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It’s no secret that Monaco has a worldwide reputation as a playground for the ultra-rich. And needless to say, most of us don’t fall into the category of multimillionaires. So, if you’re planning on visiting the French Riviera, you may be wondering: Is Monaco expensive to visit? Can you visit Monaco on a budget? As someone who has visited the land of the rich and famous multiple times, I’ve got answers and will divulge all that you need to know about visiting the jewel of the French Riviera!

Is Monaco Expensive to Visit? (2024)

The honest answer is yes and no. Monaco can definitely be expensive to visit, but it’s likely not nearly as bad as you think.

Compared to places in Eastern Europe such as Zagreb, Budapest, and Krakow, Monaco is definitely more expensive to visit. You’ll likely pay 5-10x more for certain goods and services. However, when looking at prices in other places in Western Europe, such as Geneva or Zurich, Monaco is actually cheaper.

Or, if you were to evaluate Monaco against Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, or any other place in the Scandinavian region, you would see that Monaco is way more affordable to visit. My bank account is still reeling from the damage done on my last visit to Copenhagen and Stockholm. 🥲

A picture of all the expensive boats and yachts docked in Port Hercules in Monaco.
My favorite view of Monaco! | Taken at the Panoramic view of Monaco

Is Monaco Expensive to Visit Compared to Paris or Nice

Meanwhile, comparing Monaco and Paris, Paris is definitely more expensive. In fact, according to the Economist’s report, Paris is the third most expensive city in Europe. Not just that, but I’ve also read the US News & World Report declaring Paris as not just being the most expensive city in Europe but tying for first place as the most expensive city in the world.

Regardless of which report is more accurate, the point is that Paris is more expensive than Monaco. But, for practically any other place in France, such as Lyon, Nice, or Toulouse, Monaco is more expensive.

How Expensive Is Monaco?

Based on my experiences around Europe, Monaco is mid-tier. It’s not cheap, but it’s also not the most expensive… But, how expensive is Monaco? Because all these comparisons don’t really do much when creating a tentative budget, right?

Truthfully, the answer to this question depends on your financial background. As seen above, what reference point you use makes a huge difference. For me, Monaco is pretty comparable to what I pay for stuff in San Diego. But, for those coming from Southeast Asia or some places in Africa, Monaco prices might seem astronomical.

Thus, in an effort to give you more tangible numbers to work with, I’ll be delving into the average prices you can expect to pay. This way you can figure out a budget that works for you and see whether or not a vacation in Monaco is feasible or not. I’ll even include some ways to save money while visiting!

A picture of the surrounding mountains, Port Hercules and tall buildings in Monaco.
View of all the elegant baby yachts and super yachts in Port Hercules

How Much Is Accommodation in Monaco?

With Monaco being smaller than New York City’s Central Park, it’s understandable that options for accommodation in Monaco are pretty limited. There are about 23 hotels available to choose from, so you’ll find prices on both ends of the spectrum.

Some might think this limited range of options is a downside, but honestly, I view it as a perk. There are housing options suitable for several types of travelers, but you’re less likely to suffer analysis paralysis. I know I get pretty overwhelmed when there are 100s of hotels to pick from and then it takes me forever to sort through reviews to find the best ones.

But, in the case of finding accommodation in Monaco, there are only a few options at each price point! 🙂

What Is the Average Cost of a Hotel Room in Monaco?

To give you an idea of some of the prices to expect, the cheapest hotels in Monaco cost approximately $130 USD (€122 / £107) per night. And they aren’t little crappy motels, they are still in line with that Monaco quality and offer great amenities, just not as many.

In contrast, the most luxurious and opulent hotels in Monaco can cost upwards of $1000 USD ( €935 / £823) per night on average. As you would expect, they include all the bells and whistles, such as waterfront views, multiple restaurants, pools, spa services, etc.

And if you happen to visit when the global events, such as the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco Yacht Show, or Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament are happening… to put it nicely, you’ll want to make sure you’re extra financially secure lol.

