It was Prince Albert I (1848-1922), Monaco’s pioneering “Navigator Prince,” who began collecting the species and objects you’ll find in the Oceanographic Museum. Directed for years by legendary oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the museum is now home to more than 4,000 species of fish and 200 families of invertebrates.
The museum showcases the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean Sea, including octopi and menacing-looking moray eels. You’ll also see tropical marine life in the world-famous aquarium, such as clown fish, starfish, seahorses, and turtles. Don’t miss the shark lagoon, and take time to explore the Cabinet of Curiosities, full of sea-related objects such as model ships and sailing tools. Stop by the rooftop terrace restaurant to enjoy a snack and the 360-degree scenery. To see more of Monaco, visitors can visit the museum as part of a multi-stop guided tour of the principality.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Purchase your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in long entry lines.
- The museum is family friendly and offers daytime activities for children.
- The museum is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Hop-on hop-off tour buses stop at the museum, which is located on Avenue Saint-Martin in Monaco-Ville (central Monaco), close to the Prince’s Palace. If you’re walking, access the museum from Place d'Armes via Avenue de la Porte Neuve. Parking is available below the museum, and elevators and escalators take you directly to the main entrance.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily except for Christmas Day and the weekend of the Formula One Grand Prix. Head there in the morning to beat the crowds.
Exploring the Royal Car Collection
If you’re a car enthusiast, check out the nearby Cars Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco, at the Prince’s Palace in Monaco. Around 100 models are on display, from classic Cadillacs and Chryslers to sleek Lamborghinis. You’ll also find historic military vehicles and horse-drawn coaches. Children are welcome.
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- Cathédrale de Monaco (Monaco Cathedral)
- Prince's Palace (Palais Princier de Monaco)
- Fontvieille Park and Princess Grace Rose Garden
- Hercules Port (Port d'Hercule)
- Monaco Naval Museum (Musée Naval de Monaco)
- Monaco Top Cars Collection (Exhibition of HSH The Prince of Monaco's Vintage Car Collection)
- Old Town of Monaco
- Monte Carlo Casino (Casino de Monte-Carlo)
- Louis II Stadium (Stade Louis II)
- Casino Square (Place du Casino)
- Opera de Monte-Carlo
- Exotic Garden of Monaco (Jardin Exotique de Monaco)
- Japanese Garden (Le Jardin Japonais)
- Larvotto Beach