Monaco is the second smallest country in Western Europe after the Vatican. France borders on three sides sharing the picturesque French Riviera while the Mediterranean Sea, with its white sandy beaches, is on the fourth. Famed as a playground and a haven for the wealthy, drawn by its climate and astounding beauty.
Every May, the country hosts the Monaco Grand Prix luring drivers and spectators from across the globe to hear the roar of the engines. Events and glamorous wealth aside, Monaco has a rich history. Visit Le Rocher, an old town with narrow alleyways built in the middle ages which lead to the picturesque Place Saint Nicolas, Placette Bosio, the Chapel of Mercy, Palais de Justice and the Cathedral, a Roman-Byzantine style building built in 1875 and fabulous views! Even non-history lovers are in heaven.
Consider a tour of the Palais du Prince sitting high above Monaco and dating from the 13th century and once a Genoese fortress. It's home to the ornate Throne Room, Palatine Chapel and Blue Room.
Nightlife is not left lacking, and any first-time visitor must see the Casino de Monte Carlo - one of the most famous casinos in the world built in the flamboyant Beaux-Arts style of 1893. With gaming rooms decorated in a variety of themes, may lady luck be on your side. There are bars and classic cafes with glorious city or ocean views like Stars' N' Bars. The locals enjoy their varied nightlife in Morocco.
Travel around this small yet fascinating country, and James Bond fans will see scene after scene from 'Casino Royale'. Musée Oceanographique stands 90 meters above sea level, and it took 11 years to construct; Jardin Exotique is an exquisite garden in Fontvieille with over 7,000 species of plants – a nature lovers dream. There is also the Monaco Cathedral, Larvotto Beach, the only public beach in the principality. Take some time to meander around Monaco's harbour where million-trillion-dollar super-yachts bob up and down while cafes and restaurants serve the freshest seafood and locally grown produce.
Bring your credit cards, this is a country known for its high-end opulence from perfumes to fashion and everything in-between. Avenue de Monte-Carlo and the swish Boulevard des Moulin are two to walk by as is Avenue Princess Grace, named in honour of Grace Kelly. And see if you can take the time to smell the roses as you roam around the Princess Grace Rose garden. Monaco may be small in size, yet big on things to see and do. Did you know? Around one-third of Monaco's population are millionaires!
While there is no wrong time to visit Monaco, the most popular times are during spring. April and October are ideal months as the weather is balmy. If you visit during the winter seasons, the offseason, from November to March, you will save on accommodation. Summer sees the beaches crowded, parties galore and the weather hot. Its Monaco at its liveliest but you may encounter queues at restaurants and tourist attractions.
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