A picture of the Entrance to 5-star Hotel Hermitage in Monte-Carlo. This is one of the most expensive places to stay in Monaco.
Entrance to 5-star Hotel Hermitage in Monte-Carlo

But in general, you can easily spend as much or as little as you want on accommodation in Monaco. And to help you out, I’ve created a lil list with the best places to stay should you like to check them out for yourself!

Lower-Cost Stay

  • Le Meridien Beach Plaza — 4-star hotel located right on beach | ⭐ 8.6 / 10
  • Columbus Hotel Monaco— popular 3-star hotel with outdoor pool | ⭐ 8.6 / 10

Mid-Range Stay

  • Fairmont Monte-Carlo — 4-star hotel next to casino and water | ⭐ 8.8 / 10
  • Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort — 4-star hotel in less tourist area | ⭐ 9.2 / 10

Fancy Stays

  • Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo — 5-star hotel, right across from Casino | ⭐ 9.4 / 10
  • Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo — 5-star hotel, right along Port Hercules | ⭐ 9.5 / 10

Feel free to use these buttons to go to your favorite booking platform and explore additional housing options there.

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Are Monaco Tourist Attractions Expensive?

Monaco tourist attractions are pretty affordable for visitors in my opinion. Of course, they can be super expensive, but at a bare minimum, you have the choice of spending as much as you want. For example, you can find some tourist attractions that are completely free to visit such as the Saint Nicholas Cathedral or Princess Grace Japanese Garden.

There are also Monaco tourist attractions with lower fees, such as the popular Musee de Oceanographique. This museum includes a sprawling aquarium, great for kids, and access to their rooftop, which provides a stunning view of the coastline. Tickets can be purchased here and cost ~$20.65 or €19.

Or, if you’re a Formula 1 super fan like myself, I highly recommend taking this fantastic 2-hour walking tour around the Monaco GP circuit! Tom, the awesome guide who runs this tour, lives in Monaco and has worked in the motorsport field for decades! So for less than $60, you can learn from a passionate industry expert — everything from the circuit’s history and past winners to the infamous Fairmont hairpin curve and the many crashes that have happened around the tight street circuit.

🏎 Check availability for this great Monaco Formula 1 Walking Tour

A picture of Kristin in a model F1 car that can be found in Monaco!
Tom will show you where to find this life-size F1 car | Thoughts and prayers to your legs if you’re taller than 5’6″ 😂

That said, if you want a vacation filled with lots of glitz and glamour, there is an abundance of fancy restaurants, upscale cocktail bars, and decadent venues to splurge! And let’s not forget the famous Monte Carlo Casino! I know people will drop tens of thousands of dollars in a single sitting here. Meanwhile, my friends and I managed to walk away with a $19.20 profit and were chuffed with that haha.

So, are Monaco attractions expensive? I am inclined to say no, but you can do lots of damage if you choose to do some designer shopping or spend a night gambling at the iconic casino.

A picture of a luxury McLaren parked outside the Monte Carlo Casino. Monaco can definitely be expensive to visit if you splurge on luxury rental cars and gamble lots of money at the casino.
I did not see Lando unfortunately, but maybe he was busy hanging out with Charles lol

How Expensive Is Food in Monaco?

When it comes to discussing the food situation in this tiny little country, you might be surprised that the prices aren’t too bad!

At a normal restaurant, a meal in Monaco can cost around €25 – €30, sans drinks. But, if you take your time to look around, you can usually find cheaper places just like I did. My friends and I each spent €15 on a large-portioned, delicious salad (see below), and we weren’t splitting or anything.

But again, generally speaking, yes the average price of a meal in Monaco is going to be more expensive than in other places in France, so you’ll want to be financially prepared for that. I would say expect to spend about $80 USD / €75 / £66 per person, per day for food in Monaco. This would be if you ate at two restaurants per day and aren’t a budget traveler nor are you splurging at multi-course restaurants.

My friends and I paid ~$15 for these salads at Rue Princesse Caroline in Monaco!
Round 1 of breakfast at the Fairmont in Monaco!

How Much Does Monaco Public Transport Cost?

