Few countries scream “luxury” as loudly as Monaco. Situated between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, ordered by the French Riviera to the West and the Italian Riviera to the east, this entirely urban city-state is the second smallest independent state in the world after the Vatican, and contrary to popular belief, Monte Carlo is not the capital, but rather a government district. As a city-state, Monaco is less of a country and more of a luxurious seaside destination that governs itself. Known worldwide as a tax haven for businesses and a resort for tourists, Monaco is the most densely populated independent country on the planet.
From the glamorous and glitzy Monte Carlo casino to the Grimaldis royal family and their ritzy lifestyle, to the Grand Prix which sends Formula One cars racing through the streets, Monaco is an urban jungle that marches to the beat of a distinctly European drum. One of the safest cities on the planet, Monaco is perfect for any level of traveler. If you love the French and Italian Riviera, and you can't get enough of the Mediterranean vibe, this is the place for you.
Since it's not really a country there really isn't a lot to see in terms of natural geography. However, the city itself boasts a variety of historical and modern attractions, with plenty of shopping malls, casinos, museums, palaces and the like. Monaco-Ville, for example, is a picturesque vision of medieval times, made up almost entirely of pedestrian streets and souvenir shops. Inside you will find the Palais Princier, or Prince’s Palace, or you can visit the Monaco Cathedral, which was built in 1875 on the ruins of a 13th century church. In addition, visitors can access the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium, which boasts over 4,000 species of fish and over 200 families of invertebrates within, and is a leading authority on Mediterranean marine ecosystems.
Most certainly not inexpensive, Monaco is a luxurious city that must be experienced at least once in your lifetime. Ruled by royalty, and covered in splendor, you'll be hard-pressed to walk away without feeling as though you yourself are part of the royal family after a stay in the city.