The city or city-state of Monaco lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps and is bound by the French and Italian Riviera on the west and east respectively. It is a small independent city with a dense population which is known world over for the Formula One Grand Prix that it hosts and of course, the Monte Carlo. The city is divided into four principal parts: The Condamine, Monaco-Ville, Fontviellie and Monte Carlo. The city runs on its tourism and business industry and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
Monaco offers quite a few tourism attractions to its visitors the first being the Prince’s Palace or the Place du Palais as it is called locally. This Palace which was built in the 13th century is the official residence of the Monacan prince. The guard ceremony that takes place every second day is said to be one of the premier attractions of the Palace. The Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is another popular site in this small city.
The Museum is located at a height of about 279 feet and contains a wide collection of various aquatic species. The famous Monte Carlo is a must visit for all visitors who come to the city. You have seen the place in Bond movies and read about them in various books but it is guaranteed that what you see for yourself will be much, much better!
The Monte Carlo casino is one of Monte Carlo’s premier attractions. Do visit this place even if you are not into gambling because the ambience is enough to make you lose your mind. Built sometime in the late 19th century, this casino has a large number of gaming rooms which have been beautifully decorated by sculptures, glass paintings, bronze lamps, allegorical paintings etc. It also consists of the tombs of various Monacan Prince and princesses including that of Monaco’s beloved princess Grace.
The city of Monaco is known as much for its casinos as it is for its cultural heritage. This heritage is exhibited in some of the city’s exquisite museums. The most famous of these museums is the Wax Museum of the Princes of Monaco. This is almost like the Madame Tussauds’ of the city and houses live sized wax figurines of the various Monacan princes. All these statues wear period costumes which make them even more life-like and all tell a tale about the history of Monaco and how it has been shaped. The Museum of Coins and Stamps is one of Monaco’s most revered museums. This museum was started by Sir S.H. Rainier and houses his personal collection of stamps and coins. The Museum of Chapel of the Visitation exhibits a remarkable collection of Baroque and Italian paintings and is an art-lovers paradise. Some of these paintings are truly rare and if you are an art lover then you would be at a loss if you miss this.
Monaco, however, is known best for its entertainment sector. One of Monaco’s premier centers of entertainment is the Fort Antoine Theater. This theater was built in early 18th century as a fortress and is now used as an exquisite outdoor theater capable of housing about 350 people. The prehistoric Observatory Caves are also an interesting sight. The distinct stalactites, stalagmites, and limestone concentrations here are beautifully illuminated giving the place an aura of mystery as well as exoticness.
Monaco is a city that was almost built for tourists. Due to its lack of natural resources, tourism is almost all the country banks. Therefore, when you go to Monaco as a tourist you are made to feel special. Go ahead and be a part of this special experience!