Although not officially part of the Schengen Area, there are no border restrictions when entering or leaving Monaco from France, thus it may be considered part of the Schengen Area for all practical reasons.
The closest airport is Nice Côte-d’Azur International in neighboring France, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city center. It has daily flights to almost all of Europe’s major cities, including London and Paris. Regular Rapide Cote D’Azur buses connect Monte Carlo to both terminals at Nice Cote-D’Azur airport, and taxis are always available outside the terminal buildings – but make sure a fee is agreed upon in advance or the meter is turned on at the start of the journey, as shady French taxi drivers are notorious for charging tourists whatever they see fit.
The principality’s sole railway station is Monaco-Monte Carlo. The French railway company SNCF operates it. It’s approximately 300 meters away from Port Hercule. There is no such thing as left baggage.
There are excellent links to neighboring areas of France and Italy, mostly through SNCF and Trenitalia. 2-4 services per hour are available to Nice, Cannes, Menton, and Ventimiglia (Italy).
The ‘Ligure’ (Marseilles-Milan), the ‘Train Bleu’ (Paris-Ventimiglia), the high-speed TGV (Nice-Paris, 6h30min), and the longest train trip entirely in Europe (Nice-Moscow, 47h) operated by Russian Railway all stop in Monaco.
It is easier not to use the Trenitalia counters or machines from Ventimiglia. Go to the sole travel agency within the station, which is marked with an SNCF sign (French Railways). Return tickets are also available that are not linked to a particular train. Remember to verify your tickets using the devices on the platforms shortly before boarding.
In Monte Carlo, there is no bus terminal. International buses, on the other hand, stop at different locations around the city. Regular buses, operated by Rapide Cote D’Azur, link Monte Carlo to Nice and other French cities. Many significant French towns and cities have frequent service. Route 100 departs every 15 minutes from Nice’s major bus terminal (Gare Routière) and costs €1. Route 110, an express shuttle, connects the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport with the principality. A bus departs every half hour and costs €18 for a single ticket (Jun 2009). €28.50 round-trip (September 2009), including stops at all important hotels in Monaco, not just Monte Carlo.
Monaco is readily accessible by road from France or Italy through a network of highways, the most popular of which is the A8, which goes west from Monte Carlo to Nice and Marseilles, and east to the Italian border.
There are three more scenic roads between Nice and Monaco: the Basse Corniche (Low Coast Road – Highway 98), which runs along the sea, the Moyenne Corniche (Middle Coast Road – Highway 7), which runs through Eze-Village, and the Grande Corniche (Great Coast Road), which runs through La Turbie and Col d’Eze (Eze Pass). All of these scenic roads provide breathtaking views of the coast. Rent a convertible sports vehicle from one of the numerous airport rental businesses and enjoy the French Riviera in style.
Taxi rides to and from Nice are likewise reasonably priced.
Several helicopter charter companies provide frequent flights between Monaco and the remainder of the French Riviera, the Italian Riviera, Switzerland, and the Alps. Because Monaco lacks an airport, helicopter transfers are the most convenient method to reach the Principality from Nice, where major helicopter carriers such as Heli Securite and Heli-Air Monaco conduct frequent charter flights from Nice to Monte Carlo. You head to the helicopter service waiting room after retrieving your baggage at Nice airport. The helicopter ground crew transports you and your baggage by van from the Nice airport to the Nice heliport, which is located on the opposite side of the airport. The trip down the coast is breathtaking, and you arrive right on the water’s edge at the Monaco heliport, where a vehicle service will whisk you straight to your hotel. Aside from coming by boat, this is the finest method for an international visitor to enter Monaco. Seasonal rates range from €100 to €300. However, they may reach €700 or more at the Cannes Film Festival, which is typically held in late May.
The two harbors of Monaco are no strangers to luxury boats. Port Hercule is particularly attractive, with mooring and anchoring options for up to 500 boats, some of which are quite big and exquisite (in fact, many tourists often take time out of their day to simply have a drink by the water and admire the fantastic super yachts). The Port of Fontvieille, which is part of the new area, can accommodate up to 60 boats of at least 30 meters in length. Both are spacious and well-appointed.
Monaco also acts as a cruise embarkation and port-of-call, thus small cruise ships may often be seen sailing into or out of Port Hercule, while bigger ships moor/anchor offshore. If guests are stranded offshore, tenders will transport them to and from either port, with Port Hercule providing much shorter walking distances to the most popular attractions.
The Port of Cap d’Ail, which is near by, is also a popular location for pleasure boats.
The “Sentier du bord de mer” (seaside trail), a 45-minute walk on a concrete route in a natural and quiet environment, is a nice way to arrive in Monaco. Take the train to Cap d’Ail and get out at the Cap d’Ail railway station (the latest before Monaco when coming from Nice; not all the trains stops there). Follow the road a few meters outside the railway station and use the steps on the left to cross beneath the tracks. Once on the little road, go a few meters to the left, then climb the steps on your right next to “La Pinède” restaurant to join the path. If you wish to take the route from Monaco to Cap d’Ail station, go west of Fontvieille ward, pass the French border to the Cap d’Ail port, and then follow the coastline. After a few minutes, you’ll reach the ” Sentier du bord de mer (Monaco-side)” right after a last parking lot. In case of severe weather, it may be hazardous and closed. In this scenario, you’ll have to either return to the railway station or stroll on the road. It should be noted that there is no illumination at night.