Microstates of Europe: Monaco
Monaco is not really the perfect destination for budget travelers, but in stead of a longer stay, many tourists just go for a day trip from France. We did that too, during our road trip in France in June 2019, and at least for us a short trip was enough to see what all the fuss is about. On the other hand, a day trip is not enough to thoroughly explore this interesting, wealthy city-state, so if that would be your thing, reserve more time. For those coming by car, don’t miss the amazingly scenic coastal roads between Monaco and Nice! These roads, also called Corniches, run on the coastal cliffs on different levels, and it’s worth to drive along more than one of them, and to make some stops to admire the stunning views! Oh and when in Monaco, you should know that the first hour in the parking garages is usually free, so consider changing parking place when exploring different parts of the city.
World-famous Monte Carlo
Whereas Monte Carlo was busy, the streets of Monaco-Ville, the oldest part of the city were surprisingly quiet, and we enjoyed just strolling around the beautiful alleys and sightseeing. Monaco-Ville, also known as the Rock of Monaco, or simply the Rock, is a Renaissance residence built on a rocky peninsula, and home to country’s political institutions, like the Prince’s Palace, the national and municipal councils, the government, the town hall and the courts.
The monuments include the Palace of Monaco and the fortifications, the Roman-Byzantine style Monaco Cathedral, the Palais de Justice (Courthouse) and the Fort Antoine castle remains. Allow a couple of hours to climb up to the Rock, getting lost on the narrow alleys and admiring the landmarks as well as the views over the harbor and Monte Carlo.