How to get from Nice to Monte-Carlo for a day trip
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by Chloe Green (@SharedBucketList)
When visiting a new country for the first time, having to rely on public transport to get around can be somewhat stressful if you haven't done your research in advance. Thankfully, we've devised an easy guide to help you navigate your way from Nice, France to Monte-Carlo, Monaco via train. Follow these tips and you'll be feeling prepared in no time - even if tu ne sais pas parler français... (you can't speak French!)
Check out train times before your trip
The earlier you do this, the better chance you'll have at getting on the correct train and making the most out of your trip to Monaco. It's also handy to find out when the last train back will be so that you are guaranteed a ride home. You can do this via Rail Europe, where it is also possible to book your tickets online. (We decided to print them at the train station instead but, to save time, we would recommend buying ahead!) Tickets cost around 4 euros per person.
Get to the train station earlier than you think is reasonable
We left in what we thought was plenty of time before our train was scheduled to depart, even factoring in the time we anticipated it would take to print our tickets at the station. Unfortunately, however, we were greeted with large queues for each ticket machine. The main reason for this was because the machines themselves were quite difficult to operate for non-natives. The information at these machines was accessible in different languages but it took us (and others) a while to figure out how to use the wheel-type mechanism to select different options on the screen, including this function. You can imagine the hold up this caused. (Side note: we visited in October when Nice is deemed relatively quiet, so we'd expect it to be significantly busier during the summer months)
Furthermore, once you have finally printed your tickets, they do not state which platform you need and there are many different ones to choose from at Nice-Ville station. We ended up having to ask a train attendant if he could help us (through a probably very jumbled, "pourriez-vous nous aider s'il vous plait") and, luckily, he was able to direct us.
In hindsight, had we have planned our journey through Rail Europe, we'd have known this.
Stand with the majority on the platform - or walk for miles
The trains in Nice are an intriguing sight to behold, with some of them having two floors! But staring at them for too long and not paying attention might leave you failing to notice the flock of people gathering further down the platform you are standing on. We experienced this first-hand and, when our train eventually pulled up, we had to walk quite a distance to reach the doors and climb aboard. Not so wise if you are rushing to catch it.
Views from the top and which is the better side to sit on?
France's trains are spacious, clean and comfortable and, if you're lucky enough to find an available seat on the top floor of the train, we'd definitely encourage you to do so. The views are fantastic! On route to Monte-Carlo, we'd advise sitting on the right-hand side for stunning views of the Côte d'Azur (left on return). If you'd prefer to catch a glimpse of other neighbouring towns and mountains, the opposite applies.
The train journey, all in all, took around 20 minutes either way. It was fairly pleasant once onboard.
Arrive at Monte-Carlo
When you arrive at Monte-Carlo's train station, it's very easy to find your way out. Follow the signs to the exit ('sortie') and, once outside, you'll see further signs indicating top tourist attractions, e.g. the Monte Carlo Casino and Port Hercule.
Read all about our day in Monte Carlo here and check out our Instagram reel, showcasing this affluent district!
As always, if you have any questions about our trip, please don't hesitate to ask in the comments below: