Monaco Photo by Matthias Mullie

Monaco Driving Guide

Monaco is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-07-30 · 17 min

Monaco is the second smallest independent state in the world, next to the Vatican. A tiny city with so much wealth and famous as a playground for the rich and famous. It is known for the lavish Casino de Monte Carlo and the annual Formula One Grand Prix race. While most might be intimidated by how luxurious this city is, Monaco is also home to a beautiful palace, gardens, harbor, and old town Monaco-Ville.

Being a small territory has its perks as you can travel and explore the country in just days with short-distance destinations and scenic roads. Monaco is a charming place with vibrant flowers, a clear blue sea, and magnificent palm trees. You could say that it presents modern living, but Monaco also features its historic side from a 1200-century village that you can explore.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Exploring a foreign land without having enough knowledge about it can be a disaster, especially in the first visit. You may have pieces of information about Monaco from a friend, but this guide will take you to every information a visitor needs to know before driving to Monaco. The guide includes the things you can do in the city as well as its top destinations. When it comes to driving in Monaco, this guide has information about driving rules and etiquette in Monaco and car rental information. This guide will help you have the best drive of your life!

General Information

Monaco has a government district of Monte Carlo instead of a capital city. Aside from being the second smallest in the world, Monaco is also the world’s most densely populated independent country. The official language is French; but, most use English and Italian. Learning simple French phrases will be a plus, but traveling here will still be convenient even if you don’t speak French.

Geographic Location

Monaco sits on the French Riviera in Western Europe with five quarters and ten wards. It shares borders with the Alpes-Maritimes department on three sides and with the Mediterranean Sea bordering one side. Monaco’s center borders Nice’s city in France 15 kilometers to the west and Italy about eight kilometers to the east. Its territories comprise mostly of densely clustered hills and a headland facing southward over the Mediterranean.

With its strong maritime influences, Monaco experiences a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. It has balmy warm, mild, and dry summers and rainy winters. The winters are very mild, with Monaco's latitude and frosts and snowfalls are very rare. During the summer, afternoons are rarely hot because of constant breezes.

Languages Spoken

French is the official language of Monaco. Italian is also used here, mostly by Italian nationals who live in Monaco. The city’s historic vernacular language, Monegasque, may not be recognized as an official language but is used by a minority of residents here and a common second language by many native residents. As a tourist hub itself, English is also used mostly by American, British, Irish, and Anglo-Canadian residents.

Land Area

Monaco only has a land area of 2.1 square kilometers, making it a little smaller than New York’s Central Park. The principality is subdivided into three sections or quarters - the Monaco-Ville or “The Rock” where the seat of government and the old city is located; Monte Carlo, where the resort area and the famous casino are; and La Condamine serves as the business district on the west of the bay. The newest zone of Fontvieille is where light industries have developed.

History

There were believed to be Stone Age settlements in Monaco, and evidence is now preserved in the principality’s Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology. Monaco was known to the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans. Until 1911 when the Genoese took possession of it and the Grimaldi family had its long reign over Monaco in 1297. Monaco became under the Grimaldi family until the French Revolution in the 1700s.

However, the Kingdom of Sardinia took Monaco under its wings after the defeat of French military and political leader Napoleon. During the 19th century, when Sardinia became part of Italy, Monaco went back under French influence, but France allowed the region to remain independent. Before gaining its independence, Monaco was overrun by the Axis powers during the Second World War and Germany’s Third Reich.

Government

Monaco has been under a constitutional monarchy since 1911, having the Prince of Monaco as the head of the state. The head of government is a Minister of State who presides over the other five Council of Government members. Meanwhile, France provides the wider defense of Monaco. They also have one of the world’s largest police forces, even having a special unit that operates surveillance and patrol boats jointly with the military.

Tourism

Based on the data from the World Tourism Organization, Monaco accommodated 363,000 tourists in 2019. The city’s chief industry is tourism, having the famous casino and car events in the world and organizing business conferences. Besides its inland tourists, Monaco is also a destination for cruise ships that dock on its harbor. With its pleasant climate, the city is well-visited by tourists enjoying the luxury and warmth Monaco has to offer.

IDP FAQs

Driving in Monaco will be hassle-free if you have the complete documents to enter its territories. Countries may require you to secure an International Driver’s Permit which serves as a translation to your local driver’s license. This bridges the gap of language differences between the authorities and you. Here is some useful information that you need to know on how to secure an IDP for Monaco.

What Countries Recognize IDP?

An International Driver’s Permit is valid in over 150 countries worldwide. The International Driver’s Association issues an IDP that is valid when driving through Monaco roads and outside its territories. As long as your IDP is valid, you can use it on your next travels to countries that require you to present one. Upon applying for an IDP, you can select how long you want it to be valid from one up to three years.

Can I Apply for an IDP online?

The good thing about securing an IDP with the International Driver’s Association is you do not need to visit an office because everything is processed online. You will have to fill out an online form and provide your name, address, contact number, address, and email address. Upload a photo of your valid driving licence and a passport-sized photo of you, settle your payment online then submit your application.

