Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

Built on the side of Monaco’s legendary Rocher, the Oceanographic Museum founded by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco’s great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I has been watching over the oceans for more than a century. The Museum is renowned throughout the world for its expertise and has more than 6,000 specimens on display. 

From the flourishes on the façades to the décor in the halls, every aspect of the Museum’s architecture evokes the marine world. Since it was opened on 29 March 1910, this Temple of the Sea, 6,500 square metres of which are open to the public, has been an international benchmark for loving, protecting and raising awareness of the oceans.

THE AQUARIUMS

  • A journey through the tropics: the tropical zone reveals the hectic life of a coral reef and the species which inhabit it, featuring enchanting shapes and colours. Come face to face with sharks and piranhas, observe the clownfish and the awe-inspiring stonefish with its lethal spines, and admire the captivating boxfish or bizarre sea horses.
  • Dive into the Mediterranean Sea: discover more than 200 species of invertebrate in the pools representing the Mediterranean, a sea which is home to hidden treasures. Come and meet our clever octopus, tremble before our sinister moray eels, or admire the soothing ballet of the jellyfish.

THE MUSEUM

  • Whale Room and Prince Albert I Room: a voyage of oceanographic discovery, with many mounted specimens, photographs and archive documents, models, marine mammal skeletons, etc. 
  • Oceanomania: the largest ever cabinet of marine world curiosities, created by artist Mark Dion. More than 1,000 objects from the Oceanographic Museum’s collections are displayed in a 180-square-metre space: fossils, chimaeras, diving gear, valuable books etc.

EVENTS

Wednesdays: Touch tank, feeding the animals in the touch tank, and light and sound show in the Whale Room.
Weekends: touch tank, ImmerSEAve 360°, and light and sound show in the Whale Room.
Head over to www.oceano.mc/activities to check out the school holiday event schedule!

A little history

A sailor and pioneer in the field of oceanography, attracted to travel and science from a very young age, Prince Albert I led 28 scientific campaigns, dedicating a large part of his life to studying the oceans. To promote the growth and development of oceanography, a science which was still in its infancy in the early twentieth century, he decided to set up a special foundation, the Institute of Oceanography. Established in 1906, this renowned foundation operating in the public interest has two aspects: the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and the Maison des Océans in Paris. On board ever more advanced vessels (Hirondelle, Princesse Alice, Princesse Alice II and Hirondelle II), this visionary Prince travelled the Mediterranean, visited the Azores, then embarked on an Arctic adventure to Spitsbergen.

Art and science  

True to its founder’s determination to “bring crashing together the two driving forces of civilisation: art and science”, the Oceanographic Museum also opens its doors to contemporary art and hosts major exhibitions such as those created with the artists Damien Hirst, Huang Yong Ping, Mark Dion, Marc Quinn and most recently Philippe Pasqua.

Practical information:
Opening hours:
Open every day (except 25 December and the Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend):
- January, February, March: 10 am to 6 pm
- April, May, June: 10 am to 7 pm
- July, August: 9.30 am to 8 pm
- September: 10 am to 7 pm
- October, December: 10 am to 6 pm

Admission:
Adults (19 and over): €11 (low season), €14 (standard season), €16 (peak season)
Young people (aged 13–18 inclusive): €7 (low season), €10 (standard season), €12 (peak season)
Students (with valid card): €7 (low season), €10 (standard season), €12 (peak season)
Children (aged 4–12 inclusive): €5 (low season), €7 (standard season), €8 (peak season)
People with disabilities: €7  

Low season: 7 January to 9 February, 12–30 March, 5 November to 21 December.
Standard season: 1–6 January, 10 February to 11 March, 31 March to 30 June, 1 September to 4 November, 22–31 December.
High season: 1 July to 31 August

Restaurant:
There is a restaurant on the roof terrace of the Oceanographic Museum. Enjoy a break and something to eat 85 metres above the Mediterranean Sea.