Incredible areas of cultural heritage of the Principality will be open for free visits on Sunday, 24 September, as a part of the 22nd European Heritage Day in Monaco. This day will be really special, because not only will touristic must-see spots be publicly opened, but also places that are usually closed to the public will be exclusively available for “exploration”. For more than 20 years, this cultural “action” has been supported by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of Monaco.
From the point of view of transportation, guests and residents of the Principality have absolutely nothing to worry about; everything has been organised to the smallest detail. On 24 September, Monaco’s buses and ferries will be absolutely free. Moreover, a tariff of €3 will be established in almost all the parking areas of Monaco (Jardin Exotique, Condamine, Pêcheurs, Stade Luis II, Casino, Colle, Grimaldi Forum).
HelloMonaco has developed a convenient route for the most interesting locations on this day, which will allow guests and residents of the Principality to be mobile and see the maximum amount of local attractions. We offer you a tour in each of the districts of Monaco with convenient transport links indicated. So, here we go!
We recommend starting your tour early in the morning to avoid large crowds of people and obviously see all the desired locations. It’s better to park in Stade Louis II car park. For those who travel by bus, it is better to take the bus Line 6. The first to visit is the Plant for Waste Valorisation; by pre-registration it is possible to go and check the production process from 8:30 AM. Further along the street Terrasses de Fontvieille there are 3 interesting locations to see which are open from 10:00 am: the Naval Museum, where, traditionally, at 14:00 a conference with Professor Claude Pallanca is held, the Top-auto collection of Monaco, and a thematic exhibition in the Museum of Stamps and Coins. After taking Avenue des Papalins, starting from 11:30 you can see the Church of St. Nicholas from the inside.
The best and the easiest way to get to this district of Monaco is by the Line 1 bus. For those with a car, it’s best to walk, leaving the car in the Colle car park. The first exclusive attraction on the list is the Monaco Media Library, where the visit will be accompanied by a guide at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00 (warm clothes are recommended, as the temperature in the archive is quite low). In Sainte-Dévote square, the Church of Saint Devote, the patroness of Monaco, will also be open for visits from 13:30 to 17:00. After visiting the listed locations, it makes sense to park the car in the Condamine car park, there, as right next door is the Academy of Music and the Rainier III Theatre, where at 10:00 there will be a harp concert, and then from 10:00 to 11:00 and 11:00 to 12:00 there will be a piano concert. From 11:00 to 14:30 there is also a chamber orchestra concert scheduled. After enjoying instrumental music, going to the quay Antoine I you can plunge into the cultural and educational programme of the Monaco Scientific Centre laboratories from 10:00 to 16:50, the National Monegasque Committee of the International Association of Plastic Arts from UNESCO and the Studio of Jean-Michel Folon.
Getting on public transport in Monaco-Ville, it is best to take Line 1 or 2. For parking it’s better to choose Condamine. In case if you wish to make the proposed route in the opposite direction, pick the Pêcheurs car park.
On the Palace Square you can see the Grand Apartment of the Princely Palace from 10:00 to 17:00. In addition, there is the Library of the Princely Palace with its main exhibition “Prince’s Carabineros. Two centuries of history,” open for public. The cistern of the Princely Palace, which is installed under the inner courtyard, can be visited until 15:00 with a guided visit only (photos and videos are prohibited).
The State Council and the Supreme Court, at the street Colonel Bellando de Castro, will receive guests for a 45-minute excursion by appointment only(+377 98 98 20 02). In the same place, the Palace of Justice is opening exclusively from 10:00 to 17:00, and there documents and photographs of the history of the palace and the attire of the Monegasque judges will be presented. Especially in honour of the Day of European Heritage in the Cathedral of Monaco at 15:30 there will be a concert by the students of the Rainier III Music Academy.
