The city of Monaco is the second smallest country in the world – only the Vatican City is smaller. Meanwhile, good tax policy has made it an attractive place to live. Therefore it was necessary to build in the height, which is striking when one enters the town.
The small town is divided into several districts, all within walking distance of each other. Monaco-Ville is the oldest town and lies around the prince’s palace, south of the city . On the north side of town is Monte-Carlo with its Casino. Between them is La Condamine with the old harbor and shopping areas. These three parts are important to experience if one visits Monaco. North of Monte-Carlo is the district of La Larvotto where you can visit the beaches. Monaco is well suited as a day trip from the surrounding towns.
Although Monaco is a separate country, you don’t really notice any borders. There are no border controls, the language is French and the currency is euro.
Casino de Monte – Carlo
Majestically situated on the hill of Monte-Carlo is the world famous casino from the 1850s. A great building in “Belle Epoque” style. The parking lot outside and the streets around is filled with luxury cars. The casino was originally built to support the economy of the small principality, and has been the country’s main source of income until recently. There is an 18 – year age limit to get into the casino and you have to show identification. To be nice dressed is preferred, but this is not strictly complied.
Grand Prix de Monaco
Monoco Grand Prix is one of the world’s most prestigious races. The race takes place a weekend in May each year and attracts car enthusiasts from around the world. What is special with the formula 1 in Monaco is that the trail goes in the narrow city streets, unlike most other Formula 1 races which go on court. If visiting Monaco during the Grand Prix, you should know that even though the trail runs through the city, it is not possible to see anything without a ticket. Tickets are available in all price categories, and it doesn’t need to be so expensive – just book in advance. Book your accommodation early as well and remember that traffic is severely restricted in the days before and during the race.
Here you will find information about the race : http://www.formula1monaco.com/
Prince’s Palace and Monaco-Ville (Old Town)
On a hill east of the harbor lies the Prince’s Palace, surrounded by the town Monaco-Ville. The palace was originally built as a fortress in year 1191 and is today the residence of the Grimaldi family. The Grimaldi family couped the fortress in year 1297 and today it is still the Grimaldi family who reign in Monaco. A statue of Francois Grimaldi is outside the Palace in remembrance of the coup.
Parts of the palace are open to the public from April to October. But it may be closed during official occasions. In addition, the palace houses a few museums that are open all year including a Naploeon museum and a collection of antique cars. The Philharmonic Orchestra plays outdoor concerts in the courtyard of the palace and more information can be found here: http://www.opmc.mc
Around the palace is the old town Monaco-Ville. With its narrow pedestrian streets, this is the closest you get to cozy in Monaco.
Oceanographic Museum / maritime museum
Dramatically positioned on the hillside to the sea is the Oceanographic Museum. A beautiful building including an aquarium, fossils of sea creatures (most impressive is the skeleton of a 20 meter long whale), and miscellaneous equipment used at sea.