The grand palace of the Prince of Monaco was built in 1215 by the Genoese and has been transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the world.
Since the end of the 13th century, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi family who first captured it in 1297. The Grimaldi ruled the area first as feudal lords, and from the 17th century as sovereign princes, but their power was often derived from fragile agreements with their larger and stronger neighbours.
Prince Rainier III is credited restoring the Palace to its former glory and the magnificent state in which it can be seen today. The Hercule Gallery contains frescoes of mythological figures, attributed to Francesco Mazzuchelli dating from the 16th century and to the Genovese artist Orazio Ferrari in the 17th century.
The palace has a large Mirror Gallery, an imitation of Versailles, which gives access to the state apartments, opulent and furnished in period furniture and tapestries. The magnificent Throne Room is where all official ceremonies, such as swearing-in-of-high ranking state officials and some state receptions take place. The Empire-style royal throne rests under a red silk velvet canopy topped by the royal crown.
A must see for any trip to Monaco.
The original fortress and ramparts were built by the Genoese in 1215 and throughout the centuries was transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the style of Louis XIV. Prince Honore II was responsible for re-assembling the rich collections of art, which had been auctioned off during the French Revolution when the Palace was turned into a hospital for the Italian Army, the throne room was used as a kitchen and the rest of the Palace designated a Poorhouse.
In May of 1814 Monaco was returned to the Grimaldi family and initially placed under the continued protection of France. By this time, however, the Palace was in such a terrible condition that the part of the east wing on the Fontvieille side had to be demolished as well as the Pavillon des Bains. Standing now in this spot is the Napoleon Museum and Palace Archives.
- "After a fairly steep climb you are rewarded with a view of Royal guards and a bustling square with beautiful views. The palace is extremely well preserved. My favourite room is the Blue Room, which is used for state receptions. The colours and opulence are breathtaking. We spent about 45 minutes going round the apartments plus time in the palace square. It is worth noting that you can purchase joint tickets for the palace and the motor exhibition in Fontveille. The tickets can be used on separate days." - Trip Advisor
- "Monaco is one of my favourite places in Europe. It is a small principality and is full of so much character and heritage! Whenever we visit the France we go and spend a day there. The Prince's Palace is a beautiful place to see and walk around. The views from around the palace are truly breathtaking! Inside the palace everything is impeccable. I highly recommend a visit" - Trip Advisor
- "Beautiful Frescos, precious furniture, sculptures, china and impressive rooms full of art are waiting for a visit. The entrance fee can be combined with other museums to get a discount and is totally worth it. Good audio guide is for free in multiple languages. Visit the palace and see some history and art. Its a nice small and relaxing tour through beautiful rooms, the hallway and ending in the throne room. A must see in Monaco." - Trip Advisor
The only vehicles that may drive into the Old Town (Monaco-Ville) area are those having Monaco license plates or French license plates with the last two digits 06 from the Alpes Maritimes Department. All other vehicles are strictly forbidden to drive to Monaco-Ville.
If you do drive there then cars are advised to park in the Parking des Pecheurs.
Take either Monaco Bus line 1 or 2, which ends at the Place de la Visitation bus stop and signed Terminus Monaco-Ville. The bus stop is next to the Museum Chapelle de la Visitation. From the Place de la Visitation bus stop follows the posted signs through the small streets to the Palace, a short 5-minute walk.
Only a 10-minute walk from Place d'Armes up the Rampe Major that brings you right to the Palace Square.
When to come
The Palace is open to visitors from late March to mid October. Opening hours are 10:00 to 18:00 everyday (last entry at 17:30), and until 19:00 in July and August (last entry at 18:30). Closed during the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
How to get passes
Tickets cost 8€ for adults, 4€ for children 8 to 14 years old and students. You can also pay for entry to the private collection of antique cars, Prince Rainier III's own collection, for 11.50€.
- Place du Palais