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Summary: Monaco is in western Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast of France, near the border with Italy, and is hilly, rugged, and rocky. Its mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist and recreation center, as the kingdom has passed down power through the Grimaldi family since 1297.

Capital: Monaco
Time Zone: DST +0200 UTC
Population: 32,270
Languages: French, English, Italian, Monegasque
Power: 220 V, 50 Hz
Currency: Euro - Currently 1 EUR € = 1.4607 USD $
Climate: With some great scenery, Monaco has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.


Place du Casino: This is one of the primary reasons for visiting Monaco - its casino and adult playground fun which the name Monte Carlo alone conjures up visions of high rollers, black tuxes, and James Bond. Entry fees may be very high, so be sure to carry some Euro in cash, and dress appropriately as this is a swanky place.

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Palais du Prince: The Grimaldis allow tours of the Prince's Palace on the Rock, where you can watch the changing of the guard, and stroll through the gardens outside, or pay an entrance fee and see the Throne Room, and the small Musee des Souvenirs Napoleoniens, with some of Napoleon's possessions on display. This was also the site of Prince Rainier's wedding to Grace Kelly, and for that reason will always be treasured by locals.

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Musee Oceanographique: Even though the contents don't seem to fit in with the stunning Roman architecture of the building itself, this museum is home to famed deep-sea explorer Jacques Cousteau's research institute, and is considered the best aquarium in Europe. With examples of live coral and tank after tank of fish and other squirmies, the museum is open year-round except for the day of the Grand-Prix.

 

Grand Prix: This famous auto race happens every May, and is always a huge attraction, especially when considering the scenery and streets that they drive so quickly upon.

Fast Drive: Being so small, Monaco can be driven quickly through, perhaps in about 30 minutes. To help with photo-taking, there are occasional outjuts in the road where you can pull in to take pictures of the view.

On a Budget: Hotels can be very expensive in Monaco. If you want to save a lot of money, stay in neighboring France, as it is so easy to get back.

When To Visit: Because of the Grand Prix, May is probably the best time to visit, otherwise, a day in spring or summer is enough to get a good feel for Monaco.

Tipping: Most hotels and restaurants include a 15% service charge into their bills. Taxi drivers also expect a 10-15% tip.





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