Day Trip to Monaco
The independent Principality of Monaco covers an area of just two square kilometres. The Principality of Monaco as known as Monaco, is a city-state on the Mediterranean Sea. While small, it does not lack Monaco attractions. Monte Carlo, the capital of Monaco, is an international symbol of glamour, with a grand casino, luxury shops and luxury hotels. Monaco is very expensive if you need to rent an apartment. It also depends what your budget and needs are, kids, etc. Cote d’Azur is generally expensive, but you can get good deals if you look in Nice. The little towns just next to Manaco, have become quite expensive too. You can commute to Nice, there are trains from Monaco to France, every 15 - 20'.
Be sure to get a day pass for the bus system. Monaco may be small, but you can wreck yourself and waste a whole lot of time trying to walk to places that look nearby on a map.
A tour of the Prince's Palace includes a trip through the throne room, its many halls and public apartments. Be sure to visit the Palace at 11:55 for the daily changing of the guard, or anytime to see the royal family's collection of cars, including a Ford Model T and a Formula One racing car. Supporters of the F1 Monaco Grand Prix (26-29 May 2011) circuit of Monte-Carlo, can hire a racing car and drive along the world famous track. Just keep the speed to 50 km/h, as Monaco's police are ever watchful, making the principality one of the safest places in the world.
Monaco has good beaches. However, more toward the center of Monaco there is the beachfront area of Lavrotto with a number of cafes etc. Even Michelin stars restaurants abound in Monte Carlo
If you like gardens there are quite a few - an exotic one, Japanese one and one in memory of princess Grace. Her grave is in the cathedral in MonacoVille up near the Palace and Aquarium.
Definitely get up to MonacoVille (the oldest part) for the prime views and to catch the changing of the guard and the Oceanography Museum, where its pride is a giant shark-infested lagoon and 90 smaller aquariums with marine creatures of all sorts. Pioneering scuba diver and oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau was its director for many years.
But easily the most renowned building in Monaco must be the opulent Monte Carlo Casino, built in 1878 by architect Charles Gamier, designer of the Paris Opera. The EUR 10 entrance fee allows visitors the chance to test their luck and imagine rubbing shoulders with super spy 007, James Bond.
And with a little bit of luck at the casino, you might consider splurging for a return to the hotel by helicopter - a six-minute flight from Monaco to Nice in the lap of luxury.
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