Ensure that you encoded your information correctly because if not, there might be some problems processing your application. An IDP valid for one year costs $49; this already includes the physical copy’s shipment to your desired location. Remember to secure your IDP ahead of time, as shipment will take time depending on your address.

How Long Does It Take to Get an IDP?

After you submitted the IDP application and it is approved, you will receive an email with the digital copy. The digital copy will only be for your reference, as most authorities might not honor that. The sooner you apply, the sooner you receive the physical copy of your IDP. If you are based in the US, shipment takes place within seven days and 30 days internationally. Tracking the status of your shipment will also be helpful through the customer service provided online.

Renting a Car in Monaco

Driving a car in Monaco is the best way to explore the city. And the good thing is you will not be worn out driving since driving to Monaco from one destination to another requires only minutes. Renting a car can be a handful as you have to consider factors such as vehicle type, budget, and car insurance. Read through below to know more about ways to rent a car in Monaco and where to rent them.

Car Rental Companies

With Monaco being a luxurious tourist destination, you can find many car rental companies in the area. Europcar has the most locations and is the most accessible international car rental provider. Europcar is also an advocate of sustainable development through its Green Program if you are into environmental conservation. Sixt is another international rental company that accommodates car rental in Monaco.

Trying out some luxury cars might also be another option for you. Top Car Monaco provides various luxury cars, and you try out the Formula-1 route that passes through the city’s streets. They offer a Ferrari driving experience in Monaco, which is a dream come true for car enthusiasts. Luxury Services in Monaco is a provider that caters to travelers and businesses as well since many international companies operate in the prestigious principality.

Documents Required

To start, you need to have a valid driver’s license. Be mindful as some rental companies will require you to have a license that you have held for at least one year. If it does not show on your license, you have to provide your old driving license or authorization that you have held a license for that minimum period.

If your license is issued outside a European country and you are entering Monaco, you must present an International Driver’s Permit. Furthermore, an IDP is also required if your license is printed in a non-Roman alphabet like Arabic, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, or Japanese. Car rental providers will also need your credit card to pay for your car rental purchase.

Vehicle Types

With Monaco being the haven for luxury cars, the vast selection of car rental providers will spoil you from sports cars to convertibles. If you are in Monaco, you can opt for ordinary ones instead of some luxury vehicles to explore the charming and wealthy city. You can try the Ferrari driving experience in Monaco by renting powerful sports cars that will give you a choice to drive on the Formula-1 racetrack.

Car Rental Cost

On average, a car rental in Monaco costs about $58/day. However, it will still depend on the inclusions and the insurance deals you will get. The basic car rental rate includes the type of vehicle you rent, the car’s size, and insurance. Getting add-ons can affect the price of your car rental as well. You will incur extra cost for additional services such as child seats, GPS navigation, Wi-Fi, and other drivers, to name a few. Here are some estimated rental prices for cars in Monaco.



  • Economy: $24/day
  • Compact: $30/day
  • Intermediate: $42/day
  • Full-size SUV: $77/day
  • Luxury SUV: $111/day
  • Audi Sportback: $94/day
  • BMW Premium SUV: $154/day
  • Ferrari 488 Spider: $1 600/day
  • Porsche 911 Carrera: $1 023/day
  • Maserati Quattroporte: $842/day

Age Requirements

Driving requirements in Monaco include reaching the legal age to drive in the principality. When renting and driving a car in Monaco, you need to be at least 21 years old with a driver’s license valid and held for at least one year. Those drivers aged below 25 will have to pay the young driver surcharge, which is on top of your car rental basic rate. Some car rental companies give out discounts for week-long bookings.

Car Insurance Cost

Having insurance while driving in a foreign country gives you a sense of security. Traveling and driving internationally can worry you sometimes, especially when you encounter unfortunate incidents on the road. Most car rental companies include basic insurance on their car rental packages. You can ask your provider if you plan on adding more coverage for your rented car. If your provider does not include insurance on their basic rate, it’s best to secure one.

Car Insurance Policy

When you read the inclusion of your car rental package, you might encounter Third Party Liability Insurance. It is the insurance providers included in your car rental fee. This insurance will cover any damages done to the other parties involved in the accident. Other insurance policies include the Collision and Damage Waiver, which covers any damage to your vehicle in case of a collision or an attempted theft.

Personal Accident Protection covers for injuries or death of the driver and passengers in the event of an accident. You have to remember that each provider varies on the extent of their insurance coverages. So before purchasing additional insurance, ensure that you have read the terms and conditions and policies of each to avoid confusion.

Monaco Ferrari and Porsche Photo by Derek Lynn

Road Rules in Monaco

Now that you have decided to rent a car, it is proper to familiarize the driving rules in Monaco. You might have known some of the driving laws in Monaco already, but there are distinct ones that you need to be mindful of. Being in the know and on top of all the driving rules in Monaco will spare you from any unfortunate incidents while driving through Monaco roads. Read through this section to know more about the driving laws in Monaco.

