5 Must do things in Monaco

Wow, the little place that packs a punch……

Recently I had the pleasure of going to the south of France to celebrate a friends birthday. The south of France cote dAzur is fast becoming my favourite go-to destination for close to home travel, with a flight time of just 2 hours from the London.

Monaco Map at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

On my whirlwind trip, I visited Monaco. Monaco is next door to Nice, France and is a short train ride from Nice Ville or 7 minutes via helicopter from Nice airport.

Monaco, a tiny independent city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline and is known for is its supercars, upscale casinos, yacht-lined harbour and the F1 Grand Prix race. With 38,000 residents, it is the second smallest country in the world (after the Vatican) and the most densely populated. It is a tax haven and Forbes.com states that just over 30% of residents are millionaires. Monaco is one of the safest countries in the world with a police officer for every 60 people. There are lots of things to do in Monaco for it visitors and getting around the city is easy on foot, but it is hilly, so wear flat comfortable footwear.

Prince Albert II is the reigning monarch of the Principality of Monaco and head of the princely house of Grimaldi. He is the son of Prince Rainier III and the American actress Grace Kelly.

Here is my list of 5 must do things when you come and visit.

Monaco Map of the city at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

1) Visit Le Palais des Princes de Monaco.

The Prince’s Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Built in 1191. Based in Monaco City (French: Monaco –Ville) is a ward of Monaco and Nicknamed the rock.

A must do, is to watch changing of the guards at 11.55am each day, arrive at 11.45am to get the best viewpoint.

 

You can also visit the State Apartments at the Palace (from April – Mid October each year). You can also visit the Private Collection of Antique cars.

ADMISSION COST

Prince’s palace: State Apartments*
Adults: 8 euros, Children (6-16 years old): 4 euros.
Double ticket: State Apartments + Private Collection of Antique cars
Adults: 11.50 euros, children (6-16 years old) 5 euros.

*The State Apartments are not accessible to those in wheelchairs. Access only by stairs.

Also located nearby,  in walking distance Saint Nicholas Cathedral, The Oceanographic Museum, The courthouse and other government buildings.

 

2) Take the mini train around the city

Monaco Tours Train at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk
Mini Train

Also based in Monaco –Ville and starting opposite the Oceanographic Museum, the mini train is great, with tickets costing just €10 each for adults and €5 for children. The tour is available in 12 languages and leaves numerous times throughout the day.

The 40-minute tour takes you around the principality.  It is great to do before or after the changing of the guard.  It allows to you see most of the city and you can then work out where else you would like to go and see.

Monaco Tours at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk
In the carriage
Monaco Tours map at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk
Map of the tour

 

3) The frame

The Frame, Monaco at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

You will pass the frame if you take the mini train.

The frame is great for photo opportunities and is located also located in Monaco-Ville. If you walk back down into the city follow the road down the hill from the train stop and the Oceanographic Museum for a few minutes and stop to take photos in the frame with part of the famous Port de Monaco in the background.

 

4) Monte Carlo Casino

The Monte Carlo Casino is world famous, it is also one of the greatest places to spot supercars. Inside the casino and view the beautiful marble and chandeliers. The Casino was built in 1893 by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris Opera House. Its marble paved “atrium”, surrounded by 28 Ionic columns made of onyx. If you’re feeling lucky why not have a little gamble too.

Restricted access – over 18’s only and proof of identity may be required.

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5) The F1 Grand Prix Circuit 

The Grand Prix track if like me you love F1 you will love the city of Monte Carlo as you are practically walking around the track. I was lucky enough to visit Monaco at the beginning of April and the city is also already preparing for this year’s Grand Prix with hoardings and seating going up in preparation. It takes weeks to prepare for the Grand Prix, the Monaco Grand Prix is the last weekend in May.

 

Other things to do in Monaco;

  • Saint Nicholas Cathedral (Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco are buried there)
  • The Oceanographic Museum
  • Sainte- Dévote Church
  • Watch a football match at the Monaco stadium.
  • Charter yacht
  • Take a boat trip, in summer months you can also take a trip to Monaco via boat Nice.
  • Cafe de Paris
  • Go shopping

 

*All photos are by myself or friends unless stated.

Travelling with someone with a phobia of flying

If your like me and love to travel then planning a trip with a significant other who suffers with aviophobia (fear of flying) can be difficult.

