Although still less than 10-years-old, I had (perhaps) my first crush on Grace Kelly so when her engagement to Prince Rainier was announced, I just knew that I would spend my teen years sunbathing on a posh yacht in the Monacan harbor, where it now costs about 1200 Euros per night just to moor your ketch. At this point, both my teen years and Princess Grace are long gone but I did get a chance to do a bit of dreaming when I finally visited Monaco. For only 2 Euros, you can buy a ticket on the Bateau Bus ferry across the harbor and with a great imagination you can imagine yourself one of the rich and famous being transported from your sumptuous yacht to the nearby shore for a night on the town.
Also known as the Casino de Paris, the Grand Casino is one of the city's most architecturally beautiful constructions and tourist attractions. The ornate interior of the Grand Casino makes it worth a visit, regardless of whether you plan to indulge in a game of roulette or not, and its gold and marble details ooze with affluence. There is a fee to get in and you'll need a jacket and tie.
Drawing gamblers and curious visitors alike, this glamorous casino is the ideal place to watch vast amounts of money and chips change hands. Also onsite and displayed in a glass case is an impressive €500,000 chip.
It is a principle source of income for Monaco and the Grimaldi family.
These gardens are a relaxing spot where the small paths snake nonchalantly along the ridge hangs on the south-west face of the Rock.
It is a thriving environment for the wild Mediterranean flora complemented by a rich display of exotic species. Here and there, the luxury of nature, classic works of art or a clear pool can be discovered.
Entry is free and there is a great lookout spot over the little harbour port de Fontvielle.
One should see this cathedral on the rock, which contains art by Louis Bréa and the royal tombs, in which Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III have their last resting places.
The cathedral was consecrated in 1875, and is on the site of the first parish church in Monaco built in 1252 and dedicated to St. Nicholas. Of note are the retable (circa 1500) to the right of the transept, the Great Altar and the Episcopal throne in white Carrara marble.
The Prince's Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, during its long and often dramatic history it has been bombarded and besieged by many foreign powers. Since the end of the 13th century, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi family who first captured it in 1297.
The changing of the guard takes place every day at 11.55am by the Palace in the large square. Apart from providing this display, the Prince's Guard is also responsible for the security of the Prince and his family and also appears at major events.
In the Palais there are splendid apartments, including the throne-room in Empire style, the York bedroom (18th C.) and beautiful 17th C. frescos (Genoese work). Tours take place when the Prince and his family are absent (in which case the Prince's flag on the Tour Ste-Marie is not raised.
Even though it's not like the one at the Buckingham Palace, it almost the same thing, except it's with less guards.
Where? Prince's Palace of Monaco at Place du Palais.
What time? 11h55. Get there early (20 minutes before should be fine during low-season) to get a good spot.
The Grimaldi Palace, with its solid square aspect is a fine symbol of the tenacity which has distinguished the Grimaldi family for centuries. It is also a real museum with fine furniture decorating its apartments. The palace dates from the 16th and 17th centuries but still preserves its mediaeval towers, built by the Genoese in 1215.
Francesco Grimaldi took possession of the fortress in 1297, and his successors enlarged it, converting it into a noble mansion capable of housing even the Emperor Charles V. Honore II was of course the great renovator of the family castle and it was he who organized the distribution of the apartments inside. The fountains and gardens are also attributed to the creative impulse of this same Prince. As a lover of the arts and letters, Honore II owned nearly 700 paintings signed by the greatest masters.
You can watch my 2 min 05 sec Video Monte Carlo out of my Youtube channel.
This church has been around since 1875. Located in the Monaco-Ville district of Monaco, Saint Nicholas Cathedral is nestled not too far from the Prince's Palace. This place houses the remains of the famous Grace Kelly. This place also houses the remains of the Grimaldi family who ruled part of Monaco as feudal lords. The more recent interment is Prince Rainer III. Dead from a car crash that also involved her daughter Stephanie, Grace Kelly's funeral was held here and attended to by thousands. It's a beautiful structure, and while you'll have your fill of churches in Europe, this church is a must stop during your visit to Monaco.
This is the aquarium in Monaco founded by prince Albert I in 1910. There are more than 90 aquaria, as well as a museum and a lot of research is conducted here. Jacques Cousteau used to be president for a couple of years.