Important Regulations

Before you start driving into Monaco, you should have full knowledge of its traffic laws. If you miss following some driving laws, Monaco authorities might penalize you, or you might get involved in accidents. In a small territory like Monaco, you sure cannot get away with any accident or violation. The police force in the principality is on the look for those who violate traffic rules. Below are the important regulations you need to remember while in Monaco.

Drunk Driving

Bars and restaurants are everywhere in Monaco, so you can expect parties and gatherings. While you may be tempted to drink alcohol, remember that drink driving in Monaco has severe penalties. The blood alcohol content limit for private vehicle drivers is 0.05% and is measured either with a blood test or a breathalyzer. If you decide to drink, driving in Monaco is not advisable.

If authorities prove that you are drunk while driving, the penalties will include confiscating your driving licence in Monaco, jail time, or hefty fines. The extent of the consequences will also depend on the severity of your violation. If you can’t avoid to party and drink, you can wait until you are sober and start driving into Monaco roads once again. Always observe the alcohol limits of the countries you're visiting to avoid accidents and penalties.

Turning Signals at an Intersection

Turning signals is your way of communicating traffic. The first thing you have to remember when making a change while on the road is to signal early. Be it in intersections, junctions, roundabouts, or even when overtaking. Turning signals early will give a heads-up to other drivers; on making a change, signal continuously until you have completed your turn. And never forget to turn off your turn signal after making a change.

Parking

You need to know that there are different kinds of parking in Monaco, and you have to be familiar with which spaces are available for tourists. Permanent parking is only for residents of Monaco whose vehicles are registered in the principality. Night-only parking allows parking at fixed hours. Meanwhile, employee parking allows only daytime at zones close to the place of work. There are several public parking where you can park your car for a certain fee.

Most car parks offer one-hour-free parking. Remember not to leave your vehicle just anywhere, as authorities will immediately tow your car, and you need to claim it from the Police Station in Fontvieille. If you fail to claim your vehicle for more than 36 hours, you have to pay additional storage fees.

Ensure you and your vehicle are in good condition before driving

You may be assured of a car rental in good condition by your provider, but it pays to re-inspect your vehicle before hitting the road. Check if everything is working, from the engine to car doors, wipers, tires, and if there are physical scratches or bumps on the car. If there are, inform the car rental agent right away. This will spare you from any damage charges. You do not want to pay for anything you are not responsible for.

In between driving breaks and before driving again, make sure you are in an excellent state of mind. Also, bringing with you a red warning triangle and a visibility vest is mandatory in Monaco. There are fines for failure to bring these early warning devices. These will come in handy in case you get involved in accidents while driving.

Seatbelt Laws

The drivers and passengers must use seat belts while the vehicle is moving. Meanwhile, children up to ten years old must travel in the car’s back seat, wear seat belts, or be strapped into proper child seats. Only children from ten years old above are allowed to sit at the front passenger seat.

General Standards of Driving

When deciding to drive in Monaco, you have to remember the principality’s driving standard, so you will know what the locals commonly used when driving in the country. When it comes to using either a manual or automatic car transmission, it will depend on who uses it. Both transmissions are used in Monaco. It will depend on what you are most comfortable using when driving. Check your car rental provider to assist you further.

Speed Limits

Unlike other countries with various speed limits depending on a particular area, Monaco only implements a one-speed limit, which is 50 kph on all roads. Speed limits only change if it is indicated on road signs. As a small territory as Monaco, it can get crowded, especially in peak season, so be mindful when driving. Some sports cars are capable of driving way faster than the required speed limit, so be careful.

Driving Directions

Roundabouts are not very common in Monaco; however, you can see some of them in areas where the volume of cars is higher. At signed roundabouts with the words “Cédez le passage” or Yield, the roundabout traffic has the priority. If there are no such signs seen, vehicles entering the roundabout have priority.

As for overtaking cars in Monaco, do it on the left. Before doing so, remember to check first if there is enough room for you to overtake; if none, just postpone it. Some vehicles might not signal first if they are planning to overtake, so you have to be mindful of others. Check for “No Overtaking” road signs in Monaco and follow them.

Traffic Road Signs

Traffic signs in Monaco will guide foreign drivers as they navigate through Monaco roads. Some of these road signs are already familiar to you, but it pays to be mindful with them as most signs are printed in French. It is still relatable since corresponding symbols are drawn together with the French words on every road sign.

Warning signs include those to alert road users on unexpected dangerous conditions that will require them to stop or slow down. Here are some of them.



  • Curve to the right
  • Curve to left
  • Double curve
  • Uneven road
  • Bump
  • Road narrows
  • Road narrows on the right
  • Road narrows on the left
  • Slippery road
  • Children crossing
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Other danger
  • Domestic animals crossing
  • Steep hill downwards
  • Traffic lights
  • Two-way road
  • Falling rocks
  • Danger road

Priority signs give orders to drivers on which vehicle should pass at intersection points first. Remember these signs as failure to follow them will get you into trouble with other vehicles, especially in narrow roads, and congested areas.

  • Intersection with right of way from the right
  • Intersection with priority
  • Yield - “Cédez le passage”
  • Yield 150 meters ahead
  • Stop
  • Roundabout
  • Priority Road
  • End of Priority Road

Regulatory road signs are easy to identify since they are generally in white with black or red letters. They command drivers on what they must or must not do under certain conditions.



