On my journeys around the globe the last few years I have ended up in lots of debated and disputed countries. I am a strong nationalist and if a place satisfies a few of my beliefs on what constitutes a country, then I gladly add it to my list. The most recent one of these was actually during the Euro 2016 football tournament in France. On the day after the Northern Ireland v. Poland match, I crossed the border from France into the Principality of Monaco. Despite having passed through the country on a train, this was my first time to get off the train in Monaco.
I was with my Dad and brother Marko and we alighted at the famous Monte Carlo train station in Monaco on a hot day by the French Riviera. We decided just to walk all the main sights we wanted to see then head for lunch and to watch the football. It was a good break away from the madness of France for us, which was crazy during the time of the Euro 2016 football tournament. I feel I can add tiny Monaco to my list of wacaday adventures like these ones:
– Andaman Islands
– Gorno Badakhshan
– Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
– Don’t Stop Living
– The Vatican City
– French Guyana
– Hong Kong
– Nagorno Karabakh
– Lagoan Isles
– People’s Republic of Podjistan
– San Marino
– NOT backpacking in Sealand
– NOT backpacking in Elleore
– Druze People
In Monaco, the Monte Carlo part, here are 5 easy sights to do on foot, without venturing too far.
1.Monte Carlo Casino
SO I hope you have done your homework and had lots of practice ahead of your trip? Definitely get some practice by playing online casino in advance of heading to the world famous Monte Carlo Casino.
This place is simply magnificent and has played host to many major movie sets and been the venue for lots of celebrities down the years.
2.Grand Prix Circuit
My brother Marko is a huge Formula One fan so we made sure we took in some sights from the World Famous Monaco Grand Prix circuit, hosted once a year here in Monte Carlo. Basically, for a weekend, the entire country becomes a race track.
It’s pretty incredible to walk around, lots of the roads through the city centre form part of the circuit and if you pick up a map you can see where it starts and ends, and where the podium is.
3.Border Control: Passport Stamp!
Just to prove you are in a new country here, be sure to take your passport into get it stamped! I headed to the Tourist Office inside the main train station in Monte Carlo. You can also get your photo while you are getting it stamped.
This was a nice addition to my Uzupis, Podjistan, San Marino and Liechtenstein passport stamps.
4.World’s Most Dangerous Corner
We got to the part of the Grand Prix Circuit which is famous known as the world’s most dangerous corner. Head through the tunnel at the seafront by Boulevard du Larvotto (the tunnel is also worth seeing and is on the Grand Prix circuit) and up onto the street called Avenue des Spelugues.
It is on a tight corner here you will see the chicane, which basically turns back on itself meaning drivers slow down to around 20 – 30 miles per hour for this section. A real rarity for a Formula One circuit.
5.Port Hercule Harbour Front
Dream of having a huge yacht anchored here at the fabulous harbour front in Monaco. The port is called Port Hercule. Sure, it’s not really a “backpacking budget” holiday but you can enjoy the views by the gorgeous coast and imagine what life would be like if you owned a yacht here.
As I backpacked through the city with my Dad and brother, I thought to myself – I don’t really want a yacht here. I’m happy to be still backpacking it.
I will write about the border crossing soon from France. Monaco is small but actually we just did a walking tour and then went to the pub to watch the football so backpacking the main sights was not my priority here but I was glad to check these ones out – especially the Casino and the Grand Prix circuit.
Other sights of note include the huge Stade Louis II, home of AS Monaco. It’s odd actually that the Monaco football team has such a massive stadium and are housed in their own country, yet they don’t have an official international football team, as this team simply plays home games as a club in the French League.
The country actually surprised me – it is a lot bigger than I thought and would take a few days to backpack all the sights. Here are some videos I made on my day trip to the Principality of Monaco:
7 thoughts on “Backpacking in Monaco: Top 5 Sights By Foot in Monte Carlo”
Glad you finally got to add Monaco to your list of countries visited. I was there myself in 1997 as part of a high school trip that included a few days in Paris and Nice. Monaco was a day trip for us, so it is all a bit of a blur for me at this point. We weren’t allowed in the Monte Carlo Casino, though, as my friends and I were only 17 at the time. Would love to go back in the future to catch the Monaco Grand Prix!
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Hi Ray, thanks for the comment. Yes, I have to count it now, though in the past I used to just see it as France. The most interesting thing for me about Monaco is that they don’t have an international football team, yet the local team have a massive stadium and are very successful in the French league and in European competition. With Gibraltar and Faroe Islands having teams, it would be nice if Monaco did too – they’d get huge crowds as the club team are very popular. Safe travels. Jonny
Looks awesome Jonny!
This place has been on my list for a little while now. I love small countries within countries.
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Hi Abbi, thanks for the comment. This was the first time I visited Monaco would you believe – 2016! Well worth the wait but it was only a day trip – I think we need a few days here to really see it. Safe travels. Jonny
Great work Jonny. They even gave you a better Passport Stamp that is dated and with the coat of Arms of Monaco. All I ever got was the words: Monaco Tourismo
Anyway I’m quite surprised it took you so long to visit Monaco. When I first came to Europe in June 2011 I was dying to visit Monaco as it became my 10th nation. I had a hat trick of European Micro-State as on Tuesday i was in Monaco, Wednesday I was in San Marino and on Thursday I was in Andorra.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Hi Martin, thanks for the comment. For me, Monaco is not a separate country as their massive football stadium stupidly hosts a French league team rather than them having an excellent national side. I’ve counted it in my whcakpcking list but not on my official list (I go by FIFA for that one). Sounds like a crazy trip. I’ve also been to Andorra and San Marino down the years and I count them both as separate as they have FIFA teams. Safe travels. Jonny