The opening hours change, but it's generally open from 10.00 to 18.00. The entrance costs €12.50 for adults and €6 for children.
Two other must sees in Monaco we did not make it too are the Oceanographic Museum & Aquarium and the Exotic Garden.
The Oceanographic Museum & Aquarium is situated in a wonderfully grand building right on the cliff edge. Open between 10am & 6 pm daily, longer in the summer months. Entrance 11 Euros. Check out their website below.
The other must see (I wish I had seen!) is the Exotic Garden, set in a steep cliff side with over 7000 species of plants. Entrance is 6,70 Euros. The ticket price also includes entrance to Caves & the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology. Open between 9am - 6pm.
A stroll from the casino past the harbor to the royal palace takes around 30 minutes.The palace is perched on a hill, with stunning views of Monaco and the French and Italian coasts beyond. Every day at 11:55 a.m sharp, royal guards parade onto the palace's front square, some with swords drawn, others shouldering rifles with bayonets. To the beat of drums and blowing trumpets, they change the guard and march off as the palace clock strikes midday. They wear black uniforms in winter, white in summer.
The main tourist attraction is the Prince's Palace and State Apartments. (open daily 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. June to September and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during October). The palace's focal points are the Throne Room and the Main Courtyard with its horse-shaped marble staircase, adorned with millions of geometric patterns. There is an entrance fee for the palace but watching the changing of the guards is free.
For great information on the history and all the attractions in Monaco check the website listed below.
If you like old cars you'll appreciate this amazing event.
The historique GP is organised every two years , 2 weeks before the Formula 1 GP on the same circuit.
This year it was on the week end of the 1 st and 2nd may 2010.
Not expensive 20 euros on saturday, 35 euros on sunday, 45 euros both and free for children under 15 years old accompanied.
8 races for GP cars before 1947 to formula 1 of the 70's, and an exhibition of the "AUTO UNION" C and D types, famous racing cars of the 30's.
Next GP on 2012
The Oceanographic Museum (Musee Oceanographique) is housed in two floors of the exhibition spaces i.e. first and second floors of the building. They contain large colletions of marine fauna and creatures including large whale and shark skeletons and giant squid mold. Many of the exhibits were donated by its founder Prince Albert I who is also known as the Father of Modern Monaco. Models of several ships used by Prince Albert I and other vessels and crafts were displayed on the first floor of the Museum. The terrace cafe located on the roof has a commanding and breath-taking view of the city and the harbour.
The Oceanographic Museum is opened to the public daily. Entrance fees for adults and children are 12.50 and 6.00 euros respectively. Opening hours are between 9.30 a.m. and 7.30 p.m. with shorter opening hours during the winter months. Please visit our Monaco travelogue for more beautiful pictures of the Oceanographic Museum in Monte Carlo. You may also e-mail to the following address for more information regarding Oceanographic Musuem: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium (Musee Oceanographique) is located on the top of the Rock and rises close to the sea level. Its total height is approximately 85 metres high. The Museum is located within a stone's throw of the Prince's Palace in the city of Monte Carlo. The Museum's facade is one of the finest architectural masterpieces in Monaco as depicted in our photograph on the right. It was constructed of white limestone and marble by the founder Prince Albert I exactly one hundred years ago! It was officially opened to the public in 1910.
Musee Oceanographique is opened to the public daily. Entrance fees for adults and children are 12.50 and 6.00 euros respectively. Opening hours are between 9.30 a.m. and 7.30 p.m. with shorter opening hours during the winter months. Please visit our Monaco travelogue for more beautiful pictures of the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium in Monte Carlo. You may also e-mail to the following address for more information regarding Musee Oceanographique: email@example.com
The city and harbour of Monte Carlo are certainly beautiful at night especially during the Christmas festival seasons when the city and the harbour are beautifully illuminated with Christmas lightings and decorations, not to mention the presence of the colourful Christmas Markets at the harbour.
You will be thrilled when you visit the city and the harbour at night even during the other months other than the Christmas festical seasons . As this is the city for the rich and famous, most buildings are beautifully illuminated at nightespecially at Place du Casino, the area around Monte Carlo Casino, Cafe de Paris and Hotel De Paris. Don't miss the night view of Monte Carlo when you visit the city perhaps on your day trip from Nice on your vacation at French Riviera!