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Monaco is one thing of a contrast in the present day democratic world. Monarchies all over the world have either dissolved completely or they've seen their once absolute dominion reduced to ceremonial titles. However the monarchy of Monaco persists, with the Grimaldi Empire being in charge of those 486 acres since 1297. Although France did have the ability to annex Monaco within the late 1700s, the Grimaldi family retrieved their rule in the 19th century.
Prince Rainier III may be the current ruler of Monaco. His marriage to famous actress Grace Kelly in 1956 would be a worldwide event, and elevated Monaco to some kind of fantasyland, with storybook romances along with a jolly ruler. Princess Grace had three children, Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stephanie. Grace died tragically inside a vehicle accident in 1982, and also the mere reference to the accident still invokes painful reminiscences for local people.
Of particular concern to folks of Monaco may be the bachelor status of Prince Albert. A treaty signed almost a century ago claims that Monaco would be a territory under French protection when the ruling family would exhaust beneficiaries. Albert continues to be not married, that has the local people just a little nervous.
Much of the country's economy is focused on gambling and tourism. Not remarkably, the economy does fine. Mercedes and BMW's are typical here, and also the public transit product is flush with electronic shows monitoring the buses and trains. The stop in Monte Carlo would pass like a tourist attraction occasionally. There's no tax in Monaco, that has made the Principality the selected home of most of the world's richest people.
Docking & Local Transportation
Opened in 2003, the modern cruise ship pier (Nouvelle Digue de Monaco) is located next to the yacht harbor in the Port of Monaco (Hercules Port), just east of the Palais Princier, the home of Prince Albert, and just below the sector of Monte Carlo. Although the 352 meter dock can accommodate several ships in port, there will be the odd occasion where it's booked up and tenders will need to be utilized
Getting around
Taxis come to the end of the pier (just outside the gates) until approximately 6 p.m. Buses stop at 7 p.m. near the dock but run until 9 p.m. in the principality -- except on weekends when they have a less frequent schedule. The bus system is extensive, but it's quite a long walk to the bus stop from the ship docks. The Monaco bus company, CAM, operates a network of six routes that cover all the main attractions. There are 142 bus stops around the principality, so you never have to walk far to find one. The conductor onboard the bus sells tickets, but you need exact change. Fares are shown at the bus stops.
If you are staying overnight, or have plenty of time in port, the number 100 Rapide Cote D'Azur (RCA) connects Monaco with the chic French Riviera resort of Nice. The journey takes around half an hour and follows a very scenic route along the coast. Halfway between Monaco and Nice is the pretty medieval village of Eze, which can be reached on buses operated by Ligne d'Azur.
A fun way to cross the harbor is on the electric water bus, which runs between the cruise terminal and the city center, near the casino, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
If you're physically fit, you can walk around the principality, but be warned: It's steep, almost everywhere. However, the good news is that you never need worry about safety because Monaco has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Local Interests
Many site visitors won't ever wish to leave the casinos, but you will find lots of other points of interest in Monte Carlo. The tourist office (2A Boulevard des Moulins) will gladly point you within the right direction, with maps, pamphlets, and recommended itineraries. Prince Rainier has put his assortment of rare automobiles displayed in the Collection des Voitures Anciennes de SAS le Prince p Monaco (L'ensemble des Terrasses de Fontvieille,). One of the rare special gems really is a 1956 Comes-Royce Silver Cloud along with a 1986 Lamborghini Countach.
Certainly do your very best to go to the royal structure, L'ensemble des Grands Appartements du Palais (Place du Palais). Tours are carried out four occasions an hour or so in four different languages. Around the tour, you will see room after room of gorgeous works of art, mirrors, and tapestries. Don't miss the altering from the guard, which happens outdoors from the structure every single day at 11:55 AM sharp.
