Known for being the playground for the rich and famous, Monaco is a destination that is all about glitz and glamour so if you are looking for a high-end city break, this is the place to go…
The principality sits on the French Riviera and is second only to the Vatican City on the list of the smallest countries in the world, but it holds huge appeal for those who want to explore everything the principality has to offer.
When it comes to the weather, there isn’t really a bad time to pay a visit to Monaco, which benefits from more than 300 days of sunshine every year.
That’s not to say that rain isn’t possible, particularly during the winter months, whilst a sea breeze rolling in from the Mediterranean can keep the temperatures on the cool side.
As well as taking a stroll around the harbour area to see the multi-million pound yachts bobbing on the water, a visit to Monaco provides the chance to visit one of the most famous and iconic casinos in the world, to shop in designer boutiques and to marvel at local history.
That includes various museums, the imposing cathedral and the old 18th century fortress that looks out across the harbour.
Of course, for some people, a visit to Monaco is also all about the people, with plenty of famous names calling the principality home.
It means that whilst you sit sipping cocktails or doing a bit of window-shopping, you never know who might come wandering by.
If you are seeking a city experience that you’ll never forget, then give the luxury of Monaco a try and spend some time seeing how the other half live.
One of the most important buildings in the principality, Monaco Cathedral dates back to the early 1900s and is not only known for its scenic appearance, but also for being the final resting place of a number of past rulers. Prince Rainier and his Hollywood wife Grace Kelly are both buried there.
Monte Carlo Casino
The Casino de Monte-Carlo has been open for more than 150 years and is the most well known entertainment complex in Monaco. If you fancy the thrill of trying your luck on the roulette wheels or with a game of cards, then this is the place to go. A number of bars and restaurants can also be found within the casino.
Circuit de Monaco
The Monaco Grand Prix is regarded as one of the most prestigious motor racing events in the world and forms part of the ‘Triple Crown’ alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours. First held in 1929, the race is one of the highlights of the Formula One season and runs on a demanding circuit that winds through the streets. As a result, you can follow in the footsteps of famous names like Senna, Schumacher and Hill by walking or driving round the circuit.
Hit the shops
Monaco is a great place to indulge in some retail therapy, with a number of designer stores that reflect the luxurious nature of the principality. Usually when you hit the shops on an overseas break, you’ll be looking for a duty free bargain but in Monaco, those bargains will still cost a pretty penny as you try to decide between Gucci or Prada for your holiday purchase.
Fort Antoine dates back to the 18th century and was originally built as a watch tower overlooking the harbour. Having been rebuilt in the 1950s, the fortress is now used as an open air theatre and has appeared in various Hollywood films – including the James Bond movie GoldenEye.
The Oceanographic Museum sits on the side of the Rock of Monaco having been founded by Prince Albert I and dedicated to Art and Science. More than 6,000 different aquatic creatures can b e found in the aquarium within the museum, which is home is home to one of the largest collections of ocean exhibits anywhere in the world.
Visit the Marina
The marina area is one of the most famous parts of Monaco, and an area that is instantly recognisable the moment you see a photograph looking down on the boats bobbing on the water. It’s a great place to take a stroll, whilst there are also plenty of bars and restaurants around the waterfront where you can get refreshments.
Monaco by its nature is a very busy and bustling destination but if you want a little bit of peace and quiet, the Japanese Gardens are a good place to head – being something of an oasis of calm amongst the bright lights and hectic streets.