How I Made a Budget Weekend in Monaco Possible

When it comes to places that are known for their opulence and excess, Monaco is one of the most famous of them. It’s certainly not the kind of place that you’d expect on a list of budget countries to visit, but there are some tricks to making a visit to this special place a little friendlier on your wallet. Being a travel expert, I’ve visited Monaco several times before and scouted out some places that feel very luxury, but can be pretty budget-friendly if you know the tricks.

An afternoon watching boats come and go from the harbor is time well spent

Climb the Tête de Chien

This climb embodies the saying, the best things in life are free. If you don’t mind working up a little bit of a sweat, then climbing the Tête de Chien is one of the best views you’ll experience in your life. The climb takes you to 550m above sea level, but you aren’t climbing all the way. The bus will take you to La Turbie and from there it’s just a 2-kilometer walk. The viewpoint is visible anywhere in the city and looks out over Monaco and the French Riviera, giving you better views of this beautiful part of the world than the rich and famous could ever dream of on their yachts. Once you’ve soaked in the views, grab the bus back into town for the next part of the adventure.

Enjoy a Trip to the Casino de Monte Carlo

The Casino de Monte Carlo is known for being perhaps the single most glamorous casino on the planet. It’s not the cheapest one to visit however. You can visit the building for free, but if you want to enter the casino and play the table games then there is an 18 euro entrance fee. Despite this being a budget guide, I’m going to recommend paying the entrance fee, the area with the table games is incredible, with lush velvet drapes, dark wood tables, glittering chandeliers, and an overall feeling of opulence. In terms of games that are good for beginners, learning how to play roulette couldn’t be simpler. You make your bets by placing your counters on the table which illustrates the numbers that you’d like to bet on. The croupier will spin the wheel and if your bet comes in, you’ll be paid out.

Whilst playing a few games of roulette in somewhere as beautiful as the Casino de Monte Carlo is certainly a memory you’ll never forget, it’s actually not my strategy for making the most of your entrance fee. Once you’ve played your games, whether you won or lost, head to the Salon Rose. This stunning fine dining restaurant will refund you your entrance fee as long as you spend 40 euros with them. So you could have a delicious two-course lunch, with wine, for just 20 euros, a feat you’ll find difficult almost anywhere in Monte Carlo, let alone somewhere as plush as this.

Go Gongoozling at the Harbor

Looking down from the Tête de Chien you get a pretty good view of Monte Carlo’s harbor. This place is absolutely full of boats belonging to some of the most rich and famous people in the world. Whilst the views from the Tête de Chien are good, it’s well worth getting up close to the boats on foot. There’s no entry fee to stroll around the harbour and if you’ve got any kind of interest in boats then an afternoon of gongoozling is a blissful way to soak up some sun. Monaco certainly earned its reputation as one of the most expensive places to visit in the world.

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