The fastest way of getting to Monaco is to fly into Nice. France’s third airport is only 16 miles down the road. And a very nice airport it is, too – right out over the Mediterranean sea. You’re feeling sensual as soon as you arrive (see more on my Nice flights page).
And the onward hop to the principality isn’t too stressful, either. Below, I’ve detailed the main methods, in descending order of cost.
If you’re feeling loaded, you might take a helicopter. It’s not quite as impressive as arriving in a 200-foot yacht, but it certainly beats the bus for bling. Daytime departures are every 15 minutes, and the journey lasts just seven.
The one-way trip, Nice-Monaco, is 120 euros per person, a return 210 euros. That’s 15 euros a minute – but, hell, you’re going to Monaco. Youngsters from two to 12 years old travel for a little more than half-price, under-twos are free. And the price includes a shuttle-bus from Monaco’s heli-port to your final destination. Contact Heli Air Monaco; + 377 92050030; www.heliairmonaco.com.
Should you be travelling alone and without too much luggage, there’s a new-ish motorcycle taxi service which will bike you from the airport to Monaco for around 80 euros. Try Easy Moov on 0033 493 001266; www.easy-moov.fr.
Conventional taxis are now better-controlled than they used to be – as long as you take a proper cab with a proper sign from the proper taxi-rank. Fares from the airport to Monaco should be from 69 to 74 euros (depending on drop-off point) during the day, from 79 to 90 euros between 7pm and 7am.
But that’s still quite a lot of money. Cheaper is the Xpress Monte Carlo bus, which serves both airport terminals and will get you to Monaco in around 30 minutes. One-way is 18 euros, a round-trip 28.50 euros (though 12.50 euros for under-26 year olds). Details on www.niceairportexpress.com.
Least expensive of all, though, is the train. The best way of doing this is get to Nice St Augustin railway station. It’s only a trot from the airport. You may go by N°23 bus, getting off at the second stop – Gare SNCF St Augustin. Alternatively, if you’re not too tired or encumbered, you can leave the airport on foot for the 15-minute walk (see www.nice.aeroport.fr/acces_stationnement_en/trains/ for walking directions). Any train coming through east-wards will get you to Monaco, along the lovely coastal track, in around 20 minutes for 4.10 euros.
For information on getting around Monaco once you're there, check out my How to get around Monaco page.