  • No entry
  • No vehicles
  • No left turn
  • No U-turn
  • No overtaking
  • Stop - Police
  • Stop - Gendarmerie
  • “Stop - Douane” or Stop - Customs
  • No parking
  • No stopping
  • No pedestrians
  • No cycling
  • No lorries
  • No tractors
  • Speed limit
  • No horns
  • Priority to oncoming traffic

Information signs are usually in blue background with a white print. These signs are one of the most common means for providing clear and concise visual guidance for drivers and general information about the road they are using and other roads ahead.



  • Parking zone
  • Pedestrian zone
  • Parking disc
  • Bus stop
  • Taxi station
  • Dead-end
  • Tunnel
  • End of tunnel
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • End of a pedestrian zone
  • Recommended speed limit
  • Cycles path
  • End of cycles path
  • Highway
  • End of highway
  • One-way road
  • Speed humps
  • Paid parking
  • Motorway
  • End of a recommended speed limit

Right of Way

At intersections in Monaco, the vehicle on the right automatically has the right of way unless otherwise indicated by a stop or yield/give way sign. This also applies to vehicles coming from the small side entering a major road where those on the main road must give way to vehicles entering the right. The right of way also applies when driving in roundabouts.

When using a vehicle, you have to follow the minimum age limit given by authorities. A local in Monaco is allowed to drive starting from the age of 18. You must follow this rule and other important driving laws; Monaco authorities will not let you off the hook if you are caught violating this rule.

Remember that locals and tourists who opt to drive in Monaco differ in terms of legal driving age. If it is 18 for Monegasques, tourists must be at least 21 years old to rent and drive a car in Monaco. However, it will still depend on your car rental provider. So it is best to clear that up with them before getting a rental package.

Laws on Overtaking

You overtake on the left and make sure you have enough space to do so. Remember to turn signals before overtaking to give a heads-up to other drivers to make a change. You have to immediately go to the right lane after overtaking to not obstruct other drivers on the opposite side of the road.

Also, be mindful of passengers getting off and boarding on stationary trams as you cannot overtake them when this happens. When overtaking a bicycle, make sure to leave enough about one meter in congested areas and 1.50 meters on quiet streets between you and the bicycle. Avoid blowing your car horns when overtaking unless it is necessary for you to do. You have your light signals to inform other drivers of your overtaking plans.

Driving Side

One of the essential driving requirements in Monaco is for you to drive on the right-hand side of the road. This will be an easy rule for you if you are coming from a right-hand side driving country. There are still some countries which drive on the left-hand side of the road. Drivers from these countries might have to familiarize themselves with driving in Monaco first, but you will get used to driving in Monaco on the right as you go along your journey.

Other Tips

Apart from the road rules mentioned above, you also have to know other alternative ways to use your phone when answering important calls while on the road. Read below to learn more.

Can I Use my Mobile Phone While Driving?

Authorities in Monaco do not allow drivers to hold any gadget; mobile phones included when driving. If you expect an important call at a given time, you can opt to stop for a while and wait for that phone call. If suddenly an important call rings up while you are driving, you can only use the hands-free system and avoid holding your mobile phone. Remember that police are everywhere in Monaco, and fines can be expensive when you are caught.

Driving Etiquette in Monaco

Unexpected situations in a foreign country count for utmost attention and careful responses. And to do that, you have to know how the locals address certain situations when driving, such as car breakdown, police stops, checkpoints, and asking for help from the locals. This way, you will not get glares and frowns from Monegasques because you failed to approach the situation in Monegasque way.

Car Breakdown

Dealing with car breakdowns in Monaco can be a little easier with those warning devices you brought before hitting the road. In the event of breakdown, the driver must put on the visibility vest before leaving the vehicle and place the warning triangle thirty meters from the site of the breakdown to warn approaching traffic. If you think the car is fixable at a short given time, you do it on the road, but if not, you have to move your vehicle to the road’s far side. In case of a small side road, just make sure to place a warning triangle.

Moving your vehicle away from the travel lane will ease up possible cars congested on the road. If your car breaks down during the night, it can come in handy if you have additional visibility, such as beam deflectors apart from your warning triangle. You can ask for assistance from the local police or contact your car rental provider and inform them of your situation.

Police Stops

Monaco holds the world’s largest police force, both per-capita and per-area basis. One policeman for every one hundred Monegasque is implemented in the entirety of Monaco. With this, if the police stop you, do not attempt to speed away no matter how fast your vehicle can be. Chances are, you will still be cornered no matter where you go. You may have violated some traffic laws in Monaco, and the police want to reprimand you.

On the spot, fines are common in Monaco, so if the police inform you of your violation, you need to settle it on the spot. If you fail to pay the fine, they will escort you to the nearest ATM to obtain cash and pay it over. Worst case scenario would be they will impound your car and be prevented from leaving Monaco. Take extra care when driving in the principality as it could get rather expensive.

Asking Directions

While some Monegasque can speak English, it is essential to learn basic French phrases in Monaco. Besides residents whom you can ask for directions from, the police manning on the streets can surely help you avoid getting lost in the principality. You just have to approach them politely and nicely, not giving the impression that you are bossing them around. Check out the list below for some French words you can use.

  • Bonjour” - Hello
  • S'il vous plaît” - Please
  • Comment vous appelez-vous?” - What’s your name?
  • Oui” - “Yes”
  • Non” - No
  • Excusez-moi” - Excuse me
  • Pardon” - Sorry
  • Je ne comprends pas” - I don’t understand
  • Que veut dire ça?” - What does that mean?
  • Plus lentement” - More slowly.
  • Où est…?” - Where is…?
  • C'est combien?”- How much is it?
  • Où sont les toilettes?” -Where are the toilets?
  • La carte/le menu, s’il vous plaît.” - The menu, please.
  • Nous voudrions commander maintenant.” - We would like to place an order now.
  • Merci beaucoup” - Thanks a lot

Checkpoints

Monaco is one of the safest territories in the world. So you can expect that there will be authorities manning the streets and borders of the principality all the time. You must prepare your IDP, passport, visa, and driving licence at Monaco checkpoints. Officers will be asking for them to ensure that you entered the principality legally. You can expect some car inspection but just stay inside the car.

When approaching checkpoints, you have to slow down and be polite with the officers. Do not give them the impression that you are a threat to their territory. You just have to stay calm and present your documents. This may not be the case for Monaco authorities, but only if you encounter one, avoid using bribes just for authorities to let you off the hook for anything you have done wrong in Monaco.

Other Tips

You also have to know how to handle situations in case you get involved in accidents. It can get scary when these things happen on the road, but it pays to be mentally ready to lessen your worries. Read below to know more.

What to Do in Case of Accidents?

In case of accidents on the road, you need to move your vehicle to a safe place and signal oncoming traffic by placing your red warning triangle 30 meters down the road. If there are two cars involved, each party must fill out the “constat amiable” detailing the accident’s events. If possible to take pictures of the accident scene, then you can do that.

It is also important that you call the police (+337 93 15 30) and ambulance (+337 93 30 40 60) if there are injuries. You cannot leave the scene unless the situation tells you to do so, like, for example, severe injuries that need additional medical treatment. Calling your car rental provider is also advisable for any damage claims.

Driving Conditions in Monaco

Knowing the driving conditions in a foreign country is a plus to avoid any untoward incidents while driving. Furthermore, it makes you mentally ready before hitting the road. Understanding the driving conditions keeps you more alert while driving in Monaco.

Accident Statistics

Monaco’s transport system is heavily monitored, and the proposed infrastructure is evaluated to ensure they meet safety standards. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) recorded twenty-six fatalities per 100,000 passenger cars in 2016. Though there may have been few accidents in this small territory, you still have to keep in mind that you never know what will happen to you in a foreign country.

Monaco’s common reasons for road accidents are speeding, drunk driving, and failure to implement signals when navigating the roads in the principality. As a tourist, you also have to be very mindful. Getting involved in an accident in a foreign country counts for not only settling any damages of the vehicle, but you can also get fines if authorities prove that you are at fault.

Common Vehicles

Being the city of the wealthy, you can expect Monaco to parade all those luxury cars on its roads. Ferrari and Bentley cars are everywhere, and they sell more cars than brands like Renault or Opel. Driving experience in Monaco is one of a kind for some tourists. Apart from its short-distance drives from one destination to another, you drive along with other state-of-the-art and luxurious cars in the principality. You can also find plenty of other nanovans on the streets of Monaco.

The top three car brands in Monaco are Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Porsche. You will often see a handful of them every time you cross the city-state from one end to the other. And suppose you want to spot the most exclusive and expensive vehicles in Monaco. In that case, you just head to the Place du Casino and see for yourself a Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari LaFerrari, or Rolls Royce Phantom.

Toll Roads

The length of roads in Monaco is about 77 kilometers, and all these are free of charge. You can't see any toll road inside the principality. However, if you are coming from France to Monaco, the French freeway, Autoroute 8 or A8, a road system leading to Monaco, is toll-paying with the price of a toll shown at the entrance gates. You can pay in cash, credit card, or via a subscription with a local toll company.

Road Situation

Heavy traffic is sometimes seen in Monte Carlo, as this is the center of the famous casino in the principality. However, Monaco’s roads are signposted and smooth, so navigating around is a lot easier. You can expect narrow roads as you explore some areas in Monaco, especially the small villages, that will require you to park your car and explore them on foot. With Monaco being a small territory, most of the roads here are paved and in good condition.

There are some areas where driving restrictions in Monaco are implemented. Roads leading to Monaco-Ville, which is on top of the hill around the palace, are usually for pedestrians only, with car access only given to those who live there. You can also expect driving restrictions in Monaco and road closures because of the Formula 1 Grand Prix at the end of May. Moreover, in the event of bad weather conditions, it's best to avoid driving.

