Monaco is a city-state sitting on the southern edge of France on the Mediterranean. It is known for its warm climate, blue seas, and numerous attractions for those looking to get away for a few days or even weeks. Because there is so much to do, things to see and places to visit, it is important that you plan your visit properly. To help you get started, here are a few things you should do and places you should visit to make the most out of your trip to Monaco.
Visit the Musée Océanographique
The Musée Océanographique was opened in 1910 and is, therefore, one of the oldest aquariums in the world. It is dedicated to oceanography and marine artifacts. It houses three aquariums and over 6000 specimens, making it perfect for those who love marine life. Younger visitors can also get a closer look at and feel of different ocean creatures at the dedicated touch tank in the museum. This tank holds baby sharks, sea urchins, and starfish in an environment meant to mimic their natural habitats.
Visit the Monaco Cathedral
The Monaco Cathedral is so imposing and breathtaking due to the white stones used in its construction. The cathedral holds the remains of former princesses and was built in 1875. However, it does hold much older artifacts, including artworks from as early as 1500. Other attractions in the cathedral include the main throne carved out of white marble and the grand organ.
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Enjoy the Sun at Larvotto Beach
Larvotto Beach sits at the edge of the sea and is the only public beach in the principality. Because jellyfish thrive in the surrounding waters, the principality has placed nets around the beach to protect swimmers. If you prefer the sun, you can sunbathe on the golden sand. For something different, try kayaking or jet skiing on the seawater.
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Visit the Monte Carlo Casino
One of the first things you will want to do is visit the Monte Carlo Casino. Officially called the Casino de Monte Carlo, it is a famous tourist destination due to its history. The casino was built in 1893 and is particularly stunning due to its Beaux-Arts style, which is not too common. It is also a great destination for James Bond fans as it is thought to be the setting for the Casino Royale James Bond novel.
While casino games have changed due to technological advancements, nothing bets playing in the different gaming rooms at the Monte Carlo. All of these rooms are decorated in a variety of themes. Do not be too taken in by the decor and themes, as you might miss the stunning artwork and chandeliers that don the casino’s interior.
Watch a Formula One Race
The Monaco Grand Prix takes place in the streets of Monaco every May. The race cuts through famous streets as well as passing famous attractions such as the Monte-Carlo Fairmont Hotel and the Boulevard Albert I. If you are in Monaco at the right time, you can experience the thrill of watching cars go over 200 miles per hour and enjoy the atmosphere that comes with the Grand Prix.
See Where the Prince Lives
Monaco has a prince who lives in a residence to the northwest of the cathedral. The residence is built with function in mind, and although it is not the most stunning piece of architecture, it is still a place to visit, even for a few minutes. If you want more, you can arrange to join one of the tours of the staterooms. The residence has a change of guard at 11:55 AM, which is a sight to behold.
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Enjoy the Princess Grace Rose Garden
If you want to get away from the busy streets of Monaco, visiting the Princess Grace Rose Garden is a great way to get away from it all. The garden is home to thousands of roses as well as olive and palm trees. The garden is also home to ancient contemporary sculptures that tell different stories depending on who you ask. Even though some may think the garden is small, it is well-maintained and home to a wide variety of flowers.
Do Some Shopping
Monaco is known as a great place to do some shopping, and so you can find a wide range of high-end items here. These include designer and luxury goods, jewelry, perfume, and much more. Some popular areas to visit include the Venue de Monte-Carlo, Boulevard des Moulins and the Avenue Prince Grace.
Monaco is a great destination, not only because of its rich history but also because there is so much to do and see. You can choose to visit the beach, enjoy the older architecture and buildings or take advantage of the learning experiences at the different museums located all over Monaco.