Fun fact - the citizens of Monaco are forbidden entrance to the casino’s gaming rooms, as a legacy of Princess Caroline’s religious and moral beliefs. Only foreigners are allowed. This is enforced with identity document checks at the door.
Big, expensive, beautiful and busy, luxury is the order of the day in Casino Square. The glitz and glamour of the Riviera abounds in a plaza teeming with roughly equal numbers of Rolls Royces and tourists.
The 19th century square is dominated by the Grand Casino, the Opéra de Monte Carlo and the Hotel de Paris, whose Belle Époque domes and façades exude Monégasque opulence. Supercars roll up in front of the Casino in the evening; it costs €10 to enter and you must be appropriately dressed. If gambling isn’t your thing, this is a great place for celeb-spotting.
The square also features an impressive fountain and a concave ‘sky mirror’ before the Casino, providing further great photo opportunities. A drink at the Café Paris offers the perfect vantage point (though it’s a little steep - this is the playground of the rich and famous, after all). There are also plenty of boutiques for all your high-end shopping needs.
The Casino and the Opéra de Monte Carlo were conceived by Monaco royalty in the 19th century - the former a shrewd move to save the House of Grimaldi from bankruptcy, and the latter to make up for a lack of cultural diversions in Monaco at the time. These ornate venues have been host to many a glamorous entourage in their time, as well as being used in a number of James Bond movies, and today the square remains a great place for watching beautiful people (and beautiful cars) go by.
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