Cruise ships, casinos and conspicuous consumption dazzle visitors who venture to the Principality of Monaco. Monaco’s harbor is a showcase of ludicrously lavish yachts upon whose decks the beautiful people sip champagne and gaze wistfully out to the sea. Citizens of Monaco pay no income tax, and financial reporting is all but nil, which is a boon for jet-setters desperate to cling to their cash.
Monaco is flush with posh amenities for tourists, and shoppers flock to the Place du Casino, Avenue des Beaux Arts and Metropole Shopping Center where haute couture abounds. Cultured art consumers can attend the opera or ballet at the Salle Garnier opera house. The Prince’s Palace and State Apartments are open for touring, and daily at noon one can witness the Changing of the Palace Guard. Museums focus on a diverse selection of themes. One can visit the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium, the Museum of Napoleonic Souvenirs, the Wax Museum of the Princes of Monaco, the National Museum of Dolls and Clockwork Exhibits of Yesteryear. For botanical bliss try the Japanese Gardens, Princess Grace Rose Garden and St. Martin Gardens. Auto enthusiasts can covet the permanent exhibit of Prince Rainier III’s Private Collection of Classic Cars.