10 Top Tourist Attractions in Monaco

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10 Top Tourist Attractions in Monaco

Category : Monaco , Monte Carlo

Monaco may be the world’s second tiniest country (the Vatican is the smallest), but that doesn’t stop it from being a great place to visit. It’s a principality that has been ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century. Monaco is famous for its gambling, car races and fairy tale romances, such as when the beauty (American actress Grace Kelly) marries the handsome prince (Prince Rainier). Monaco is glitzy and glamorous, and offers travelers a chance to mingle with the rich and famous, if only to ooh and ah over the awesome yachts in the harbor.

Travelers who fear they can’t afford this lifestyle can see the attractions in Monaco on day trips from more budget friendly locations, such as Nice and Menton in France, and San Remo in Italy.

10. Port de Fontvieille

Port de Fontvieille

 

The Port de Fontvieille truly is a playground for the rich and famous, since only they can afford thousands of dollars a day to berth their boats and yachts in the harbor. The marina has space for 275 vessels of varying sizes, and offers all the amenities the sailors want. Fifty years ago the Port de Fontvieille was just a patch of sand sheltered by rocks. The marina borders the heart of the village of Fontvieille, with streets and buildings at water’s edge. See amazing views of this very scenic marina from the Rock of Monaco.

9. Monaco St Nicholas Cathedral

Monaco St Nicholas Cathedral

 

Every Catholic country has its national cathedral; in Monaco, this is St. Nicholas Cathedral, named for Monaco’s first Catholic church that was built in the 13th century and demolished in the 19th century. The church today is known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. It is the burial place for the Grimaldis, including Grace Kelly and Rainier III. Visitors describe this Romanesque church with its facade of white marble as being quite beautiful and peaceful.

8. Oceanographic Museum

Oceanographic Museum

 

Lovers of all things marine may enjoy a visit to the Oceanographic Museum, which is devoted to marine science. This Baroque Revival building overlooks the Mediterranean. Founded in 1910, famed ocean scientist Jacques-Yves Cousteau served as its director for three decades. It is home to collections of sea life, such as sharks, turtles and shellfish, as well as model ships and sea animal skeletons. An aquarium in the basement is home to 4,000 species of fish. The aquarium features Mediterranean and tropical water ecosystems.

7. Larvotto Beach

Larvotto Beach

 

Larvotto Beach is Monaco’s most popular – and only – beach, even though the beach is more pebbly than sandy; beachcombers may want to wear sturdy shoes while walking along the Mediterranean Sea. While some visitors recommend the beach for families because the sea is quieter, parents should know it is popular with topless sunbathers. Some sections of Monaco’s public beach are free to visitors, while others charge admission. The beach is just a few minutes’ walk from Monte Carlo. Avenue Princess Grace runs alongside the beach.

6. Jardin Exotique

Jardin Exotique

 

The Jardin Exotique is a must-see for travelers with green thumbs. This botanical garden, built on the side of a cliff, boasts more than 1,000 succulents, most of which are cacti. Some of the plants are more than 100 years old. An underground cave is located at the foot of the cliff; guided tours can be arranged. The garden is also home to the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology since remains of prehistoric man were found on the site. The garden is a great place to take panoramic photos of Monaco since it overlooks the harbor.

5. Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

Travelers with a passion for fast cars won’t want to miss the Monaco Grand Prix, which is considered one of the most prestigious car races in the world. Because Monaco’s streets are narrow and have sharp corners, the track is considered one of the most demanding in Formula One racing, with racers having to go slower than the 190 mph mandated under Formula One rules. This Grand Prix has been affiliated with Formula One since 1955, though the first Grand Prix took place in 1929. The race, which takes place in May, follows the same route every year.

4. Monte Carlo Harbor

Monte Carlo Harbor

 

Monte Carlo Harbor is another place where the rich and famous dock their expensive yachts. Located in La Condamine, Monaco’s second oldest neighborhood, visitors will find the royal vessel belonging to the Prince of Monaco; it is docked at Port Hercules, among the yachts and ships. The port here can accommodate up to 500 vessels in a very scenic setting. Travelers may want to relax at a waterfront café where they can enjoy the beautiful luxurious yachts and scenery in a glamorous setting.

