A little country with extraordinary extravagance

Monaco is the place for the rich and famous. A visit is captivating. The tiny country is a tax haven, where the rich live and play. They show themselves and want to be seen too. Visit Monaco and see for yourself.

Monaco conjures up several images. It is often seen as a tax haven, so many wealthy sport stars, famous actors and musicians invest in homes. It's also a seaside resort for the rich, or a place to show yourself as a rich person. A day in Monaco is very worthwhile. It can be cheaper than you think.

The image of the luxury boats in the port of Monte Carlo is well known. Just like the parking lot at the casinos. The highlight is the Monaco Grand Prix, which tears through the streets every year.

The Principality of Monaco, as it is officially called, is an experience. And the most populous country in the world. The land covers an area of 1.96 km² and has more than 30,000 inhabitants.

In addition to the national football team, it also has its own football club: AS Monaco. They play in the French league. The capital is Monte Carlo, which is a nice city trip from both France and Italy. These are the best highlights of Monaco.

Monte Carlo in Monaco seen from the surrounding hills.

Casino Monte Carlo

The Casino Monte Carlo is the place to watch people and take a gamble. This casino is world famous. It attracts mainly rich and extravagant people. Who are always dressed up, even on a hot day. On May 13, 1858, Crown Prince Albert I laid the first stone. The design comes from the architect Charles Garnier, who later also designed the Paris Opéra. On February 18, 1863, the doors opened for the first time. Later it was expanded several times, including a theatre and various 'special' rooms for high guests.

Musée Océanographique

Musée Océanographique in Monaco

The famous French researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau (who died in 1997) revealed the underwater world to many people. He was the director of the Musée Océanographique de Monaco for a while. This museum was founded by King Albert I, who also had a great interest in marine life. The museum exhibits how to do research underwater and its importance. The library is informative and nice to visit. 

The aquarium shows you the richness of the sea with many fish and other creatures. You can also see the unknown life of the Mediterranean Sea. Watch the yellow submarine outside that Cousteau used for years. This museum was founded at the end of the last century by Prince Albert I, Prince of Monaco.

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Jardin Exotique de Monaco

The botanical garden of Monaco is a popular place to walk or enjoy the view. This botanical garden was set up by Prince Albert I and has existed since 1933. The garden is famous for its succulents, including many cacti. Under the garden there is a large subterranean cave with many stalagmites and stalactites. In this cave scholars have found remains of people who lived in prehistoric times.

Anthropological Museum

The Anthropological Museum is located in the Jardin Exotique de Monaco and exhibits what has been found in the caves, among other things. You can try to use the prehistoric tools, but also see Roman jewellery and statues. In addition, there is a lot of information about the first inhabitants in this part of Europe.

Monaco Cathedral

Monaco Cathedral is famous because it is home to the film star Grace Kelly, amongst others. She was the wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco, who is also buried in the cathedral. Kelly died on September 14, 1982 in La Turbie. According to the doctors, Princess Gracia, as she was called, suffered a stroke when she drove her Rover 3500 on a winding road. She lost control of the vehicle and died a day later.

For a long time there were rumours that the then 17-year-old Princess Stéphanie, who was sitting next to her, had been driving. She suffered only minor injuries in this accident. Remarkably, the way they rode was the same as in the famous scene starring Cary Grant from the Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief in which Kelly starred. The tomb in the cathedral is somber, but stylish.

The cathedral is built in neo-Romanesque-Byzantine style. The cathedral stands on the foundations of an older church from 1251. This was dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra, who still symbolises many traditions in our Feast of Saint Nicholas. However, the old building collapsed in 1874. In 1911, the current cathedral opened its doors. The cathedral is also home to many of the princes of the Grimaldi, who have ruled Monaco since 1297.

In Monaco you will find numerous historical buildings.

Port de Monte Carlo

The mooring fee for the port of Monte Carlo is often mentioned as the highest in the world. 

By the way, this port was already mentioned in the analysts of the Romans. Although not all archeologists agree that Monaco is the actual place. In 43 BC, Caesar allegedly gathered his fleet in this region to attack Pompeii. Nowadays it is at least a marina where you look out your eyes.

Palais Princier de Monaco

The prince's palace towers over the other houses in Monaco. It is the residence of the Head of State of Monaco. If the flag flutters in the tower of the Palais Princier, then the prince is home.

Via steep stairs you arrive at the Place du Palais. The palace guards stand motionless in front of the gate in immaculate white suits. Every day, the guard is exchanged in front of the palace around noon. This is a remarkably short change, by the way.

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Monaco Top Cars Collection

The princes of Monaco are themselves avid car collectors. This museum shows a collection of about 100 cars from the most expensive brands such as Mercedes, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and Maserati. But also older models such as T-Ford's and especially many French brands, which no longer exist.

Museum of Napoleon

In the Museum of Napoleon you can find many personal belongings of the world famous field marshal. These were collected at the time by Prince Louis II, who was an avid admirer of Napoleon. There is also a lot to find about the history of Monaco. The museum is located in the Palace of Monaco.

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