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How To Reach Monaco
The principality of Monaco is located in the French Riviera and is the second-smallest independent sovereign state in the world. While the country is divided into nine sectors, the three most important ones are Monaco-Ville, Fontvieille, and Monte-Carlo that contribute to the majority of business and recreation in the region. Monaco has long served as a resort town for tourists and is widely known for its casinos and glamorous hotels. The city hosts numerous sporting events through the year, of which the annual Formula One Grand Prix racing marks the most iconic time of the year. There are also numerous museums and parks in Monaco to appeal to the relatively more traditional travellers, with arts and music being greatly promoted by the state. Here is all you need to know about the different ways to reach Monaco.
Monaco does not have an airport of its own, and the nearest airport from the city is in Nice – the Cote-d’Azur International Airport, which is located about 30 km from the Monaco city centre. While there are direct daily flights operating from European cities like London and Paris to Monaco, travellers from India will usually be required to book a connecting flight with one or two stopovers since no direct flights operate between the two regions. Onward travel from Nice to Monaco can be accomplished by taxis available at all terminals of the airport; the journey is covered in about 30 minutes. Buses are also available at both terminals, especially the Rapide Cote d’Azur buses that regularly run between the Nice Airport and Monte Carlo.
A fancier alternative for those who’d prefer a more scenic route and wouldn’t mind the extra cost is the helicopter service that connects Nice to Monaco. Monacair operates regular helicopter transfers from the Cote d’Azur Airport to Monaco Heliport. Not only is the flight exceptionally picturesque, but travellers can also reach Monaco in a mere 7 minutes.
Monaco’s railway station is the Gare de Monaco-Monte Carlo, which is a large and modern system that runs mostly underground. Rail services to France and Italy are extensive and regular, with multiple trains to and from Nice, Cannes, Menton and Ventimiglia operating on an hourly basis. While the SNCF rail network connects Monaco to most of France, the high-speed intercity TGV train lets you get to Monaco from Paris in just under seven hours. The Trenitalia train service can be used to travel from Italian cities like Milan, Genoa, Venice, and Rome etc. However, if travelling from Ventimiglia (Italy), use the SNCF instead of the Trenitalia since it is the first train station in Italy right after the Italy-France border.
Monaco is directly connected to France and Italy through a wide network of roads. The A8 connects Monte Carlo to Nice and Marseille from the west and to the Italian border from the east. If travelling by bus, it should be kept in mind that there is no bus station in Monte Carlo and international buses have stops at several points spread across the city. The Rapide Cote d’Azur bus service connects Monaco to several French cities, while bus 100 and 110 connect to Nice Airport and the Nice seaport respectively.
Driving can be a great option along the French countryside with fantastic views of the coast as well. Cars can be hired from any rental service, which allows you to explore the towns and villages in the area at your leisure. The three most scenic routes to take between Nice and Monaco are the Basse Corniche that passes along the sea, the Moyenne Corniche passing through the Eze-Village, and the Grande Corniche that goes through the Eze Pass.
Walking is by far the best way to navigate through the city. Since Monaco’s landscape consists of varied elevations, there are seven public escalators and elevators here to help travellers go about the steep slopes of the region. There is also a bus service that runs through Monaco; travellers can also rent motor scooters and cycles to explore the city at their leisure. A pedestrian-only ferry called Bateau Bus can be used to reach the opposite bank of Port Hercule.