3. Monaco-Ville (Le Rocher)

Monaco-Ville

 

Monaco-Ville, also known as Le Rocher or The Rock, offers visitors a chance to stroll through the country’s oldest neighborhood. This old town, which is built on rocky land that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea, may date back to the 6th century BC when the ancient Greek established a colony here. In the 13th century, Monaco’s founders, the Grimaldis, made an ancient fortress their headquarters. Monaco-Ville is made up almost entirely of pedestrian streets and passageways and retains its medieval character. There are a number of hotels, restaurant and souvenir shops, as well as several of the city’s famous landmarks, including the Prince’s Palace, the Oceanographic Museum and St. Martin’s Gardens.

2. Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino

 

Monte Carlo Casino was established in the 19th century to save the Grimaldi family from bankruptcy. At that time, Monaco was poor with little infrastructure to support tourism. The plan worked. The Monte Carlo Casino today lures gamblers to Monaco, with games of chance, including roulette, Baccarat, craps and slot machines; even James Bond tried his luck here. The casino has a dress code and charges admission; foreign visitors need to show passports or other ID as Monaco residents are not allowed inside.

1. Prince’s Palace of Monaco

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Monaco

 

The Prince’s Palace of Monaco is the official home of the country’s rulers, the Grimaldi family, which is currently headed by Prince Albert II, the son of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier. The fairy tale palace began as a fortress in the 12th century, but over the centuries fell into a shambles; Prince Rainier is credited with restoring the palace to its former grandeur. The palace is open to the public annually from June to October. Once inside they‘ll find a courtyard made from 3 million pebbles that form a geometric pattern, and historic Genovese frescoes. Everyday at 11:55 AM, in front of the Palace’s main entrance visitors can watch the changing of the guard ceremony performed by the “Carabiniers”.

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10 Things to Do in the French Riviera

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Category : French Riviera

The French Riviera — or as the French refer to it, the Cote d’Azur — is the playground for the rich, famous… and basically everybody else. Visitors to this area will find beautiful beaches and lovely weather as well as plenty of glitz and glamor. Other things to do in the French Rivera include attending one or more of its famous events, like the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix.

10. Iles d’Hyeres

Iles d'Hyeres

 

The Iles d’Hyeres is the collective name given to three beautiful and mostly wild islands that are located off of the French Rivera. Also known as the Iles d’Or or the Golden Isles, these three islands include Porquerolles, Port-Cros and Levant. The entire island of Port-Cros is a national park, while 4/5ths of Porquerolles has been bought by the state in order to protect it from development. Levant, on the other hand, is home to a military base and a nudist colony. Visitors need to take a ferry in order to reach the Iles d’Hyeres. Once there, they can visit the many ancient forts that can be found on these islands, go birding, hiking, biking or scuba diving.

9. Eze

Eze

 

Èze is a fortified medieval village that sits 430 meters (1,400) feet above sea level, overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. With its lovely villas covered in bougainvillea and cobblestone streets, Eze is a charming and very photogenic town. In Eze, visitors can tour two famous perfumeries, the Galimard and Fragonard, visit a 12th-century fortified castle or Le Jardin Exotique d’Eze, a garden filled with exotic plants and lovely statues that also offers some of the best views of the surrounding area.

8. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

 

The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a seaside mansion that once belonged to Baroness Beatrice de Rothschild. It is a stunning home that is located on the Cap Ferrat Peninsula and is surrounded by gorgeous gardens. In addition, this rose-colored mansion, which is also known as the Villa Ile-de-France, boasts magnificent views of the Bay of Villefranche and the Bay of Beaulieu. The villa and its furnishings, many of which are rare or priceless, were donated by the baroness after her death to the Academie des Beaux Arts of the Institut de France. Today, the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is open to the public for viewing.

