Walking Tour of Monaco Ville
Monaco, a tiny principality on the French Riviera, is world-famous for its casino (Monte Carlo) and for its royalty and wealthy visitors. The entire area is positively spotless and totally geared for tourism, especially involving the rich and famous. The view from the park in front of the casino, looking toward the casino, with its beautiful flowers, fountains, and flags, is picture-perfect.
Inside the casino, the elegance is pervasive, making this an extremely comfortable place to lose money. Check out the Hotel de Paris, right next door, for a further glimpse into the lifestyles of the pampered and catered-to.
Walk down to the harbor to drool at perhaps the most expensive fleet of yachts in the world.
My walk begins in front of the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, probably the most famous gambling establishment in the entire world. However, save your Euros until after your walk. The casino is flanked by the Hotel de Paris, to the south, and the Café de Paris, to the north. Attached to the casino is the Opera de Monte Carlo, another sumptuous venue.
Before leaving the area, stroll the adorable Place du Casino, with its lovely fountains and beautifully landscaped walkways.
Now exit the square on Avenue de Monte Carlo (between the casino and the hotel), which becomes Avenue d’Ostende, then bear left onto Boulevard Albert 1er. Ahead, on your right, is a life which will bring you to the Place d’Armes. From here, you can climb the Rampe Major to reach the Place du Palais, and the Palais Princier, home of the reigning Grimali family since the late 13th century. Take the guided tour if the palace is open to visitors. A Changing of the Guard Ceremony is held in front of the entrance at 11:55 AM. The Napoleonic Museum occupies a wing of the residence and can be visited even if the palace is closed.
After your visit, exit the square on Rue Bellando de Castro which leads to Avenue Saint-Martin and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, which contains the tombs of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly. Further along the street is the Musee Oceanographique, clinging precariously to the cliff. Jacques Cousteau collected many of the museum’s specimens. Marvel at the incredible Aquarium, which displays hundreds of species.
From here, continue east on Avenue Saint-Martin which swings around the point to become Avenue de la Porte Nueve. Turn right when you reach Prince-Pierre-de-Monaco, which merges with Boulevard Rainier III. Take the Escalier du Castelleretto, ahead on the left, to reach Boulevard de Belgique, and turn right, looking for Escalier Gabriel Arnoux, which will carry you to the Boulevard des Jardin-Exotique. Turn left to reach the Botanical Gardens, a lovely place to stroll and relax, before proceeding on the walk.
When you have completed your exploration of the tropical flora, retrace your steps on Boulevard des Jardin-Exotique, and turn right on Boulevard de Suisse. Then take the Escalier du Gaumates to Avenue de la Costa. Follow this road to the right and it will soon merge with Avenue d’Ostende, which leads back to Place du Casino, where the walk began.