The Principality of Monaco (fr. Principauté de Monaco) is the second-smallest country by area in the world; only Vatican City is smaller. Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world. Part of French Riviera.
The principality benefits from a mild Mediterranean climate and has many luxury hotel facilities. The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place there every year. The Monte-Carlo Casino, the Oceanographic Museum and the Prince’s Palace attract many tourists throughout the year.
Tourism and main attractions
- Prince Palace. The Palace of Monaco, commonly known as the Prince’s Palace, has been the official residence of the Prince of Monaco since 1297. It is at the top of the Rock of Monaco, the oldest district of the Principality of Monaco, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from 60 meters.
- Paris hotel. The Hôtel de Paris is a Belle Epoque-style palace in the heart of Monaco, in the Monte-Carlo district.
- Monaco Port. The port of Monaco consists of two ports, one natural, the port of Hercule having been the subject of an extension (finalized in 2008) by a floating concrete dam, the other artificial, the port of Fontvieille built as the extension of the Fontvieille district to the sea.
- Louis II stadium. The Louis-II stadium is a sports complex intended for the practice of many sports in the Principality of Monaco, inaugurated on January 25th, 1985 by Prince Rainier III. It includes a football stadium with a capacity of 18,523 seats with an athletics track, a sports hall and a nautical centre.
- Monte-Carlo Opera. The Monte-Carlo Opera or Salle Garnier is a performance hall adjoining the Casino de Monte-Carlo in the Monte-Carlo district. Architect Charles Garnier designed the new casino and the opera house under the leadership of Marie Blanc (widow of François Blanc) and were inaugurated on 25 January 1879 with a performance by Sarah Bernhardt.
- Monte-Carlo Casino. The Monte-Carlo Casino is a prestigious Belle Époque-style casino located in the Monte-Carlo district. The current building was designed in 1879 by Charles Garnier (who also built the adjoining Monte-Carlo Opera House). Today, the Société des Bains de Mer, which became the Monte-Carlo SBM Group, still owns and operates the Monte-Carlo casino.
- Exotic garden. Designed by the Monegasque engineer Louis Notari for the Prince Louis II, the garden was opened to the public in 1931 but officially inaugurated only in 1933.
- Yacht Club de Monaco. The Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) is a nautical club founded in 1953 in Monaco. This club brings together owners of classic or modern boats, motor-yachts or pleasure and regatta sailboats.
- Museum of prehistoric anthropology. The Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology is located within the Jardin Exotique de Monaco. It was opened in 1902 and contains a collection of fossils and other excavated artefacts relating to the prehistory of Monaco and areas nearby.
- Chapelle de la Visitation. The Museum is an art museum and Roman Catholic chapel in the Monaco-Ville ward of Monaco.
- Oceanographic Museum. A museum of marine sciences in Monaco-Ville, Monaco. It is home to the Mediterranean Science Commission.
- Stamps and coins museum. The Museum of Stamps and Coins is in the Fontvieille section of Monaco. It tells the postal history of the principality and contains a display of Monegasque money dating to 1640.
- New National Museum of Monaco. A collection and exhibitions of contemporary art directed by Marie-Claude Beaud (Villa Paloma and Villa Sauber).
- Museum of Old Monaco. It displays ceramics, paintings, furniture and costumes, as well as sets out scenes of daily life from Le Rocher, Monaco’s Old Town.
- Naval museum. The Naval Museum is a museum of model ships, paintings and maritime objects in Fontvieille, Monaco. It is an international museum, dedicated to all navies from ancient times to our era.
- Monaco cars museum. Collection of vintage cars (from HSH the Prince of Monaco).
- Notre-Dame-Immaculée Cathedral, 1903, avenue Saint-Martin. A Romano-Byzantine building erected in Monaco under the principate of Charles III. It is the main church of the Monegasque archdiocese.
- Palatine Chapel of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, seventeenth century, Place du Palais. The chapel was built during the time of Prince of Monaco Honoré II Grimaldi to replace an old oratory. Blessed on 15 October 1656 by the Bishop of Nice.
- Church of the Sacred Heart of Monaco, 1929, Moneghetti district, chemin de la Turbie. The Church of the Sacred Heart, known as the Moneghetti, is a Catholic religious building. Built as a Jesuit church in the first half of the twentieth century, it became a parish in 1965.
- Saint-Charles de Monte-Carlo Church, 1883, place Saint-Charles. Saint-Charles Church is a Monegasque parish church in the centre of Monte-Carlo. The Prince of Monaco Charles III built at the end of the nineteenth century on the site of the old Saint-Laurent chapel.
- Sainte-Dévote Church, 1870; built on the site of an eleventh century chapel, place Sainte-Dévote. Sainte-Dévote Church is a Monegasque parish church located in the district of La Condamine.
