Hello everyone, we are ready for a new adventure in the Principality of Monaco. As always, let’s start with the presentation first.
The Principality of Monaco is an independent city-state in Western Europe, bordering France and bathed by the Ligurian Sea. So much is the influence of neighboring Italy that even the language of the same is widely spread here (after French of course), just as the Monegasque dialect is a variant of the Ligurian dialect. Its best known location is certainly Monte Carlo, which is the most central district of the city-state (which is also the Formula 1 racing circuit). The city of “Monte Carlo” is mistakenly understood as Monaco or Principality of Monaco but the reality, as we have seen, is very different, so much that Monte Carlo is only one of the four districts that compose the principality. In any case, the latter is one of the few autonomous states in the world that doesn’t have a national army, however the Police de Monaco, as the only police force in the principality, carries out an impeccable service over the entire territory. Regarding its thriving economy it is mainly based on tourism, followed by financial, real estate and industrial activities. Remaining on the subject, the port of Hercules Port Hércule is the principal port of call of the principality, although not far away there is also a second minor port, the port of Fontvieille; while the nearest airport is Nice, but don’t worry because the various connections between the two cities are impeccable. Well, we’ve said enough, so get ready that the adventure is about to start!
To know more (what to eat, where to eat, where to have fun, things to visit…) continue to read.
A story of dynasties, a lot of culture and art, all to be told and… seen.
PLACES TO VISIT (MUSEUMS/THEATERS…)
- Cathedrale Notre-Dame-Immaculee: the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the most important place of worship in the Principality of Monaco. Its style is neo-Romanesque and before the main entrance you have to go up the main stairs. The building is made of stone; while for the internal part what is most amazing is its large pipe organ and in general its dark color tone. Plus here (yes, but right here) there is Grace Kelly’s tomb, which gives this cathedral an added value.
- Oceanographic Museum of Monaco: is a conservation center and deals with the study of the sea. The museum promotes public awareness of the ocean through the oceanographic collections collected by Prince Albert I of Monaco (creator of this cultural space). In addition, there are both permanent and temporary exhibitions and several aquariums (located in the lower part of the building). The museum is so composed: on the ground floor there are the conference room, the temporary exhibition room and the boutique. On the first floor there is an exhibition dedicated to the prince, in the Sala della Balena there are the monumental whale skeleton and a collection of refined art objects relating to the sea. And to top it off on the second floor we find a large terrace with sea view and a restaurant.
- Palais Princier: is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. Rich in history and dynasties, you cannot miss this gem right in the center of the city in a square from which you can admire the Principality and its port. The beauty of the structure and the royal entrance is exceptional, as is its interior (which can be visited) where you can have access to the internal courtyard, some rooms and a small terrace where you can enjoy the wonderful view of the city. At some point you might even witness the changing of the guard. So beautiful!
- Nouveau Musée National de Monaco: is a museum of contemporary visual art. This is located in two different locations, Villa Sauber and Villa Paloma. Recent exhibitions have been on architecture, town planning and urbanization in Monaco. The entrance of Villa Sauber is very elegant and rich in light-colored stonework as well as its luxurious but refined staircase. The structure on the sides consists of a well-kept garden with some works of art to be admired. Equally beautiful is the the structure of Villa Paloma.
- Musée du Vieux Monaco: it is a museum of great wealth. It exhibits ceramics, paintings, furniture, costumes, letters written by kings, as well as demonstrates through photos, scenes of everyday life. The museum is divided into three levels: the Monaco room, the military room and the room dedicated to religion. The mission of the museum is to preserve the identity of Monaco by bringing to the knowledge of its history, providing the preservation of its Monegasque language.
- Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology: is a prehistoric anthropology museum located in the Jardin Exotique. Inside we find collections of fossils and other finds relating to the prehistoric period found in the city of Monaco. The collections on display allow you to trace the main evolutionary stages of humanity, they explain how more than a million years ago the Cote d’Azur was a habitat of these distant ancestors. Here are organized temporary exhibitions with the most varied themes. Interesting!
- Monaco Naval Museum: this naval museum includes models of ships from the oldest to the most modern (of all kinds such as Greek, Roman…) but also paintings and objects all with a maritime theme. The external is a very nice mirror structure, so go there especially if you are a real fan.
- Museum of Stamps and Coins: museum of stamps and coins, located in the Fontvieille district. It tells the postal history of the principality and contains an exhibition of Monegasque money dating back to 1640. The collections are very nice and interesting, besides there are some very rare materials. The entrance is also beautiful, as coins and geometric figures are depicted on the facade. So if you are passionate about this world or you are collectors, this museum is just what you are looking for.
- Motor lovers there is also something for you, we just tell you not to miss the Monaco Top Cars Collection. There is everything, history, old and modern car models… Good exploration!
- Fort Antoine Theatre: it is a small amphitheater (once a fortress, recognizable by a small tower on the side) overlooking the sea located at Avenue de la Quarantaine. It is not unused, in the summer it often hosts outdoor shows; but not only that, it can also be used as a panoramic point and why not, an excellent location for wonderful photos.
There are lots of theaters in the city, here are some: Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, Théâtre Princesse Grace, Théâtre des Muses.
Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
Place du Palais
We continue our non-stop tour, come on!
- Jardin Exotique de Monaco: is a botanical garden located in the Les Révoires district. Inside there are succulent plants, such as cactus for example. It is very particular as a garden, as if it were a park with paths and sea view (which never leaves us). Also inside, the garden houses a cave (observatory cave) with numerous stalactites and stalagmites. The caves, whose entrance is located at one of the highest points in the Principality, descend to below sea level. Just think that traces of human presences dating back to prehistoric times have also been found there. We also remember that here is the museum of prehistoric anthropology that we have already seen previously. Another beautiful garden, but very similar, is the Jardin St. Martin.
