Monte Carlo Casino
If it weren't for the Casino, Monaco would be just another little town on the Côte d'Azure, somewhere for Parisian public servants to take their secretaries for a dirty weekend. Instead, Monaco is a fairytale land built on luck, where the glitterati advertise the fact that they've got so much they're throwing it away. You may not have two francs to rub together, but you can soak up the atmosphere and use the toilets for free, provided you can disguise yourself as a highroller with money to burn. However, if your ambitions go beyond one-armed bandits and hanging out with other impoverished backpackers, you'll have to fork out - 50FF to get into the Salon Ordinaire and 100FF for the Salons Privés - a snap when you consider the minimum bet in the inner sanctum is US$5000. It's almost worth it just to view the over-the-top baroque splendour of the Casino's architecture.
If you've got a thing for fishies, it's worth making the trip to Monaco just to come here. The Musée is probably the best aquarium in Europe, with 90 seawater tanks and a display of living coral. There's also a display on the work of the late, great Jacques Cousteau, as well as other ocean explorers. If you're unlucky enough to hit Monaco on one of those 65 rainy days, this is the perfect place to console yourself.
Palais du Prince
Monaco's royal palace has been around since the 13th century. Every Grimaldi since has found it necessary to leave their mark on the place, and as a result this is not one of Europe's most elegant castles. It is worth taking a look inside though - 15 rooms, including the Throne Room, are open to the public. If you've already blown your cash and can't afford the entrance fee, the changing of the guard won't cost you a cent. It starts at 11:55am precisely and is over within two minutes, so be on time.In the south wing of the palace, the Musée des Souvenirs Napoléoniens has a collection of Napoleon's personal knickknacks, including one sock, a handkerchief and a bunch of medals, coins, uniforms and swords.
|Powered by |