Monaco’s Parks & Gardens
Monaco may be better known for its fast-paced lifestyle of casinos, restaurants and bars, but with so many beautiful parks and green spaces to explore, it’s also a great place to relax and unwind. Here are the top picks of Monaco’s scenic parks and gardens:
Little Africa Gardens, Monte Carlo
In the center of Monte Carlo you’ll find a small but beautiful park called Jardins de la Petite Afrique with winding paths, a pond with ducks, and lush fauna. This garden marries amazing tropical species of flowers with trees that have powerful buttresses and disproportionate aerial roots.
Saint Martin Gardens on the Rock
Located on The Rock just minutes from the Palace, Jardins St Martin was the Principality’s first public garden, opened in 1816. Take a stroll through the winding pathways of these elegant cliff-side gardens and enjoy breathtaking views of the sea, rich variety of Mediterranean and exotic plants, a tranquil pond and a number of interesting sculptures and art works. Benches are placed all around, making the park a great place to grab some respite and a bit of shade on a sunny day.
Princess Antoinette Park in the Condamine
A great place for kids and teens, Parc Princess Antoinette (named in honor of Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy and eldest sister of Prince Renier), this perfectly landscaped park is a beautiful and regal space in which to stroll while exploring the La Condamine district and lots of play areas. Since Monaco is so safe, adults can relax in the “Zen Palace” while their kids play. This is foremost a playground for kids, as there are many play areas with swings, slides, roundabouts, and many others. An olive grove is in the center of the park. There are places to play ball games, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, skateboarding, and even an 18-hole mini-golf in the multi-purpose sports grounds. Find out more in our guide for things to do with kids.
The Exotic Garden, Near the Entrance to Monaco
Opened in 1933, Jardins Exotique cliff-top garden park has winding paths with bird’s-eye Mediterranean views, a museum, underground caves, and lots of exotic cacti. Sourced mostly from South Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, the flowers here are vibrant, diverse and sweet-scented, and there are many different types of cacti to explore. Be sure to bring a jacket and try out the chilly underground observatory cave, where rock specialists offer guided tours around the limestone rock caverns situated in the garden.
The Japanese Garden, on the Water in Larvotto
A dream of Princess Grace, the stylized Japanese garden is an oasis of greenery. Here, everything is symbolic. Some of the arrangements respect Shintoist principles, such as the red arched bridge over koi ponds leading to the islands which represent the Gods. The zen garden, whose sea of gravel is raked into an ellipse, symbolizes perpetual motion.
These lovely Japanese-style gardens are just a short walk away from the Monte Carlo Casino, next to the sea. It has several meditation and tea houses with benches that you can sit and relax on. The stone lanterns and all the wood for the tea house and covered terrace was assembled in Japan and then transported to Monaco. This detailed garden provides a piece of tranquility among the bright lights and bustle of the city. Keep an eye out for the stone lanterns, bamboo fencing and idyllic meditation area, where visitors can enjoy the garden’s serenity for hours.
Princess Grace’s Rose Garden in Fontvieille
If you are spending any time in Fontvieille, make sure to pause at the Roseraie Princess Grace to indulge in its fragrant and perfectly-manicured rose gardens. The Princess Grace Rose Garden is home to over 300 varieties of roses (Grace Kelly’s favorite flower), and a gorgeous statue sculpted in 1983 by Kees Verkade in tribute to the princess. This beautiful garden was cultivated in 1984 by Prince Renier III of Monaco, two years after the death of his wife, the legendary American actress Grace Kelly. The garden is a tranquil and poignant place in which to spend a few quiet moments.