Aviophobia affects around 7% of people although up to 25% can feel anxious when flying say the US National Institute of Mental Health.

There are quite a lot of things you can do to help overcome the fear or you can work with it. The options are really down to the person and what they’re open to.

  1. You can go to your doctor and get some anti anxiety medication to help you calm down before and during your flight. This is an option that most people choose.
  2. You can try hypnotherapy and see if it helps you overcome your fears, you may need to go for a few sessions to have the best results.
  3. You can get on a plane and hold on for dear life to the arm rail and maybe have a few drinks while on board.  This is an option I wouldn’t recommend, but I would suggest maybe taking short flights maybe 2-3 hours long then build up your confidence and good flying experiences before travelling to the other side of the world.
  4. You can avoid flying and plan a staycation and travel by train or car to somewhere in your country.
  5. You can stop flying and use alternative methods to get to your destination.

The last two options are the ones that has worked for us.  I don’t have a fear of flying, it’s actually one of the bits I love most about travelling. However it means that I often travel without my boyfriend.

We are very lucky that we live in the UK as we have a few travel options available to us with Europe nearby. Last summer we travelled by train via Eurostar to the south of France  Click Here to find out what to do in Marseille.

This summer we are planning a few staycations and visiting parts of the UK that we’ve never been to.  I don’t know about you but there are loads of places I have never been to in the UK.  I hope to travel to the coast and go to northern England.

I’m also hoping that we will go on a cruise but with so many destinations to choose from I’m sure where we will end up.

I decided to ask my significant other a bit more about his flying fear to understands more about it.

Flying at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Q: Have you always had a fear?

A: Yes, as long as I can remember.

Q: Have you had any bad experiences flying? 

A: Yes, I was returning on my own from Trinidad, when just after takeoff, we were told to say in our seats as there was a technical problem and that the plane was turning back to land.  The plane made a forced landing in Barbados as the airport was closer.  It turned out that there was a problem with the de-icing mechanism on the wing so it was definitely the right thing to do.

Q: What happened next?

A: We landed safely and then we were told that we would be getting a different plane home, we stayed in Barbados for two days and one night, but when is was time to return I realised that we were travelling back on the same plane.

Q: How did you know it was the same plane?

A: We had the same seat numbers and I noticed the seat in front of me had the same mark as the previous plane.

Q: How was your journey home?

A: It was fine, but your flying over the ocean, so you just hope the plane is going to be ok.

Q: Have you taken a flight since?

A: No, it made flying worse.

Q: Do you think you will take a flight again?

A: Yes, I want to overcome my fear as the chance of anything like that happening again is unlikely.

Q: If you could travel anywhere, but didn’t need to fly to get there, where would you like to go?

A: Honolulu, Hawaii.

While I understand that some people have a fear that something might go wrong, it is unlikely to happen and if it does happen like in my boyfriends instance it’s not likely to happen twice.

“statistically the chances of being in a plane crash is 1 in 11 million, your more likely to be attacked by a shark” say Elite Daily.

His experience has changed from an irrational fear to a more rational fear. Its something that I think you need to respect, while I don’t necessarily understand the exact fear because I actually love flying, I do have my own fears that are irrational so that’s where I can be empathetic.

Do you or a family member have a fear of flying and how do you overcome it when travelling? Let me know and leave a comment below.

Travelling in Europe

We have just spent the last week in Marseille, France and what I noticed is that while the police presence wasn’t that high like it is in central London we often heard and saw police cars with sirens on throughout the day. However what was noticeable was the army patrols with SA18 assault rifles at the train station, Norte Dame de la Guard and in the main square.

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We were based at Marseille’s Vieux Port the main port in Marseille with over 1,000 boats moored and any one time. This is a central point with thousands of tourists. The roads and squares are lined with metal bollards which in some places have been reinforced with concrete ones.

 

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We commented at the beginning of our week that the bollards are probably there to stop the drivers crashing in to people as almost every car had dents and scratches and drivers did not adhear to “normal” driving policy, go through red lights, parking in the bus lane with hazards on, I could go on….. but we knew the bollards were probably in place following last years attack in Nice.

On the whole we felt safe because of the bollards and the high army presence, it’s just sad that it has to be this way.

So my advice is just keep your wits about you and stay as safe as you can. But don’t let it stop you from booking a holiday in Europe.