E ver since Grace Kelly married Rainier, Monaco has been a household name among Americans. But the size of this tiny principality – it’s smaller than New York’s Central Park – continues to belie its popularity.
Despite its reputation for glamor, there aren’t a lot of traditional tourist sites in Monaco. Its greatest claim to fame is the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo, one of the sections of the city. The changing of the guard at the 13th-century Palais Princier (open for tours April through September) is a popular attraction. And the Musée Oceéanographique, home base of the famous marine explorer Jacques Cousteau, also has several rare displays, including a living coral reef transplanted from the Red Sea.
Special events such as the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, which takes place on the streets of the city, and large groups and conventions catered to in a bevy of luxury hotels, keep the tourist euros rolling into the principality’s coffers.
Good to Know
Driving the Riviera Corniches
There is no other drive that provides a taste of the Riviera, as does the Corniches. Hire a car, go eastward and have lunch on the Italian Riviera.
There is not an airport in Monaco. All flights arrive at the airport in neighboring Nice and visitors travel to the Principality via helicopter, bus or car. Local transportation is via bus or taxi, but you can walk almost anywhere.