French Riviera Part 3: Monaco

JANUARY 2008…

Our last stop was none other than Monaco, the next major destination on the French Riviera after Nice. Monaco is an independent city-state bordered by France, but there are no border formalities between them. At just 200 hectares, Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world (after the Vatican City) and the most densely populated.

Port Hercules, Monaco.

The view of Port Hercules from the Rock of Monaco, where the old town sits.

So, what did we do in Monaco? My co-worker cum travel companion, being an F1 fan, couldn’t resist a drive down the Monaco Street Circuit, while the rest of the ladies took turns walking down the same church aisle that Hollywood star Grace Kelly wedded on.

Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco.

The Saint Nicholas Cathedral where Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly were married in 1956 and buried after their deaths.

We also drove by the glamorous Monte Carlo Casino, a pilgrimage site for high rollers. But no, we did not head in to try our luck.

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco.

Get a taste of the high life at the Monte Carlo Casino.

For something more “mundane”, we visited the Oceanographic Museum. It is a fantastic aquarium perched on the side of the Rock of Monaco, watching over the ocean life that it dedicates itself to.

Oceanographic Museum, Monaco.

Dive into the marine world at the Oceanographic Museum.

Despite its small size, Monaco has a bit of everything, making it perfect for a day trip. There are both old and new elements: you could roam around the old town and indulge in the city’s history, or revel in the glitz and glamour of the entertainment scene. It’s totally up to you.

Place du Palais, Monaco.

Even official buildings at the Place du Palais look so charming.

Come back for more
Needless to say, you can’t possibly take in all the beauty of the French Riviera in just one trip. Well maybe you can, but rushing through it doesn’t do it justice. It’s not simply a sightseeing location to check off your bucket list, but one where you can keep coming back and exploring further – one city, one town, one village at a time.

One thought on “French Riviera Part 3: Monaco

  1. Ah, it looks amazing! I saw Monaco through a bus window from the top of the surrounding mountains, going on holiday to Spain, at night – all the yachts looked like there were parties going on, lit up with colourful lights.

    Like

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