The Principality of Monaco, shortened to Monaco, is a sovereign city-state and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe. It is mostly bordered by France, with only one side bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. With an area of 2.02 square kilometres and population of 36,371, it is the second smallest and most densely populated country in the world. Though already a small independent state, Monaco is further divided into four areas: Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, Monte Carlo, and Fontvieille.
What to see & do
Prince's Palace of Monaco - The Prince's Palace of Monaco is an important building in the country, as it is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. It was built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, and was used by the Grimaldi family as their palace from which they ruled as feudal lords for over seven centuries. Today, the Prince's Palace of Monaco is home to Prince Albert II but the state rooms are open to the public throughout the summer, and the courtyard is used as a venue for open air concerts by the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. The palace also contains a museum and is an active headquarters of the Monégasque ruler.
Oceanographic Museum - The Oceanographic Museum is a museum dedicated to marine sciences and houses the headquarters of the Mediterranean Science Commission. The museum features various species of sea fauna, from seahorses to turtles to sharks and rays and sea urchins, as well as other sea-related objects. The aquarium contains thousands of species of fish and over 200 families of invertebrates.
Larvotto Beach - Larvotto is a man-made public beach that is a popular attraction in Monaco. The back of the beach is lined with plenty of restaurants and bars, open all year round. Aside from swimming, lounging, and eating, visitors can play volleyball, jetski, windsurf, or learn how to scuba dive.
How to get around within Monaco
Monaco is small enough to be explored by foot, except there are some areas that require strenuous hikes due to the large change in elevation. Also an option for independent travelling is renting a bicycle on the Rue de Millo or a motor scooter in Nice. Car rental is available but unnecessary. It would be more efficient to take a taxi instead. Taxis cannot be hailed off the streets; you either have to call for their
service or wait at the two main taxi stands at the Avenue de Monte Carlo and the railway station. There is also an urban bus service that undertakes four bus routes with 143 stops. The tickets can be purchased on board, at the auto ticket machines at the stops, or from news vendors and shops.
How to get there
The nearest airport to Monaco is Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, approximately 40 kilometres away from the city centre. It is well served by numerous airlines, such as Air France, British Airways, EasyJet, Germanwings, HOP!, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines, and Vueling. There are regular flights from all over Europe, including Amsterdam, Madrid, Geneva, Brussels, Paris, Rome, and Venice. Another aviation facility that serves Monaco is the Monaco Heliport, also called Monte Carlo Heliport, which handles flights from Nice to Monaco.
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