The Musée National p Monaco (17 Avenue Princesse-Sophistication,) is notable for that world's most extensive assortment of dolls and toys. A few of the elaborate dolls go as far back over 200 years. The Musée p l'Oceanographie (Avenue St-Martin) began by Prince Albert. Albert loved the ocean, traveling all over the world for three decades and collecting various rare individuals. The Jardin Exotique (62 Boulevard du Jardin-Exotique,) sits on the top of the hill looking over the whole Principality and also the Mediterranean And Beyond. Your garden is fairly unimpressive, unless of course you're a cactus lover. The actual highlight from the garden is definitely an subterranean cave, full of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. The Musée d'Anthropologie Préhistorique is due to the Jardin Exotique, with exhibits on prehistoric guy and animal.
Indulge in the extravagant world of Monaco where decadence and luxury are a way of life. Despite its small size, Monaco packs an enormous amount of glitz. Monte Carlo is the district with the most glamorous atmosphere, in a setting of stunning natural beauty. Monte-Carlo stands on a rocky promontory to the north of the Port of Monaco. There are breathtaking seaside views from the gorgeous terrace of Place du Casino. As Monaco's wealthiest district, Monte-Carlo attracts the rich and famous. Ferraris and "beautiful people" fit right into this neighborhood. For tourists, Monte-Carlo is a great place for people-watching or to enjoy fine dining. Gourmands can choose from three Michelin-starred restaurants as well as other excellent options. Monte-Carlo is intersected by two elegant boulevards, the Boulevard Princesse Charlotte in the west and the Boulevard des Moulins at its southwestern end. There are many fashionable shopping streets, such as the Avenue de la Costa with its luxury boutiques. The Opera House is also in this district.
Palais du Prince
In a unique position high above the sea on the picturesque peninsula of Le Rocher, the Palais du Prince is home to the oldest monarchy in the world. The Genoese noble family of Grimaldi established Monaco in 1297 after they captured the land from the Republic of Genoa. Originally built in the 13th century as a Genoese fortress, the site affords panoramic views, which provided defensive purposes in the Middle Ages. The fortress was renovated throughout the centuries and transformed into a luxurious Louis-XIV-style palace.
The State Apartments of the Palais du Prince are open to the public when the Prince and his family are away (when the flag on the tower is not raised). Visitors can see the sumptuous Italianate gallery adorned with 15th-century frescoes, the gilded "Blue Room" featuring a glorious decor of blue and gold, the wood-paneled Mazarin Room, and the Empire-style Throne Room, which has an impressive Renaissance fireplace. Be sure to admire the 17th-century Palatine Chapel and the Main Courtyard with its monumental 17th-century Carrara marble double staircase. During summer, concerts are held in the Main Courtyard. The ancient tradition of Changing of the Guard takes place every day at 11.55am in front of the Palace.
Address: Place du Palais, Monaco-Ville Official site: http://www.palais.mc/en/index.html
Musée Oceanographique
The Musée Oceanographique lies in a spectacular location on Le Rocher, almost 90 meters above sea level. In this dramatic setting, the museum and aquariums stand on massive foundations that took 11 years to build. This is one of the world's oldest aquariums, commissioned by Prince Albert I, great grandfather of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, and opened in 1910. Constantly evolving, the Oceanographic Museum has world-renowned exhibits of marine science and oceanography. The museum's valuable scientific collections include finds from the exploration of Prince Albert I and the discoveries of Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
The highlight of Musée Oceanographique is its aquariums containing rare species of fish and marine life in magnificent shapes and colors. There are three Aquariums: the Tropical Aquarium, Mediterranean Aquarium, and Shark Lagoon. More than 6,000 specimens swim around in approximately 100 pools, reconstructed as their natural habitat-including coral reefs. There is also a Turtle Island and a Touch Tank where visitors can feel a sea urchin, stroke a starfish, or hold a baby shark. From La Terrasse Restaurant on the roof terrace, enjoy superb panoramic views of the coastline and the sea. On a clear day, it is possible to see all the way to the Italian Riviera. Address: Avenue Saint-Martin, Monaco-Ville - Official site: http://www.oceano.mc/en
Jardin Exotique
Delight the senses with a visit to Monaco's Jardin Exotique. The garden lies in the Fontvieille area (the more modern section) of Monaco outside of the historic center. Perched on a steep cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, the Exotic Garden is an exquisitely beautiful place with lush vegetation and mesmerizing views of the sea. Because of the balmy weather and little variation in conditions on this hillside, tropical plants are able to thrive. Opened in 1933, the gardens contain remarkable species from Africa and Latin America-from the aloe plants of Cape Town to the giant agaves of Mexico. More than 7,000 varieties of succulents flourish in this ideal climate. The gardens are carefully tended and extend dramatically along the craggy mountainside.
