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Exploring Monaco

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Last week on The Kittchen we checked into Le Meridien Beach Plaza in Monaco, where we ate our hearts out. The next day, we were ready to explore Monaco, and walk off some of the calories from our indulgent meals. Monaco is just a couple of miles long, so it’s a country to be explored on foot.
We spent the day walking almost the entire length of the country along the coast. We began by wandering through the Japanese Gardens.
The Japanese Gardens is beautiful park just beside the sea towards the center of Monte-Carlo. The small, but incredibly well manicured park features ponds filled with koi fish. The park is right along Avenue Princess Grace – the main street that spans the length of Monaco, so we stumbled upon it during our walk along the Mediterranean.
Next we headed to the marina to admire all of the yachts. The harbor is filled with giant yachts many of which cost more than $50 million (a storefront listed prices, a good number of the yachts in the harbor are for sale). The harbor is right in the center of Monaco, and lots of tourists were wandering around the harbor checking out the yachts. While Monaco is tiny, the country actually consists of several different small cities. The waterfront with the harbor is a city called La Condamine.
We continued walking towards the Prince’s Palace which sits on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. I loved the colorful homes nearby the palace.
The views as we walked up the hill were beautiful – you could see almost the entire country!
The Prince’s Palace is in Monaco-Ville, a small city on a steep hilltop. The palace is in the center of a square, and the first thing you find once walking up the hill. The walk up the hill was a bit of a workout, if you want to take things easy, there are tours that provide transportation up the hill.
The lovely pink building is on the other side of the square. The architecture in this little part of Monaco was gorgeous. We wandered through the narrow streets constantly stopping to take photos.
I think this is the side of the Saint Nicholas Cathedral… but I am not really sure.
The streets in Monaco-Ville are narrow and winding. The area is a bit touristy, but I didn’t mind.
Balconies, shutters, and colorful buildings, and I am sure that rooftop garden as the most incredible views.
I decided that I wanted to live in this welcoming home. Charles said it was a little out of our price range.
Then we walked down the hill and back towards the center of Monaco.
That’s the Casino de Monte-Carlo. We visited the casino the night before expecting it to be filled with James Bond types and women in gowns. Instead… it was pretty empty! You aren’t allowed to take any photos inside, and you must pay $10 to enter, but it is definitely worth it. You need to bring your passport with you in order to enter – this is to prove that you aren’t a local. Citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble in the casinos, but most of the people who live in Monaco aren’t citizens anyway.
This is the side of the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
The Hotel de Paris is one of the grandest hotels in Europe, and it is just beside the casino. I should mention that there is some incredible high end shopping in this part of Monaco. They also have more affordable shops like Zara. Another thing we noticed? Lots of amazing cars zooming through the streets. Charles loved when we were walking along the path of the Grand Prix – sometimes the skid marks were still visible on the street.
Did you have fun on this little tour of Monaco? We loved this charming seaside country. Next week, we are heading next door to Nice, a city on the French Riviera just 18 minutes from Monaco, and one of my favorite cities in Europe!

Justine Gershak

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

This is making me want to go back to the South of France immediately! Loved your pictures!

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