July 5, 2012

Thursday Travel Tips: Day Trip to Monte Carlo

The principality of Monaco is honestly everything that I've ever imagined it to be... and more. 
The glitz, the glamour - it's all there!
Majority of the cars driving along the Formula One track tend to cost more than some peoples' houses,
and the high end boutiques that surround the famous strip have some of the most amazing storefront displays I've seen in a long time.

As the world's second smallest country, (The Vatican is the first), Monaco is not even big enough to cover 2 sq km.
The place obviously can't spare any space for an airport,
but don't worry,
there are numerous other ways to get in.
Whether you're coming in by car, bus or train, one thing is certain -
the views on your way up, may very well take your breath away.
Driving along the serpentine road where Grace Kelly tragically got in an accident that ultimately led to her death, 
was a little bittersweet, and reminded me of the legacy that the beautiful princess has left behind.
Not that you could forget about the princess when in Monaco.. her pretty face is plastered along most storefront displays and public buildings.
 If you're intrested in paying respects to the Grimaldi family,
then you won't want to miss the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas,
where both Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III were laid to rest.
Entrance is free,
just make sure you're wearing a little more than a bikini...
The structure known today as the Royal Palace is still the residence of the Prince of Monaco.
Parts of the Palace and State Apartments are open for tours which give you the opportunity to see the lavish interiors including the Throne Room, Main Courtyard, as well as the Napoleanic Museum.
If you have time,
stick around for the changing of the guard.
It takes place in front of the officers barracks,
a beautiful pink building directly opposite of the Royal Palace.
And of course, you can't come to Monte Carlo and not visit the world famous Monte Carlo Casino.
I had my eyes peeled for James Bond the whole time,
but since neither the husband nor I like to gamble,
we opted out of paying 10€  that they charge just to get in.
Oh, one last tip -
bring a jacket.
We were unexpectently rained on,
so the only option was to buy matching "Monaco" sweaters (they were buy one get one free!).
Yeah... we were those American tourists for a few hours,
and I didn't even care,
until a super snobby French woman walked by and gave us the biggest eye roll known to man.
Point taken. Sweatshirts off.



siniann said...

Are you in Monaco right now? I live just few hour drive away from there :)

Monaco is nice, definetly a place to see along the other rich cities along the côte d'azur. Are you going to visit other places? Happy holidays!

Mimi said...

wow wow wow, monaco is soooo beautiful! thanks for taking us on a virtual trip with you! i would really love to go there someday. :D

p.s. i happen to think your matching sweatshirts are cute no matter what that snobby french woman thinks. ;)

<3, Mimi
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Anonymous said...

You are so young yet you have traveled to so many places! Do you have any tips on how to save money and make travel a priority? You and your husband seem to do it all, buy a house, travel and go out for dinner and other fun things. How do you do it? I ask because my hubs and I both make good money, yet it goes through our fingers.

Unknown said...

love these photos. monte carlo looks absolutely gorgeous. i would love to go there someday.