The Exotic Garden also has an Observatory Cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. The vicinity of the cave was once inhabited by prehistoric man. To learn more about the prehistoric era and the history of early civilization, visit the Anthropology Museum in the gardens. This museum includes a collection of coins and ornamental objects from the pre-Roman and Roman periods.
Address: 62 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, Monaco -- Official site: http://www.jardin-exotique.mc/en/
This Roman-Byzantine-style cathedral was constructed out of striking white stones from nearby La Turbie. The cathedral is the burial place of the Princes of Monaco and houses tombs of past sovereigns Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Although the cathedral is relatively modern (built between 1875 and 1884), the interior features an altarpiece by the Niçois painter Louis Bréa dating from 1500. Another noteworthy feature of the sanctuary is the Episcopal throne of Carrara white marble. The cathedral has an impressive grand organ that is used for religious services as well as concerts of holy music. Every Sunday at 10am from September through June, mass is sung by the "Les Petits Chanteurs de Monaco" and the "Cathedral Choir." The cathedral is open to the public (free admission) for visits except during religious services.
Address: 4 Rue Colonel-Bellando-de-Castro, Monaco-Ville
Les Jardins Saint-Martin
Overlooking the serene blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Les Jardins Saint-Martin lie near the Musée Océanographique and would be an ideal complement to visiting the museum. The gardens feature a statue that commemorates Prince Albert I who was renowned as a marine researcher. The Saint-Martin Gardens extend along the coast around Le Rocher peninsula with its steep cliff facing the sea. These dramatic gardens offer a rich display of exotic species and vibrant flowers that flourish under the Mediterranean sunshine. Small paths that weave around the rocky slopes and grassy ridges invite visitors to take a leisurely stroll. Stop to admire the little ponds, fountains, and beautiful viewpoints. There are benches placed in just the right spots to relax and take in the gorgeous scenery. Address: 2 Avenue Saint-Martin, Monaco
Formula One Monaco Grand Prix
The famous Formula One Monaco Grand Prix race takes place in Monte-Carlo every year on the last weekend in May. This is the only car race in the world that is held on city streets. The course runs from the Boulevard Albert 1 up toward Place du Casino and around the harrowing turn in front of the Monte-Carlo Fairmont Hotel. Organized by the Automobile Club of Monaco, the Monaco Grand Prix is one of the world's most popular sporting events. The narrow streets are not ideal for the race cars, but the race continues for the sake of tradition (it has been going since the early 20th century). Because of the crowds, it's difficult to get a good view, but the atmosphere is worth it. Another big event in May on the French Riviera is the Cannes Film Festival.
Opéra de Monte-Carlo (Salle Garnier)
The Monte-Carlo Opera House is found on the Place du Casino, a lavish public square in Monaco's most glamorous neighborhood. Lined by palm trees, this beautiful square features an impressive fountain and a terrace with stunning views of the coastline. The Opera House fits right into this elegant scene. Built in 1878, the Opera House was designed by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opera House in Paris. The auditorium of the Opera House, called the "Salle Garnier" is entirely decorated in red and gold, with a profusion of intricate bas-reliefs, beautiful frescoes, and striking sculptures. The Salle Garnier was inaugurated by Sarah Bernhardt in 1879. For over a century, opera and ballet have entertained audiences here, and the Opera House has welcomed many world-class opera singers. The Monte-Carlo Opera House offers mostly classic operas such as works by Mozart, Rossini, and Puccini but also hosts other musical recitals, concerts, and ballet performances. The Opera Season (schedule of performances and concerts) runs from November through June. Some of the performances are part of the Fête Nationale Monégasque (National Monaco Festival). Address: Place du Casino, Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Monaco Harbor
At the foot of the cliff, Monaco's harbor is a busy port scene packed with yachts. The square-shaped harbor (Port de la Condamine) was constructed between 1901 and 1926 to provide berthing for large numbers of yachts. Many luxury yachts are docked here including the Prince's private vessel. As would be expected for a capital of yachting, Monaco has a prestigious Yacht Club in front of the marina. The Yacht Club de Monaco on Quai Louis II brings together more than 1,000 members (private yacht owners) from many different countries. The club also hosts events such as yacht shows, races, and festivals. The Yacht Club is presided over by HSH Prince Sovereign Albert II.
