Discover magical Monaco
This historic and culturally-rich principality on the French Riviera is truly unmissable
The Principality of Monaco, situated on the south-eastern coast of France, is living proof that size isn't everything. Officially the world's second-smallest independent city-state (only the Vatican is smaller), Monaco still manages to cram in a wealth of culture, entertainment, history and glamour into its remarkably picturesque two-square-kilometre area.
Settled by the ancient Greeks in the sixth century BC, Monaco was claimed as a Genoese colony in the twelfth century, occupied and later owned by the Italian Grimaldi dynasty. France regained control of the principality during the French Revolution, with Monaco's sovereignty affirmed by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. By this time, Charles III of Monaco had already consented to the development of the state as a recreational resort. Monaco's first casino arrived in 1863 and its first luxury hotel a year later. The arrival of the railway in 1868 significantly boosted Monaco's tourist economy, cementing the city's reputation as a resort of choice for Europe's affluent society.
Modern-day Monaco is exciting and atmospheric, its highlights easily discovered and enjoyed on foot. The district of Monte Carlo, famed for its prestigious Grand Prix, luxurious lifestyle and casinos is abundant in beautiful architecture and public gardens and even boasts a sun-kissed fine-shingle beach. Monaco-Ville, or 'the rock', meanwhile is the city's medieval quarter whose narrow traffic-free alleyways, historic buildings, souvenir shops and other attractions are a delight to explore.