The Top 10 Places to Visit in Monte Carlo
Monte-Carlo is the place of various events, car rallies, and festivals of all kinds. The Principality of Monaco concentrates many wonders to discover. The question will be where to begin your exploration of this city of art and culture, rich in an exceptional architectural and natural heritage.
The Prince's Palace of Monaco
As soon as I reached Monaco, I went straight to the hill on which the Prince's Palace stands, hoping to see the changing of the guard at noon. Suddenly the guards forbid me to step on the road, without knowing why, and without warning a dark car passed in front of me, and the prince was greeted by the visitors. I suppose that this situation will be repeated from time to time, so who knows it can also happen to you on your visit to Monaco.
This Palace is the official residence of the ruler and it began its life as a fort in the 12th century but for several centuries was neglected. The palace is open to the public during the months of June and October. Once inside the palace you will find a patio decorated with three million pebbles in different geometric shapes besides beautiful Genoese frescoes. Every day at 11:55 a.m. in front of the palace visitors can witness the ceremony of changing the guards of the Carabineros.
The Port de Fontvieille is really a favorite place of the rich and famous because only they can pay the huge amounts of money a day that means having their yachts and boats parked in this port. However, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of this marina from the Rock of Monaco.
Cathedral of St. Nicholas of Monaco
This is a relatively modern construction, what can give you more value are the relics of Santa Devota and the tombs of Grace and Rainier. In short, compared to any cathedral in neighboring France and Italy, it seems more like a neighborhood church (that is, in an expensive neighborhood). In short, if you go to see Monaco is another place to visit because of its proximity to the palace. Many visitors describe this Romanesque design temple and marble facade as a peaceful and beautiful place.
Monte Carlo Casino Square
If you are a fan of James Bond, this place is dispensable for your visit. There are always tourists, very well dressed people, and super high-end cars. The casino has a dress code and must pay an entrance fee, foreigners must present their passport or other identification to enter.
This casino was established in the 19th century with the purpose of saving the Grimaldi family from the broken bench. At that time Monaco did not have the infrastructure to attend tourism, however, the plan worked. Currently, the Casino of Monte Carlo attracts great bettors with a great variety of games that include roulette, baccarat and slot machines. You will see luxury everywhere and you will want to stay longer, of course, if you have enough funds!
Opera of Monte Carlo
Located in a beautiful area of the city, this building has a beautiful architecture and was totally remodeled a few years ago. This place is another impressive building next to the Casino square, the place is within walking distance from the main hotels. The building fits so well with the casino building.
It is a place that we must visit, for the different marine species that are exhibited. This Baroque architectural style building is located in front of the Mediterranean Sea. It was founded in 1910 and for three years was led by the famous oceanographer Jaques Cousteau. It houses a wide collection of marine life among sharks, turtles, and seafood as well as models of boats and skeletons of marine animals.
It is an interesting museum with many species of all kinds. If you go with kids this is a must see since in Monte Carlo there is not much to do for the little ones. It is good to buy the ticket that includes this visit and the one of the Palace that is very close walking one of the other.
The beach is easily accessible, very well served by public transport buses (lines 5 and 6) and offers a side view of Monte Carlo. Moreover, there is a public parking practically on the beach. Larvotto is the most popular beach in Monaco, in fact, the only one and as its surface is much rockier than sandy beaches. Consider using special shoes if you want to walk along the Mediterranean coast. Some sections of this beach in Monaco are public for all visitors while other spaces are to be paid. The beach is within walking distance of Monte Carlo. Surrounding the coast you can find Grace Kelly Avenue.
Jardin Exotique de Monaco
To start the tour of Monaco I recommend you to access this panoramic view. I did not plan to visit this garden but I was driving nearby and spotted the signs and decided to visit. This garden is undoubtedly a must-see for nature lovers. This botanical garden built on the side of a cliff and presents more than a thousand succulents of which most are cacti.
Some of the plants have more than 100 years of existence. At the foot of the hill is an underground cave that visitors can access through a guide. The garden is also part of the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology as several ancient human fossils and skeletons were found in the area. This beautiful garden is a perfect place to take beautiful panoramic photos of Monaco because from this point you will have a beautiful view of the bay.
Monaco Grand Prix
I had the opportunity to attend the Grand Prix in Silverstone and in Catalonia, but in Monaco, it did not coincide with my trip. I was struck by the amazing view towards the port. Those travelers who are passionate about fast cars will not want to miss the Monaco Grand Prix which is considered one of the most prestigious racing venues in the world. As the roads of Monaco are narrow with steep curves, the track is considered one of the most demanding Formula One tracks.
Port of Monte Carlo
This is another place where the rich and famous dock their beautiful and expensive yachts. This port can receive up to 500 boats in the middle of a beautiful space. You can enjoy and relax in the cafe that is located on the banks of the pier and from there enjoy the beautiful view of these glamorous and spectacular yachts.
Le Metropole Shopping Centers
Located near the Casino, it is nice to walk around and contemplate those beautiful crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It is a mall with all luxury brands. It's worth having a coffee while looking at the spiders hanging from the ceiling. Even if you do not like to stroll around the mall, this one is well worth going and enjoy, beyond what the luxury shops offer, the beautiful architecture of the place.
More than a rock, more than the jet-set and even more than a tax haven, Monte Carlo deserves to be discovered. A magnificent site synonymous in the world of loud luxury and extreme extravagance, in an unparalleled panorama on the borders of France and Italy, among one of the most beautiful coasts in the world. If you forget the luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants, and sumptuous festivals, the city also has a lot of charm and is only to be discovered.