The private chapel and the garden of the Archbishop of Monaco will open from 14:00-18:00 at 1, rue de l’Abbaye. Also, the Municipality of Monaco will be open from 10:00 to 17:00 for a free visit. There, from 11:00 to 14:00, a mandolin concert by the students of the Rainier III Academy will be held and at 10:30, 14:00 and 15:30 the studio of the Monegasque language will be established there as well. In the Misericorde Chapel at 18:00 a Mass in Latin will be held. Additionally, the Irish library of Princess Grace can be visited at 12:00 and 15:30 with tours in English and French. The residence of the Minister of Monaco will be open exclusively from 10:00 to 17:00.
What is obviously worth a visit is a walking tour in Monaco-Ville, which will be guided by Jean-Marc Ferrié, president of the association “Au cœur de ma ville” (In the heart of my city) at 9:30, 11:00, 14:00 and 15:30. At the Visitation Square, in the building of the National Council, an exhibition of bonsais from Monaco Bonsaï Team will be presented too, and, especially for lovers of fine arts, in the Pavilion Bosio there will be an exhibition of public workshops called “Belles et Chimères” and, finally, the Oceanographic Museum in honour of the exceptional day will reduce the admission price to 8 euros for adults and 4 euros for children. Besides the museum, you can go down the stairs right in front, in order to enjoy the masterpiece by Philippe Pasqua “Soleils Noirs”.
The best way to get to the Jardin Exotique on public transport is by taking the bus Line 2 or 3, and for parking choose Jardin Exotique, just for your own mobility.
The first place to visit we chose is the Church of Sacré-Cœur, which opens from 8:00-20:00; it is better to come there later in the evening, because at 18:00 there will be a live organ concert. Further, in the Carabineros Barracks, the Museum of Monaco princes and their guards will exclusively open the doors for guests from 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-18:00. For those who are interested in getting acquainted with the daily work of the audiovisual archive of Monaco and some documents, you need definitely to make a reservation for your visit there (+377 97 98 43 26) at 10:00, 11:30, 14:00, 15:30 or at 17:00.
A unique location for the visit is going to be the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology, where it will be possible to see several exhibitions, including “Mammoth in Monaco” and “Paleolithic groups of 25,000 years old, between the sea and the mountains”. In addition, at 10:30 and 14:30 there will be a meeting with archaeologists in the laboratory about archaeological excavations in Monaco. For the brave ones, it will be interesting to take a walk with a guide in the caves of the Observatory in the Exotic Garden from 10:00 to 18:00. The final touch of the Jardin Exotique area will be the New National Museum of Monaco-Villa Paloma, which opens from 10:00 to 18:00. There at 11:00 a concert by the students of the Academy Rainier III will take place and at 16:00 in the exhibition halls an extract from the manuscript “Hercule Florance” will be read.
For dessert, guests of Monaco will receive a final portion of incredible discoveries and visits in the Monte Carlo district. There are 2 Car Parks in the area, Grimaldi Forum or Boulingrins. Bus Lines 1, 4, 5 will take you right into the epicentre of cultural events. Start your tour with the Princess Grace Theatre, where at 11:00, 14:30 and 16:00 there will be the exhibition “Prince̶ a volunteer. Louis II of Monaco, a soldier of the Second World War.” Exhibitionson this will not end, because in the New National Museum of Monaco at Villa Sober there are also two exhibits: “The Fountain Archives” Saadan Afif and “Welcome” Kasper Akhoj. Afterwards, take a stroll on Avenue Saint-Laurent, visiting St. Charles’s Church, as there will be a flute and organ concert at 14:30. The Anglican Church is free to visit from 15:30 to 18:00.
The Foundation of the British artist Francis Bacon on that day will be accompanied by a guide to enable guests to find out more about the personality of the artist, his life and the process of creating masterpieces, in particular, during his work in Monaco and France.
To complete the tour, we have prepared for you some kind of spiritual relaxation in the Catholic Church, Chapelle des Carmes located on the Boulevard d’Italie, you will have the opportunity to enjoy an incredible organ concert, isn’t it the perfect ending of your weekend in Monaco? Take advantage of this time to truly soak in the free local cultural heritage.