- Saint-Martin Church, 1976, Plati district, avenue Corvette-Frères. The Church of St. Martin is a Monegasque parish church located in the Plati district.
- Church of Saint-Nicolas de Fontvieille, 1989, place du Campanin. Saint-Nicolas Church is a Monegasque parish church located in the Fontvieille district. It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra.
- Saint Paul’s Church, avenue de Grande-Bretagne.
- Chapel of the Annonciade, avenue de l’Annonciade
- Church of Sainte-Thérèse of Monaco, 1913 (reconstruction in 2002), boulevard d’Italie. The Sainte-Thérèse church in Monaco, known as the Carmelite Chapel, is a Catholic religious building.
- Chapel of Mercy of Monaco, 1646, Place de la Mairie. Monaco’s Chapel of Mercy is a Roman Catholic place of worship, located on Le Rocher.
- Chapel of the Franciscans, avenue Roqueville
- Chapelle Saint-Honoré, early nineteenth century, restored 1968, avenue des Pins.
- Chapel of the Visitation, late seventeenth century, place de la Visitation.
- Notre-Dame de Lorette chapel, rue des Remparts.
- Synagogue of Monaco, avenue de la Costa. The Edmond J. Safra Synagogue is a Jewish religious building located at 15 avenue de la Costa in Monaco. It was inaugurated in March 2017 in place of the previous synagogue which was in the Villa Esmeralda.
- Protestant temple, rue Louis Notari.
- Temple of the Antoinist cult, 48 boulevard du Jardin-Exotique.
The principality serves as a setting for various prestigious events, including:
- Monaco Grand Prix in Formula 1.
- Champions Trophy (handball).
- Monte-Carlo Rally in WRC.
- “Herculis” Athletics Meeting; the first Herculis meeting was organized in 1987.
- International Circus Festival.
- Monaco and Riviera Marathon, which is run in spring, between Ventimiglia and Monaco. At the same time, the Monte-Carlo 10 kilometre race takes place.
- UEFA Super Cup (in 1986 and from 1998 to 2012), a football match between the winner of the Champions League and the winner of the Europa League.
- Monaco international judo tournament: Adidas trophy in mid-December.
- International chess tournament.
- Denis Ravera International Challenge.
- Tour de France bicycle race.
- Red Bull X-Alps, a paragliding competition organized every two years, which starts in Salzburg and ends in Monaco.
- Monte Carlo International Swimming Meeting.
- International Jumping of Monte-Carlo.
- Women’s FxPro Monte Carlo Beach Volleyball.
Larvotto Beach. This popular, artificial beach features clear waters, a volleyball court and a scenic promenade with great views. Available for kids.
Golden Circle remains the top destination for shopping. The area has formed around Casino Square and covers several nearby streets.
The Métropole Shopping Centre is the main shopping centre in Monaco–and it’s quite a delight. It is the perfect place to amble in opulence and browse all your favourite high-end boutiques.
Fontvieille Shopping Centre offers more affordable prices. Many clothing stores, including jewellery and gift shops.
The Monte-Carlo Market is a covered market that is open daily. More of a farmer’s market selling fruit, vegetables, meats, dairy produce and local breads, it’s great for picking up those essential picnic items. Situated in avenue Saint-Charles.
Cuisine and restaurants
Among best Michelin stars restaurants:
- Joel Robuchon Restaurant, Monte-Carlo. Mediterranean cuisine. Holds two Michelin stars.
- Yoshi Restaurant, Monte-Carlo. Modern Japanese Restaurant. Holds one Michelin star.
- Blue Bay Restaurant, Monte-Carlo. Holds one Michelin star.
- Le Vistamar Restaurant, Monte-Carlo. Gourmet seafood restaurant. Holds one Michelin star.
- Louis XV Restaurant, Monte-Carlo. Possibly the best restaurant on the Riviera. Holds three Michelin stars.
Transport and how to get to?
There is no airport in the Principality of Monaco. The closest airport is Cote d’Azur Airport in Nice, France, which is connected to Monaco by the Express 110 bus.
The new Monaco-Monte-Carlo underground train station, located near the Sainte-Dévote church, offers a direct daily TGV service to Paris, and up to ten other cities, via the station near Nice – City, located on the Marseille-Vintimille line, also offering TGV and Intercity trains to all of France and the countries of Europe. From Monaco, the Russian Riviera Express train runs a direct service to Moscow, once or twice a week. There are also several daily connections to Turin, Milan and Rome via Ventimiglia. The station is also served by frequent TER, connecting it to Menton and Ventimiglia to the south, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Grasse and Saint-Raphaël to the north.
Since December 14, 2014, the station has been served daily by EuroCity Thello (between Milano-Centrale and Marseille-Saint-Charles).
