Azur Express Tourist Train
In Monaco-Ville (the Old Town), hop on the Azur Express Tourist Train, which offers commentaries in French, Italian, German and English.
Bask on Lavartto Beach
This free public access beach is a perfect escape for some sun and sea. Clean and safe, all you need to take is a towel, sun block and binoculars for yacht spotting. There are also handy cafés and kiosks nearby for refreshments and light lunches. If you’re curious to see what ‘real’ people living in Monaco do for fun, this is it – the millionaires have their private beaches.
Discover more than 180 varieties of rose at the Princess Grace Rose Garden. The Museum of Stamps and Coins features rare philatelic items from the postal history of the Principality. The permanent exhibition of Prince Rainier III’s Private Collection of Classic Cars, with over 100 classic cars, is nearby. The Naval Museum and the Zoological Terraces are also located here.
Gamble in style at the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo. The casino is located in Monaco’s most exclusive quartier, where all the most luxurious and fashionable hotels, restaurants and boutiques can also be found (including the famous Hôtel de Paris). The building’s style is distinctively grand and luxurious and the casino is linked to the Salle Garnier Opera House by an impressive atrium lined with 28 Ionic Golden Circle columns made of onyx. The minimum age for entering any of Monte Carlo’s casinos is 21. You will need your passport at the door as well as an entry fee of â?¬10.
Chill out at the serene and sea-facing Saint-Martin Gardens (also in the Old Town), which inspired the poet Guillaume Apollinaire between 1887 and 1889. Alternatively, visit the Japanese Gardens, right next to the sea.
Consecrated in 1875, Saint Nicholas Cathedral is a special place for Monegasques. It was where Princess Grace married Prince Rainier as well as where they have both been buried. The Grimaldi family have buried their family here for centuries and the tombs are beautiful. MuseumsThe Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium, whose grandiose facade rises spectacularly out of the sea, houses a world-renowned collection of marine fauna and interactive exhibits. Other museums include the Museum of Napoleonic Souvenirs and Collection of the Palace’s Historic Archives, which exhibits thousands of objects relating to the First Empire (Napoleon I); the Wax Museum of the Princes of Monaco; and the Monte Carlo Story, a multivision show about Monaco’s history.
Place du Palais
At Monte Carlo’s spiritual heart is Monaco-Ville (old town) where the Place du Palais houses the Prince’s Palace and State Apartments. Built around 1215, the palace’s focal points are the Throne Room and the Main Courtyard with its horse-shaped marble staircase, adorned with millions of geometric patterns. Attend the Changing of the Palace Guard (admission free), which takes place daily, just before noon (1155).
Spend a morning having a look at the multi million dollar yachts moored at this first class harbour. There are several places where you can sit and have a drink while admiring the vast amount wealth floating before you.
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Things to do[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] Relax at a spa
Relax at Monaco’s health spas and beauty centres, the most famous one being the Thermes Marins de Monte Carlo.
Take a helicopter ride
Take a panoramic flight over the principality and the surrounding area with Heli-Air Monaco (tel: 0826 105 050; www.heliairmonaco.com). Trips last from 10 to 40 minutes.
Watch Formula One
Attend the world-famous Monaco Grand Prix Formula One race, which takes place every year in the principality’s narrow winding streets, attracting thousands of spectators. Another favourite is the Historic Grand Prix, which is held every other year.
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Hotels[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] Some of the most luxurious hotels and conference facilities are centred in Monte Carlo, and all are equipped with extensive modern amenities.
There is one youth hostel in Monaco, Hotel le Versailles. It is located close to the railway station and overlooks the bay.
Apartments are available to let. For further details, contact the Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Office
[/wptabcontent] [/wptabs] [wptabtitle]Shopping[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] Monégasque products include perfume, chocolates, ceramics, clothing, hosiery, shoes, books, jewellery and embroidery. Handcrafted items are sold at Boutique du Rocher, a charity of the late Princess Grâce de Monaco. Monégasque stamps are highly prized by collectors.
[/wptabcontent] [/wptabs] [wptabtitle]Nightlife[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] Monaco is not a particularly vibrant place for night owls. Restaurants shut quite early in comparison to European capitals and there are only a few night clubs, all housed in the city’s James Bond-esque casinos. Jimmy Z’s, located in the Sporting Club is a Monte Carlo establishment, where rich young things flock to the dance floor in designer heels. The world-famous Monte Carlo Casino is another grand complex worth visiting, if not for a drink and dance, then just to look at. Casinos put on nightly shows, cabarets and the like – all thoroughly entertaining, if a tad OTT.