trip to Monaco from Nice December 2007

19th December 2007

you can see the three of us reflected in the silver bauble - me clutching an orange Hermes bagThis is the large Christmas tree in the centre of Monaco's Christmas Village. You can see the three of us reflected in the silver bauble, the orange blob is an Hermès bag, Happy Christmas to me.

We had spent the morning in Cimiez at the Matisse museum and in the afternoon we decided suddenly to nip to Monaco on the new 100 xpress bus.

The 100 xpress is a new service this autumn and the fare is still only 1,30 euros. On the information leaflet, it says this will be reduced to 1 euro in the new year (2008) Not sure if that will be universal for all TAM routes or just for the xpress service. A leaflet can be downloaded here

bus stops on the xpress 100 Nice to Monaco route

There are a limited number of bus stops for the new 100 xpress bus route from Nice to Monaco

The regular 100 from Nice to Menton via Monaco is still in operation. The time difference is about 20 minutes - it's about a 35 minute trip via the 100 xpress and at least an hour via the 100.

new 100 xpress Bus from Nice to Monaco via the autorouteThe new 100 xpress from Nice to Mnoaco via the autoroute

It feels quicker on the xpress as there are only about 6 stops in total and it goes via the motorway for part of the journey so you feel you are on your way. It's every hour at 10 minutes to the hour from the Gare Routière or bus station, quai 19, pay the driver. It returns from Monaco at half past the hour up to 6:30pm.

xpress 100 timetable Nice to Monaco100 xpress timetable, click on the image to enlarge

We took the express to its last stop in Monaco by Place des Moulins, right outside Ladurée where we bought a couple of boxes of their famous macaroons. From there, a 5 minute stroll takes you to the Casino.

chocolat a lafeuille d or macaroons courtesy Laduree website

Macaroons from Laduree
Photo: Courtesy

outside Laduree clutching bag of macaroonsoutside Ladurée, bag of goodies in hand

If you wanted to start at the other end of Monaco, the bus first stops at Place d'Armes where you can take the lift or walk up to the Palace. We had great views of the Port and Christmas village and big wheel as the bus descended into Monaco.

Our plan was to walk from Ladurée all the way back to Place d'Armes at the foot of the Place hill to catch the last xpress bus back to Nice at 6:30pm. We had about 3 hours but if we missed the last xpress, we could always take the regular 100 and jump off at the Port. It's an easy walk from this far east end of Monte Carlo as the direction is always down hill. If you walk from the Palace end, it's up hill although there are regular local buses to get you you about. Our walk took us past the Casino and past Hermès, my favourite shop where I bought myself a new enamel bangle for Christmas.
Hermes in Monte Carlo
Outside Hermès, avenue de Monte Carlo
In general, the shops, streets and gardens were much more Christmassy than Nice - far more effort with lots of tasteful lights, displays and decorations. In Nice you have to hunt a bit to see any decorations part from somewhat dismal looking municipal Christmas trees in concrete planters each with a couple of strands of tinsel and about five large baubles.

Onwards and downwards towards the Port where the Christmas Village was set up. A similar format to Nice (and every other city in Europe) Wooden chalets, an ice rink and a big wheel. Generally, it was bigger and glitzier than Nice with better decorations, more stalls and a bigger ice rink - they had covered over the open-air swimming pool. There were also more fun things for children to do - snowshoe walking on real snow and motorised ski quads over mini courses of real snow.

There were also lots of stalls providing food and snacks plus picnic bench seating. Hot dogs, socca, waffles, pancakes, baked potatoes, sandwiches etc. We had hotdogs, pancakes and socca, watched the iceskating for a bit and continued on towards the big wheel. At this point time had gone by so we headed across the road and up the pedestrianised Princess Caroline Street, turn left at the top, cross over the your are at the Place d'Armes bus stop, on the north side of the road, headed for Nice. There's a convenient bar here for a coffee, beer and loo. One thing I've noticed about the bus stops in Monaco, they are reluctant to display the TAM 100 bus signs, you have to just trust that they will stop at the main stops and stick your thumb out just to make sure. It's all local bus information. There was a small poster for the xpress bus though, which was reassuring. A 100 bus turned up first and we were about to jump on, when the xpress appeared behind it.

It's the first time we had been to Monaco in December and I would go again, it was lovely and an interesting contrast to Nice.


Judy said...

Do you know if the 100 and 100Express run on Sundays? And do you know which stop is closest to the Fairmont?

AllaboutNice said...

Judy - yes, the 100 goes every day and the 100Xpress which used to be only Monday - Friday also goes every day. All the timetables and information are here:

The route map will show the stops - the name of the stop will give you a clue to the location so you should be able to calculate which one is nearest the Fairmont using maps like google maps or

Looks as though the stop 'Casino' will be closest or possibly the next one 'Place des Moulins' The 100xpress terminates at Place des Moulins, so this might be the best one to get. The 100 stops at both Casino and Place des Moulins.