My trip to Monte Carlo in Monaco wasn't too successful. I had planned out what I wanted to see, however there was one big problem when I arrived that I didn't account for. Motor racing!
As the hotels were ridiculously expensive, I decided to stay in Nice, France and get the train into Monaco for the day. This was also a mistake as the hotel I stayed in was possibly the worst I've ever stayed in during all of my travels. It came to a head when I got into a fight with a giant cockroach. Bigger than any I'd seen in more tropical countries. The Monaco Grand Prix was not due to begin until the end of March and I was there in mid March, however a huge motor racing event was on, which at first I was quite excited about. Seeing the cars rushing past as I began to explore Monte Carlo seemed like a positive coincidence. But then I realised there was a problem! Lots of the roads and footpaths were closed off. Trying to navigate around the city was a nightmare!
I'd researched a nice restaurant by the harbour I wanted to visit, but I spent hours trying to get to the harbour, with no success. There was no way across unless I was a ticket holder to the motor racing event, then I could cross through the gates. I bumped into a fellow Englishman who lost his dad there and he was also unable to get across. After hours of walking around Monte Carlo, reaching several dead ends, I checked out the few sights I could and then headed back to nice.
So a bit of advice, if you're not going to Monaco for motor racing, make sure there are no events on when you plan to go.
What to see
Casino de Monte-Carlo
Monte Carlo is famed for it's casinos, and there are several around the city, especially on Casino Square. The most famous of which is of course Casino de Monte-Carlo. An ornate building on the outside, but even more so inside. Beautiful arches, gold glimmering everywhere you look and enormous sparkling windows. If you want to actually enter the casino, there's now an entry fee of €10, but I was lucky enough to win that back and more when I played roulette. I was surprised by the actual gaming tables inside. There were very few tables compared to casinos I've visited in the past, and there seemed to be a very large space in between them. Still, I decided to play roulette for a while, and with my winnings I treated myself to a cocktail and took some of my existing chips home as souvenirs. Oceanographic Museum
Due to losing so much time trying to navigate around the city, I could only admire this beautiful building from the outside. It's a museum of marine sciences, which may not seem to be to everyone's taste, but google the images of the interior and it looks just as amazing if not more so than the exterior! If I do go back to Monaco, I'll be sure to go inside next time! The Harbour
The harbour which I could only see from a distance was still quite a sight. I believe it's quite a nice place to sit and chill whilst people watching. All types of people can be see passing through here.
There are also plenty of bars and restaurants to dine in and admire the ocean views.
Princess Grace Rose Garden Again, another place I had hoped to visit but was unable to reach in time due to the motor racing taking over the city. There are a few different monuments around the city dedicated to Grace Kelly. The cathedral where she is buried and a library to name a few. She gave up acting to marry the prince of Monaco but unfortunately died in a car accident at the age of 52. The Rose Garden is said to be beautiful with a statue of Grace Kelly in the centre.