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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Monaco, a playground of the rich and famous, is world-renowned for its casinos; they’re integral to life and culture here. Although we wouldn’t ever recommend gambling per se, a visit to Monaco would feel incomplete without at least stopping by to experience and people watch at the Casino de Monte Carlo.

Opened in 1863, the world’s most famous and prestigious casino oozes glamour, history, and surprisingly for a casino, class. The setting is ornate and grand, the (uber-wealthy) clientele wear tuxedos and cocktail dresses, gentle applause replaces whooping and hollering. James Bond visited twice – once in Never Say Never Again and again in GoldenEye.

Between 10am and 12.15pm you can buy a ticket to visit the legendary gaming rooms with an audio guide. After 2pm, anyone in proper attire with photo ID aged 18 and over can enter the three main gaming rooms for a fee;  or play the slot machines for free in the Salle Renaissance. VIP big spenders and their guests are welcome to lose their shirts in the exclusive Salles Prives.

Recommended itineraries by our writers that include this experience

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Avoid the busiest times: Cannes Film Festival, the Monte Carlo Gran Prix, weekend evenings, especially in summer. Be sure to follow the dress code: dressy Bermuda shorts, t-shirts and sports shoes are allowed in the public rooms – sweatshirts, torn jeans, trainers, beach wear, men’s sandals and flipflops, a definite no.

When to do it

The casino is open all year round, seven days a week, from 2pm to 4am.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort

Monaco, Cote d'Azur[1.4 miles]

A luxury seaside resort in a dreamy coastal Monaco setting that has the works: heavenly lagoon pool and spa, Michelin-starred restaurant and world-class service. 

Official star rating:

Cap Estel

Eze, Cote d'Azur, France[4.9 miles]

This superb villa turned boutique hotel, between Monaco and Cap Ferrat, has been voted the best seaside hotel in France. Stay here for old-fashioned glamour, truly magical views, a private beach and gorgeous infinity pool.

Official star rating:

Chateau Eza

Eze, Cote d'Azur, France[5.4 miles]

Charming, authentic and classy boutique hotel set in a 17th-century castle, within the 9th-century walls of a village perche. Ideal for honeymooners, with romantic rooms and heart-stopping views over the coastline.

Official star rating:

Hotel Royal Riviera

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France[9 miles]

The grande dame of the Cote d’Azur, this classic, updated luxury hotel has a sublime seaside location. It comes with pool, lush gardens, and one of the very few private beaches on the exclusive Cap Ferrat.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

French Riviera

Cote d'Azur, France

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.

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Cote d'Azur, France

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

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Monaco Oceanographic Museum

Monaco, Cote d'Azur, France[0.6 miles]

Founded in 1906 by Prince Albert I, Monaco’s Musee Oceanographique is one of the oldest scientific marine institutes anywhere. Spectacular aquariums and treasures from ocean voyages, located in a remarkable wedding-cake building cascading over cliffs.

Best for ages: 4+ | £12

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco, Cote d'Azur, France[0.6 miles]

The world’s most prestigious automobile races, with a track winding through the winding streets of this billionaires’ playground. Monaco is the height of Formula One glamour.

Best for ages: 13+ | £50 | 4 days

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France[9.3 miles]

A remarkable fantasy villa, complete with exquisite exotic gardens, built in 1912 by the flamboyant art collector Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild to house her fabulous collection of 18th-century art and furniture.

Best for ages: 18+ | £13

Drive the Grande Corniche

Eze, Cote d'Azur, France[10.7 miles]

Take one of Europe’s most scenic, exhilarating drives, with eagle-eye views of the sparkling French coastline.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free | 2-4 hours

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Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Exterior of the green roofed, Belle Epoque cafe de paris with terrace in front

Cafe de Paris Monte-Carlo

Monaco, Cote d'Azur, France[0.1 miles]

The famous Belle Epoque café, with its lovely outdoor terrace, is the place for a rendez-vous (and people watching) in Monaco. In a prime central location, go for lunch, dinner or a well-deserved cocktail. After some ‘Dutch courage’, try your luck at one of Monaco’s famous casinos nearby.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Prince’s Palace of Monaco

Monaco , Cote d'Azur, France[1 miles]

Set scenically on a cliff, the palace home of the Monaco monarchy has opulent state apartments, family portraits and unrivalled views over the yacht-packed marina.

Best for ages: 13+ | £7

Path through a garden with giant plants and cacti on each side

Exotic Garden of Monaco

Monaco, Cote d'Azur, France[1.4 miles]

If it all gets too much, head to the stunning 75-year-old Jardin Exotique, with its surreal collection of cacti, a stalactite Observatory Cave inhabited 250,000 years ago, and an anthropology museum. Open Tuesday to Saturday. Guided tours on Saturdya by appointment.

Best for ages: 8+ | £6

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Ancient stone monument of the Trophy of Augustus in Le Turbie, French Riviera, France

Trophy of Augustus

La Turbie, Cote d'Azur, France[2.2 miles]

High above Monaco, Emperor Augustus erected a 147ft monument in the 1st century BC to celebrate his victories over the Ligurian tribes. In spite of damage over the centuries, it is still a remarkable sight, with breathtaking views.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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