I traveled to south of France this April for its famous Mediterranean coast but as it was early for Lavender season in Provence, I had to look for a competitive place. Monaco turned out to be the winner with its deep blue sea, graceful palm trees, and vibrant flowers.
Monaco is a southern European city state and the second smallest state on earth after the Vatican City with two square kilometers in area . The glamorous and extremely densely populated state is located on the French Mediterranean coast (Cote d'Azur ) near the border with Italy .
Monaco is mainly sought after by the rich in the world, as the state does not raise income or inheritance tax. Hence the expensive cost of stay in hotels.
I stayed at a hotel in Nice and traveled by train to Monaco Ville station in 30 minutes. Walking along the port, I took steep stairs to reach Prince's Palace of Monaco that has been transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the world. he magnificent Throne Room is where all official ceremonies, such as swearing-in-of-high ranking state officials and some state receptions take place. You get the view of hills and port from here and it is marvelous. Walking south from here is The Cathedral Notre-Dame-Immaculée. The Cathedral of Carrara marble and the organ, deserve special attention.
From here one can choose to either visit oceanographic museum or walk towards Monte Carlo, known for Grand Prix of Monaco and casino. You need to pay an entrance fees of 17 euro to get in and can visit the casino without gambling. However if you are looking to have fun with the slot machines then the casino Cafe de Paris across the street is an ideal choice.
An interesting next stop was Champions Promenade near the harbor. There are foot prints of many of the world’s great football players such as Ronaldo, Pele, Zlatan and many more.
A must see landmark, Fort Antoine. On a clear day, it is possible to see the coastline of the French Riviera extending all the way to Italy
Monaco is a playground for the rich and does not try enough to be traveler's paradise. For those prepared to splurge, there are several legendary restaurants to try. But with all its glory it is a place not to be missed.