France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Monte-Carlo & Casino, Monaco
Favorite spot for James Bond, the name Monte-Carlo is known around the world as a center of glamour and high-stakes gambling.





Formerly known as Les Spelugues, the site of Monaco's casino was re-named Monte Carlo in 1863 (map). It's now the most famous district in the tiny principality, and the first place visitors go.

The Casino of Monte-Carlo, on the Place du Casino, is an ornate Beaux Arts building designed in part by Charles Garnier, architect of the Palais Garnier Opera in Paris.

On the sea side, the building is the Grand Théâtre , home to the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.

Visiting the Casino

Although anyone who meets the rules can enter the main hall of the Casino (from 14:00/2pm to 04:00/4am), to simply set foot in the gambling rooms–even the slot machine room–requires you to be at least 18 years old, to pay an entrance fee of 17, and to present acceptable identification (this last is to keep Monégasques [citizens of Monaco] out, as they are prohibited from entering the gambling rooms.) Here are the complete rules.

Once inside, you have a choice of games: low stakes slots and poker machines, or high stakes tables with maximum bids of 30,000 or more.

The even more exclusive private rooms require an additional fee and the ability to ante up significant sums.

Profits from the casino, via the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, are the ruling Grimaldi family's—and Monaco's—prime source of income, as the principality levies no income tax.

(The bathing society runs it, and the gamblers are the ones who take a bath....)

Place du Casino

You may choose instead to enjoy the Place du Casino, with its beautiful fountains and Jardins du Casino, or to admire the architecture of the 5-star, 182-room Hôtel de Paris, on the southwest side of the place, or the famed Café de Paris on the northeast side.

The southeast façade of the Casino building is the Grand Théâtre, home of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.

Detail, Hotel de Paris, Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Detail on the façade of the Hôtel de Paris...

Monte-Carlo also boasts chichi shops and many private banks focused on wealth management.

What to See and Do

Le Rocher/The Rock

Monaco Hotels

About Monaco

About Nice

The Côte d'Azur

Côte d'Azur Transport




Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Casino of Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Above, Casino of Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter