped in Monte Carlo)

Monaco is an enigma, that’s for sure! As a lover of wacaday republics, unrecognised states, countries that don’t exist, nations unofficial and unclaimed lands, Monaco was right up my street. And it was a handy little trip that I finally did during the Euro 2016 tournament, and of course I recognise Monaco as a real country. I headed with my Dad and brother Marko from Milan in Italy to Nice in France. Northern Ireland played Poland, losing narrowly 1-0 in Nice. We had a few days there before the next match in Lyon.

Monaco flag

Flying by aeroplane into Monaco

Nope, there is no international airport in Monaco. There is only a heliport and that option would seem either expensive or exclusive. I am a long term backpacker come whackpacker so I decided I would go with my Dad and my brother by train. We were based at the Saint Gothard Hotel in Nice, France. From there we border crossed into Monaco on a day trip only.

Backpacking in Monaco: Top 5 Sights By Foot in Monte Carlo

Backpacking in Monaco: Top 5 Sights By Foot in Monte Carlo

Booking Your Train Ticket from Nice to Monaco

I am real life loyal when I travel, it is always better to organise things when you are there. We didn’t book anything in advance of our trip. Monaco was to be a spontaneous day trip. So we headed to the main train station in Nice – Nice Ville. There we just used the machine to buy three adult day returns. They were 6 Euros each, total was 18 Euros. There was a long queue for the kiosk due to the Euro 2016 tournament being on, so the machine was perfect. You don’t need your tickets to get on the train – the conductor checks them during the journey.

Nice Ville train station

Nice Ville train station

The ticket machine

Return ticket

Nice train station

Nice train station

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train is smooth and enjoyable. We passed a few hotels adorned with Northern Ireland flags due to the Euros being on and we had played Poland the day before. The border crossing by train was not obvious. There were only a few train stations between Nice Ville and Monte Carlo, the capital city of Monaco. It was the TER 881101 towards 881101 service. The journey took about 26 minutes, it shouldn’t take more than half an hour on any given day. In fact the average is supposed to be just 22 minutes.

On the train to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The train ride from Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

The capital city Monte Carlo is the flambouyant place our train arrives in. We make a decision to backpack the top 5 sights then grab some lunch and a few beers here before a late afternoon train back to Nice Ville. The trains are regular so the trains back run every hour or more and as we have an open return ticket, it doesn’t actually matter what train home we get. We arrive into the swanky and modern Monte Carlo train station…also known as Gare Du Monaco.

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arrival in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Getting your passport stamped in Monte Carlo, Monaco

As a long term whackpacker and tourist geek, I simply love the thrill of getting visas, passport stamps and feeling like you are really in a new country. This is why I often detest the European Union set up, especially borders like Netherlands to Belgium where you often don’t notice you have even crossed into a new country as currencies are the same and there is nowhere to get a border stamp.

Getting your passport stamped in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Here in Monte Carlo there is no border check or compulsory passport stamp. However, you can go to the Monaco Tourist Information Office and get your arrival passport stamp right there. As it is a voluntary immigration and passport stamp, photos are permitted and the staff here are very very welcoming and friendly, especially if you speak the local Monacon language, well, French! The Monaco Tourist Information is on the main level of Monte Carlo Train Station and is known as VisitMonaco.com. Here are some photos of that place and the passport stamping, including my Dad getting his stamp!

Getting your passport stamped in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Getting your passport stamped in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Getting your passport stamped in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Getting your passport stamped in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Getting your passport stamped in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

After getting our passports stamped and feeling like we are officially in a new country, it is time to explore. We check out the top 5 sights of Monte Carlo and we don’t leave the capital city on this trip.
Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Highlights for me are entering the famous Monte Carlo Casino where Del Boy and Rodney (of Only Fools and Horses) once were and also seeing the world’s tightest ever Formula One Grand Prix bend. In fact, I wasn’t even aware of the Formula One bend until my brother Marko, a big Formula One fan told me about it.

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

Exploring Monte Carlo, Monaco

World’s tightest Formula One corner

World’s tightest Formula One corner

Outside the famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.

Backpacking in Monte Carlo in Monaco

Outside the famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.

Outside the famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.

Outside the famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.

Top 10 Casinos in the World

Outside the famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.

After all that we decided to skip the national football stadium (and home of the famous AS Monaco) and head for some lunch while enjoying a beer and watching the live Euro 2016 matches on Television in a bar.

Crepes and beer in Monte Carlo, Monaco

On this day, there are a lot of other Northern Ireland fans in Monaco and we meet and mingle with some familiar faces along the way. When all that is over, it is time to leave Monaco behind. Souvenirs can also be purchased at the train station (and in shops in Monte Carlo) and I grab my Mum the obligatory fridge magnet for her 300+ collection.

Fridge magnets in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Here are some videos from the journey from Nice to Monaco and back:

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