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There’s no denying it’s the grand Monte Carlo Casino that makes Monaco an irresistible part of a European travel plan. For a sip of this miniature country, mix up two parts Las Vegas revelry, two parts Parisian sophistication, and a dash of Italian style—shaken, not stirred. Fashionable tourists gamble the day away in private gaming rooms, and then take their winnings (or their loss-induced sorrows) to the gourmet restaurants and pumping clubs that line La Condamine’s marina. The little Francophone country draws wealthy fun-seekers and trendy partiers year-round, but the storied Grand Prix brings an extra jolt of livelihood in May.
Beyond the glittering casinos and palm-lined boulevards, Monaco keeps a little bit of culture hidden away. The Jardin Exotique, in the hills above the city, is a pleasant garden of desert plants and unbeatable views of the Mediterranean coast. The two-part Nouveau Musée National de Monaco shows off contemporary art in memorable settings. There are plenty of discoveries that await savvy travelers and avid gamblers alike.