A collection of Monaco travel and backpacking resources including Monaco travel, entry visa requirements, employment for backpackers, and French phrasebook.

Backpacking Monaco

Looking for important travel information while backpacking around Monaco? Here you will find information on working in Monaco, entry visas, Monaco hostels, and much more.

Table of Contents

A guide for backpacking around Monaco. Get important travelers information when it comes to Monaco including visa requirements, employment opportunities, common French phrases and translation, as well as Monaco hostels.

Facts About Monaco

After Vatican City, Monaco is the smallest country in the world. The tiny principality set into the French coast has been ruled over by the Grimaldi family since the 13th Century. Today, Monaco is famous as the location of the Grand Prix and playground for its rich and famous residents and their rich and famous guests.

Foreigners make up over 80% of the principality’s ‘permanent’ population due to laws which exempt citizens from taxes. As a result, international, super-rich individuals set up their primary ‘residence’ – and their primary bank account – in Monaco. The country’s nightclubs, casinos and its royal family, into which Grace Kelly married in 1956, are the greatest draws for travellers seeking a bit of sparkle.

Climate

Monaco enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate, with long hot summers and mild winters, though a coastal breeze keeps the heat temperate during the hottest months.

Perhaps the best time to visit is during the spring, when the weather will be warm but before the heat of the summer , and before the hordes of tourists arrive. Winter can bring heavy downpours and electric storms occur at any time of the year.

The BBC website has a comprehensive and often accurate five-day forecast for Monaco.

Things to do and see

Perhaps Monaco’s most famous destination is the Monte Carlo Casino. Frequented by film stars and politicians, royalty and spies, the glamorous gambling den is definitely worth a peek, even if you’ve only a few dollars ,  and especially if you’ve got money to burn. Pay $10USD for entry into one of the ‘exclusive’ rooms, where stakes will be higher and punters better-dressed. Make sure you bring age ID and are well-presented, as doormen can be ruthless.

Near the casino is the Palais Princier, the official residence of Monaco’s glitzy royal family, parts of which are open to the public. The official website can be found here.

Monte Carlo’s Cathedral draws almost as many Kelly fans as genuine pilgrims. Princess Grace’s lavish wedding to Prince Rainier took place here, and the couple are buried behind the altar.

Monte Carlo also hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix every year during May. Even if you’re not a racing enthusiast, it’s a good time to see the town with every bar buzzing, although the crowds will be bad and prices will be high. Saying that, if you don’t like crowds and you don’t have expensive tastes, Monaco’s probably not for you at any time of year!

As you might expect, Monaco’s classier attractions are of a very high standard. The national opera, national ballet and the philharmonic orchestra are very good, and during the summer months international companies often perform at the theatre and other destinations within the principality.

Sports are also well catered for, with yachting and golf naturally popular at the Monte Carlo Country Club. However, it is also possible to arrange diving and fishing trips, or book squash and tennis courts on the Visit Monaco website. And if all that is a bit pedestrian, you can always contact Heli Air Monaco, who will arrange a helicopter to pick you up and whisk you away to the Alps for a day’s skiing during the season.

If your budget can’t stretch to that lifestyle, you can get a taste of five-star luxury by booking a treatment at one of the health spas in town. Spas such as the Monte-Carlo Spa offer treatments and day passes that won’t break the bank.

There are a few other sights in Monte Carlo: a museum of maritime history, Prince Rainier’s collection of antique cars, and a pleasant Jardin des Plantes, but most visitors do not really want to be distracted from the principality’s most serious industry: pleasure. People come to Monaco on yachts and in helicopters to hit the shops, night-clubs and casinos. For those without a spare helicopter at their disposal, it is possible to pass a pleasant time in Monaco enjoying the beautiful, well-manicured city and watching its beautiful, well-manicured residents and visitors. Walk along the palm-lined Avenue Princesse Grace on the sea-front at sunset and look at the fabulous yachts, and try to match them to the celebrities and super-rich visitors you can see being escorted to five-star restaurants.

Luckily for the budget traveller, Monaco also has a typically Mediterranean cafe culture and a number of beautiful parks, so you can afford to eat, drink and watch people go by without retreating to France.

