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Best things to do in Monte-Carlo

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Monaco  /  Monte-Carlo

Top 15 things to do in Monte-Carlo

1. Prince's Palace, Monaco-Ville

Take an audio tour of Prince's Palace, occupied for more than 700 years by the ruling Grimaldi family. Built on the site of an 1191 Genoese fortress, the palace is still well fortified--it was frequently besieged over the centuries by Monaco’s larger and more powerful neighbors. Imposing from the outside, the royal family's only residence also displays wealth and opulence in its interior, furnished in the style of Louis XIV. Explore the state apartments, where you can see intricately painted 16th-century frescoes of mythological figures, and see the throne, draped with a red velvet awning and topped by the crown. The palace is only open to the public for a few months a year, so check the website for details.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

Housed in an architecturally impressive building which teeters on a cliff edge looking out to sea, Oceanographic Museum of Monaco offers educational marine exhibits in an opulent setting. Home to the Mediterranean Science Commission, the museum provides exhibits that will delight young and old. Highlights include the shark lagoon with its 6 m (20 ft) glass walls, where you can see blacktip reef sharks, nurse sharks, sea turtles, and moray eels. Move through the museum to see the turtle island and the tactile pool, which gives kids a chance to touch the fauna and flora of the Mediterranean.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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3. Casino of Monte-Carlo

Housed in a dazzling Belle Epoque mansion, Casino of Monte-Carlo attracts an international clientele eager to experience the glitz and glamour of this small European city-state. The luxurious gaming rooms offer a range of table games and slot machines. From the terrace, you can enjoy a panoramic view across the Riviera. The legendary casino served as a filming location for several James Bond and other Hollywood movies.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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4. Japanese Gardens

A calm oasis for the weary traveler, Japanese Gardens offers a space for quiet contemplation surrounded by carefully crafted beauty. Meticulous arrangements of vegetation, stone, and water create a sense of peace in this garden, which was created for Princess Grace. Highlights of the garden include the waterfall, which flows into the carp-filled lake, and the teahouse, an ornamental structure where you can sit quietly. Walk the paths through trees and rocks, wander over the arched, red bridge to a small island, and watch the fish and ducks that swim below you.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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5. Monte Carlo Harbor

Calm, clear water overlooked by the town's steep hill, Monte Carlo Harbor boasts an impressive selection of luxury yachts, restaurants, and cafes. Take a turn around the marina and stop to chat with friendly boat owners, keen to tell you about their vessels. Find a cafe and have a coffee, beer, or glass of wine as you watch the boats go by. Move on to a restaurant for an indulgent meal with open harbor views, or head to a bar for a cool drink among the rich and famous.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Place du Palais, Monaco-Ville

Place du Palais is a historical square directly adjacent to the official residence of the royal family of Monaco. At the heart of Monaco's old town, the square attracts visitors as a central meeting point and an ideal place to get to know the city's architecture and history. The Prince's Palace will draw your attention from the square, with its magnificent facade of various styles. Beyond stretches the view of mountains in southern France. The icing on the cake is the panorama of the luxury harbors with expensive yachts.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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7. Casino Square

Recognized worldwide from the James Bond films and synonymous with wealth and style, Casino Square, surrounded by the elaborate architecture of Monaco’s premier casinos and hotels, emanates the glamour of the rich and famous. Motoring enthusiasts will relish the chance to get up close to the luxury vehicles that come and go throughout the day. The center of the square, filled with manicured gardens and an extravagant fountain, provides a lush spot from which to watch the action. Take some time to sit at a cafe, drink an espresso, and watch people take a turn around the square.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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8. The Private Collection of Antique Cars of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III

A car enthusiast's paradise, The Private Collection of Antique Cars of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III showcases an eclectic mix of vintage and classic cars. The collection, housed over five floors in a specially designed museum, contains more than 100 cars and also includes six horse-drawn carriages. Highlights of the collection include an open-topped 1903 De Dion Bouton, a 1911 Renault Torpedo, and--for lovers of more modern cars--the Citroën DS3 WRC that was driven by Sebastian Loeb in the 2013 Monte Carlo Rally.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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9. Cathedrale Notre-Dame-Immaculee, Monaco-Ville

A Roman Catholic cathedral and burial place of the country's royalty, Cathedrale Notre-Dame-Immaculee exudes a sense of hushed solemnity amidst shining marble floors and delicate frescoes. Constructed on the site of Monaco's first parish church, which was built in 1252, the cathedral was consecrated in 1875. An ornate and light-filled building, this cathedral was the site of both the wedding and the burial of the celebrated Grace Kelly, who married Prince Rainier III here in 1956. Take some time to walk around the cathedral and visit the chapels of the relics of St. Devote and St. Roman and the chapel of the Holy Sacrament.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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10. Jardin Exotique de Monaco, La Condamine

Tour the terraced Jardin Exotique de Monaco atop the town's steep hill on a clear day to see a large collection of succulents and cacti. With extensive views over Monaco that can be seen from many vantage points, the garden offers more than botanical attractions. Broken up into smaller gardens, each terrace contains plantings that group similar plants together. Key attractions include the giant flowering succulents--spectacular even when not in flower--a shady area with a pond and waterfall, and the underground "cathedral"--a large, underground cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. When you visit the garden, wear comfortable shoes, as there are many steep steps.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Chapelle Sainte Devote

Dedicated to the patron saint of Monaco, Chapelle Sainte Devote can be considered one of the country's most significant churches and is regularly visited by the royal family. The Roman Catholic chapel gets a mention in documents dating as far back as 1070, but it was restored in the 16th century and has been modified throughout the years. Enjoy the church's picturesque setting and explore inside to admire the understated cream interior. Though not as lavish as many prominent Catholic churches, the chapel features colorful stained glass windows and fine religious artworks.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Princess Grace Botanical Garden, Monaco-Ville

Hanging on the southwest face of Monaco-Ville, Princess Grace Botanical Garden displays a combination of Mediterranean and exotic plants, arranged along winding paths. Created in the 1830s, the garden contains ponds and lakes, shady avenues, and an array of sculptures, including one of Prince Albert I. Meander down walkways and experience the cool air created by the clever landscaping, which obscures and reveals different sections of the gardens as you walk. The gardens also contain the relics of St. Nicholas church, which was built before the current cathedral, located nearby.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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13. Casino Cafe de Paris

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Monte-Carlo Country Club

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Vieux Monaco, Monaco-Ville

With narrow, winding streets virtually unchanged since medieval times, Vieux Monaco, the city's Old Town, encompasses many of Monaco's most famous and historical attractions. Variously known as Le Rocher, the Rock, and originally Monoikos, the Old Town dates back to the 6th century, when it was colonized by the Phocaeans. Wander steep, quiet streets that are too narrow for modern vehicles, and take in the views from this vantage point above the sea. Containing Palais Princier, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Oceanographic Museum, Chapelle de la Misericorde, and Fort Antoine Theatre, the Old Town offers a chance to explore the city's history within a setting of medieval beauty. Be sure to wear flat, comfortable shoes, as the streets are steep, and it's quite a climb.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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