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Ten Essential Things To Do When You Visit Monaco

Feb 10, 2008
Small in size but with fame disproportionate, this principality in the French Riviera is the most thickly populated in the world. It consists of a small strip of coastal land with cliffs and beach and is also known for the many luminaries who live and visit there. Monaco is a remarkable example of a state with no natural resources and a small domain that was still able to develop itself into a world-class tourist destination.

1.) Palais du Prince

An imposing edifice, the Royal Palace was originally a thirteenth-century fortress. Aside from serving as the residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco and his family, the palace boasts many superbly-appointed apartments. Tours of the palace are scheduled when the Prince and his family are not around, and you might want to time your visit to coincide with the changing of the guard at 11:55 AM.

2.) Jardin Exotique

Monaco's mild climate lends itself to the flourishing of the many different kinds of plants in this botanical garden. The Museum of Prehistory and Anthropology, which displays various relics from both the pre-Roman and Roman eras of the region, is located within the area. There is also a grotto that has scheduled tours.

3.) Formula One Grand Prix

Every May and June, this microstate plays host to racing cars careering around its narrow streets at breakneck speeds. The Formula One World Championship Grand Prix race in Monaco is said to be the most difficult in the entire circuit. It's also possible to walk the route in the off-season, but watch out while crossing the street.

4.) Prince of Monaco's Car Collection

Oh, yes, His Highness is also an avid car enthusiast. In the event you visit Monaco in the racing off-season, you can always take a look at this pristine collection of a hundred or so four-wheelers. Beautiful things and beautiful people always seem to be associated with Monaco.

5.) Oceanographic Museum

This aquarium-cum-museum is located in the Jardins de St-Martin in Monaco-Ville. Built in 1911, it houses extensive collections of marine fauna and related exhibits. A statue outside the cliffside building commemorates Prince Albert I, who was a renowned marine scientist.

6.) Monaco Cathedral

This is located on the Avenue Saint-Martin, which also boasts lovely gardens. This turn-of-the-twentieth-century building is where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace married. The cathedral is also her resting place, and the bones of many of the ruling Grimaldi family lie there, too.

7.) Harbor Tours

Hang out at Monaco's busy harbor. You'll see passenger ferries as well as the yachts of the rich and famous, either tied up at the docks or coming or going. You might even spot a famous face or two.

8.) Shopping

Expect to pay top dollar for everything while in Monaco. Some shopping places include the Golden Circle near the Avenue Monte Carlo and the Fontvieille Shopping Center. If you want to be more personally involved in your purchases, you might wish to visit the Condamine Market near the Place d'Ames.

9.) Gambling

Monaco grew up around its casinos. In the Place du Casino is the Casino de Paris, known as much for its architecture and opulent furnishings as well as its clientele. The Monaco Casino is another well-known casino for high rollers, which enforces a jacket-and-tie dress code.

10.) Dining

In Monaco, one can find establishments serving everything from hot dogs to pricey meals that only rich gastronomes could love (and afford). A mid-upper-range place to go to is the Café de Paris. At the Hotel de Paris you'll find the most expensive restaurants, the Le Grill de L'Hotel de Paris and the Louis XV.
About the Author
Jonathan Williams is the travel writer for Destination Guide TV - the place to share travel videos. Visit http://www.destinationguide.tv/monaco to view or share Monaco travel videos.
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