Five Things to Do in Monaco

Here are five things to do in Monaco:

 

1. Monaco Harbour (Port Hercules)

Monaco Harbour

The Port of Monaco is located in the large bay that is located between Monte Carlo and Monaco Ville in a district called La Condamine.  The cruiseship terminal is located in this bay. The only deep water port in Monaco, Port Hercules (Port d’Hercule) is a natural bay at the foot of the ancestral rock of the princes of Monaco. A trading port in use since ancient times by the Greeks and Romans, the modern port was built in 1926, with upgraded facilities in the 1970s. In 1995, the harbour was used as a location in the James Bond film Golden Eye, with Pierce Brosnan as Bond.  The distinctive new yacht club designed by Sir Norman Foster is intended to celebrate Monaco’s coastline and nautical heritage with a series of deck-styled viewing balconies to watch yacht races and the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. The official language of Monaco is French, but English is also spoken, currency is the Euro.

2. Monaco Cathedral

Monaco Cathedral

Built with the stark white stones from La Turbie in 1875, this Roman-Byzantine-style building houses the burial places of past sovereigns, including Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.

From the interior design, you can admire an altarpiece by the Niçois painter Louis Bréa dating from 1500 as well as the high alter and the Episcopal throne of Carrara white marble. Pontifical services are held during great liturgical celebrations accompanied by the harmonies of a grand organ with four keyboards, inaugurated in 1976 the magnificence of which permits the organisation of outstanding spiritual concerts. From September to June every Sunday at 10am, mass is sung by the “Les Petits Chanteurs de Monaco” and “Cathedral Choir”.

Access Map
4, rue Colonel-Bellando-de-Castro – Monaco-Ville
Tel. +377 93 30 87 70
Free admission (outside religious services), 8.30am – 7pm (6pm in winter)

3. Prince’s Palace

Princes Palace

Guardian of an ancient tradition, this Palace located in a unique setting upon the “Rock” of Monaco,was built on the site of a fortress erected by the Genoese in 1215. Today the splendors of this Palace can be admired by all, such as its Italian-style gallery and its 15th century frescoes; its Louis XVth lounge all in yellow and gold, its blue room, a harmonious blend of glorious blue and gold; its Mazarin room covered with multicoloured wood-panelling; the Throne Room, decorated with an impressive Renaissance fireplace; the Palatine Chapel built in the 17th century; St-Mary’s Tower, built from the white stones of nearby La Turbie; the Main Courtyard and its 17th century Carrara marble double staircase. A key stop on your Monaco visit is the Prince’s Palace in Monaco-ville, the old city perched on a rocky promontory known, logically, as Rocher de Monaco or “the Rock.” At 11:55 a.m. each day you can see the changing of the guard on the square in front of the palace; http://www.palais.mc. Line up early if you want a good view; this is popular. In winter, the guards wear dark uniforms, in summer, white. As you walk into the square, look for the statue of Francesco Grimaldi, who dressed as a monk to lead a surprise raid on the castle in the 13th century.After you’re done with the guards, follow the signs to the Monaco Cathedral nearby. Here you’ll find the tombs of past members of the ruling Grimaldi family including those of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace (4 rue Colonel Bellando de Castro; free admission outside of religious services 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m., 6 p.m. in winter).

4. Oceanographic Museum

Monaco Aquarium

With its international reputation for excellence, this exceptional museum is dedicated to marine science and oceanography. Its collections of marine fauna collected by Monaco’s pioneering Navigator Prince Prince Albert 1 are both invaluable and unique.

Along with its world-famous Aquarium where the rarest species of fish and marine life in many magnificent shapes and colors swim about in 90 pools, offers a grandiose and unique perspective of oceanic life. Its latest installment, the Shark Lagoon, is a giant pool measuring 450 cubic meters, that reveals the diversity and extraordinary coloring of the coral reef and the creatures which populate it.

5. Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino

Located in Monte Carlo (Monte Carlo is one of 10 districts within Monaco.) Going into the gaming room will cost you 10 euros and, incidentally, you’ll need to be well-dressed and carrying a passport to show you’re not a Monaco resident since they are banned. But it costs nothing to walk around the lobby, with its marble flooring, columns, sculptures and pictures; http://www.montecarlocasinos.com, open from 2 p.m. daily.

Also free, taking a picture beside one of the posh cars to be found parked outside the ornate, Belle Epoque building. Check out the sculpture, “Sky Mirror,” facing the casino, a large, circular mirror that reflects the building and nearby Café de Paris.

Monaco

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