As we were staying in Cannes, located at the Côte d’Azur, it was a no-brainer that we had to visit Monaco. It has always been a place I wished to visit, the playground of the rich. We took a train from the small station of Cannes La Bocca, located close to our hotel, which surprisingly even had a manned ticket desk where we could buy a ticket. The train ride took us along some very scenic views of the Côte d’Azur passing by some of the more famous places like Antibes and Nice.
Arrival in Monaco is in the underground railway station, the original above ground rail alignment was moved into a tunnel along the entire country of Monaco to create more land to build fancy and expensive buildings on. We exited the station through a gorge down to the harbour, from where we climbed up again along the Avenue d’Ostende, part of the Circuit de Monte-Carlo F1 circuit, towards the Casino at Monte Carlo. In front of the Casino was a very nice park and also a row of designer buildings housing some of the world’s most exclusive and expensive brands.
We walked further towards the direction of the old town of Monaco, a bit further inland in between all the high rise buildings, spotting a lot of very expensive supercars all over the roads. After a brief stop at a Starbucks to drink some much needed sugar filled drinks we climbed up the rock on which the old town was situated.
Immediately on top of the stairs is the Princes’ Palace, as we could visit a part of the palace inside it was of course something I wanted to do. It was small but tastefully decorated inside and definably worth visiting if you are there. After our palace visit we strolled around the streets of the old town and found a nice place to eat that claimed they offered typical ‘Monaco’ dishes. We tried their set lunch menu and it was good, but typical Mediterranean style food.
One of the top attractions there also seemed to be the post office, it took quite a while to get some stamps for our postcards home as there was a big choice of different stamps and some indecisive tourists in front of us. In the end we did manage to select some very nice stamps and our postcards arrived safely at their destination.
As we had been walking up and down all morning and noon we were rather tired by now and feeling like we saw the most important stuff and getting a feel of how Monaco was like, very clean and like a sort of Disneyland for grown-ups, we decided to head back to our hotel for some relaxing time by the pool. We lucked out in that our train for the return trip was one of the few TER 2NG units owned by Monaco, these where painted red and the words Monaco splattered all over them.
Monaco is definably worth a visit if you are in the region, it is really unique and a really fast and easy way to visit an extra country!