There are few Formula One destinations that have the allure of Monaco. Steeped in history, dripping with money and cuddled by culture, the French microstate is arguably one of the best places in the world for racing fans. In fact, even once you’ve soaked up the undeniable charms of the principality, the actual Formula One circuit is there to take your breath away.

Snaking through the streets of Monaco, most notably through the super upmarket Monte Carlo, the 2-mile circuit is not only one of the most picturesque on the tour, but highly challenging. Indeed, the combination of narrow turns and unpredictable road conditions (the surface is slightly different to a man-made track) has made it a tough test for drivers since 1929.

However, as impressive as the Monaco Grand Prix is and as much of a reason to visit the city it offers, there’s plenty more to see and do. In fact, if you’re planning a trip to Monaco outside of the Grand Prix, you’ll actually be surprised at the amount of things you can experience. From gambling to diving, the Principality of Monaco has more than enough to keep the active traveler happy.

So, to help you get the inside track on everything Monaco has to offer besides the Grand Prix, here’s a round-up of our top things to do:

#1: Bet on It (Even if it is from the Outside)

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco © Dennis Jarvis

Built in 1863, the ornate building is a true reflection of the kind of sophisticated customers that ante up there. Unfortunately, this air of exclusivity often means the average player can’t get through the door. Fortunately, if you do find yourself watching the action from afar, you could always ante up via your phone.

By logging into mFortune, a mobile casino operator, you’ll be able to get a taste of what’s going on inside by playing the Monte Carlo slot game. Although this mobile slot might not offer as much direct interaction as an actual game inside the casino, it does offer nine win lines and betting from $0.10. Not only that, but it’s compatible with 99% of mobile devices and you can make a deposit by phone bill.

#2: Dive Without a Towel

Oceanographic Museum Monaco

Oceanographic Museum Monaco © Larry Koester

When you think of diving to find exotic fish, you often think of two things: water and the Caribbean. However, thanks to Monaco’s clear waters, warm climate and ability to spend a bit of money, you can go diving without actually diving.

Thanks to diver extraordinaire Jacques Cousteau, the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is now a hotspot for divers who don’t actually want to get wet. Open since 1910 and formerly overseen by the world’s most famous diver, the aquarium is home to some of the most impressive-looking fish in the world.

From the Picasso triggerfish to the always popular clownfish, the facility is a treat for anyone who wants to get a taste of the deep without drowning. In fact, as well as providing a glimpse into the ocean, the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is also perched atop of a 280-foot cliff which means you can also enjoy panoramic views of Monaco.

#3: Walk from End to End

Boats in Monaco Harbor

Boats in Monaco Harbor © f. ermert

Perhaps the best reason to visit Monaco outside of Grand Prix season is that you can literally see the whole city in less than a day. In fact, depending on your pace, you could see it all in just over an hour. In total, Monaco is just 0.76 square miles and the walk from end to end is approximately 3.5 miles.

Basically, the embodiment of the phrase “all good things come in small packages”, this lack of landmass is great for travelers who want to see some sights but don’t want to walk too far for them. Indeed, regardless of how fit you are, a stroll from one end of Monaco to the other won’t take long and, what’s even better, you can fill your walk with rest stops.

From the harbor and its collection of super yachts to quaint cafes like Leonidas serving some of the best coffee and chocolate in Monaco since 1956, this would certainly be one of the best walks you’ve ever been on. In fact, as great as the Grand Prix is, there’s a lot more to Monaco than you might think. Despite its diminutive size, there’s plenty to do for everyone, regardless of your tastes and interests.

About The Author

Mike Richard
Founding Editor
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Mike Richard has traveled the world extensively since 2008. He's camped in the Jordanian desert with Bedouins, tracked African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss shark attack in Mexico. He loves the great outdoors, good bourbon, and he (usually) calls Massachusetts home. He also enjoys speaking in the third person.

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