- Japanese Gardens: is a Japanese-style garden located in the Larvotto district, near the Grimaldi Forum (the modern and well-known convention center). Lakes, zen gardens, bridges, fountains, tea houses and so on far from the chaos in an oasis of peace in a surreal and evocative atmosphere also created by the skyscrapers that overlook the garden.
- Two other very beautiful gardens to see if all this is not enough for you are: the Roseraie Princesse Grace where you can attend a show of beautiful roses. Les Jardins de la Petite Afrique, this garden is home to amazing tropical species.
- Princess Antoinette Park: it is a municipal park in the La Condamine district of Monaco dedicated to the sacred olive tree. It is very nice, well-kept, in contact with nature (always with the view of course) and the pleasant thing is that you can enjoy your packed lunch without any problems… Perfect, right?!
- Rocher de Monaco: it is a high point of the city, the so-called rock due to its composition, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and Port Ercole. Go there, it’s just beautiful!
- Monte Agel: is a mountain of the Maritime Alps and the Prealps of Nice. A few minutes from the center there is also space for an excursion not to be missed. The mountain is easily accessible and plus here is located a French air force base (base aérienne 943 Nice Capitaine-Auber) for the surveillance of the Mediterranean. The mount is often used for paragliding flights as it is a high point. Reconnecting with the view, it must be said that Mount Agel has a splendid view of the Principality, the Côte d’Azur, the Riviera di Ponente, the South-Western Alps and even on days of good weather the view can reach up to Corsica. Awesome!
- Let’s see what else we can find around the city: Place du Palais, we have already seen this square before, when we visited the palace of the princes; but now let’s see it in detail. It is very large and offers a panoramic view from many points and nice little shops and bars in its streets. Apotheosa Monaca located on the upper part of the city, what striks beyond the view of course are its narrow streets full of bars, shops, its uphill path (as you move away the view becomes more and more beautiful!) and its viewpoint adorned with old cannons. Porto Hercule where you can find cutting-edge yachts with an innovative design. All along the promenade there are public swimming pools, boats of all kinds, brasseries, villas… lots of luxury. Larvotto district with its public beach and its Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
Unmissable the passage through the famous Tunnel of the path made by the drivers during the Formula 1 races, plus continuing the journey you will also face the famous Fairmont Hairpin curve, the most famous curve of all time. An exciting journey for Formula 1 fans.
- A separate mention is for the super famous Casino Monte Carlo. Here is located the Place du Casino, the square that has changed its face since this summer. In the center we find a fountain with a work of art all surrounded by palm trees. Very large and more bare just to leave space between pedestrians and because it will be the venue for future events. Without forgetting its gardens and the Casino Café de Paris. The evening is a real light show.
- If you prefer to visit the city comfortably seated, then don’t miss the Monaco Tours a little train that will make you visit the Principality in all its beauty. In addition, if you have some time left or when you have finished your adventure here and you have no desire to leave the beautiful French Riviera nearby you can visit: Menton, Nice, Eze (famous medieval village), Antibes, Cannes and Saint Tropez. It is really a shame not to take advantage of it!
Casino Monte Carlo
Useless to say that the Principality’s nightlife is lively but also elegant with its gala evenings. In addition, you can also enjoy a night tour on board one of the city tourist buses, in order to have an exclusive overview of the entire Principality in the evening.
In particular, let’s see some local in detail:
- Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo: night club
- MK CLUB: night club
- Sealiah: night club
- La Rascasse: disco
- Black Legend: disco
Now we can devote ourselves to tasty the typical dishes.
- Stocafi: it consist of a cod cooked with tomato and flavored with garlic, black olives and aromatic herbs.
- Petit Farcis: they are tasty stuffed vegetables (peppers, aubergines, courgettes) that are stuffed with meat. So good!!
- Pan Bagnat: a symbol of the street food (and we know how convenient a meal can be when you are out and about) is a tasty round sandwich stuffed with tuna, anchovies, boiled egg, tomatoes, salads and black olives. For a load of energy!
- Fougasse: it is a dessert consisting of sweet rolls with an orange and anise flavor, sprinkled with pieces of almonds, sugar grains and pine nuts. Desserts are often accompanied with anise-based liqueurs or any typical liqueur.
- Île flottante: the floating island is one of the classics of French pastry, a soft and creamy spoon dessert. The dessert is quite elaborate, even if it is made with simple ingredients. It looks like a soft meringue cooked in milk, spread on a bed of custard. How tasty!
WHERE TO EAT (RESTAURANTS/CAFE’…)
Now we are ready to go in search of some place where we can taste these typical dishes.
- Blue Bay: French, Mediterranean, European cuisine.
- Le Petit Bar: French cuisine, vegetarian
- Les Perles de Monte-Carlo: French, Mediterranean cuisine.
- L’Express: French, vegetarian cuisine, vegan options.
- Azur Bar: French, Mediterranean cuisine.
- La Note Bleue: French, Mediterranean, European cuisine.
- Quai des Artistes: French, Mediterranean cuisine.
- Emilie’s Cookies: pastry and ice cream shop.
Our trip to the Principality of Monaco ends here but our adventure in France still continues. Can you guess our next destination? Clue: it’s not difficult, come on!
Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you’ve been there or you’re going to go there? What you liked the most or least? We’re curious to read your opinions.
A big kiss to everyone.