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Monaco Oceanographic Museum

Last updated: 09 March, 2024

Founded in 1906 by Prince Albert I, Monaco’s Musee Oceanographique is one of the oldest scientific marine institutes anywhere.

Located in a remarkable wedding-cake building, cascading over the cliffs towards the sea, it contains fascinating artefacts and stuffed creatures collected by Albert himself during his 24 ocean expeditions.

The basement’s aquarium tanks are one highlight, with examples of over 400 species from the Mediterranean and tropical ecosystems, including a shark tank and live coral reef – all labelled in English.

After taking in the exhibits, take the lift up to the café floor, even if you’re not stopping, for the views over the tiny, high-rise principality and the sea.

Logistics

Price from: £12
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

If you’re taking a Monaco bus, No. 1 and No. 2 both pass by. Or take the commuter boat across the port from Monte Carlo; a lift descends from near the Casino.

If you’re driving, there’s an underground car park accessed from the cliff – then take the lift up to the aquarium. There’s a rooftop cafe with great views, serving reasonably priced food and drinks.

When to do it

Although always interesting, the museum and its aquariums are the classic rainy day family activity on the Cote d’Azur. Try to avoid weekends, when it can get very crowded.

Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Monaco

  • Cote d'Azur, France

Monaco

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The Riviera’s Never Never Land for the rich, offering bling, glamour, sights, high-roller casinos and entertainment galore.

Cannes

  • Cote d'Azur, France

View of the beach and seafront in Cannes

Destination guide

Sister city of Hollywood and host of the famous film festival, Cannes, with its palm-lined La Croisette, golden beach and five star hotels oozes cinematic and pure Riviera glamour.

French Riviera

  • Cote d'Azur, France

View of boating marina and the town on hills behind

Destination guide

Money, glamour and bombshell looks: this beach-trimmed stretch of French coast offers decadent hotels, lounging in beach clubs, fine restaurants and world-class art.