With its compact size, Monaco’s public transport scene is limited to just buses and electric bikes, but it’s still pretty affordable. The Monaco Bus Company (C.A.M.) offers a range of single-fare and multi-fare plans. So, depending on how often you plan to use transport, you can easily find an option that fits your budget. Simply buy a ticket directly on the bus or from the official CAM office.

Or, if you want to explore the principality faster than you would on foot, Monaco has an electric bike system. It’s called Monabike and is pretty simple to use. Simply head to the website or download the PBSC app. You’ll then follow instructions to unlock your bike and pay based on how long you use the bike. The first 30 minutes are free, and then it’s €1 for the next 30 minutes. Beyond an hour, it costs €2 per every 30-minute period.

These options aside, Monaco is pretty walkable. Sure there are a few steep hills here and there, but it’s not bad. So, with regards to your projected expenses on public transport in Monaco, I would expect them to be fairly low, or even non-existent.

A picture of the bright red bikes that are available around Monaco for public use.
Here is what the Monabikes look like! Just download the app on your phone to unlock them 🚴‍♀️

Is There Uber in Monaco?

If you aren’t up for walking and don’t want to navigate the public transport system in Monaco, fret not! There is Uber in Monaco. Thus, you can opt to sit back and relax as you’re chauffeured from place to place if you want.

Visiting Monaco: FAQ

Can Regular People Visit Monaco?

Yes, regular people can visit Monaco. Just because Monaco is known for its extravagance and having the highest concentration of millionaires doesn’t mean it’s exclusive to the ultra-wealthy! In fact, most tourists will stay nearby in Nice and then visit Monaco for a day! It’s super easy, and I have a complete guide of day-tripping to Monaco on it if you’re interested in learning more.

Is Monaco Worth Visiting?

This depends on your interests, but I loved visiting Monaco. It’s fun to see all the luxury cars flying by on the streets, catch gorgeous views of the French Riviera, and experience the glamour for even a fleeting moment. And if you’re looking for

How Much Money Do You Need to Stay in Monaco?

At a minimum, I recommend budgeting around $250-$300 USD per day while visiting Monaco. But, this is just an estimate and your spending might be a little bit lower or higher depending on your accommodation type, what activities you’re planning to do, and the level of luxury you’re looking for.

Is It Cheaper to Stay in Nice or Monaco?

It is likely going to be cheaper to stay in Nice since there are lots of more housing options in Nice. And if you are undecided on which city to visit, I have a full comparison of both destinations based on my experiences.

How Many Days Do You Need in Nice With Monaco?

Should you decide to stay in Nice and then add on a little excursion to Monaco, I recommend spending at least 3 full days in Nice! But, since they’re so close to one another geographically, you could visit both in 2 days if you had to.

Why Is Monaco so Popular for the Rich?

Monaco is popular for the rich simply because it’s a tax haven. Monaco does not impose personal income taxes or capital gains taxes on its residents.

Wrap-Up: Is Monaco Expensive to Visit? (2024)

Despite the country’s reputation for being an expensive destination, Monaco is likely not as expensive to visit as you would think.

There are plenty of free or cheaper attractions and food isn’t astronomically expensive if you’re willing to look a little! Plus, with Monaco being tiny in terms of area, you likely won’t spend too much money, if any, on public transport. Thus, you can easily visit the idyllic principality on a budget.

So don’t let the high-end reputation scare you away. Monaco is not that expensive to visit and the experience is ultimately what you choose to make it — budget, mid, or full of luxury! The choice is yours… just make sure you don’t miss out on all the beautiful views and fun activities Monaco has to offer!

A picture of Kristin and her friend posing underneath an archway in Monaco. We opted for a less expensive visit in Monaco!
🇲🇨 Happy Travels through Monaco! 🤠

Read More About the French Riviera

  • 🚤 Looking for a unique experience? Consider exploring the French Riviera by way of water with a boat tour from Nice. You’ll see Monaco from a new perspective.
  • 🥖🍷 Passing through Nice and looking for fun activities to add to your itinerary? Consider a tasty food tour through the city’s colorful markets, a relaxing wine tour through the picturesque Provence wine region, or discovering some of the smaller towns in the area. My favorite is the medieval hilltop village Èze, but there’s also Villefranche-sur-mer and Menton!

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