Driving Culture

Driving experience in Monaco can sometimes be equated with driving in other parts of the country. You will always encounter drivers not abiding by the rules on the road. Some will turn signals very late, causing confusion and late notice to fellow drivers on the road. However, with the strict implementation of traffic laws and police force patrolling the streets, you can expect a more peaceful Monaco drive.

Other Tips

While you are in Monaco, it is also best to know other important matters when driving, such as the unit used to indicate speed limits and driving at night. Read more below.

What is the Unit of Speed Used in Monaco?

When checking for traffic signs for Monaco’s speed limits, you just have to look for kilometers per hour or kph traffic signs with a corresponding number. In Monaco, there is only one speed limit for all the roads; it is 50kph. These signs are posted on the roadside, reminding you to obey speed limits to avoid any accidents on the road.

Is Driving at Night Safe in Monaco?

With parties and casinos in Monaco, you can expect that nightlife exists in the principality; hence, driving at night will still be full of cars and people on the streetside. Yes, it can be a little risky as some pedestrians might suddenly cross on Monaco’s busy streets. Generally, you can drive at night but be extra cautious.

Things To Do in Monaco

Driving in Monaco for an extended period is possible, but there are things that you have to process so you can legally stay and drive in the principality. Also, there are conditions you need to consider if you plan to stay longer in Monaco. With the principality being a tourist, gaming, and car caring hub, you can also expect job opportunities from the transport and tourism industries.

Drive as a Tourist

Tourists can drive using a foreign driving licence in Monaco. Besides your local license, you need to bring a passport, visa, and IDP with you for the duration of your trip to the principality. If you are a resident from another European country, then having your local license will suffice. However, if your license is not in English or Roman alphabet, you have to secure an International Driver’s Permit.

Work as a Driver

If you enjoyed your driving experience in Monaco, you could find driving job opportunities in the principality. With Monaco being famous for its car racing event, you can expect various driving jobs here. Companies with the highest published employment and wages for drivers in Monaco are from bus operating companies. A bus driver in Monaco earns about $1 900 per month and can change depending on your driving skill level.

All foreign nationals opting to work in Monaco must secure first a work permit (Permit de travail) before they take a job in the principality. Few requirements include a contract of employment stamped by the employment service, along with proof of residence and personal identification. A driving licence in Monaco is also required before you can work as a drive in the principality.

Work as a Travel Guide

Monaco is also getting a lot of work opportunities from the tourism industry. With cruise ships docking on the harbor and tourists worldwide wanting to explore and spend in Monaco, it is no secret that the principality accommodates increasing tourists yearly. Most tour operators and travel agencies hire well-rounded travel guides to accommodate tourists in Monaco fully. Learning French and other foreign languages is an advantage.

Applying for a travel guide in Monaco requires a driver’s license. Some tourists will opt for a travel guide who has a driving experience in Monaco. Monaco’s travel guide can work as part-time, full-time, and temporary employment in the tourism industry. Like working as a driver in the principality, you need to secure a work permit to apply as a travel guide.

Apply for Residency

If you find your trip to Monaco very impressive that you want to stay longer, you can apply for residency. Also, a residency is one of the requirements to land a job in Monaco. The government’s minimum amount for a residency application in Monaco is €500,000 per applicant deposited to an account under the applicant’s name with a bank in Monaco.

Applying for a Monaco residency can be lengthy, so you have to prepare your documents ahead of time. Below are the documents you need to submit when applying for a residency in Monaco.

  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Any previous divorce certificate (or death certificate if the applicant has a deceased spouse)
  • The registered lease for an apartment in Monaco
  • Police certificate confirming that you do not have any criminal record
  • Residence application

Other Things to Do

Your extended stay in Monaco does not only mean applying for residency or getting a job in the principality; there are other things you need to do so you can legally stay in Monaco. Read through to know more about how to get a driving license in Monaco and how to enroll in a driving school in Monaco.

How to get a Driving License in Monaco?

Authorities in Monaco will honor your local license for a year of driving in the principality. However, ensure to exchange your driving license in Monaco before the period expires. Your local license will be invalid in Monaco after a year. The process to exchange a driving license in Monaco includes filling out an application form obtained online or from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office.

Upon submitting your application form, it must come with an original copy of your local license, a certificate from your country confirming that your license has not been withdrawn or suspended, your Monegasque ID card, and a photo ID. Applicants above seventy years old must submit a medical certificate. Visit the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office to submit your application and other documents.

Can I Enroll at a Driving School in Monaco?

If you plan to race cars or just learn how to drive, you can take a driving lesson in Monaco. When getting driving lessons, Monaco offers various classes that fit your schedule and preference. It will depend on the student on how long you want your driving lesson in Monaco, and the rates will also depend on the length of your training. Enrolling at a driving school can again come in handy when applying for driving jobs and a Monegasque license.

It could be that classes were the same as the first time you took driving lessons; Monaco driving schools might have some distinct training. When looking for a driving school, Monaco has certified and registered schools that you can choose. If you are looking forward to using a luxury car at a driving school, Monaco providers have it, but you can expect it to be at a higher rate. You can also choose to train with an automatic or manual car transmission.

