Sightseeings in Monaco
From Menton or Nice, one gets comfortably by train to Monaco. The train trip alongside the coast offers some dream views down to the sea and the coast. Those who come by car to Monaco should park their car as soon as possible in one of thevery expensive parking places. The advantage of the small size of the city is of course that one can comfortably walk to all of the sightseeings of the city.
For viewing the city and the most important sightseeings, half a day is sufficient, except one spends some endless time gambling in the casino or waiting for a member of the Prince family to wave at one...
The Prince Castle
The viewing of the Prince's castle is part of the obligatory programme during the visit of Monaco. When in the summer time, the Prince family is outside the house, it is even possible to enter the palace. If the flag flyes on the palace, it is a sign that the Prince is in.
Most of the things that are visible are from the 16th century; but some things go back up to the 13th century. From the outside, the palace is very impressive. But the countless tourists are rather deterrent. Thousands of gossips only have one hope: to see a member of the Prince family at any window of the south-west wing of the palace.
From the Prince palace, a nice park leads down to the sea up to the oceanographic museum (musée océanographique). In this park, one can see some wonderfully arranged gardens and glorious plants. Also the views to the sea and to the city at the front are impressive. But those who think that they can relax a little on this spot of nature are wrong. Whole swarms of tourist are passing by; typical travel bus groups guided by a travel guide with a signpost cavort in the park.
Of course, visiting the casino of Monte Carlo is also a must during the trip to Monaco. Charles Garnier built this gorgeous building in the year 1878. The famous Opera House of Paris is also designed by him. In front of the casino, a large plaza adorned with flowers is waiting for one, from which one can make some excellent souvernir pictures of the gorgeous building. Before entering the casino, one should watch for a couple of hours the limousines driving into the casino. Specially during the early evening, the posh vehicles (of course the chaufferus) with the really rich gamblers drive in in a convoy.
The interior of the casino is very posh; but the public areas are less posh. Here, thousands of simple tourists try their luckn at one-armed bandits, small roulette tables or other automats. Here, one does not get any feeling from the big casino of Monaco. The celebrities and the rich people are all greet by handshake and led to the Salons Privés, where they can be among themselves. Those who want to enter such a room as a normal tourist have firstly to pay an entrance fee and secondly follow strictly the dress code.
But a visit to the casino is not only worthwhile due to the gorgeous building and the rich gamblers but also due to the excellent view from the garden complexes.
Relaxing in Monaco
In the oldtown of Monaco, in the casino or in front of the Prince's Palace, one will nearly be overwhelmed during the high season by the thousands of tourists. According to this, is there a spot in the city where one can relax a little?
Those who walk to the very east of the city can relax a little on a small beach. Unfortunately, the sun disappears very soon behind the huge skyscrapers. On the way to there, one passes a Japanese garden. Thankfully, this little piece of Japan in the Princedom is not so overcrowded by the tourists as it is the case in the other parts of the city.
In the north west of the city, there is the Jardin Exotique. The exotic garden has been arranged in the year 1933. One will certainly not find any quietness in this small piece of garden, but therefore the most unusual cacti and other tropical plants. A visit to this exotic garden is already worthwhile because from there above, one has the best view over the city and the sea.
Everybody has to get at least once to Monaco. Even if one must not necessarily visit the Prince's castle, one should at least have seen the casino and the car show on the street. Of course, a visit to the city at the end of May could become an unforgettable experience, when the big reward of Monaco is released to the Formula 1 drivers. One will not be able to see much of the race itself, but therefore experience an unbelievable atmosphere in the proximity and also outside the race track.
Monaco can be easily viewed in one day. In the neighboured places of France, one can stay over night for less than half of the price. The huge amount of tourists was very deterrent to me. I have not seen such a huge swarm of tourist in no other place of the Côte d'Azur as I did in Monaco. What is spread in Nice, Cannes or Saint-Tropez on a big surface is concentrated in Monaco on small space.
Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz