Monaco is a sovereign city-state and a microstate located in the French Riviera in Western Europe. It is the second smallest country in the world, and is also the most densely populated state with 36, 371 inhabitants occupying only 0.78 square miles. The country is a principality ruled by a constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as the head of state. Controlling interest is set to the monarchy albeit the presence of a constitution. The country pumped its economic stability and became world-renowned because of its first casino, Monte Carlo.
What it lacks in size, it makes up with its attitude, and what it lacks in range, it makes up with its sights. Fitting only in 200 hectares of land, Monaco is truly beguiling with its opulent splendour and charm, full of glitz, shine, and hedonistic tendencies. It is 'sin city', or country so to speak – an elegant place screaming comfort, pleasures, and night life in a rather monarchical and (a little) traditional approach.
Monaco-Ville – Commonly known as “le rocher” or “the rock,” Monaco-Ville is a small medieval village at the heart of the picturesque state. Made up of pedestrian passageways and entryways, Monaco-Ville maintains century old houses and other architecture, co-mingling with the modern hotels and restaurants. Tourists may take a detour to the Prince's Palace, the Cathedral of Monaco, the Oceanographic museum, the City Hall, and the Saint Martin Gardens, as they are within the vicinity of the village.
Jardin Exotique – The Jardin Exotique or the Exotic Gardens is the site of several thousand rare floras from around the world in one walking tour. Although a bit steep and would require some trek, the sight of rare tropical, subtropical, and desert plants is truly rewarding. A grotto and a cave are also part of the tour in the gardens. A regular tour is in French and usually lasts 25 minutes.
Monaco Opera House – Also known as the Salle Garnier, this auditorium flaunts the beautiful frescoes and sculptures on its walls and ceilings, giving an impression of a classy atmosphere. Decorated in gold and red, the opera house is the seat of various performances in the city, from ballet, to opera, to musicals, and other theatrical presentations. Shows are available every now and then, but visitors may need to shell out some good cash to catch a gala.
Monte Carlo – On its own, the Monte Carlo district of Monaco is a premier getaway for travellers around the world. Beaches, gambling, nightlife – all in one space – can be enjoyed by tourists. The sheer beauty of the natural surroundings, as well as the extravagance of the buildings gives each of its visitors a full luxurious experience.
How to get around within Monaco
Monaco is easily accessed through its land borders from France and Italy by a network of highways. Driving is easy and public transport such as buses are readily available. Bus trips within Monte Carlo and Nice to other French destinations are serviced by Rapide Cote d'Azur, while an express shuttle connects and links the Nice Cote d'Azur Airport to the principality. Boats are also available for private yacht and ship owners, with mooring and anchoring possibilities available for almost 500 vessels. Taxis are also present, but there are only two main taxi stands at the Avenue de Monte Carlo and the railway station. Motor scooters and bicycles can also be rented in the area, and riding in the seaside is actually rewarding especially in daybreak and late in the afternoon just before the sun sets. Meanwhile, walking is still the best way to get around Monaco, with pedestrian friendly roads and sights worth taking in by walking.
How to get there
The nearest airport serving Monaco is the Nice Cote-d' Azur International Airport, found roughly around 40km from the city centre. From there, a connecting land travel is in order through the Rapide Cote d'Azur. Cheap flights can be booked using Skyscanner. Skyscanner is an online source of the cheapest flights to various destinations from 600 airlines.
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