The tiny principality of Monaco lies to the north of Nice, with barely 12 miles (20 km) of Mediterranean coastline separating it from the Riviera capital. Between high-speed rail links, scenic highways, and quick helicopter flights, it’s easy to reach the glamorous enclave in well under an hour.
The train is the fastest and easiest way to make the journey, with a direct trip of under 25 minutes. Buses also travel the route daily in about 45 minutes, but the speed and comfort of the train is a better choice for most. Private transfer is a pricier option, but takes about 40 to 50 minutes door to door and allows travelers to enjoy the picturesque drive without the hassle of parking and navigating.
Renting a car and self-driving offers the chance to take in some stunning coastal scenery, but should only be considered if the trip is part of a wider tour of the area. To arrive in truly Monegasque style, splash out for a helicopter flight. The short hop from Nice Cote d'Azur (NCE) airport to Monaco’s Fontevielle waterfront is a memorable way to discover the Côte d’Azur from above.
Duration: 25 minutes
The train is the fastest and most straightforward way to reach Monaco from Nice. Regional TER trains depart the central Nice Ville station every 30 minutes, arriving at Gare de Monaco-Monte Carlo in under 25 minutes.
Monaco’s vast underground train station can be confusing to first-time visitors, so check ahead of time to see which of the station’s six exits are closest to your destination. Each covers a popular area of the principality (like Monaco-Ville, Monte-Carlo, and La Condamine) with most sights and destinations within easy walking distance.
Duration: 45 minutes
The bus is the most affordable option but it can be busy at peak times, and the train is often a better choice for comfort and speed.
The Lignes d’Azur #100 bus leaves from Nice’s Le Port stop every 30 minutes and travels a stunningly scenic route to Monaco in around 45 minutes. If there’s room, choose a seat on the right side of the bus for the best views. There are several stops once you’ve reached your destination: Place d’Armes is closest to the Old Town and palace, Princess Antoinette serves Fontevielle and the port, and Monte-Carlo Casino is convenient for the Place du Casino and the F1 track.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 40 to 50 minutes
With Monaco’s excellent train links and walkable distances, it’s only necessary to rent a car and drive from Nice if you’re looking to make the trip part of a wider tour.
The fastest route heads north from Nice to pick up the A8 autoroute to the A500, but it’s worth adding a little time onto the journey to take the slightly slower M6007/D6007 coastal road.
This famous clifftop highway is known as the Corniche Moyenne and offers more varied options along the way for stops and sightseeing. At almost halfway, the spectacularly situated medieval village of Éze is a perfect highlight to the trip.
Upon arrival, parking in Monaco tends to be expensive but easy to find, with a broad array of underground car parks around the port and station areas.
For all the views and none of the stress, myriad local companies offer private transfer services, with options for fast door-to-door transport or slower tours of the coast and towns between. Prices can be high, but it’s a good choice for those looking to sit back and enjoy the drive with a knowledgeable guide.
Duration: 40 minutes
To reach Monaco in true jet-set style, there are several carriers offering helicopter transfers out of Nice Côte d’Azur (NCE) airport. With a flight time of under 10 minutes, prices start around $130 per person for shared flights. Reaching the airport from central Nice takes about 30 minutes by taxi, bus, or the new Lignes d’Azur light rail. After a short flight surrounded by dramatic views, flights touch down at Fontvieille port, with many carriers offering free transfers from there to your hotel.