Yes! There is a train that goes right from Villefranche to Monte Carlo (or to Nice in the opposite direction). We sailed on RCI a few years ago and Villefranche was one of our port calls--it's very charming and quite an interesting little place to explore. You won't dock there, though. The pier is quite small and you'll tender ashore. Your cruise line will probably also offer tours to Monaco. We took a tour and it was quite interesting--we visited the palace, saw the royal residences and Cathedral where Princess Grace is buried, and also went to the Casino de Monte Carlo.
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Yes, there is a train!! We've taken it from Nice to Monte Carlo and back. Here's a nice website to check out - http://www.villefranche-sur-mer.com/htmlgb/fs_accueil.html. Thought I had book marked the french rail site, but didn't. You can try and find it via a search engine search - I think the letters are SCNF?? We had no problem w/ the trains. Of note both the Nice Station and the Monte Carlo station are a bit of a walk from the main areas you'll want to see. Might recommend a cab - especially for Monte Carlo - I seem to remember it a bit of a hike. We are going to NIce and doing our own thing - really like the Old Town area and the Cours Seleya (sp?) - wide open market square with lots of tasty outdoor cafes. Just off this area you'll find quaint shops.
I am Alain from Dream tours.
I use to show this area for people from Villefranche.
The best way to visit everything without missing a place is to take a Van which is
able to move fastly in all the places without trouble with parking.
From Villefranche we show you Eze, Monaco, Nice,St Paul de Vence, and if your
boat let you lot of time Antibes and Cannes, All this in a full day cooll and relax.
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We pick up people from Villefranche, Nice Monaco or Cannes.
Have a good trip
We took the train the last time we did the Med but it was actually quite a nightmare. Tons of cruisers all with the same idea. Took a while to get to the front of ticket counter and then had to wait. Try www.portcompass.com. Many people from cruisecritic have used them (very pleased). I'm using them from Rome and Florence myself.
We tried to get to Monte Carlo via train. Several ships were in port, what seemed like hundreds on the platform trying to purchase tickets.One person serving, two ticket machines for people lucky to have change.Result, we gave up and walked around!! Our companions boarded the train without tickets,walked miles because the car races were being prepared and were very disappointed. Check carefully.
We took a bus which is a pretty journey along the coast. The bus stop is a walk up through the town,but did not take long to get to it. You will need to ask though. It was by a street antiques market. It takes about 30-40 minutes and then it's a walk through the gardens to the casino. We walked round the bay and up the steps to the palace and the cathedral, but we were told there was a bus, but we couldn't find the stop. If you want to go to Nice it's only 2 stops on the train (friends have done it) or you could get a bus. Villefranche is pretty to explore. Monaco has not changed in 20 years, except the new marina was just a building site then. Worth going up to the Palace just for the view from the top. Also explore the little streets in front of the palace forecourt.