The glitz and glam of the Monte Carlo district usually attract the rich and the famous. Monte Carlo, in addition to its glamorous atmosphere, also exhibits its natural beauty to its visitors. Standing on a rocky promontory, Monte Carlo has spectacular seaside views which is best viewed from the Place du Casino’s terrace. It is intersected by two boulevards, namely the Boulevard Princesse Charlotte and the Boulevard des Moulins. With Michelin-starred restaurants across the district, excellent food options can be found here. There are also shopping streets in this glamorous district, one of which includes the Avenue de la Costa wherein you can shop from luxury brands.
Another attraction that’s perched above the sea is the Palais du Prince which is home to the world’s oldest monarchy. Originally a Genoese fortress in the 1200s, the Palais du Prince offers panoramic views of Monaco. Although a private residence, the State Apartments at the palace can be visited at certain times—July 1 to August 31, and June 14—of the year. You will see the Blue Room wherein a resplendent decor of blue and gold decor are placed, the wood-paneled Mazarin Room, and the Throne room in which an impressive Renaissance fireplace is placed. The Palatine Chapel and the Main Courtyard, wherein the Monte Carlo Philharmonic sometimes perform music concerts, are also worth admiring.
Located in Le Rocher is the Musée Oceanographique in which exhibits of marine science and oceanography are placed. Standing 90 meters above the sea, Musée Oceanographique’s foundations took 11 years to build, and valuable scientific collections discovered by Prince Albert I and Jacques-Yves Cousteau currently stand on its foundations. Some of the museum highlights include the three aquariums that contain rare fish and marine life species: the Tropical Aquarium, Shark Lagoon, and Mediterranean Aquarium. With more than 6,000 specimens, the museum has 100 pools with coral reefs that imitate their natural habitat. In addition to the aquariums, the museum also has a Turtle Island and a Touch Tank wherein visitors can interact with sea urchins, starfishes, and a baby shark. On the roof of the museum is a restaurant called La Terrasse wherein you can enjoy an afternoon drink while admiring the majestic views of the coastline, and, if you are lucky enough to visit on a clear day, the Italian Riviera.
Located on a cliffside is the Jardin Exotique wherein you can admire the various botanical beauties of Monaco. Situated in the Fontvieille area, Jardin Exotique is perched on a cliff that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. The garden has various species from Africa, Latin America, United States, and Mexico, some of which includes a variety of succulents that flourish in the balmy weather of Monaco. In addition to the beautiful plants, Jardin Exotique has an Observatory Cave wherein prehistoric humans used to reside. Currently, stalactites and stalagmites fill the cave. The garden’s Anthropology Museum helps its visitors to learn more about the prehistoric era and early civilization. Coin collection and ornamental object from the pre-Roman and Romantic periods are also exhibited in the museum.
At the foot of a cliff is a harbor full of luxury yachts called the Monaco Harbor. Its square-shaped harbor called Port de la Condamine was constructed in the early 1900s for mooring a large number of yachts. Currently, Monaco has a prestigious yacht club, Yacht Club de Monaco, which is situated in front of the marina. It was founded by H.S.H. Prince Albert II in 1953, and the club continually hosts events—some of which includes yacht shows, races, vintage boat exhibits, and Fête de la Mer—even up to this day to maintain its high-profile image. With its restaurant and cafe-lined streets, the port is also a good area for a late-afternoon strolling and snacking. Tourists may also take a two-hour boat cruise around Monaco from the port to see the beauty of the place through a unique experience.
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