The Monaco heliport, located on the seawall in the Fontvieille district, serves the international airport of Nice-Cote d’Azur, at the frequency of thirty daily rotations (seven minutes of flight; terminal to terminal time is 15 minutes).
Shortest distance by car:
From Pyongyang (tolls): 8925.5 km
From Bern (tolls): 6 h 43 min (599 km) via A6/E717
From Zurich (tolls): 6 h 26 min (577 km) via A2 and A10/E80
From Geneve (tolls): 5 h 50 min (521 km) via E25 and A10/E80
From Lucerne (tolls): 5 h 59 min (540 km) via A2 and A10/E80
From Bilbao (tolls): 10 h 2 min (1,020 km) via A64
From San Sebastian (tolls): 9 h 7 min (922 km) via A64
From Menton: 23 min (9.8 km) via D6007
From Beaulieu-sur-Mer: 20 min (10.9 km) via M6098
From Villefranche-sur-Mer: 28 min (15.9 km) via M6007
From Nice (tolls): 29 min (20.7 km) via A8
From Cagnes-sur-Mer (tolls): 51 min (35.4 km) via A8
From Antibes (tolls): 1 h (44.6 km) via A8
From Cannes (tolls): 1 h 8 min (55.2 km) via A8
From Mandelieu-La Napoule (tolls): 59 min (58.7 km) via A8
From Fréjus (tolls): 1 h 18 min (86.4 km) via A8
From Saint-Raphaël (tolls): 1 h 21 min (89.1 km) via A8
From Sainte-Maxime (tolls): 1 h 36 min (120 km) via A8
From Saint-Tropez (tolls): 1 h 51 min (134 km) via A8
From Cavalaire-sur-Mer (tolls): 1 h 56 min (140 km) via A8
From Toulon (tolls): 1 h 55 min (171 km) via A57 and A8
From Aix-en-Provence (tolls): 2 h 10 min (197 km) via A8
From Nîmes (tolls): 3 h 11 min (302 km) via A8
From Marseille (tolls): 2 h 26 min (221 km) via A8
From Avignon (tolls): 2 h 52 min (282 km) via A8
From Montpellier (tolls): 3 h 38 min (348 km) via A8
From Sète (tolls): 3 h 48 min (376 km) via A8
From Agde (tolls): 4 h 3 min (401 km) via A8
From Pézenas (tolls): 4 h 4 min (403 km) via A8
From Béziers (tolls): 4 h 12 min (413 km) via A9 and A8
From Perpignan (tolls): 4 h 52 min (497 km) via A9 and A8
From Argelès-sur-Mer (tolls): 5 h 13 min (524 km) via A9 and A8
From Collioure (tolls): 5 h 19 min (531 km) via A9 and A8
From Narbonne (tolls): 4 h 20 min (436 km) via A9 and A8
From La Baule-Escoublac (tolls): 12 h 12 min (1,240 km) via A7
From Saint-Nazaire (tolls): 12 h 7 min (1,226 km) via A7
From Nantes (tolls): 10 h 34 min (1,165 km) via A62
From Saumur (tolls): 10 h 6 min (1,035 km) via A7
From Les Sables-d’Olonne (tolls): 11 h 15 min (1,154 km) via A62
From Cognac (tolls): 9 h 25 min (940 km) via A62
From Angoulême (tolls): 9 h 22 min (938 km) via A62
From Eauze (tolls): 7 h 25 min (712 km) via A8
From La Rochelle (tolls): 9 h 48 min (1,002 km) via A62
From Rochefort (tolls): 9 h 48 min (1,002 km) via A62
From Saintes (tolls): 9 h 12 min (938 km) via A62
From Arcachon (tolls): 8 h 53 min (875 km) via A62
From Royan (tolls): 9 h 30 min (942 km) via A62
From Biarritz (tolls): 8 h 43 min (884 km) via A64
From Saint-Jean-de-Luz (tolls): 8 h 48 min (890 km) via A64
From Bayonne (tolls): 8 h 35 min (872 km) via A64
From Dax (tolls): 8 h 31 min (851 km) via A64
From Lourdes (tolls): 7 h 25 min (751 km) via A8
From Pau (tolls): 7 h 42 min (768 km) via A8
From Périgueux (tolls): 8 h 38 min (858 km) via A8
From Bordeaux (tolls): 8 h 10 min (824 km) via A62 and A8
From Toulouse (tolls): 5 h 47 min (583 km) via A8
From Carcassonne (tolls): 4 h 54 min (492 km) via A9 and A8
From Andorra (tolls): 7 h 43 min (672 km) via A8
Area: 2.1 sq. km
Population: 38 400
Languages: French, Italian
Time: Central European UTC +1
Coordinates: 43°44′N 7°25′E