The port is a pleasant area to stroll or stop for a snack. There are many restaurants and cafés with outdoor seating to enjoy the sensational setting. From the port, tourists can also take a one-hour catamaran ride around Monaco to see the spectacular coastline. Those exploring further into La Condamine district will find the charming Eglise Sainte-Dévote in a ravine-like valley on the northern edge of the town at Place Sainte-Dévote. This 11th-century votive chapel is dedicated to the local patron saint.
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco
This interesting museum spans two separate villas, the Villa Paloma near the Exotic Gardens and the Villa Sauber on Avenue Princess Grace. The museum celebrates contemporary art with temporary exhibitions of avant-garde paintings, drawing, and photography. This forward-thinking museum is also devoted to conservation work, for example the restoration of an antique doll from 1880 and ancient theatrical costumes. The museum encourages dialogue between artists and researchers and promotes learning across artistic, cultural, and scientific disciplines.
Address: Villa Paloma, 56 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, Monaco; Villa Sauber, 17 Avenue Princesse Grace, Monaco Official site: http://www.nmnm.mc/index.php?lang=en
Princess Grace Rose Garden
This exquisite garden was created by Prince Rainier III as a tribute to his wife Princess Grace and was opened on 18 June 1984. In Fontvieille Park, the Princess Grace Rose Garden encompasses almost four hectares including a small lake bordered by palm trees and an olive grove. The garden flourishes with 8,000 rose bushes in 300 varieties. Each rose has an identifying QR code (useful for gardeners). Special roses are named for the Princes and Princesses of the Grimaldi Royal Family. Choose a favorite flower and admire the contemporary sculptures among the blossoms. Spend some time relaxing on the park benches or go for a stroll around the grounds. Pleasant footpaths allow visitors to explore this charming place at leisure. The Rose Garden is maintained using eco-friendly practices and has been awarded the label of "Ecological Garden." Address: Avenue des Guelfes, Monaco
Collection de Voitures Anciennes (Collection of Vintage Cars)
On the Terraces of Fontvieille in Monaco's most modern neighborhood, this wonderful collection exhibits the Prince of Monaco's vintage cars. The collection brings together almost 100 antique cars of various vintages and models, all made by prestigious European and American car companies. There are also six historic coaches on display. Address: Terrasses de Fontvieille, Monaco
Jardin Japonais
Escape to an authentic Japanese garden in a beautiful French Riviera setting. Built right onto a steep hillside in the eastern end of Monaco, the Jardin Japonais replicates a Zen garden with lush vegetation, water, and stones. The 7,000 square meter park includes a rushing waterfall, crystal-clear stream, and even a beach. This peaceful garden has a special atmosphere of harmony and serenity. Address: Avenue Princesse Grace, Monte-Carlo
Musée de la Chapelle de la Visitation
In the spectacular setting of Le Rocher at the Place de la Visitation is the former Chapelle de la Visitation. This stunning 17th-century Baroque chapel has been converted into a noteworthy museum. The remarkable collection includes sacred works of art donated by Mrs. Piasecka Johnson. Among the masterpieces are paintings by Rubens, Zurbaran, Ribera, and Italian masters of the Baroque period. Address: Place de la Visitation, Monaco-Ville
Fort Antoine: Outdoor Performances
Built on the northeastern edge of Le Rocher, this historic military fortress is now used as an outdoor theater. On balmy summer evenings, the theater offers an enchanting setting to watch performances under the stars. Tickets are required to attend performances here (performances are in French), otherwise the venue is open to the public (free admission). The theater has a capacity of 350 spectators in tiered semicircular seating. The main reason to visit this site is the stunning viewpoint. From Fort Antoine, it is possible to see the coastline of the French Riviera extending all the way to Italy. Address: Avenue de la Quarantaine, Monaco-Ville
Moneghetti District
Seemingly endless steps and roads with hairpin bends wind around the eastern slope of Monaco, from the Tête de Chien to the Moyenne Corniche. These roads give access to the district of Moneghetti in the west of the principality, a part of the town built on terraces with lovely villas and gardens.
