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A small principality on the French Riviera, and a paradise for those who love the luxury lifestyle. Monaco and Monte Carlo are undoubtedly worth a one-day or weekend journey if you’re visiting the French Riviera.
Monte Carlo is the one metropolis of significance in Monaco. Perched above the sea it has a dramatic setting with a historical European charm, quaint and steep streets, all blended in with trendy hotels and resorts.
Monaco Ville is the old part of Monaco, perched on the top of a mountain plateau called “Le Rocher”, the Rock, this traditional old quarter of Monaco is one of the prettiest places to visit.
The district consists of quaint old streets with cozy and reasonably priced restaurants and small souvenir shops, with the main attraction being the Palace, the Oceanographic Museum, and the Cathedral.
From the roof terrace of the Hotel Metropole you have a wonderful view over Monte Carlo Casino as you stay in one of the most luxurious hotels in Europe.
Hotel Metropole also has a gourmet restaurant, the 2-Michelin starred Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo Restaurant that comes highly recommended whether or not you are staying here.
Attractions and things to do in Monaco …
Located far out on an 85 m high cliff (Avenue St-Martin), the Oceanographic Museum is a magnificent building of stone sourced from La Turbie in the hills above Monaco.
The museum was founded by Prince Albert I in 1910 and is one of the best aquariums with over 4000 species of fish including sharks and reef fish as well as tools, weapons and models of ships.
The highlight is the 7.5 meter long coral reef with tropical fish on one side and deep sea predators on the other side.
For more information, visit: www.oceano.mc
Between the Palace and Oceanographic museum you find the “Cathédrale de Monaco”.
This beautiful building is a neo-Romanesque church built in 1875, also of stone from La Turbie. There are many members of the Grimaldi dynasty buried here, including Princess Grace Kelly and her husband Prince Rainier III.
Beside the cathedral is the beautiful park Jardins St-Martin, sloping to the sea.
Casino Monte Carlo
The famous and popular Monte Carlo Casino is a beautiful building dating from the 1800s. Even visitors who do not gamble cannot resist a visit to this exciting place, but remember to wear your best dress when you do!
The Prince’s Palace dates back to 1191 when it was first constructed as a Genoese fortress, and since the 13th century it has been the home of Grimaldi Family and the hence Prince of Monaco.
Be sure to catch the colourful changing of the guards ceremony that takes place in the courtyard in front of the palace each day at 11:55. Between April and October you can visit the Prince’s lavish rooms that are used for official visits to Monaco.
If the prince is home the Grimaldi flag is hoisted on top of the tower.
For more information, visit: www.palais.mc
The Museum of Napoleon Souvenirs
Inside the south wing of the Palace is The Museum of Napoleon Souvenirs and Historic Archives of the Palace houses.
It has several articles and documents from the Napoleonic era and an exhibition on the history of Monaco.
For more information, visit the web site: www.palais.mc
Hill up to the Palace
As the name suggests, the Hill up to the Palace is a pleasant though strenuous way to make your way up to the Palace.
Rising up above the harbour and streets of Monaco this is a wonderful way to go, and the view of Monaco becomes more and more beautiful with each step.
Of course this is not the only way to get to the palace. you can also drive up or take the little tourist train.
At the castle, you get a nice view of residential areas with gardens and swimming pools on the roofs or watch the luxury yachts and boats coming and going.
Private Collection of Antique Cars
If you love old antique cars this private collection is a must visit. It includes an axhibition of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III’s private collection of antique cars and there are approximately 100 vehicles on show within a 4000 m² area.
More information about opening times and more at the Palace’s site >>