A few years ago, I made a trip to Monaco while visiting the Mediterranean. I was expecting to pass through the Principality with little more than a nod and a souvenir of Grace Kelly, but left profoundly impressed with the chic, worldly vibe that Monaco gave off whilst still feeling like I was in an old part of Europe. In short, I loved it.
One of the very first things you must do in Monaco is, like the photo above indicates, get to a higher elevation for a vantage point that will grant you one of the spectacular views. You can see the buildings built up on the sides of mountains, the ancient rock holding the winding roads in place the the mind-bogglingly expensive yachts flaring around in the marina. It’s a spectacular view and gives you a good idea of where you are and the impressiveness of the Principality.
The next stop any royal watcher must make is the Prince’s Palace. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was not nearly as impressive visually to me as Buckingham Palace in London or other castles I have visited elsewhere in Europe. In a land where a film star fell in love and abandoned a Hollywood career, you expect a storybook castle, but you’ll surprisingly find a rather unpretentious Palace in its place. You can get fairly close to the Palace without any real hinderance and can go inside at certain points of the year. Definitely worth a visit though. As you can see from the picture, it has a Mediterranean flair.
One of my favourite buildings was this building right across the courtyard from the Palace. Isn’t the pale pink and yellow combination fantastic?
If you are worried that there will not be enough mention of Princess Grace, you have nothing to worry about. I found touristy signs everywhere which would share some detail about Grace’s life in Monaco, from raising her children through to her legacy.
You can even swing by the Monaco Cathedral where she got married to just imagine what it must have been like that day.
And lastly, you simply can’t leave Monaco without a stop at the Casino Monte Carlo. Feel like you’re in the middle of a Bond film – or at the very least the international jet-set – when you partake in a gambling game here. No Las Vegas style cheesy tourists here, we attended one night and it was a black-tie affair.
If you are interested in high-end shopping and dining, Monaco also has fabulous stores and restaurants – and while you’re out spending some Euros, have your male companion swing by the front of the casino to check out the luxury sports cars that you can take for a spin around the winding roads or the Monaco Grand Prix course.
All in all, Monaco ranks amongst my Top 15 cities in the world, and if you ever get the chance to visit it, I highly recommend that you do. Even if you only have a day to spend, that’s enough to get a feel for the glamour and glitz of the Principality that once housed the legendary Princess Grace.