The Top Destinations in Monaco

Monaco is more than just the casino, luxury cars, and car racing. The small principality offers you pictures of relaxation, history, fun, and wealth. As you explore Monaco, you will see a mix of modern and traditional life with palaces, a native village, and the Monte Carlo business district. See the list below of some of the destinations you should not miss when you visit Monaco.

Monaco ville Photo by Felix Neudecker

Monaco-Ville

Monaco-Ville is a historical and statistical district in Monaco. Don’t be confused with some people calling it Monaco City. Here sit the principality’s political and judicial institutions such as the palace, town hall, the National and Municipal Councils, the prison, courts, and the government. It offers a bird’s eye view of the principality as it is located on a headland that extends into the Mediterranean Sea.

Driving Directions:

Most car rentals are in Monte Carlo, so you might as well start your drive there to Monaco-Ville.

  1. Follow Avenue de la Costa to Avenue d'Ostende.
  2. Head northwest on Avenue de l'Hermitage toward Avenue de la Costa.
  3. Turn left onto Avenue de la Costa.
  4. Take Rue Grimaldi to Avenue de la Porte Neuve.
  5. Turn right onto Avenue d'Ostende and continue onto Rue Grimaldi.
  6. Continue on Avenue de la Porte Neuve. Drive to Rue des Remparts.
  7. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Avenue de la Porte Neuve.
  8. Avenue de la Porte Neuve turns right and becomes Avenue Saint-Martin.
  9. The Avenue Saint-Martin turns slightly right and becomes Avenue des Pins.
  10. Turn right onto Rue Philibert Florence.
  11. Rue Philibert Florence turns left and becomes Rue des Remparts.

Things To Do

This is the district in Monaco that you have to visit if you plan to know the history of the principality and the traditional Monégasque culture. Read more below and check out its destinations.

  1. Visit the Prince’s Palace.

    The palace used to be a western border fortress of the Republic of Genoa, built in 1215. Here lives the oldest monarchy in the world. The palace is open to visitors from April to mid-October, every day between 10 AM and 5:30 PM. During July and August, it is open from 10 AM to 6:30 PM. Inside, you will find a 15th-century fresco, wood-paneled Mazarin Room, the Blue Room, and Throne Room.
  2. See various flora at Jardin St. Martin.

    This is the first public garden in the principality that was built on abandoned land in 1816. Originally, Jardin St. Martin was typically a Mediterranean garden with plants like a pine forest, holm oaks, myrtles, and pistachio trees. Then the garden was supplemented by exotic species acclimatized to the site. Its winding and steep alleys follow the rock’s side and offer places of rest for walkers and enjoy a refreshing break near the pool.
  3. Explore the Cathedrale de Notre-Dame-Immaculee.

    This is a 13th-century building that served as the site of both the wedding and the burial of actress Grace Kelly who married Prince Rainier III in 1956. The cathedral exudes a sense of calm solemnity with shining marble floors and delicate murals. Explore the cathedral and visit the chapels of St. Devote and St. Roman’s relics and the chapel of the Holy Sacrament.
  4. Discover Monaco’s heritage from The Museum of Old Monaco.

    The museum displays Monaco's heritage, such as ceramics, paintings, furniture, and costumes, and sets out daily life scenes from Le Rocher, Monaco’s Old Town. Old Monaco’s museum is divided into three levels - the Monaco hall, the military hall, and a hall dedicated to religion. Apart from showcasing its heritage and tradition, it also promotes preserving the Monégasque language through a revival of a spoken word.
  5. Check the Oceanographic Museum.

    This display is one of the largest scientific institutions dedicated to the study of the ocean. There are around 6,000 sea creatures species and holds an incredible array of specimens collected during the 20th-century exploration. The museum uses seawater to fill the aquariums, giving visitors a feel as though they are immersed in the underwater world.
Monte Carlo Photo by Rishi Jhajharia

Monte Carlo

Besides the famous casinos, visitors can also discover several exciting destinations in Monte Carlo. It is considered one of Monaco’s most popular districts and is the hottest tourist destination welcoming many tourists from across the globe every year. This is where the rich splurge their wealth at a famous casino in the district, and car racing enthusiasts gather for that annual Formula 1. Get to know more about Monte Carlo’s destinations by reading below.

Driving Directions:

  1. Monaco does not have an airport, and the nearest is the airport from Nice, France, the Côte d'Azur Airport.
  2. Head southeast on Rond-Point de l'Aéropostale toward Boulevard Léon Morane.
  3. Exit the roundabout onto Chemin de la Digue des Français/M99.
  4. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Traverse de la Digue des Français/M6222.
  5. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto the A8 ramp to Gênes/Monaco/Nice-Nord/Grenoble/Digne.
  6. Merge onto A8.
  7. Toll road.
  8. Take exit 56-Monaco toward Monaco/Beausoleil/Cap-d'Ail.
  9. Continue onto A500.
  10. Continue sur D6007. Take Boulevard du Jardin Exotique to Allées des Boulingrins in Monaco.
  11. Continue onto Av. Georges Clemenceau/D6007.
  12. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Boulevard du Jardin Exotique/D6307 heading to Monaco.
  13. Entering Monaco.
  14. Turn right at Boulevard du Jardin Exotique.
  15. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on Boulevard du Jardin Exotique.
  16. Continue onto Pont Sainte-Dévote.

Things To Do

Whether you are a car enthusiast, into casinos, or just want to feel how busy Monte Carlo can be, you will have a great time in this busy district. Check out things you can’t miss when you are in Monte Carlo.

  1. See the Casino Square.

    The square is not your ordinary one as it is surrounded by the elaborate architecture of Monaco’s premier casinos and hotels and emanates rich and famous glamour. It is also a great spot to get up close with luxury vehicles that come and go throughout the day. You can even relax under manicured gardens and extravagant fountains that add an extra vibe while watching the action at Monte Carlo.
  2. Check out the Casino de Monte Carlo.

    By just looking at the casino’s opulently decorated marble and bronze, you can already tell that it offers most of the glitz and glamour that has made Monaco famous. The casino, for many, is a delightful place to discover unlimited fun. You can watch a wide variety of games here and try your hand with the game you enjoy the most. Make sure to dress well before entering Casino de Monte Carlo.
  3. Witness the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix.

    Every last week of May, the Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place in Monte Carlo. It is one of the most popular sporting events in the world and the only car race that runs on city streets. Monaco does not have the luxury of wide streets; however, despite narrow roads, the annual race car event is being held out of a sense of tradition. The atmosphere during this time is well worth the visit.
  4. Meditate at the Japanese Garden.

    This is the green result of a close collaboration between gardeners from Japan and Monaco, making the garden a mix of Japanese tradition and Mediterranean touches. It showcases a Japanese garden’s essential components - a pond, islands, a waterfall, bridges, lanterns, a Zen garden, and a tea house. It’s not only a perfect place for strolling but meditation as well.
  5. Cool off at Larvotto Beach.

    Larvotto is a public beach located just a short walk from Monte Carlo and is Monaco’s famous beach. Larvotto has pebbles rather than sand, unlike many beaches, so better bring some sturdy shoes with you. The water here is calm and shallow, perfect for cooling off after exploring Monaco. It can get crowded, though, so if you want to get a good spot at the beach, you should plan to get here early.
Fontvielle Photo by Anthony DELANOIX

Fontvieille

The district of Fontvieille represents one of the younger parts of the principality being developed between the 1970s and 1990s. Fontvieille sits at the southwestern portion of the city-state, housing two municipal parks. It is a district ultimately reclaimed from the sea. It also houses high-tech and non-polluting companies within the district.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Monte Carlo, head northwest on Allées des Boulingrins.
  2. Drive along Avenue Princesse Alice, Avenue d'Ostende, Rue Grimaldi and Avenue du Port.
  3. Take Tunnel Rocher Nogues, Tunnel Rocher Fontvieille, Avenue Albert II and Avenue des Papalins to your destination.

Things To Do

Being a new district, Fontvieille attracts not many tourists as other districts do. However, it will be worth your visit to cap off your Monégasque road trip. Check out some of the tourist spots below.

  1. Explore Jardin Exotique

    There are 7,000 varieties of succulents and tropical plants that thrive here because of the balmy weather. Some succulents are brought back from Mexico and Africa in the 1800s. There is an observatory cave opened in 1933 with wonderfully fun stalagmites and stalactites. The Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology will let you discover the prehistoric era and the prehistoric person who once lived in the cave’s vicinity.
  2. Check out the Cars Collection of H.S.H the Prince of Monaco

    For car enthusiasts, this site is a delight. About 100 vintage automobiles, all made by prestigious European and American car companies, compose Prince Rainier III of Monaco’s collection. Also on display are race cars joined in the Rallye de Monte Carlo and the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.
  3. Visit the Princess Grace Rose Garden

    You can discover more than 300 varieties of a rosebush, with a total of 6,000 rose bushes divided into seven themes. Prince Rainier III conceived this rose garden in memory of his wife, Princess Grace. The Rose Garden concept is based on the principles of an English garden with the Mediterranean character through planting of 100-year-old olive trees.
  4. Discover maritime objects at the Naval Museum

    Some remarkable exhibits you can see here are a funerary boat found in the Egyptian tomb, liners such as the Titanic and France, and classical Roman and Greek vessels. The exhibit also includes models of training ships and several warships, impressive aircraft carriers, and submarines from different countries. The collection counts for over a thousand scale models and hundreds of navy-related objects.
  5. See the Port de Fontvieille

    During the development of the Fontvieille district, this section of the port was set aside to create a marina. Port de Fontvieille sits at the foot of the Rock of Monaco to the east and is undoubtedly one of the most sheltered in the region. Explore the marina and see the boats as they slip in and out of the dock. Walk along the quayside, take in the turquoise water of the Mediterranean and stop at a cafe nearby to enjoy some coffee.

Monaco is a great destination country, offering several opportunities and tourist attractions for you. Driving around Monaco is probably the best way to have an unforgettable trip to this magnificent country. Don’t forget to bring all the necessary requirements with you, especially an International Driver’s Permit.

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