Monaco

Most visits to Monaco include a tour of the Prince’s Palace and the neighboring Monaco Cathedral. The Oceanographic Museum is a must-see, and a night at the Garnier-designed Opera House is always a treat. A highlight of Monaco is the spectacular gardens, including the Exotic, Japanese, and Princess Grace rose gardens. Contemporary art lovers will enjoy the two sites of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.

The year begins with an International Circus Festival. Then the Princess Grace Foundation throws the Rose Ball, perhaps the world’s most prestigious fundraising event open to the public. Every May, the city shuts down for the Formula One Grand Prix. In July, the Monte-Carlo International Fireworks Festival explodes, with the Monaco Yacht Show sailing into town in September. November 19 sees celebrations for the National Holiday, which ends with a mass and a palatial wave from the royal family the next day. Year’s end is celebrated with concerts, galas, and parades, with Casino Square filling with revelers to ring in the New Year.