Luxury yachts and gleaming sports cars are the norm in Monaco, one of the glitziest cities in the world. The tiny country occupies just 200 hectares but harbours a big reputation. Stroll around the world-famous marina, raise the stakes at lavish Casino de Monte Carlo and visit Jardin Exotique for million-dollar views over the French Riviera.
Things to do in Monte Carlo
Magnificent Casino de Monte Carlo is one of the finest examples of Belle Epoque architecture in Europe. The casino is a haven for high-rollers and houses some of the most exclusive gambling parlours in the world. In the public salons, you can try your luck with blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker and slot machines. The onsite fine-dining restaurant offers a taste of the high life.
Musée Océanographique de Monaco is perched on a cliffside and immerses you in a magical underwater world. Sharks, stingrays and tropical fish cruise around the six-metre-deep main aquarium. Get up close with an enormous whale skeleton in the Salle de la Baleine exhibit and head outside to check out the turtle tank. The rooftop café commands sweeping views over the Mediterranean Sea.
The enchanting Jardin Exotique tumbles down a rocky mountain and showcases one of the largest collections of succulents and cacti in the world. Narrow paths wind up to the summit where you can enjoy panoramic views over Monaco and the Mediterranean. Within the gardens is Grotte de l’Observatoire, a hidden cave dripping with stalactites.
It’s easy to get lost in the winding medieval lanes of Le Rocher, a centuries-old town perched on a rocky clifftop. Today many of the historic townhouses have been reimagined as cafes and restaurants. Others sell wafer-thin crepes drizzled with lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar.
Getting around Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot, while local buses are a fast and comfortable way to get from A to B. Trains run between Nice and Monaco in around 30 minutes. Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport is a 45-minute drive away.