What to do in Monaco during the winter holidays

Publication date: 21/02/2024
The winter half-term holidays are almost upon us, so here’s an avalanche of ideas to keep the whole family amused!
Follow the guide and explore the Principality’s different districts!


Explore the Fontvieille district with Captain’ Game! Whether with family or friends, the 2.5 km long original circuit is an original way to visit Fontvieille and its port - or perhaps revisit if you already know the area well - with ten locations to find and answers to check off your list. The game was created as part of the port operator SEPM’s campaign to obtain “Clean Port Committed to Biodiversity” certification in 2020.

For a taste of the exotic, head to the Rainier III Zoological Gardens nestling on the cliffside of the Rock of Monaco with beautiful views over the port. Marvel at the 300 resident animals, most brought to the zoo after being seized by customs, abandoned, or having escaped from circuses. This animal sanctuary embodies Prince Rainier III’s strong commitment to animal welfare.

Nearby you’ll find Fontvieille glorious landscaped gardens, including the Princess Grace Rose Garden and a children’s play area, the perfect place to stroll among the fragrant roses, and admire the lovely pond with its carp and turtles.

Suggestions for eating out with the family: La SalièreBeef Bar, Les Perles de Monaco


Exotic Garden:

Take on a family challenge with the mini-golf at the Exotic Garden. Relax under the olive trees at Princess Antoinette Park and admire the views of the Mediterranean and the Rock of Monaco. Then stroll through the park with its children’s play areas, multi-sports areas, table tennis and mini-farm, where youngsters can have fun with the rabbits, goats, ducks, and other critters.

Plant lovers should head to the Monaco Botanical Centre, which houses the world’s biggest collection of succulent plants! The centre is a real breath of fresh air in the middle of the city.

For those of an adventurous disposition, just three minutes away from the Botanic Centre is the imposing Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology where you’ll find a fun day out for the whole family! Explore the exhibitions with audio commentary, and learn the secrets of the prehistoric age! There is a whole selection of activities to try, for which you’ll need to book in advance: Escape Game, treasure hunt, archery initiation, and much more! 

Finally, budding artists can try their hand at the workshops organised by the Nouveau Musée national de Monaco at Villa Paloma with three sessions for kids as part of the exhibition “Pier Paolo Calzolari – Casa ideale”. There are also fascinating “Art & Philo” courses, in collaboration with the Monegasque philosophy association Les Rencontres Philosophiques. 

Suggestions for eating out with the family: the Refreshments Kiosk at Princess Antoinette Park, picnic on the terrace at Villa Paloma

Monaco Old Town: 

If the troops are getting tired, there’s a solution that everyone can get on board with... a ride on the dotto train! Depart from outside the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco’s Old Town district for a 30 minute guided tour that takes in all the most important sites in the Principality, including the Prince’s Palace, the Casino de Monte-Carlo, and Port Hercule. You’ll even ride along a stretch of the Formula 1 circuit, before returning to base.
For those who want to spend the whole day visiting different places of interest around Monaco, the “Hop On, Hop Off” double-decker bus is the way to go.


One place you won’t want to miss is the Prince’s Palace! But be sure to visit at the right time! And that time is 11.55 am sharp, as that’s when the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place on the square outside the Palace.  Every day, the Palace Guards perform this time-honoured mini-parade. While you’re there, stop and admire the splendid panoramas from the two viewing points beneath the parasol pine trees on either side of the Palace. It’s a memorable moment to share for all the family.

Marvel at the wonders of the ocean… Dive into the world of marine wildlife at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Upon arriving, you will be presented by the breathtaking sight of the building, carved into the side of the cliff itself. There’s plenty to see at the museum, including aquariums, the world’s biggest cabinet of marine curiosities, and fascinating temporary exhibitions. Check out the "Polar Mission"  and "Poles, Fragile Worlds", Escape GameClubOceano, and other activities to guarantee unforgettable memories.

You can even visit after dark, for your own “night at the museum”! Visitors staying at the Métropole Monte-Carlo hotel can take advantage of the "Just For You" programme to enjoy an experience like nowhere else!