7. Corniche de l’Esterel

Corniche de l'Esterel

 

Also known as the Corniche d’Or or Golden Coast, this is an approximately 20-mile-long section of N98 that stretches from Frejus to La Napoule through the French Riviera. The Corniche de l’Esterel is not just a thrilling road with a number of hairpin turns; it is also a very scenic route that offers breathtaking views of the rocky coastline as well as the brick red Esterel Mountains. Because of its spectacular views, some consider the Corniche de l’Esterel to be one of the top driving roads in Europe.

6. Cannes

Cannes

 

Up until the 19th century, Cannes was just a quiet fishing village, but today it is a glamorous seaside city made world famous by the annual Cannes Film Festival. Every May when Cannes hosts the film festival, hordes of fans flock to see the rich and famous in person as the celebrities walk the red carpet up the steps of the Palais des Festivals where thousands of films are screened. Leading up to the Palais des Festivals is La Croisette, the beautiful waterfront promenade that is lined with palm trees, upscale hotels, restaurants and designer shops like Gucci, Chanel and Dior.

5. Saint-Paul de Vence

Saint-Paul de Vence

 

Situated on a hilltop, Saint-Paul de Vence is a fortified, mostly intact medieval village that bustles with tourists during the high season. It is also an artsy town that is home to a large number of art galleries, artist workshops and museums, including the world-famous Fondation Maeght. In fact, one of Saint-Paul de Vence’s most famous residents was the artist Marc Chagall, who lived and painted in this quaint village for approximately 20 years. Additionally, Saint-Paul de Vence’s hilltop location offers stunning views of the Alps, the surrounding countryside as well as the sea, making this charming town a photographer’s dream.

4. Antibes 

Antibes

 

This picturesque seaside resort town, which lies between Nice and Cannes, was once an old Greek trading port. Today, visitors to Antibes will still find lots of evidence of its olden days, including narrow cobbled streets and ramparts. However, Antibes, which is the second largest town in the French Riviera, isn’t just about the old. It also boasts one of the Mediterranean’s finest harbors. Antibes is also home to the Musee Picasso, a museum dedicated to the legendary artist, who lived in this town in 1946. The museum is located in the Chateau Grimaldi, which was once a palace belonging to the famous Grimaldi family.

3. St Tropez

St Tropez

 

Since the 1950s, the beaches and resorts of St. Tropez have attracted celebrities and the wealthy from around the world. It remains just as popular today. Located very close to both Cannes and Nice, St. Tropez is an old Mediterranean seaport that charms visitors with cobblestone lanes and a historic center. At the same time, however, it also boasts classy and discreet beach clubs that cater to needs of the rich and the famous, and its harbor is filled with stunning yachts. While in St. Tropez, travelers will, of course, want to visit one of its world-famous beaches — the most well-known being Pampelonne. In addition, visitors will find plenty of dining and shopping options in St. Tropez as well as a lively nightlife scene.

2. Nice Nice

 

The beautiful city of Nice is the largest resort in the French Riviera and a major port for France. It is also the 6th largest city in France, so it, or course, has lots to offer visitors, including excellent places to eat and shop. During the day, travelers can stroll or bike along the city’s famous Promenade des Anglais, enjoy a walk through its historic center or find a place along Nice’s pebbly beaches to take in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. At night, Nice comes alive. Travelers can party all night at one of the city’s nightclubs or just go bar hopping at one of the town’s many pubs.

1. Monaco

#1 of Things To Do In The French Riviera

 

Bordered by France on three sides, the tiny country of Monaco occupies a prime stretch of real estate on the French Riviera but has a character that is entirely its own. The mere mention of the principality conjures up images of multi-million yachts, money-draining casinos and high-priced hotels. Gambling facilities have made Monaco a famous tourist destination, and the casino Monte Carlo is still one of Monaco’s biggest attraction. Other attractions include the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium as well as the changing of the guard at Monaco-Ville, a palace that was originally a medieval fortress.