4 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Monaco
In recent years, Monaco has emerged as a high-end destination that offers a number of top attractions for tourists. Monaco's star attractions include the glamorous Grand Prix de Monaco, the Monte Carlo Casino, and the incomparable art collections of the Monegasque palace. For a taste of Monaco's nightlife, head to the French Riviera for a round of glamorous dance clubs in the nightclub-heavy Monaco-Ville area.
But with spectacular views and luxury shopping (Monaco has some of the most expensive boutiques in the world), as well as rich cultural institutions and a number of intriguing museums (the casino is the best place to start exploring Monaco's cultural offerings), even those seeking a more low-key vacation will enjoy a visit to Monaco.
Use our top attraction in Monaco list to help plan your trip.
Oceanographic Museum in Monaco is home to marine-life specimens which were once on display at the Quai Wilson in Monte-Carlo. Its most famous exhibit, the impressive 33-meter (107-foot) aquarium, has 22,000 square meters of water space and houses more than four million specimens. Other noteworthy features include the global collection of glass panels featuring antique maps of oceans, the skeleton of the HMS Erebus, from which Antarctica was explored, and the artificial reefs called AIMSS (Aquarium Inter-Mariage Scientific Studies). A special room is dedicated to maritime objects, including sculptures, paintings, and navigational instruments. The museum, which also includes a 5,000 square meter maritime-arts center, opened in 1975 and was the first of its kind in Europe.
One of the most famous residences in the world, the residence of the present-day Prince of Monaco, Monegasque Prince Albert II, is one of Monaco's most popular attractions. Located in the center of Monte Carlo, the palace is a vast residence that has been home to the Grimaldis for more than 600 years. During this time, Monaco has undergone dramatic changes as it became an independent principality. Today, the palace is a living monument of history where visitors can find out what it was like to live in the times of the Grimaldis. The palace's history has been carefully preserved, and you'll find beautiful furnishings in the 19th-century style as well as paintings, antiques, and architecture from the 18th and 20th centuries. There are still few royal apartments open to the public, but an experience to see the decoration of these chambers will allow you to understand how a prince lived.
St. Nicholas Cathedral
St. Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco, founded in the 13th century, is home to the tomb of Prince Rainier III, who died at the age of 31. It was restored and enlarged in the mid-18th century and features one of the world's longest high altars. Take time to explore the cathedral's surrounding chapels, which feature remarkable murals, including by the world-renowned Pablo Picasso. Monaco has a very small number of places to stay, most of which are inexpensive, clean and simply decorated. The old town is full of stunning buildings, historic monuments and art.
Casino Monte Carlo
Monaco, one of the smaller members of the European Union, is a French-speaking enclave of the Kingdom of Sardinia with its own international airport, post office and a library. Nowadays it is renowned for its casinos. The Principality has two casinos, the Monte Carlo Casino and Le Casino de Monte Carlo, which has been playing host to the annual Grand Prix de Monaco for over 100 years. The Monte Carlo Casino is one of the largest casinos in Europe, with its classic, red-brick-and-stone-masonry building sitting at the foot of the scenic seafront boulevard, the Promenade des Anglais. The casino also hosts two annual international concerts, the Monte Carlo Musical Festival and the Monaco Music Festival. Monte Carlo's casino was also once the location of one of the biggest prostitution scandals in modern times, where a former Princess of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Hanover, was involved in the enormous scheme of corruptions linked to France's former Prime Minister of Monaco, Jacques Chirac.