Take A Short Excursion To Monte Carlo To Gamble?

Gambling at the Casino de Monte Carlo
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When you travel to the Côte d’Azur in the south of France, you might decide to go to Monaco because you’ve heard that’s where all the rich and famous go. Should you take short excursion to Monte Carlo and gamble?

Technically, Monaco is a country and not part of France. You won’t need to show your passport to get into the country, but you will need it to gamble in Monte Carlo, which is a district within Monaco.

Little History

Monaco WAS NOT originally thought of as THE place where the rich would hang out. The Casino de Monte-Carlo was actually created in the 1800s to help the Principality of Monaco bring in more revenue after two nearby towns, Roquebrune and Menton declared independence and refused to pay any more taxes.

My Visits To Monte Carlo:

1978

Gambling at the Casino de Monte Carlo

Although significant development has taken place in Monaco with real estate costing a fortune and many high rises, in terms of appearance, not a lot has changed in the casino square. It’s still full of expensive autos like Ferraris, Maseratis, and Lamborghinis and there is still a magnificent view of the Mediterranean.

As I mentioned in my last post (Dear Dad: Thank You For Taking Me To France), my dad and I were able to walk straight into the casino, without showing, as I recall, our passports, although one had to be 21 years of age. I wasn’t. Dad basically snuck me in.

We played the slot machines but didn’t have the courage to do any of the other games and to be honest, gambling wasn’t that exciting. What I do recall, however, was being able to see the beautiful architecture inside. It was elaborate.

A Few Years Ago

Harbour in Monaco
Harbour in Monaco

When I travelled with 4 other women to the Cote d’Azur we rented a house on the outskirts of Nice. [It was beautiful with a pool but I wouldn’t do that again. It wasn’t in an area with enough stores, restaurants, or activities.] One night we headed to Monaco. We arrived late in the afternoon and only had a little time to visit a few high-end boutiques. We then headed to the casino but we didn’t stay long. We just did a bit of gambling and then had a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant. On this occasion visiting, passports were required.

Musee Oceanographique de Monaco)

Prince's Palace Of Monaco
Prince’s Palace Of Monaco

I have been back to Monaco numerous times between 1978 and 2008 and to be honest daytime is much more interesting than night time. There is the palace, the changing of the guards, the gardens, and the Oceanographic Museum. Had we arrived earlier, we could have seen much more of Monaco and gotten more photo-ops.

So is it worth gambling or even visiting the Casino?

Couple of things to help you decide:

  • you must be over 18 and not be banned from gambling (they have lists of those who are banned.)
  • wear proper attire. The website states: no shorts or sports shoes. And you certainly won’t be let in if you are wearing flip flops! After 8 pm, jackets are recommended.
  • you’ll need your passport
  • cost to enter: 10 Euros
  • cost to enter the private gambling rooms: an additional 10 Euros
  • architecture is stunning. It is NOT like a casino in Vegas
  • consider having a drink at the bar
  • depending what time of day you go, it might not be that busy; therefore, the atmosphere in the casino will be dull, to say the least. There may be a number of tables which are closed. Not a lot of action going on.

Knowing this, would I go if I had never been? Yes. But I would go at night when it is busier and I would visit more than just the casino in Monaco as there is much to see.

Casino de Monte Carlo

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22 Comments

  1. I’m not a gambler at all but I would certainly visit Monaco again. It’s a lovely city to walk around, and you’ll certainly get your exercise walking up and down the hills! The views from above the city are absolutely breathtaking!

    1. That was my thought too. When I went a second time, it was mainly to escort the friends I was with. Once is really enough (for a non-gambler).

  2. I’ve never quite understood the appeal of gambling but I’d love to visit Monaco to see its famous scenery, people watch and admire some of the amazing cars. A visit to the Oceanographic Museum sounds interesting and a stroll around the city to see some of the architecture would be fun!

  3. I agree that, if you are visiting the French Riviera, you might enjoy taking a short excursion to gamble in Monaco, but do it at night. Like you, we have found that visiting the Casino during the day is rather dull as there is not much action inside other than the other tourists walking around in awe of the place. Better to head across the street to Cafe de Paris and enjoy a nice meal until the sun sets!

  4. I’m from Philadelphia, the hometown of the late Princess Grace of Monaco, so, like many Philadelphians, I have a soft spot for that tiny country. However, casinos in general remind me of Hades. Of course, I’ve never been to Hades, so it must be that they remind me of what I think Hades must be like. Still, based on your recommendation, I’d probably pay the 10 euro to see the inside of the Monaco Casino.

    1. Ah, yes, that’s right…..Grace Kelly was from Philadelphia! So funny about Hades. The casino in Monte Carlo is significantly nicer than the dark cellars in Vegas. And the architecture makes it so much classier.

  5. Love this post Jan! I’m not a gambler either but I did get to see the casino while taking a corniche bus tour years ago. I’ve always wanted to go back and just go in to have a cocktail and maybe blow a buck or two!

  6. Dress code? Seems like tux and evening gowns would be appropriate attire. Just for fun anyway. Might have to say “Bond, James Bond,” at least once with a martini… shaken, not stirred of course.

  7. I’ve only ever been to Monaco for a day trip, so I haven’t been to the casino. But it was the day before the Grand Prix so I got to walk right round the race circuit and to look at the cars. That was very exciting!

    1. You just reminded me that I was there years ago the day before the Grand Prix. There was an exciting vibe in the air. Cool place to be!

  8. There are not many gamblers who are commenting your post – ha-ha! Me neither. But I like such quaint old towns at the Mediterranean sea. I don’t need the gossip of royals or the formula 1 with it though.

  9. I’d love to visit Monte Carlo but likely wouldn’t gamble as I’m famously fast at losing money! But you’re right, the architecture makes it well worth a visit to a casino.

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