And the free beach is the other blessing for the traveller on a budget. Don’t laugh at the term ‘free beach’: in Monaco, beaches aren’t necessarily free, with visitors paying hundreds of dollars for being seen in the right bikini with the right cocktail on the right beach. The free beach is at the end of av. Princesse Grace.

Useful Links

You can find tourist information at the following address and, during the summer tourist season, from temporary information booths set up around the city centre.

Address: 2a Boulevard des Moulins
Tel: 92 16 61 16
Monaco Tourism website Visit Monaco website

Travel

Monaco has no airport of its own. Buses run to France from around the country. You can find timetabling and price details on either side of the border. In Monaco, information on trains can be found at the tourist information centre.

There is also a train station in Monte Carlo, from which trains travel up the beautiful coastal line towards Nice.

The other option ,  other than the aforementioned helicopter ,  is to arrive in Monaco by boat. During the summer season it should be possible to find day-trip pleasure boats departing from Nice and other towns along the coast. Ask around locally for details of times and prices.

As Monaco is less than 2 kilometres across, it is not really necessary to take transport within the principality. Taxis zip along the well-maintained modern roads but are not really worth the high prices.

A particularly pleasant fruit of Monaco’s wealth is the public lift system, which enables tourists to travel up and down the picturesque hillside, whether to get to the top of the steep incline or just to admire the view.

Hiring a car is another travel possibility on Monaco. Although you won’t really need it once you’re in the principality, it might be a convenient way to travel down the coast, with stop-offs in Monaco. Check out car-hire-centre.co.uk for great deals on car hire.

Accommodation

If it’s five-star luxury you want, you can take your pick from a number of exclusive and attractive options. Book ahead for the most famous central hotels, especially during the Grand Prix.

For the budget traveller, finding accommodation will be a little trickier. It’s not that the cheaper accommodation is of a very poor standard, it’s simply that there isn’t much of it.

One option might be to stay over the border in the nearby French town of Beausoleil, 10 minutes’ travel from the Monte Carlo Casino. To all intents and purposes, you remain in Monaco, but you’ll be paying a bit less for the privilege. Compare prices online , international hostelling websites such as Hostel Bookersand online magazine Monaco Revue will offer price comparisons and advice, and list hostels both within Monaco and in nearby French towns.

If these are still too expensive, it’s worth considering making your visit to Monaco a day-trip.

Healthcare

UK residents can apply for a comprehensive, up-to-date report on health issues for travellers in Monaco. The personal report, which includes recommended vaccinations, foreign office travel health advice, advice on seasonal diseases and up-to-date health news, is available from the Medical Advisory Services for Travel Abroad (MASTA). Their website also has details of locations of travel clinics to visit before you leave.

Healthcare in Monaco is private and of an internationally high standard, though you may have to pay a bit more than usual, especially if you are from a country with a national healthcare system.

Because of this, despite the fact that Monaco is a relatively safe destination for travellers, it is important that you take out comprehensive medical insurance before you travel. STA Travel offers deals for travellers under 26, which will ensure you are covered for high costs in cases of accident, emergency and illness.

Monaco has two main health-centres. There is an exceptionally good clinic for cardio-thoracic problems, which deals with emergencies and non-emergency treatment – the website can be reached here. The general hospital is the Princess Grace Hospital:

Av Pasteur BP 49
MC 98012 Monaco
Tel: +377 93 25 99 00

Entry Visas for Monaco

EU citizens do not need a visa to enter Monaco. For citizens of other countries it is best to contact the embassy before travel – find details online at the Monaco consulate’s website.

Although the fight for independence from France has been going on for centuries, the Monegasques don’t seem to be too bothered about their national difference now they have it. As a perfect example of the principality’s priorities, there is no border control between Monaco and France so you do not need your passport to enter the country but you’ll have to take it anyway if you want to get past the fearsome doormen who guard entry to the casinos.

Foreigner Work Permits in Monaco

As Monaco is so small, it is very rare for travellers to find short-term work in the country. It is worth asking around , look on hostel notice-boards, or ask taxi drivers- for any leads. There is always a little casual work for international applicants, working in travel agencies or at the marina, and bars and restaurants may take English speakers if you look the part. Multi-lingual applicants are at an advantage.

