Monte Carlo, MONACO — What the world’s second-smallest country lacks in size, it makes up for in fairy-tale options that the whole family can enjoy. Even if Dad & Mom only have a few jangling coins and several crisp euro bank notes in hand, family fun abounds in an elegant principality where there are more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world. Here are some magical options:
#1: Spend the afternoon at the Oceanographic Museum. The world-famous explorer Jacques Cousteau was the director of this museum for more than 30 years. Family-friendly highlights include several daily workshops for kids. Also, you can relax at the facility’s lovely open-air rooftop café, La Terrace, which was inaugurated in the Spring of 2012 in the presence of H.S.H. Princess Charlene. Bonus for the children: The café’s adjacent state-of-the-art rooftop playground.
#2: After your visit to the Oceanographic Museum, head outdoors and hop on the Monaco Tour, an open-air trolley train that zips around several popular highlights this gem of the Mediterranean has to offer. The price point can’t be beat. The cost: A whopping 6 euros, per person. Tours run daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except from November 15 through January. Duration: 35 minutes.
#3: After your Monaco Tour wraps up, walk less than three blocks from the tour terminal and take in the Monaco Cathedral. There, you can reflect before the tombs of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, whose storybook romance made them two of the world’s most popular royals in life and in death. Every Sunday at 10 a.m., the Children’s Choir of Monaco performs. Note: Prince Rainier and Princess Grace were also married here.
#4: The Royal Palace is another sight that’s not to be missed, but keep in mind that at 11:55 a.m. sharp, the changing of the guard takes place. After you view the ceremonial changing of the guard, take a tour of the Royal Palace and view several stunning artworks by Breughel and other Old World masters. Did you know that the Grimaldis — the royal family of Monaco — remain the world’s oldest ruling family?
If you know the ins and outs and can take advantage of the best bets of Monaco, you’ll discover that this glorious locale known for wealth and luxury is a welcoming destination for families.