The tiny principality and city-state of Monaco has an administrative area, Monte Carlo, at its “center.” It is sandwiched between the Maritime Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, and surrounded by France though the Italian border is not far away. One of the first thoughts that comes to mind of Monte Carlo is the casino area, the Place du Casino, which symbolizes both this state’s wealth and its attitude to wealth. Probably more billionaires as a percentage of the population have a residence here than in any other country. A second thought may be of the ruling House of Grimaldi which one often sees in the news, the current head being Prince Albert II and the son of the late Grace Kelly.
While all that emphasis on wealth may be present, you don’t have to be a high-income demographic to enjoy this part of the French Riviera. It has the beaches, grand hotels, designer and luxury goods shops (explore the Metropole Shopping Monte-Carlo), Michelin-star restaurants, an opera house, and bonus: the world-famous casinos to tempt Lady Luck. The weather is great (except in winter, which is to be expected), and it’s eminently walkable as it’s so tiny. Do note that Monte Carlo may also be crowded due this small size and immense popularity, especially in summer, and can also be more pricey than the other two cities. Tip: If you don’t like crowds avoid the Gran Prix event (Formula One racing, late May or early June) and the Yacht Show (early September).