For years now, the French Riviera has been on the lists of the most romantic locations. One of the most exciting parts of the Cote d’Azur is Monte Carlo, which is also the most famous of the three municipalities in the Principality of Monaco. Even though Monaco is the smallest monarchy in the world, there is still so much to be seen.
Few Days or Few Hours?
Depending on your travel plans, you will need to decide where to stay while in Monaco. Of course, if you are on a day trip, there will be no need for you to book a room in one of the luxury hotels. You should know that the Avenue Princesse Grace in Monaco is named the most expensive street in the world. The street is named after Grace Kelly, a famous actress who married Prince Rainier III and became the princess of Monaco.
Visiting Casino de Monte-Carlo
One of the most recognizable locations is Casino de Monte-Carlo. This casino is over 150 years old, and it’s been mentioned in many movies and throughout pop culture. If you have watched James Bond movies, there’s a chance that you’ve seen this beautiful complex. Furthermore, with the help of WSOP (World Series of Poker), two tournaments were held last week in Texas Hold’em with no limits. The total prize for these two tournaments was over 1.2 million euros! But whether you like the thrill of casino games, real money prizes, or James Bond movies, the casino complex is one thing you shouldn’t miss. Besides, Casino de Monte-Carlo is the second biggest casino in Europe, so you should not miss the chance to visit it, even if it’s only for a drink.
Monte Carlo Grand Prix
Of course, besides the casino complex, the second most recognizable part of Monte Carlo is Monaco Grand Prix. Circuit de Monaco has been home to annual Formula One races for almost 90 years. Furthermore, Circuit de Monaco doesn’t only run Formula One. The whole track is one of the most demanding ones due to several elevations, sharp corners, and that famous tunnel. The race is known as Monte Carlo since the majority of the track is in this neighborhood of Monaco.
Musée océanographique (The Oceanographic Museum)
The next thing on the list, Musée océanographique, is a marine science museum in Monaco-Ville. The first floor of the museum is a showcase of the Prince Albert’s work (Prince Albert I, not the current reigning monarch Prince Albert II). Furthermore, it exhibits one of Prince Albert’s laboratories, L’Hirondelle, which was part of one of his yachts. The research made in this lab led to a better understanding of anaphylaxis, which further led to Dr. Charles Richards winning a Nobel Prize in 1913.
The museum offers a variety of sea creatures like sharks, urchins, seahorses, starfish, and many others. The basement of the museum holds an aquarium that is home to over four thousand fish species, and it offers a wide array of both flora and fauna. Interestingly, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was one of the museum directors during the ’50s and until the end of the ’80s.
Prince’s Palace of Monaco
The palace is the official residence for Prince Albert II, who is also the head of the Grimaldi family. Interestingly, the family captured the palace during the late 13th century, and the palace itself is over eight hundred years old. In 1997, the family celebrated their 700th anniversary of ruling from the same place.
Of course, the palace is open to the public so you could visit and learn more about the history of Monaco, as well as the history of the palace through the ages. Furthermore, the courthouse offers Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra concerts from time to time.
Jardin Exotique de Monaco
The Exotic Garden of Monaco is located in Monaco’s cliffside. Home for many succulent plants from Mexico and Africa, the Exotic Garden was officially opened in 1933. Interestingly, when building a footbridge in the botanical garden, Louis Notari, Chief Engineer, found a grotto. Since the ’60s, it has been opened to the public and served as a monument displaying prehistoric remains. Visiting the grotto is only available with specialized guides.
Staying Few Days in Monaco Is a Good Idea
Monaco covers the area of 2.2 square kilometers (0.85 square miles), and while it sounds rather small, you will need time to visit everything. There are so many interesting landmarks, and the whole country is filled with history. From cathedrals to small amphitheaters, everything is worth your attention, and you’d probably miss a lot if you skipped something.
Walk the same streets as Grace Kelly, join James Bond in “casino royale,” or simply enjoy the view of this beautiful miniature country. Whatever you decide, one thing is certain; if you decide to visit Monte Carlo, your vacation will be unforgettable.