Monte Carlo has ample beautiful beaches. The principality is really healthy financially the sand is replenished once in awhile. The very best public beach is Plage p Larvotto. This beach is generally pretty packed throughout peak summer time several weeks. But to hobnob with Monte Carlo's finest, you will need to spend out some francs to go in the Monte Carlo Beach Club, which technically is on French soil. You will find two pools, cabanas, and lots of dining options. Out of the box the situation with the majority of the Riviera, topless bathing may be the rule, but nudity isn't permitted.
Larvotto is the public beach of the principality, but many people choose to buy a temporary membership in a private beach club, which also has facilities such as changing cabins, showers, and restaurants. If you want to spend a day at the beach, that is usually best arranged through your cruise ship.
You ought to be considered a large spender should you intend on investing considerable time in Monte Carlo's casinos. The Monte Carlo Casino(Place du Casino) is known around the world. To go into, you'll want proof that you're over twenty-one (ideally a passport), and you've got to be putting on proper attire. What this means is no shorts or T-t shirts, with no running sneakers. Should you intend on entering the greater exclusive private rooms, males should put on sports jackets and ties. The Casino is split into sections. The Salle Americaine opens at noon. This room has only Slots. By 4 PM, the casino is whistling with activity, because the roulette, craps, blackjack, and chemin-p-fer tables are full of people losing their cash and loving it. There's an admissions fee to get involved with the non-public rooms, however the Salle Americaine is free of charge.
Dining & Night life
Monaco is famous for its fine dining scene, which caters to an upscale clientele. The fancy restaurants are designed for gourmands who appreciate the best meals that money can buy. For those prepared to splurge, there are several legendary restaurants to try. The most renowned is Le Louis XV restaurant, which boasts three Michelin stars and features the cuisine of Alain Ducasse. Second in line is Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo with two Michelin stars. Le Vistamar has one Michelin star and offers cuisine focused on seafood served on a terrace overlooking the sea. A collaboration between Joël Robuchon and Takéo Yamazaki, Yoshi is a contemporary Japanese restaurant with one Michelin star.
The place to start when considering dinner may be the area surrounding the Monte Carlo Casino. Over the plaza in the casino is Le Café p Paris (Place du Casino). You need to certainly make bookings before dining, because the place fills up nightly. Once sitting, enjoy fine French cuisine and wine. In the Hôtel p Paris, enjoy elegant trendy dining at Le Louis XV (Place du Casino). Gentlemen must fit the part here, with jackets and ties essential. La Coupole (1 Avenue Princesse Sophistication) within the Hotel Mirabeau is yet another fine dining alternative.
The Monte Carlo Casino really includes a whole wing dedicated to non-gaming hobbies. The Cabaret and also the Opera de Monte Carlo are wonderful places to witness a nice motion picture. For ticket information, contact Atrium du Casino. The bar within the Hôtel de Paris (Place du Casino) is definitely filled with carefully outfitted men and women. If you are searching for some hard core dancing, head to Le Symbole.
Like anything else in Monte Carlo, do it yourself a good buck if you wish to catch on your shopping here. Nonetheless, you will find rows of lovely shops lining the region round the Monte Carlo Casino and also the adjacent Hôtel p Paris. The Boutique du Rocher (1 Avenue p la Madone) is among the finer boutiques in most of Monaco, out of the box the planet-famous Hermès (11-15 Avenue p Monte Carlo). You will not wish to miss the Christian Dior Boutique (Avenue des Beaux-Arts). Rue Grimaldi is the site to visit if you wish to pay just like a pauper but dress just like a princess.

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