Top 10 Tourist attractions in Monaco

Written by on March 13, 2014 - No comments

This tiny Principality is power-packed when it comes to holiday activities! From world-renowned Casinos and Grand Prix racetracks to the very best that the Mediterranean has to offer, you’ll find it here. Cosmopolitan, opulent and chic, Monaco is the place to see and be seen.

10. Musée du Vieux Monaco (Museum of Old Monaco)

Musee du Vieux Monaco (Museum of Old Monaco)Web/www.ourtravelpics.com/monaco

This museum, located at 2, rue Émile de Loth near the Prince’s Palace, is tucked away in the Old Town’s quaint and narrow streets. It aims to help the visitor to the Principality of Monaco to discover the history and heritage of all things Monegasque – as they are known locally! The museum was set up specifically to ensure that the uniqueness of the history and language of this small yet proud Principality remains at the forefront of its culture and was set up and is maintained by The National Committee of Monegasque Traditions.

 

9. Jardin Exotique de Monaco (Exotic Gardens)

Jardin Exotique de Monaco (Exotic Gardens)flickr/Feanor Noldor

The Jardin Exotique de Monaco is a landmark of this wonderful Principality in its own right. Set on a rocky promontory on the cliffs by the north western entrance to Monaco this garden is built into the almost vertical hillside overlooking the azure blue Mediterranean Sea and the Italian Riviera, and contains thousands of beautiful succulents and cacti collected from around the world. Such diversity means that there are always flowers in bloom throughout the year.

Because of the nature of the planting, this means that any visitor to the gardens needs to be prepared for plenty of steps and sturdy walking shoes with good grip are a pre-requisite – and since you’ve come prepared, why not visit the Jardin Exotique’s ‘hidden’ attraction? If you’re of an intrepid nature, and don’t mind the 600 steps (300 down and 300 back up), then why not visit the Observatory Grotto and see the ‘Underground Cathedral’? This stunning limestone cavity within the promontory contains an awe inspiring gallery of stalactites and stalagmites and is breath-taking (as if the steps weren’t enough!)

 

8. Larvotto Beach

Larvotto Beachflickr/massi69

This public beach in Monte Carlo is considered by some to be ‘the in-place to be’ being so close to the hustle and bustle of Monte Carlo and its famous casino. So if you fancy playing the role of “Bond… James Bond…” for a day, then this might just be the place for you or Miss Moneypenny to grab a lounger, your sun-tan oil and then…relax. That said, the beach is actually man-made and has pea-shingle rather than sand, but the Mediterranean water here is relatively clear.

 

7. Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardensflickr/Bill Kennedy

The 7000m² Japanese Gardens in Monaco, on the Avenue Princess Grace are truly a Zen-gardener’s delight, bringing all the spiritual aspects of this Oriental way of cultivation into harmony. The gardens fill you with a sense of calm from the moment you enter till the moment you leave, giving you time to re-discover the real you, before you rejoin modern busy life. Now take a deep breath of cherry blossom scent and say “Aah!”

 

6. St Nicholas Cathedral

St Nicholas Cathedralflickr/jadoreuw

Otherwise known as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame Immaculée, this is the cathedral in which Prince Rainier III of Monaco married the actress Grace Kelly who then became Princess Grace. Her body, along with his, is buried inside this cathedral which was consecrated in 1875 and is actually on the site of a much earlier church, built in 1252 and dedicated to Saint Nicholas. The cathedral is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Monaco-Ville and is the place where many of the ruling family of Monaco – the Grimaldis, are buried. Inside the cathedral is a beautiful white marble Episcopal throne and from September through June each year, visitors can hear “Les Petits Chanteurs De Monaco.

 

5. Casino De Monte Carlo

Casino De Monte Carloflickr/kauphy luvr

Faites vos jeux! Rien ne va plus! If you’ve ever seen a James Bond film, then the casino at Monte Carlo will be familiar to you! It conjures up images of lucky spins of the roulette wheel, earning riches beyond your wildest imagination, while the sound of Blackjack cards being expertly shuffled and dealt onto baize tables, with smartly dressed croupiers calling out winning numbers fills your ears. The lure of the Casino De Monte Carlo is as strong today for some of us, as it has always been.

