Monaco may be the second smallest country in the world (the first being the Vatican), but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to visit. A principality ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century, Monaco is a famous place to place bets, watch chariot races and celebrate fairytale weddings like that of actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier. The country is a glamorous place that offers tourists the opportunity to rub shoulders with the rich and famous and admire the magnificent yachts that line its bay.
1.- Port of Fontvieille
The Port of Fontvieille is truly a favorite haunt of the rich and famous as only they can afford to pay the huge amount per day to park their yachts and boats in this port. This marina can accommodate 275 boats of various sizes and provides entertainment for travelers who use it. 50 years ago, the port of Fontvieille was just an area of sand surrounded by rocks. The marina surrounds the coast of the village of Fontvieille, with waterfront streets and buildings. You can enjoy the breathtaking views of this marina from the Rock of Monaco.
2.- Saint-Nicolas Cathedral in Monaco
Each Catholic country has a national cathedral. In Monaco, it is Saint-Nicolas Cathedral, which owes its name to the first Catholic church built in the country in the 13th century and demolished in the 19th century. Today the church is known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Besides the Catholic worship, it is the resting place of the Grimaldi family, including Grace Kelly and Rainier III. Visitors describe this Romanesque-style, marble-fronted temple as a peaceful and beautiful place.
3.- Oceanographic Museum
Fans of all things marine will enjoy visiting the Oceanographic Museum, which is entirely devoted to marine science. This Baroque architectural style building is located in front of the Mediterranean Sea. It was founded in 1910 and was directed for three years by the famous oceanographer Jaques Cousteau. It houses an extensive collection of marine animals, including sharks, turtles and crustaceans, as well as model ships and skeletons of marine animals. It has an aquarium in the basement that houses 4,000 species of fish and features two marine ecosystems, Mediterranean and tropical.
4.- Larvotto Beach
Lavotto is Monaco’s most popular beach, in fact, the only one, and since its surface is much more rocky than sandy, beachgoers who want to visit it should consider wearing special shoes if they want to walk along it. the Mediterranean coast. Although many recommend this beach for the whole family due to its calm waters, parents who decide to visit with their children should be aware that topless people are common. Some sections of this beach in Monaco are public for all visitors while others are chargeable. The beach is a short distance from Monte Carlo. Along the coast you will find Grace Kelly Avenue.
5.- Exotic Garden
This garden is undoubtedly a must for nature lovers. This botanical garden is built on the side of a cliff and features more than a thousand succulents, most of which are cacti. Some of these plants are over 100 years old. At the foot of the hill is an underground cave which visitors can access with a guide. The garden is also part of the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology, as several ancient human fossils and skeletons have been discovered 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.
6.- Monaco Grand Prix
Travelers with a passion for fast cars won’t want to miss the Monaco Grand Prix, considered one of the most prestigious races in the world. As the tracks in Monaco are narrow and winding, the circuit is considered one of the most demanding in Formula 1. The riders must slow down considerably, at the limit of what is allowed by Formula 1. This Grand Prix is affiliated with Formula 1 since 1955 but the first race on this circuit took place in 1929. This race takes place in May and follows the same route every year.
7.- Port of Monte Carlo
This is another place where the rich and famous moor their beautiful and expensive yachts. Located in La Condamine, Monaco’s second oldest district, visitors will find the Prince of Monaco’s boat on the quayside of Port Hercule among other boats and yachts. This port can accommodate up to 500 boats in the middle of a beautiful space. Travelers can relax in the pier-side cafe and enjoy the magnificent view of these glamorous and spectacular yachts.
8.- The Rock. Villa Monaco
Villa Monaco, also known as Le Rochere (the rock), offers visitors the opportunity to stroll through the oldest quarter of Monaco. This old town was built on rocky terrain that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. It is believed to date back to the 6th century BC, when the Greeks established a colony there. In the 13th century, the founders of Monaco, the Grimaldis, built a fortress which they used as the seat of government. Villa Monaco consists mainly of streets and pedestrian passages that retain a medieval character. There are a number of hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops here, as well as some of the most important sites in the country, such as the Palace of the Princes, the Oceanographic Museum and the Jardin Saint-Martin.
9.- Monte Carlo Casino
This casino was created in the 19th century to save the Grimaldi family from bankruptcy. At the time, Monaco did not have the necessary infrastructure for tourism, but the plan worked. Today, Monte Carlo Casino attracts high rollers with a variety of games, including roulette, baccarat and slot machines. The casino has a dress code and entrance fee, and foreigners must show their passport or other ID to enter.
10.- Prince’s Palace of Monaco
This palace is the official residence of the current rulers of the country, the Grimaldi family, currently headed by Prince Albert II, son of Grace Kelly, and Prince Rainier. This fairytale palace began life as a fort in the 12th century, but was neglected for several centuries. Rainier deserves credit for restoring the palace to its current glory. The palace is open to the public during the months of June and October. Once inside the palace, you will find a courtyard decorated with 3 million pebbles of different geometric shapes as well as magnificent Genoese frescoes. Every day at 11.55 a.m., in front of the palace, visitors can watch the Changing of the Carabinieri guard ceremony.