For budding artists, Monaco’s art school, the Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques – Pavillon Bosio, is running three amateur courses on the themes of engraving, ceramics, and drawing. All in a beautiful setting, perfect to inspire your inner muse!

Kids and teenagers with energy to burn can let off steam at the skatepark in Monaco’s Old Town, below the Oceanographic Museum, and wow you with their best tricks against the stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.

Suggestions for eating out with the family: CastelRoc, Le Petit Bar, La Terrasse (rooftop restaurant at the Oceanographic Museum).

La Condamine:

Experience the authenticity of Monaco and treat your tastebuds to Mediterranean delights at La Condamine Market. In the market hall you’ll find a host of food stalls selling local delicacies, like the famous barbagiuans, stock fish, or Monegasque fougasse. No visit to Monaco is complete without a taste of our traditional cuisine.
Savour them in the sunshine on the market square, for a moment of pure conviviality, while the kids amuse themselves in the nearby play area.


If you and your teens are motor sports fans, you’ll definitely want to take the opportunity to visit the starting grid of the Formula 1 Grand Prix, at Port Hercule. Although you don’t need to be an F1 enthusiast to get a little excited about following in the tyre tracks of the likes of Charles Leclerc at this legendary circuit.

Meanwhile, younger children can express their artistic side at the Library where there are three workshops on offer: Glass Painting, “Your Qualities in Colours”, and “Storytelling”. To find out more, click HERE

Suggestions for eating out with the family: La Brasserie, Old Wild West, Caffé Milano.



Thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate, there’s every chance you’ll be able to dip your toes in the water on Larvotto beach. Relax and listen to the gentle lapping of the waves in this peaceful setting, with restaurants, shops, a pleasant promenade and children’s wooden playground.

Close to the beach, the Japanese garden will take you to the land of the rising sun for a few moments of total tranquillity, with its typical plants, fountains, and paved paths between the ponds filled with Koi carp, always popular with inquisitive youngsters.

Suggestions for eating out with the family:

  • Giacomo, for a cosy seaside lunch  
  • Smakelijk ! – Hôtel Méridien Beach Plaza, with delicious traditional Belgian waffles 
  • Sexy Tacos, a Mexican restaurant with a thousand thrilling colours and flavours!



If the weather isn’t playing ball or you simply don’t feel like doing much, why not take in a movie? The Cinéma des Beaux-Arts in the central Monte-Carlo district is the perfect place to hide away for a few hours, and catch one of the latest film releases - screened in their original version with French subtitles!

Follow in the footsteps of James Bond with a morning at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. You can explore the Atrium, Café de la Rotonde, the Boutique, and the gaming lounges when they are open for morning tours.

Stroll through the Boulingrins gardens opposite the Casino de Monte-Carlo and grab a prestige selfie or two with the temple of gaming as your backdrop. The Jardin de la Petite Afrique, close to the Casino, is another delightful garden with ducks roaming freely.

Suggestions for eating out with the family:

  • Tradiswiss (until 29/02), for a convivial atmosphere with raclette and fondue to share.
  • Café de Paris, where you can eat in style at the place where the legendary  crêpe Suzette recipe was created.
  • Taera, for a culinary voyage to the heart of Venezuela.


And around Monaco:

90th Fête du Citron 
From Monaco, take the car, train, or bus and spend a few hours in Menton during the famous “Fête du Citron”! The lemon festival is a colourful and vibrant occasion with parades, floats, and activities for kids (ceramics, drawing, cooking, and more).
From 17 February to 3 March.

Nice Carnival
Another great idea for a day out during your stay in the Principality is a trip to experience Nice Carnival! The whole family will love the “Corso carnavalesque” (night and day), flower battles, Carnival Village and creative activities (face painting, origami, flower crowns, etc.). 
From 17 February to 3 March.

Head to the pistes!
Winter sports-loving families will be pleased to learn that there are numerous ski resorts within a two-hour drive of Monaco, including: Isola 2000, Auron, and Valberg. Visit the Principality of Monaco to experience the ultimate seaside or mountain break, like nowhere else!

Photo credits: crédits photos : Benjamin Vergély - Direction du Tourisme et des Congrès de Monaco - Mairie de Monaco - Guillaume Eymard - Ville de Menton - DR - t_scherberich