The principality of Monaco has an excellent mix of ancient and contemporary attractions. There are museums, palaces, retail malls, and casinos to visit. Monaco also has places to rest along the port and even near the attractions. If you take the time to understand where the different “short cuts” are, you will find it quite simple to traverse Monte Carlo and Monaco. City maps are usually available for a nominal charge at most news vendor booths and stores. Before going out to explore the city, the tourist information may be a nice place to start.
Monte Carlo Casino
(Grand Casino), Place du Casino, +377 98062121, e-mail: [email protected] 14:00-04:00.
The Monte Carlo Casino is a gaming and entertainment complex that contains a casino, the Opéra de Monaco, and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo’s headquarters. The Société des bains de mer de Monaco (SBM), a public corporation in which the Monaco government and royal family own a majority stake. In addition, the business owns the majority of the hotels, sports clubs, foodservice outlets, and nightclubs in Monaco. If your bank account allows it, try your luck at the Grand Casino and gamble alongside the world’s wealthiest and frequently most famous people. You’ll need your passport to enter (Monégasque nationals are not permitted to gamble at the casino), and entrance costs vary greatly depending on which room you visit – frequently ranging from 30€ to hundreds of euros. For a charge of 10€, you may also enter the casino without playing. Inside, the dress code is very strict: males must wear jackets and ties, and casual or ‘tennis’ shoes are not permitted. The game rooms themselves are breathtaking, with stained glass, paintings, and sculptures adorning every surface. In Monte Carlo, there are two additional Americanized casinos. There is no entrance charge, and the dress code is more relaxed.
Opéra de Monaco (Monaco Opera House)
(On the backside of the Casino),+377 98 06 28 00. 10:00-17:30; Su,Mo off.
The renowned architect Charles Garnier designed the Monaco Opera House, often known as the “Salle Garnier.” The opera house’s auditorium is adorned in crimson and gold, with paintings and sculptures all around. The magnificent murals on the auditorium ceiling will take the visitor’s breath away. The opera house is extravagant but yet extremely lovely. For more than a century, the opera house has hosted some of the most prestigious worldwide performances of ballet, opera, and concerts; consider seeing a production during your stay… but be prepared to spend top money!
Monaco-Ville (Monaco City)
Take a stroll through Monaco-Ville, commonly known as “Le Rocher” or “The Rock.” Monaco-Ville is still a medieval town at heart and a breathtakingly beautiful location. It is nearly completely made up of pedestrian walkways and alleys, with most previous-century homes still standing. Tourists may stay, dine, and buy at a variety of hotels, restaurants, and souvenir stores. The Prince’s Palace, the Cathedral, the Oceanographic Museum, the City Hall, and the Saint Martin Gardens are well worth a visit.
Palais Princier (Prince’s Palace)
+377 93 25 18 31, e-mail: [email protected] 10:00-18:00; Jul,Aug 10:00-19:00; Oct 17-Mar 25 off.
The Palais Princier, located in ancient Monaco-Ville, is well worth a visit. The palace offers self-guided audio-guided tours. The palace also has a stunning panoramic view of the Port and Monte-Carlo. Every day at 11:55 a.m., tourists may witness the “Carabiniers” conduct the changing of the guard ritual in front of the Palace’s main entrance. “Carabiniers” are not only in charge of the prince’s protection, but they also provide him with a guard of honor and serve as his escorts on important occasions. The “Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince” has a military band (Fanfare) that plays at public concerts, official events, sporting events, and international military music festivals. 8€.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée(Saint Nicholas Cathedral)
+33 7 93 30 87 70, e-mail: [email protected] 08:30-18:00; May-Sep: 08:00-19:00.
The Monaco Cathedral was constructed in 1875 on the site of an older church from the 13th century. It is a Romanesque-Byzantine chapel dedicated to Saint Nicolas and contains the ashes of previous Princes of Monaco and Princess Grace. Some of Monaco-best Ville’s restaurants may also be found around the church plaza.
Jardins Saint-Martin (Saint-Martin Gardens)
Saint-Martin Avenue (south of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée). Beautiful park along the ridge at Le Rocher’s southern end.
Musée océanographique(Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium)
(Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium), Avenue Saint-Martin, +33 7 93 15 36 00, e-mail: [email protected] Oct-Mar: 10:00-18:00; Apr-Jun,Sep: 10:00-19:00; Jul 10-20; Dec 25 off.
The Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is a well-known tourist destination. The museum, which is located 279 meters above sea level, has magnificent collections of marine fauna, many specimens of sea animals (stuffed or in skeleton form), replicas of Prince Albert’s laboratory ships, and artisan items created from natural sea materials. Exhibitions and film projections are shown in the conference room on the ground level on a daily basis. Visitors may enjoy magnificent displays of aquatic plants and wildlife in the basement. With over 4,000 fish species and over 200 invertebrate groups, the aquarium has established itself as an expert in the display of the Mediterranean and tropical marine ecosystems. Finally, visitors may have lunch at “La Terrasse” and purchase in the museum gift shop. The admission charge varies according upon the month of the visit. Students may get a discount by presenting a valid student ID. To get to this aquarium, take bus number 1 or 2 from the Monaco Monte Carlo railway station. 11€ (low season), 16€ (high season) (high season).
Musée de l’automobile de Monaco (The Prince of Monaco’s Vintage Car Collection)
Les Terrasses de Fontvieille,+377 92 05 28 56, e-mail: [email protected] 10:00-18:00; Dec 25 off.
This is the place to go for any automobile aficionado. From carriages and antique vehicles to Formula 1 racing cars, there is something for everyone. There are about 100 cars on exhibit here. Adults pay 6.50€, while students pay 3€.
Jardin Exotique (Exotic Gardens)
62, Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, +377 93 15 29 80, e-mail: [email protected] Nov-Jan: 09:00-17:00; Feb-Apr,Oct: 09:00-18:00; May-Sep: 09:00-19:00; Nov 19,Dec 25 off.
The Jardin Exotique is one of the numerous gardens available in Monaco. It is also one of Monaco’s most popular tourist attractions. Several thousand unique plants from across the globe are shown in a walking tour that is remarkable for both the vistas and the flora and plants. Because of the elevation change, there are not only numerous displays of desert plants, but also a few exhibits of subtropical vegetation. There is also a grotto (cave) with guided excursions available. The tour begins at the top of each hour and lasts about 25 minutes. You will have to ascend the steps equal to a 6-story structure in the cave. To go to this Garden, take bus number 2. You may get this bus from either the railway station or the Oceanographic Museum. The admission fee is €7.20 unless you are under the age of 16 or a student (€3.80).
Yacht Club Monaco
Quai Louis II, +377 93106300.
The Yacht Club of Monaco, founded in 1953 by Prince Rainier and presided over by Prince Albert II since 1984, has approximately 1200 members from 60 countries. The Yacht Club de Monaco’s burgee may be seen on many of the world’s most renowned private boats, attesting to the club’s unique position on the worldwide yachting scene. Lord Foster’s new facility is situated in the center of Port Hercule, just across from the YCM Marina. The YCM Gallery is a brand-new public space.
After Monaco-Ville, this is the second oldest district in Monaco. Stop here to see the numerous luxury yachts and cruise ships that typically decorate the marina’s piers. La Condamine is a bustling commercial area where you can visit the Condamine Market and the pedestrian route Rue Princesse Caroline. La Condamine, with its pleasant manicured grounds and contemporary structures, is definitely worth a visit.
10, Avenue Princesse Grace, +377 99 99 20 00, e-mail: [email protected]
Monaco’s conference center is the Grimaldi Forum. The sun-filled structure on the sea, completed in July 2000, features a spectacular glass entrance, two conference restaurants, an auditorium for ballet and opera, and two additional auditoriums for meetings and other events. In addition, the Forum has two huge exhibition rooms that may be utilized for trade fairs or other exhibitions. It is just a short walk from the neighboring hotels.
The winner of the “Golden Foot” football player of the year award has his footsteps permanently imprinted on the beachfront promenade. Didier Drogba, Andrés Iniesta, and Samuel Eto’o were the previous year’s champions.
Jardin Japonais (Japanese Garden)
The 0.7-hectare park includes a stylized mountain, hill, waterfall, beach, stream, and a Zen garden for meditation. Yasuo Beppu, the winner of the Osaka Flower Exhibition in 1990, created the garden as a tiny depiction of Shintoist ideology.
Marlborough Fine Arts Gallery,
4 Quai Antoine 1er, +377 097 70 2550.
Frank Lloyd and Harry Fischer established the Marlborough Fine Arts Gallery in London. A second gallery was established in Rome, a third in New York, and a fourth in Monaco. The gallery has an impressive collection of postwar artists, including works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Jules Brassai, Louise Bourgeois, Dale Chihuly, David Hockney, and Henri Matisse. Group exhibits are also available at the gallery. There is no admission charge.