First Visit to Europe: Monaco

This is my fourth post about our family's first trip to Europe. You can find the first post from this trip here and links to all the educational US travel we have done here.


Early on Monday, April 8, the Sapphire Princess arrived in Monaco. We went ashore bright and early to explore and see as much as possible.

We booked a tour that started with a lovely walk to the Rock of Monaco. Our first visit was to the beautiful Monaco Cathedral



We were there two days after the anniversary of the death of Prince Rainier III, so his grave was surrounded by flowers. Prince Rainier ruled Monaco for 56 years (1949-2005).


Check out the view of Monaco's newest district, built almost entirely on land reclaimed from the Mediterranean. I understand the properties are quite nice, not to mention the convenient yacht parking. In case you're thinking you might enjoy living here, I must caution you that Monaco has the most expensive real estate in the world.

Our next stop was at the Prince's Palace. 

Our guide got us there just at the right time to watch the changing of the guard. 

Afterward, we toured the public parts of the Prince's Palace, which was totally cool. I've never been in a real palace before. We even went into the throne room! We weren't allowed to take any photos, which was a serious disappointment, but you can see pictures of some of what we saw on the website

The original fortress was built in 1215 and you can still see the original ramparts.

The views were spectacular. Here are some more properties to consider if you're still thinking about Monaco land ownership. 


We passed by the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, but didn't have time to go inside. If we're ever back in Monaco, it will be our top priority.

 We continued our walk through some charming streets, as we headed down off the Rock.

Next stop: Monte Carlo. It's only a short distance from the Prince's Palace to the Casino Monte Carlo (1.6 km), but it's hilly and winding. In fact, we passed by the famous hairpin turn of the Gran Prix. Watching cars make the turn at 20 MPH made me nervous; I can't imagine 100 MPH. I've never watched the Gran Prix, but now I want to at least once. 

Gambling is not my thing, but it was super cool to see the Casino Monte Carlo in person. 

We didn't go beyond this section of the casino for a number of reasons, including the fact that we weren't properly dressed (men need ties, not the jeans and t-shirts we were wearing) and we had a child with us. 

But only one child! Timothy, who can gamble legally in Monaco now that he is 18, tried his luck. (Spoiler: He will not be buying property in Monaco anytime soon.)

The area around the casino is beautifully landscaped, with lots of amazing restaurants and cafes nearby.

 We strolled around, then walked through a beautiful park. Here's that hairpin turn from above.

This is construction on what will become Monaco's newest district. They are expecting the properties that go in here to be the most expensive in Monaco.

I will admit that I had Cars 2 on my mind during most of our time in Monaco. And then we saw this pitstop sign. Anyone else love Guido?

All too soon it was time to head back to our ship and say goodbye to Monaco. 

I hope to make it back someday. Monaco is awesome. 


  1. HA!!! I was totally thinking about Cars 2 with your photo tour!!!! Too funny!!! Especially the hairpin turn photos!!! LOL!! I am loving all the photos!!! Everything looks amazing!!!!


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