Somewhat ironically, the shortage of casual labour at the lower end of the market is partly compensated for by a few opportunities for more glamorous casual work. International recruitment agencies such as Mandy sometimes advertise employment as runners or even actors and actresses in film studios and other locations around the principality. Similarly, recruitment websites such as classified 1000.com post advertisements for personal assistants and bodyguards on behalf of Monaco’s rich residents.

Teaching English as a foreign language is an option for English-speaking travellers: official TEFL websites such as the ESL Base have information on training courses, schools and positions available. However, even this reliable source of employment is not in great demand in Monaco, as a considerable percentage of the population speak English anyway , and the population is pretty small in the first place.

EU citizens do not need a visa to work in Monaco. Citizens of other countries should check with the consulate before beginning a job search.

How to Say Common French Phrases

Monaco’s official language is French but Italian is mixed in and English is widely spoken as the most international language. The local language, Monegasque, and southern French dialect Occitan are also traditionally spoken within the principality, though they are becoming rarer as Monaco’s local population sinks lower.

If you don’t speak French, communication shouldn’t be too great a problem, but it’s definitely worth reminding yourself of a few basic phrases.

Meeting People

Meeting People

English
French
yes
oui
no
non
thank you
merci
you are welcome
de rien
please
s’il vous plaît
excuse me
pardon
hello
bonjour
goodbye
au revoir
good morning
bonjour
good night
bonne nuit
I do not understand
Je ne comprends pas
Do you speak…?
Parlez-vous…?
English
anglais
French
français
What is you name
Comment vous appelez-vous?
Nice to meet you
Enchanté de faire votre connaissance
How are you
Comment allez-vous?
Good
bon
bad
mauvais

Directions

English
French
map
carte
left
à gauche
right
à droite
straight on
tout droit
far
loin
near
près

Methods of Transport

English
French
Where is…?
Où se trouve…?
How much is the fare?
Quel est le prix du billet?
Ticket
billet
A ticket to…, please
Un billet pour …, s’il vous plaît
Where are you going?
Où est-ce que vous allez?
Where do you live?
Où habitez-vous?
Train
le train
bus
un autobus
underground
le métro
airport
un aéroport
train station
la gare
bus station
la gare de bus
underground station
la station de métro
departure
le départ
arrival
une arrivée
parking
le parking

Time

English
French
What time is it?
Quelle heure est-il?
Today
aujourd’hui
yesterday
hier
tomorrow
demain

Accommodation

English
French
hotel
un hôtel
room
une chambre
reservation
la réservation
Are there any vacancies?
Avez-vous des chambres disponibles?
No vacancies
Complet
Passport
le passeport

Places

English
French
post office
la poste
bank
la banque
police station
le poste de police
hospital
hôpital
chemist
la pharmacie
shop
le magasin
restaurant
le restaurant
museum
le musée
church
une église
square
la place
street
la rue

Shopping

English
French
How much does this cost?
Combien cela coûte?
I will buy it
Je le prends
I would like to buy…
Je voudrais acheter…
Do you have…?
Avez-vous…?
open
ouvert
closed
fermé
postcard
la carte postale
stamps
des timbres
little
un peu
lot
beaucoup
all
tout

Meals

English
French
breakfast
petit déjeuner
lunch
le déjeuner
dinner
le dîner
vegetarian
végétarien
cheers!
à votre santé!
the bill please
l’addition s’il vous plait

Drinks

English
French
drink
la boisson
coffee
le café
tea
le thé
juice
le jus
water
l’eau
beer
la bière
wine
le vin

Food

English
French
meat
la viande
fish
le poisson
vegetable
le légume
fruit
le fruit
potato
la pomme de terre
salad
la salade
dessert
la dessert

 

Monaco Hostels

Hostels are a cheap form of accomodation, and so they are essential to backpackers and other budget travellers.

Sorry, no hostels have been registered for this country yet.

There you have it, the ultimate Monaco backpacking guide. We hope you have found all the information you need for backpacking around Monaco.

 

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