Port de Fontvieille

Address: Fontvieille, Monaco, 98000, Monaco

- Free


Art, boats and bars, roses and vintage cars ...

I always refer to Fontvieille as the "new part of Monaco". Perhaps I should stop. It's been finished since the 1970s. You'll find it on the other (south-western) side of the Rock from the older port and Monte-Carlo. It is nothing less than an 100-acre district gained from the sea in yet another of Monaco’s extraordinary civil engineering feats. It is well worth a stroll.


Much of the area is devoted to business and light industry: that's why it was built. But much isn't - and that's our interest. Focal point is the Port de Fontvieille itself. Boats cluster along the quays, which themselves are now home to restaurants and some pretty hip bars. They offer a cool alternative to Monaco-Ville on the Rock and to Monte Carlo. Across the district is the Louis II stadium, where Monaco AFC play in France’s first division (not too brilliantly this season).

Princess Grace

In between, and more usefully, is the Fontvieille Park. A splendid Sculpture Trail will lead you through, via some arresting works of modern art. Choice spot, though, is the Princess Grace Rose Garden. Princess Grace was a beautiful woman, and this is the garden she deserved.

Two other things you might like to see while here:

* The Monaco Zoological Gardens (Terrasses de Fontvieille, +377 93 50 40 30, www.visitmonaco.com; adults 4 euros, 8-14 year olds 2 euros). Built up the southern side of the Rock, the zoo isn't huge but has animals enough to divert the family for an hour. They include a white tiger. It's open year-round, mornings and afternoons. Closed 12-2pm.

* The Monaco Top Car Collection (Terrases de Fontvieille, +377 92 05 28 56, www.palais.mc; adults 6 euros, 8-14 year olds 3 euros). As car museums go, this makes more sense than most. It's the Monaco Royal family's private collection of more than 100 cars. They range from a 1903 De Dion Bouton - the first car bought by Prince Albert I - to the 1952 London taxi used by Princess Grace. There are also several US military vehicles, a Trabant and Formula 1 Ferrari. A helmet worn by Ayrton Senna is also on display. Open 10am-6pm, year-round.


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