Princely Palace

Address: Old Town, Monaco, 98000, Monaco
Telephone: +377 93251831, ext 8484

- Mid-range


Small-time principality, big-time treasures.

Ensure you arrive for 11.55am, for the daily changing of the guard. Six chaps march about to drums and bugles to take up post defending the palace. Against whom, it’s not too clear (insurgent merchant bankers?).

 It is, though, a more impressive military display than most small seaside towns manage.

From the outside, the palace itself looks a bit like a big sanatorium. But it gets much better inside where a splendid main courtyard – all frescoes, columns and marble – gives way to equally effusive apartments. One’s called the Duke of York chamber, after the brother of English king George III who died there in 1765. It may be that he was overcome by the outrageously flamboyant décor.

Elsewhere, there's some cracking art - an indication of the Grimaldi family's good taste, and enormous wealth, over centuries. They may rule an area smaller than most district councils but no district council has this kind of sumptuous treasure. Or, if they do, they're not letting on to their rate-payers.

Don’t miss the views from the edge of the Palace Square out front. They look over Monaco’s main port one way, the subsidiary Port de Fontvieille and the sea the other.


Value for money

Price advice

Adults: 8.20 euros; 4-18 year-olds: 3.60 euros. Combined ticket, Palace and Oceanographic Museum - adults: 18 euros; 4-18 year-olds: 8 euros.

Expert tips

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • First-time travellers
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Art
  • History
  • Design and architecture