Officially termed the Principality of Monaco, this sovereign city-state is situated on the French Riviera and has been ruled by the Grimaldi family for hundreds of years. It is world famous for its glamorous Grand Casino, Formula One Grand Prix, nightclubs, fine dining restaurants and boutique shopping. There are many traditional festivals and events, carnivals, open-air markets, concerts, music festivals and performing arts throughout the year.
The Palais du Prince sits atop a high hill, overlooking the principality and dates all the way back to the 13th century. The palace is open for public viewing when the royal family are not in residence. Visiting the famous Monte Carlo Casino is a must, particularly if you are a James Bond fanatic. You could also go to the Musee Oceanographique, one of the world’s oldest aquariums. Children are particularly enamoured with the ‘touch tank’, where they can touch baby sharks and starfish. On a sunny day, you may wish to visit the Jardin Exotique. It has amazing views overlooking the ocean and over 7,000 plant species. There are benches to sit on and admire the view and you can even bring a picnic lunch. The Princess Grace Rose Garden is just as spectacular, with over 8,000 rose bushes in a variety of colours and species. Monaco has some incredible monuments and historical buildings, such as the Monaco Cathedral, which dates back to 1875, although some artefacts within are much older. Notably, the main throne is carved from marble.
The harbour, known as Port de la Condamine, is spectacular with a range of enormous multimillion-dollar super yachts and cruise liners. There is also a range of restaurants, pubs and cafes along with marina for you to stop off and enjoy. If you enjoy shopping, Avenue de Monte-Carlo is a good place for designer and luxury goods as is Avenue Princess Grace and Boulevard des Moulins.
The nearest airport is Nice Cote d’Azure, which is located approximately 30 km via the A8 motorway.