Monaco, officially called Principality of Monaco (Principauté de Monaco) is really officially not a city of France since it is its own Sovereign City State. However, if you didn’t know that you would have no way of realizing it, since there is no border or customs to cross over from the French territory to Monaco and back. And of course, the language spoken in Monaco is also, French.
Monaco a Sovereign City
Monaco is located on the French Riviera between Nice (or more precisely Eze) and Cap-Martin and is famous for being the home of the Grimaldi family which Prince Rainier of Monaco was the ruler and prince from 1949 until his death in 2005. The present prince of Monaco is now his son Albert who got married for the first time last year at age 53.
His sisters are Caroline and Stephanie and their mother was ex-actress Grace Kelly who is better known in France as Grace of Monaco.
During my many visits to Monaco, Albert is the only member of the “royale” family that I’ve managed to see in person. I’ve spotted him by the palace once when he was much younger than he is now.
If you happen to go the French Riviera, Monaco is one of the places you must go see, because it’s simply breath taking. I hope you will enjoy my own personal photos of Monaco on this post and the video as well.
A little History about Monaco
Over the course of history, Monaco has been going under French and Monegasque (that’s how the inhabitants of Monaco are called) rule, back and forth several times until finally getting back to be its own Sovereign state. It is called a “Principality” (Principauté in French) because it’s ruled by a prince. Since 1869, the Principality stopped collecting tax from its residents, this is why Monaco is attracting a lot of millionaires and billionaires, so they can avoid paying tax.
Since 1911 the princes of Monaco have not been absolute rulers anymore as it used to be the case before then, and in 1918 a French-Monegasque treaty was signed putting Monaco under limited French protection and in alignment with French laws and politics expect for tax.t
Fun and Not so Fun Memories of Monaco
One of the great memories that I have of Monaco is when a friend and I went to a very upscale restaurant right across the “palais” where the waiter was flambing and cutting a whole fish right in front of our eyes on a silver plate before serving it to us. We thought that the bill was going to kick butts and I remember thinking as I was watching that waiter work on his fish, that we made a big mistake to enter this restaurant. This was obviously a restaurant for millionaires, and neither me or my friend were one of them.
Well, to our extreme surprise the bill was more than reasonable and we were totally chocked (in a good way). That extra luxurious and fancy restaurant right across the palace was not even expensive after all. To this day I think about this adventure in Monaco. As a matter of fact, on that same trip I remember that we spent more money eating a bouillabaisse in St-Tropez in not so fancy at all restaurant by the port. It goes to tell you that you just never know.
My not so fun experience
There is a huge public pool in Monaco by the port that where I’ve got the worst ear infection, because the pool is filled with sea water where salt is the only sanitizing ingredient instead of chlorine. I guess that wasn’t enough for me. It was bad enough that I never went in that pool again.
The Casino and Grand Prix of Monaco
Monaco is also famous for his Monte Carlo casino, a beautiful building which is easily recognizable with it’s green roof. The casino attract lot of rich and not so rich tourists.
Another famous entertainment of Monaco is the Grand Prix de Monaco which is considered one of the most prestigious car races in the world.
Exotic Garden and Cave
On what we call “the rock” nearby the palace you can visit the magnificent exotic garden, which will remind you of the exotic garden of Eze with huge and beautiful cactus and colorful flowers which thrive under Monaco’s weather.
At the bottom of the cliff of the exotic garden you can visit a beautiful cave which is about at see level. The cave is naturally decorated by limestone and water charged with carbon dioxide which created stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns and spaghetti.
The entrance for both the exotic garden and the cave is 7, 00 € for adults, 3, 70 € for children between 6 and 18, and 5, 40 € for seniors 65 and older.
I hope you enjoyed the visit to Monaco, the Sovereign city, but before you leave take a peek at the video.
Now, tell us what you think …
14 thoughts on “Monaco A Sovereign City”
I never knew that something was called a “principality” because it was ruled by a prince. Makes me wonder why people still use that in the US! I guess it just stuck. I’ve always heard great things about Monaco and seen some beautiful photos because one of my cousins moved there and lived there for many years. Any place that has weather where a cactus can grow is ok with me 🙂
I would love to visit the caves, they sound amazing. I wonder if it would be nicer to blog while sitting on a lovely bench in a gorgeous garden… Maybe one day I will find out 🙂
Thanks for sharing another enticing peek into a great place!
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Yes, according to the Webster’s New World dictionary, principality is a “territory ruled by a prince”. but I didn’t know it was used in the US.
Wow, what are the odds that you have a cousin who lived in Monaco. How cool is that!
I am like you, a place were a cactus can grow is OK with me too 🙂
I’ve always thought that Monaco is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Just from the photos I’ve seen of course Sylviane but you’ve shared your own wonderful and not so wonderful experiences with us as well.
I would love to visit there someday just to say I’ve been there. I think it would be a wonderful experience.
Enjoyed the video so thank you so much.
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Yes, indeed, Monaco is one of the jewel of this earth. I went to Monaco every time I’ve stayed in Cannes. Hum love that French Rivera 🙂
I enjoyed reading about your experience in Monaco. My husband and our three kids spent a day there 2 years ago. We were staying In Nice France and took a day trip.
I also had a bad experience and good. We had the worst croque monsieur by the port at a restaurant called Bambi that cost us 12 euros a piece. I was livid because it was inedible.
but after that we spend the best day at the Oceanographic Museum over looking the water. http://www.oceano.mc/fr/informations-pratiques-acces-horaires-tarifs/monaco
It was amazing and then we had the best dinner ever at one of the restaurants in the older part of Monaco.
I am not sure if we will go back but you never know..
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Well, thank you for mentioning the Oceanographic Museum because I certainly omit that, didn’t I? I guess it’s because I’ve never been there. I think I may have to update this post, now 🙂
Thanks for this addition and for passing by, Annie 🙂
Thanks for the virtual trip to Monaco! I have a friend that is from France and talks about this place often. She also has a house somewhere in the south of France.
Maybe one day I can get the time to visit ALL of France. Monaco is on my list now.
Thanks for the tour,
I am sure you will love it when you go there!
yet another place in France I have only been to once 25 years ago. I liked it and would love to go there again. We passed by it last year on our way from Genoa to Marseille…but didn’t stop.
As always, your posts make me wanna travel !
Thanks for sharing it.
The language spoken in Monaco is also, French. As a matter of fact, most European country used French.
Monaco has been on my list of the to visit places. I have seen many pictures and have always craved about being there. It looks so fascinating and the pictures are very attractive. Thanks for this detailed info on the city.
I myself right now is incapable of travelling so I just stick to reading your blog. The experience you shared is really good. I want to visit Monaco someday and hopefully spend at least a couple of days there.
Amazing images like snapshots in a different world. Your article makes me think about breaking my savings plan.
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Looking for a place to go in the spring, I appreciate your description of Monaco. It sounds like an exotic and wonderful place for me, my husband, and our children. It is hard sometimes to find something for everyone in our family, with so many different ages and interests, but your description has made me consider the potential of frequenting this gem of a location. The pictures were breath taking. If we can’t afford it for all of us, it will be the perfect getaway for just my husband and I thanks. Thanks for the info, it will definitely help to make a decision.
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