Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Why Monaco Surprised Me


When we visited the French Riviera in June I was more excited at the prospect of visiting rustic villages with stone houses and pastel coloured shutters on the windows than the bigger cities because I thought they'd have more character and feel more 'French' and less commercialised. We decided to visit Monaco mainly just for the lols, to ogle the expensive cars and see how the other half lives. I didn't think I'd actually like it and I didn't think I'd genuinely be recommending it as a place to visit rather than a place to go 'just for the experience.' 

But I did like it. It massively surprised me and I'd definitely go again if I return to that part of the world (which I'd like to think I will). Don't get me wrong, it definitely has a side to it that is great to just experience - a wander through the Pavilions (A.K.A. super expensive shops) to Monte Carlo casino where you can sip on a (surprisingly reasonably priced) glass of wine beneath crystal chandeliers while watching someone lose a spectacular amount of money on roulette. We hadn't actually planned on going inside the casino (it costs about €17), but once we were there it felt silly not to and it was definitely worth doing, if only for the most beautiful bathroom I've ever been in. I genuinely felt a little like I was in a James Bond movie and found myself Googling whether any of the films had been shot there. We were a bit concerned that we wouldn't be allowed in because of the dress code, but we didn't have any problems although I saw a lot of people being turned away for having trainers on.

The area around the casino is quite fancy - a fair few flash sports cars and some good views of the sea as well as a sneak peak of the adjoining posh hotel complete with what I was convinced was a helipad but Nick assures me was just art. On the food front, I'm afraid I can't recommend anywhere fancy because only we would go to Monaco and eat at McDonalds (it was the fanciest one I've ever been to).





There's also a completely different side to Monaco. After we'd finished exploring near the casino we walked all the way to the Palace, which was a long trek up a big hill on a boiling hot day, but worth it for the views on the way up and at the top. On the way you also get to see some of the Grand Prix road markings, which for some reason I found quite exciting even though I've never seen the Grand Prix in my life.

The Palace is a gorgeous building, although I couldn't help but think it was quite small (which it wasn't at all, it's just a lot smaller than Buckingham Palace). The palace and the square it was in felt so much like Disneyland it was crazy. In fact the whole of Monaco has a very Disneyland vibe. I think it's because it's all very clean and everything looks so perfect it could be a toy or have an It's a Small World ride in it (I wish there had been one of those...) I wonder if that's why I liked it so much because Disneyland is literally one of my favourite places in the world. The area around the palace is the old town, which has the narrow streets and coloured houses that I adore so much. For some reason I didn't expect Monaco to have an old town and alongside it is also an exotic garden, although we didn't venture there having just been at the one in Eze the day before.

There are the most stunning views all around Monaco. From up high by the palace you can see down to the harbour and from below you can see high up into the mountains in the distance. I'm so pleased we decided to actually go - also it's a whole other country ticked off the list!





Have you ever been to Monaco?

Amy x

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24 comments

  1. Such beautiful photos!! I've only ever really seen it in films or watching the Formula One, so it was lovely to see another side to Monaco. I'd definitely love to go there one day :) xx

    Golly Miss Holly

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    1. I don't feel like the other side is ever really shown so nobody knows about it! I'd definitely recommend it :) xx

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  2. Monaco looks so stunning! I always love the pretty French buildings. I can't wait to go back to France one day -hopefully soon!- xxx

    www.natalieleanne.com

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    1. I adore French buildings and pretty much anything French! xx

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  3. Okay, I'm sold - it looks beautiful! I would definitely have gone 'for the experience' anyway but the area around the palace sounds amazing. Also I totally know what you mean about finding certain points of interest exciting even if the thing they're related to is just not something you're into - I've found that before when I'm visiting places like 'ooooh this is where XXXX' even though I've literally never bothered about whatever that thing is in my life! xxx

    Sophie | Sophar So Good

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    1. I'm glad that's not just me haha! It was honestly so beautiful I loved it, 100% would go back! xx

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  4. Wow! Monaco is absolutely stunning and your photos show it off to the max! I used to love watching the Monaco Grand Prix every time in the Formula One racing calendar, if nothing else than to see how the other half live with the beautiful buildings, amazing yaughts, and fancy cars around the motorsport venue! I am glad that the place surprised you and that you had a really good time, finding a spot for a reasonably priced glass of wine is always a winner too! Thanks for sharing!

    Abbey 👑 www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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    1. Ahh if you actually used to watch the Grand Prix you'd probably find all the markings even more exciting! It's great to see how the other half live (and also quite funny) but it's also just a generally nice place! xx

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  5. Oh how beautiful! I went there when I was little for the day whilst on a family holiday but was too young to remember it properly. I would love to go again.

    Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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    1. Ah that's a shame you don't remember it, you'll have to go back :) xx

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  6. I LOVE Monaco so so much! I love going there!
    Have an awesome day!
    xx Kris

    https://dreamingofpink.wordpress.com

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    1. It's so great isn't it! Thanks lovely, hope you have a good week xx

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  7. Monaco really is spectacular, each time you turn a corner it seems to become more and more beautiful! Love your mention of the toilets at the Casino haha, I can imagine how flamboyant they were!

    aglassofice.com
    x

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    1. Haha they were pretty great! It is just so beautiful isn't it xx

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  8. I've been in Monaco three times and I agree, it's awesome! <3

    MERI WILD BLOG

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    1. So glad you like it too - I definitely need to go again! xx

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  9. Your photos are stunning! I've not actually given that much thought to visiting Monaco, but your post is definitely making me consider it more!

    Milly // mini-adventures.com

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    1. Thank you lovely! I'd never really given it much thought but then just happened to get the opportunity and loved it! xx

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  10. I've never been but my god it looks so pretty, your pictures are breathtaking! I am so glad I cam across your blog too, I can see you have worked really hard on it and it is completely paying off, well done pretty lady! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh thank you so much lovely that really means such a lot! xx

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  11. I'd never have considered Monaco but HELLO. What a stunning place! Your photography is beautiful too x

    What Josie Did Next

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    1. It's gorgeous isn't it! Thank you lovely :) xx

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  12. Beautiful photos, I'm in love with the last one, you captured Monaco so well! I really the palace and the old town in Monaco, it's not something you would expect to find there. And the casino is definitely something, I didn't go in and I don't think I could have since I was wearing dungarees and flip flops (we combined visiting Monaco with a beach day) but seeing from the outside was already a crazy experience xx

    113thingstosay.com

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    1. I really didn't expect it either! Next time you should definitely go in the casino :) xx

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