Mr. Selfish and I took a day trip from Nice, France to Monaco. It was a simple and cheap twenty-minute train ride from Nice. Monaco is the second smallest country in the world. The following photos are our first views of Monaco as we left the train station. Right away, I knew it was going to be a good day.
I had found tips on how to make the most of Monaco on a tight budget, and lo and behold, we only paid about 20 euros for our entire day trip there. First, we did a walking tour of old town, and as you know, self-guided walking tours are always free.
Mr. Selfish and I started at the Place d’Armes and ate at the little indoor market. I had read that this market was where the locals ate, and the prices confirmed it. A glass of wine was 1.50 euros! It was a little too early for us to start drinking so we had socca at Chez Roger instead. Socca is a specialty of the area and is a savory chickpea flour crepe. It’s quite simple but you need to eat it fresh and with a dash of black pepper.
After this brief delicious detour, we headed up the Rampe Majeure toward the Prince’s Palace. We didn’t go into the Palace but the views from it are phenomenal. You can see the Port Hercule harbour from one side and the Port Fontvieille harbor from the other side.
As we continued our walking tour, we passed the Monaco Cathedral, the Jardins St. Martin, and the Oceanographic Museum. All provided awesome views and free photo ops.
After walking downhill for a bit, we reached the harbor and took a water bus for 1 euro each to Monte Carlo to visit the casinos.
The casinos of Monte Carlo used to have a strict dress code for entry. But now due to the influx of American tourists, a few of the casinos have become more casual. Thank goodness since Mr. Selfish and I were not dressed in our finest. We gambled a little bit at a slot machine inside the Cafe de Paris and won 16 euros. We quickly cashed out since, with that profit, we had spent hardly any money in Monaco.
Then, we came upon two surprises in Monaco. The first was a Japanese garden, and the second was a night-time carnival right on the harbor. The carnival had some serious trademark infringement, which we enjoyed while we devoured a waffle.
Finally, Mr. Selfish and I had craft beers at the Brasserie de Monaco during its happy hour. Yes, we were quite thrifty in Monaco and definitely made the most of it!