Prince Albert's Royal Palace
One of a number of year-round attractions, including the Palais
du Prince, is Prince Albert's Royal Palace. The Palace was
originally built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress and has been home to
the ruling Grimaldi family since they first captured it in 1297.
Each different ruling member of the family has influenced its
design (both internal and external), and not always in a positive
way; the Palais du Prince is far from Europe's most elegant palace.
Outside of the Palace, the daily Changing of the Guards ceremony is
a popular event for visitors. It takes place just before noon, but
lasts only two minutes, so don't be late!
Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium
The impressive Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is Monaco's
most visited museum, although competition for this title could
hardly be considered stiff. The museum, built at the behest of
Prince Albert I, allows you to explore the underwater world of the
renowned oceanographer Jacques Cousteau.
Monte Carlo Casino
In the mid-19th century, the debt-riddled Grimaldi family struck
upon an idea to open a casino as a method of raising funds. The
casino occupied several different sites within the principality
until a permanent site was chosen at Les Spelugues ('the Caves').
The impressive casino, as seen today, began construction in 1858
and was completed in 1863. The area was promptly renamed 'Monte
Carlo', in honour of Prince Charles, to make it sound more
appealing to visitors… with considerable success: the casino
provided the principality with its main source of income for 150