The Principality of Monaco, or better known as Monaco, is a small Western European country located along the French Riviera on the Mediterranean Coast, and surrounded by the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Région of France on three sides.
Tourism is one of the most important industries in Monaco; millions of visitors flock to this country each year to experience its glamour, natural beauty and other attractions. Some are considered to be the landmarks of Monaco, and are definitely not to be missed if you were to visit this country.
Salle Garnier Opera House
Otherwise known as Monte Carlo Opera House, Salle Garnier Opera House was built by Charles Garnier, the same architect who had built the Monte Carlo Casino and Paris Opera House. It is embellished in red and gold decorations, with a profusion of bas-reliefs, frescoes and sculptures. One of the best opera houses in the world, it has hosted a number of great opera performances such as those by Patti, Tamagno, Caruso, Chaliapine, Schipa, Gigli, Lubin and Dalla Rizza, as well as international ballet performances and classical concerts.
For further information and reservations, visit opera.mc
Monte Carlo Casino
Located on the Place du Casino, the Monte Carlo Casino was built in 1878 by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris Opera House. This majestic building consists of an atrium which is paved in marble, and surrounded by 28 ionic columns made of onyx. Its numerous gaming rooms are decorated with stained glass windows, sculptures, paintings and opulent decorations. This casino also leads straight into the Salle Garnier Opera House auditorium.
Monte Carlo Casino is open daily to persons aged 18 years and above (proof of I.D. is required) and has a formal dress code (jacket & tie for men). For more information, visit www.casino-monte-carlo.com
Located on the Place du Palais, the Prince’s Palace was built on the site of a fortress built by the Genoese in the 13th century. The palace takes one on a journey through history from the time of the Guelfes and the Gibelins to the Napoleonic period, and features breathtaking spaces such as the Italian-style Gallery, the Louis XV Salon, the Salon Belu, the Mazarin Salon, the Throne Room, the Palatine Chapel, the Sainte-Marie Tower and a main courtyard paved with over 3 million colourful pebbles forming beautiful geometric patterns.
The Prince palace is open daily (subject to changes) with an annual closure from November to May. For further information, visit www.palais.mc
Oceanographic Museum & Aquaria
Inaugurated in 1910 by Prince Albert I, this monumental architectural masterpiece took 11 years to build. Its grandiose façade rises majestically above the sea to a height of 279 feet. The grand rooms of the museum, open to public on two floors, contain a remarkable collection of marine fauna collected by Prince Albert himself. They include various marine species, stuffed or in skeleton form, and a massive display of a 66-foot whale’s skeleton. In the basement, visitors can enjoy an extraordinary live display of marine flora and fauna placed in a massive aquarium containing over 4, 000 species of fish representing the tropical marine ecosystem. Within this establishment, there is also an exhibition and conference space, a restaurant on the top floor and a shop selling souvenirs.
The Oceanographic Museum & Aquaria is located at Avenue Saint-Martin and is open daily. For more information visit www.oceano.mc
Located on rue Colonel Bellando de Castro and built in 1875, the Monaco Cathedral stands on the site of a 13th century church dedicated to Saint Nicholas and houses the tombs of the former Princes of Monaco. It is also the final resting place of Monaco’s much-loved Princess Grace. Pontifical services take place on major religious festivals such as the Feast of Sainte Dévote on the 27th of January and the National Day on the 19th of November. From September through to June, there are also choir performances from the singers of the Cathedral Choir School, Les Petits Chenteurs de Monaco, during the Sunday mass.
The Monaco Cathedral is located at No.4, rue Colonel Bellando de Castro. For more information visit.
Monaco: Things To See & Do
Monaco: Events Highlights
|Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival||18 – 28 January
A weeklong carnival of spectacular animal acts, uproarious comedic performances, and masterfully choreographed acrobatic feats.
|Rose Ball||24 March
This is one of the Principality’s major charity events, where top-name performers delight the audience and the public is welcome to join.
|Annual Spring Arts Festival||1 – 21 April
Talented international artists, as well as the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, come to entertain guests with art, music, theatre and dance.
|Monaco International Dog Show||13 – 14 April
Showcasing the best in dog conformation and held in during the International Canine Week, this competition draws participants and spectators from around the world.
|Monte Carlo Open
||14 – 22 April
This tennis tournament has not only become a key fixture on the professional circuit, but now ranks as one of the 9 “Super” tennis tournaments in the world.
|Monaco F1 Grand Prix
||24 – 27 May
One of the world’s most popular international sporting events, crowds are thrilled by the control and speed of the world’s best drivers racing in the only Grand Prix held on city streets.
|Monte-Carlo International Fireworks Festival||6 July
This competition brings international pyrotechnics specialists to show off their talent. The winner returns in November to create the fireworks display on the evening before National Fête Day.
|International Marathon in Monaco
||Mid November (tba)
Hundreds of runners assemble for the only marathon in the world that has participants traversing three different countries in a single race: France, Italy and Monaco.
|Monégasque National Holiday
Monaco celebrates its National Holiday with spectacular fireworks over the harbour the evening before and a mass in the Cathedral the next morning.
|Christmas and New Year’s Festivities
||25 – 31 Dec
The country is aglow with outdoor celebrations, parades, concerts and activities for children, and a street party at Casino Square on New Year’s Eve.