Monaco in the French Riviera, the Second Smallest Country in the World

A Little about Monaco

Casino Monte Carlo in Monaco – photo by the author

Monaco in the French Riviera

One country we visited during our 2021 European trip was Monaco. Monaco is a sovereign state and the second-smallest nation worldwide. It borders France, Italy, and the Mediterranean Sea. Though it borders the Mediterranean Sea, its beach, Larvotto Beach, is the only public beach available. Larvotto Beach is a man-made beach and is very popular among the locals and tourists. The beach is 52 acres of surface, mostly with small river stones and just one side of sand.


A Millionaire’s Playground

Monaco is famous for being the mecca of the rich and famous since it houses luxurious entertainments not feasibly affordable to everyone. According to the 2021 census, its population is less than 39,000 and Business Insider’s Magazine states that 32% of its population is millionaires. It was noticeable with the type of vehicles on the road.

Cruising through Monaco

Traffic was heavy both in the morning and evening hours. Getting in was hectic and getting out was worst. We drove from Barcelona, Spain, to Monaco in a rented Twingo. If you have never heard of a Twingo, it is comparable to a Fiat 500 in size. So there we were, cruising along the luxurious avenue of Princesse Grace with our Twingo side by side, the Bugatti’s, Lamborghinis, Ferrari’s, Bentley’s—you get it, right?

Our rented Twingo

Cramped Housing

Millionaires live in Monaco, but we did not see many homes with extensive lots. Most were apartments and stand-alone homes were pact one on top of the other on the cliffs. We did not see impoverished neighborhoods either. They estimate that poverty is at 0%. We noticed that, even though it is dense with homes, there is a lot of construction going on.

What is Monaco Famous for?

Monaco is mostly famous for its casinos, especially Casino de Monte Carlo. Even though it is home to four casinos residents are banned from using the casinos. Tourists and foreigners visiting Monaco frequent the casinos. For those who enjoy spending their money on luxuries, Monaco is also home to famous name brands and luxurious stores such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, among others. The Jardins de la Petite Afrique is across from the square where Casino Monte Carlo, Café Casino Paris, and Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo is. It is a lovely garden, beautifully landscaped with blossoming plants, trees, and a few water features.

Hotel Nearby

We stayed at the Aparthotel Adagio Monaco Palais Josephine, which was on the border of France and just about a 7-minute walk to the casino square. It was a cozy hotel with a small kitchenette and a balcony. We had a decent view of the ocean, but there was so much construction going on that giant cranes obstructed most of the view. The room and bathroom seemed clean, as well as the linens and towels. The bed was comfortable too.

Late Dinner

We had a late dinner at Au Midi Gourmanda, a local Portuguese restaurant at 10 Bd de la République, 06240 Beausoleil, France, since most everything else was closed. The food was delicious, and the service was great. Between my Spanish and my poor French, we could understand each other. So, if you are in the area, I suggest you try them out.

Monaco Did Not Impress Me

Though they consider it a millionaire’s playground, I did not find it to be impressive. Other countries are breathtakingly beautiful, but Monaco is not one of them. There was nothing there that wowed me other than the ocean. Possibly because I am not a materialist person and do not care about luxuries—I don’t know. It is a well maintained and a neat place though.

Luxury Rental Cars

Something Did Not Feel Right

I am very intuitive and one thing I picked up in Monaco was its energy. It was not negative energy, but not a positive one either. As we strolled around the streets of Monaco, I felt a sense of deceit and malice. Like if it were a place where the wealthy unscrupulous bigots gathered to hide or do their dirty stuff. Though crime is very low in Monaco, we did not like the energy. If we were wealthy enough to live there, we certainly would not. It is not for us. But don’t take my word for it. Maybe you might like it. And, if you have been to Monaco, what are your thoughts?

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