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The History of Monaco: What is it known for?

While the principality and sovereign state of Monaco might be tiny in size, it has a huge amount to offer for visitors from around the world. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco has a mild pleasant climate and stunning coastal views.

There is something for everything in the country of Monaco, including large shopping centres and many well-established casino brands and poker venues have been set up in Monaco over the years.

The country’s history dates back to 1297 when the Grimaldi family seized the fortress atop the Rock of Monaco, establishing a dynasty that still reigns today. Over the last few centuries Monaco has been transformed into a wealthy city with high-end tourism and luxury living.

Monaco is divided into several districts, these include Monte Carlo, Fontvielle, Monaco Ville and La Condamine, each with their own attractions and highlights

Beautiful beaches and crystal blue seas

The picturesque beaches of Monaco cater for both visitors and residents alike. One of the most popular beaches is Larvotto Beach in the eastern part of the country. Popular with watersports enthusiasts and casual swimmers, there is also a selection of beachside cafes and restaurants.

On the border with France is the famous Monte-Carlo Beach Club, a private beach club owned by an exclusive hotel. Visitors can enjoy everything from jet skis and paddle boarding to spa treatments and yoga.

One lesser known beach is the Plage du Rocher, a hidden gem at the Rock of Monaco. This rocky beach has few facilities but stunning views and crystal blue waters, ideal for snorkelling.

High roller casinos

Monaco is world famous for its high stakes gambling opportunities with casino goers travelling from far and wide to venture into its many luxurious venues. Opened in 1863, the Casino de Monte-Carlo is perhaps the best known.

This casino was designed by French architect Charles Garnier and has an impressive selection of slot machines, poker, roulette, blackjack and much more. The casino is featured in a number of James Bond films, including Casino Royale. It is regularly frequented by celebrities and royalty.

Another one of the country’s great gambling venues is the adjacent Casino Café de Paris. This is a more modern venue that the Casino de Monte-Carlo, it has cutting edge technology gaming machines and a vibrant atmosphere.

Stunning gardens

Something else that Monaco is known for is its stunning private and public gardens. Outside the city centre in Fontvieille is the luscious green Jardin Exotique, with stunning vistas and beautiful ocean views.

There are over 7,000 species of plants and an Observatory Cave where visitors can take a close look at stalactites and stalagmites. Over in the Monaco-Ville district, there is the peaceful and quiet Les Jardins St Martin.

This garden is full of snaking paths, sculptures and shaded benches. There are also wonderful coastal views and lots of space for visitors to enjoy a low-key picnic lunch.

Iconic cathedrals and museums

Monaco also has a very rich cultural heritage with iconic religious buildings and museums. For example, there is the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco Ville that was built between 1875 and 1903.

This cathedral is the final resting place for many members of the Grimaldi family, including Princess Grace Kelly and is the top choice for hosting the country’s most important religious events and celebrations.

Another cathedral is the Chapel of Mercy located in the Monaco-Ville. With many artefacts and beautiful interior design, this venue is noted for its role in the yearly Good Friday Procession.

The Oceanographic Museum was founded by Prince Albert I in 1910 and houses a grand selection of marine fauna, model ships, sea creatures and a live aquarium. It is well known for its scientific research and conservation efforts.

There are interactive exhibits about the oceans and marine life for educating visitors.

Also, there is the more contemporary New National Museum of Monaco showcasing wonderful art exhibits. This museum provides a platform for upcoming local and international artists and helps to preserve the country’s artist heritage.

Vibrant nightlife

A-list celebrities and socialites enjoy the luxury nightlife opportunities in Monaco. One club certainly worth a visit is the Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo, it has a Japanese lagoon, outdoor garden and spacious dance floor.

Another stylish venue is Twiga, decorated with an African theme. It is located on the waterfront and has many local and international DJs regularly doing live performances.

For more of a piano bar vibe, there is the wonderful Sass Café. It has a bar with eclectic music and a vibrant ambiance. The options for an evening out in Monaco are varied, from high energy clubs to exclusive chilled out bars, there is something for everyone to enjoy .

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