Glamorous Monte-Carlo is the ‘downtown’ entertainment district of the tiny nation state of Monaco, still ruled by its prince. Monaco-Ville, perched high on the Rock, is its medieval capital. Here stands the Prince’s Palace, a pretty fortified mansion with ceremonial guardsmen dressed in white, and the quiet shaded streets of the Old Town.
The baroque gambling rooms of the Monte-Carlo Casino and Café de Paris attract high-rollers. Palatial hotels include grandiose, 150-year-old Hotel de Paris. Step inside for lunch – much less expensive than dinner – at one of Europe’s top restaurants, the sumptuous Louis XV. A lavish seafront complex houses Monte-Carlo Marine Spa while super-yachts jostle in nearby Port d’Hercule. Pricey designer stores line Boulevard des Moulins, but there’s more affordable style in Monaco-Ville.
Clinging to sheer cliff that plummets into the sea, the huge Oceanographic Museum is one of Europe’s leading marine life collections. You can wander among cacti at the Jardin Exotique, stroll in tranquil Princess Grace Rose Garden, admire the Prince’s gleaming Car Collection and marvel at curious antique toys in the Doll Museum. To cool off, unwind at Larvotto Beach.
Dozens of ritzy dance bars, such as Le Karément, are packed all night. Glamorous nightclubs like Jimmy’z attract a celebrity clientele, and at Le Sporting you’ll also find big names headlining rock concerts and entertainment. Opéra Monte-Carlo stages world-class ballet, opera and classical concerts in the Belle Epoque Salle Garnier, at the Casino.
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