Monaco is a town located in the French Riviera that is not technically a part of France. Nevertheless, its close proximity to Nice and other towns along the Riviera virtually make it a part of the country, and it is a common destination on most tours of the region. Monaco is actually an independent principality that has been governed by members of a single royal family from the 13th century onward.

Although it has a national policy that is independent from France in most aspects, its laws and defense policies are closely associated with that of the French government. Monaco’s primary source of livelihood is the tourist industry, and it seems to have served the town well. The casino at Monte Carlo is virtually synonymous with the Monaco experience, and this establishment alone is responsible for bringing in as sizable portion of the principality’s income. From an architectural standpoint, the casino is an impressive structure indeed. Built by Charles Garnier–who was also responsible for building the opera house of Paris–the casino was unveiled to the public in the 19th century. You don’t necessarily have to play the games in order to enter, as public admission is allowed with a fee of €10. If you would prefer not to enter, the surrounding gardens may also be explored at no cost. Other notable attractions in Monaco are the Prince’s Palace, Monaco Ville, the 19th century Byzantine cathedral, and the Palais de Justice. Those interested in marine life will also enjoy the Oceanography Museum and Aquarium with its diverse exhibits and informative displays

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