Monaco is one of Europe's microstates, one of the world's few city-states and the second smallest independent country in the world after Vatican City. I enjoyed it a lot as there's lots to see and do in just 2.02 sqkm.

The country is easily accessible by bus or train from nearby Nice in France. While you can't escape its reputation as a playground for the rich, there's a lot more to the city state than expensive cars and casual looking billionaires. The small country is clean, developed and very scenic (if somewhat crowded) with the Mediterranean on one side and the Maritime Alps on the other. It's also filled with beautiful parks, gardens and city art presented with exquisite attention to detail.

Lose yourself along the narrow streets of Monaco-Ville (the old city) and grab a coffee, food, souvenirs or quality chocolates at Chocolaterie de Monaco; walk around Port Hercule and admire its wide range of yachts; stop at the Brasserie de Monaco for some locally brewed beer; spot some of the most expensive cars in the world driving around or parked in front of the Monte Carlo Casino; use public elevators to explore the city's upper areas; explore the beautiful Jardin Exotique and the interesting Musee Oceanographique.

A very scenic walking route is along the coast from Quai Rainier III to Fort Antoine, Jardins de Saint Martin and Place du Palais (don't miss the small and pretty Crique de Pecheurs beach). You can also spend some time at the country's only proper beach, Larvotto, which has very clear waters and some nice beach bars and cafes; also check out the Japanese Garden while in the area.

La Condamine is another nice area for walking around, shopping and grabbing a bite. The beautiful Hymne a la Vie sculpture is located here in Square Gastaud. Finally, don't forget to visit the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino and try your hand at a game of roulette!

Read a detailed account of my first trip to Monaco here - a part of my series on Europe's Microstates) (I visited twice)

Additional info:
- country entry on Wikipedia
- country profile on Wikivoyage

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