Truly one of the greatest gambling establishments – if not the greatest gambling establishment in the world – no trip to Monaco would be complete without at least one stop here! Set in a beautiful palace-like setting, the Casino De Monte Carlo also houses the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. Now shake those Monte Carlo dice and get lucky!

 

4. Palais du Prince

Princely Palace of Monacoflickr/Niels Mickers

The Palais du Prince is not – as some might contend – the home of a certain well-known diminutive-statured rock-star of ‘Purple-Rain’ fame – but is in fact, the official residence of the Prince of Monaco, and was built way back in 1191 as a Genoese fortress. During its long and chequered history, it has been besieged and bombed by many foreign powers but it stands today as a legacy of the enduring power of the Grimaldi family – the ruling family of Monaco – who first captured the fortress in 1297 and have lived there ever since – with the exception of a 20 year hiatus during the late 18th century, when the French invaded and exiled them. In 1997 the family thus celebrated 700 years of uninterrupted rule from the same palace. This impressive palace has lots to see and is well worth a visit.

 

3. Monte Carlo Harbour

Monte Carlo Harbourflickr/Cedric Converset

The phrase ‘When my boat comes in…’ could have been custom made for Monte Carlo Harbour, for nowhere else in the world does a harbour have such glamorous connotations of success, wealth and the pursuit of happiness. People throughout the world have watched the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and enviously eyed the ‘glitteracci” sat and laying on their luxury yachts and boats in the harbour of this Mediterranean jewel of a Principality, viewing the proceedings from their beautifully expensive vessels.

Monte Carlo Harbour is unequivocally the home of the rich and the famous and no trip to Monaco would ever be complete without a spot of star-searching amongst the masts and bows of the harbour quaysides. With a vast selection of cafés, bars and superb restaurants to visit as well, why not indulge yourself and live the high-life for a while? The harbour has actually been a natural harbour for as long as man can remember and offers a windbreak against the westerly winds that blow towards shore.

 

2. Casino Square

Casino Squareflickr/barry.kidney

With the back-drop of the Casino De Monte Carlo, the Casino Square, much like the harbour at Monte Carlo just seems to scream out “I’ve arrived!” For this area of Monte Carlo contains some of the most beautiful shops and buildings and impressive displays of opulence and success of any area of Monaco. Take a walk along its busy, bustling, immaculately clean streets and look at the shining, chauffeur-parked cars of the rich and famous – Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin – the list and the amazing cars just goes on and on.

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a movie-star, then this is the place to walk and just take in the sights, sounds and smells. Of course, all this glamour comes at a price – so if you’re on a budget keep a close eye on your expenditure – as you might expect, shopping here is not for the faint-hearted! But if you can put these thoughts aside and enjoy the atmosphere, it will be a memory you will never forget. Now… just where was that film crew? I’m ready for my close-up!

 

1. Musée Oceanographique de Monaco

museum Musee Oceanographique de Monacoflickr/ebozeman

Topping the list of attractions to see whilst in Monaco is the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco to give it its English title – this staggering museum invites you to look at the underwater world of Planet Earth in a setting that will delight and amaze you. With in excess of 100 or so pools and tanks ranging in size from 100 litre capacity to a staggering 450,000 litres, this museum houses over 7000 different fish and shark species, over 200 invertebrate species and over 200 species of hard and soft corals.

Species both from the Mediterranean Sea and from tropical waters are displayed here and the museum is recognised world-wise for its ecologically concerned management system of all species in its care. The museum’s goal is for man’s awareness of the diversity of life that lives within our oceans and once visited, like so many other wonderful attractions in the small, yet astounding, Principality of Monaco, it will never be forgotten.

 

 Map of the top ten tourist attractions in Monaco

 

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