The foundation stone for the first casino of Monaco was laid down when Prince Charles III allowed a joint stock Company to build a casino in his empire, in 1856. Now, one of the most elegant casinos of Monte Carlo is Casino de Monte-Carlo. This magnificent structure was added to Monte Carlo in 1878. It was designed by Charles Garnier who is also the architect of the opera house in Paris. The architecture of this building speaks a lot about the rich cultural heritage. Various frescoes, sculptures, stained glass windows adorn this casino. The casino has also served as an auditorium for various ballets and concerts, attracting international audience. Another attractive feature of the casino is its private rooms which are more royal as compared to their European counterparts. The visitors can enjoy various table games in these lush rooms. The casino also requests its guests to follow a formal dress code.
Another casino is the Le Café de Paris which houses around twelve hundred slot machines. This casino hosts various gambling games. The theme of decoration is Monte Carlo in the late 1800′s. Next one in line is the Le Sun Casino situated in the Monte Carlo Grand Hotel. It is a close resemblance of the famous casinos of Las Vegas. The Le Sporting Monte-Carlo offers its guests gambling games like roulette, baccarat, banque a tout va, blackjack, chemin de fer, and craps. However, this casino is o-pen only during summers.
Apart from gambling, Monaco offers various other facilities which range from Museum and Palaces to swimming and racing. The Musée Océanographique is a famous attraction among the fish lovers. The museum contains 4500 variety of fish. Apart from this, the museum also attracts art lovers because of its metaphorical interiors. Another museum is the Musée National, which has a collection of ancient dolls and figures.
Changing of guards at the Palais du Princeb is one more interesting attraction. This palace was the house of the ancient rulers of Monaco, The Grimaldis. The ceremony takes place at noon every day.
The nature lovers would be pleased to know that Monte Carlo has one of the most beautiful gardens. The Princess Grace Rose Garden contains more than 400 bushes of rose and the Japanese garden has a Zen meditation area. However, most attractive of all is the Jardin Exotique, which means ‘the Exotic Garden’. This garden is known for growing more than 7000 varieties of cacti.
Water attractions in Monaco include two beaches with paid private sections and an Olympic – sized pool located at the port, called Stade Nautique Rainier III. Another event that attracts sports lovers is the Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco. The race is conducted in May each year on a 3.382 km circuit. To complete a perfect holiday, Monaco organizes a circus festival and a fireworks festival each year.
Monaco is a nature’s haven, ideal holiday spot with its mild winters and sunny summers, though gambling and tourism form only 15% of Monaco’s total revenue. One can reach Monaco by air, through the Nice airport which is just 25 miles from Monaco. The SNCF train from France is also a picturesque journey.