Monte Carlo – The casino for kings

This second blog post on www.grand2013.ch documents my trip and time spent in Monte Carlo – the very first destination of my grand 2013 casino tour! Keep reading to learn more about why I chose this special destination and what I got up to there – including details of my time inside one of the world’s most famous casinos of all time!

Choosing Monte Carlo as the first destination of my Grand 2013 tour was an easy decision. The Mediterranean city is synonymous with casinos, glitz and glamour, and it was here that many of the world’s first ever roulette games were played. Back then, roulette was kept underground as gambling was illegal, but it wasn’t long before the then-nearly bankrupt state of Monaco realized the economic benefits brought about by the legalization of casino games.

By the way, if you already didn’t know, Monte Carlo is a tiny principality (often just referred to as a small ‘city’) within the city-state of Monaco, which is mostly surrounded by France and looks out over the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. The nearest airport is Nice-Côte-d’Azur International over the ‘border’ in France, and this is just a short taxi journey away from the centre of Monte Carlo.

Casino de Monte Carlo

As it was my aim to visit the most famous and most prestigious casinos in each of the 10 countries on my list, there was only one place to start: the Casino de Monte Carlo.

The real allure of this historic casino lies in its aesthetics, both inside and out. First built during the end of the 19th century, the glorious building features a classical façade that has been a focal point of Monte Carlo city centre for over 150 years. Inside is just as grand, with marvellous high ceilings, sweeping corridors and decorations resembling more of a cathedral than a casino.

In turns of games, Casino de Monte Carlo does not have the same wide array of games as modern casinos such as in London, Macau and Vegas, or indeed nothing like you can find at online sites such as Casinoklub.  That said, a row of video slot machines inside the main gambling room would look quite out-of-place in a venue as grand as this. Instead, the main casino floor keeps things relatively simple with a selection of sophisticated roulette, blackjack and poker games. Slot machine games can be enjoyed, however, in adjacent, smaller rooms.

In terms of accessing this casino for regular visitors, it’s worth noting a few things. I paid 10 Euros for entrance and everybody needs to show valid ID (I think the entrance fee may vary depending on what time you visit, but it’s around 10 Euros during most times of the day).

You may also be wondering about the casino’s dress code. Casino de Monte Carlo actually enforces a ‘smart-casual’ dress code for the early part of the day and a ‘smart’ code for the evening, as well as different rules and regulations for its various different gaming rooms. To keep things simple, it’s always best to wear smarter clothes here. For example, dark trousers, a shirt and closed shoes. They are not too strict, but obviously a casino as prestigious as this is not going to allow people to walk inside straight from the beach…

Gambling is, in fact, just one of the many activities that you can enjoy inside Casino de Monte Carlo. The venue is also home to a spectacular theatre, a ballroom, two fine dining restaurants and a bar area to relax at. However, the main gaming room was where I spent most of my time as part of my Grand 2013 journey! I had a great time here on the roulette tables, which were very fun, and got lucky (at times) on blackjack and poker.

All in all, Casino de Monte Carlo is simply a must-visit for any casino fan, or just somebody who loves to experience history. Keep reading to learn more about me, my grand 2013 tour and the other nine destinations that I visited during 2013!

Welcome to Grand2013.ch and my Grand 2013 Tour.

Welcome to my grand2013.ch site! On these pages, you will find a couple of blog posts detailing my trip around Europe in 2013, where I hopped across 10 different countries making stop-offs to visit (and play at) the most prestigious casinos along the way.

I kicked off my casino tour in January 2013 with a relatively short flight from London to the South of France, where I would make my way to one of the most famous gambling destinations in the world: Monte-Carlo in the city-stay of Monaco! In the next blog post, you can read more in detail about my experience in Monte-Carlo. I’ll tell you all about the prestigious casinos I visited and some of the games I played.

Over the next few months, I travelled mostly by plane and train through Europe. After Monaco, the next obvious destination to satisfy my casino cravings was Italy where I visited the largest casino in Europe, Casino di Campione in Como. This casino has a whopping 500 slot games and tables spread over half-a-million square-feet of floor space.

After a few lucky weeks in Italy (with lots of sightseeing in between), I made my way north through Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and then finally back to the UK, where I headed further north to Scotland then back down to London.

Along my Grand 2013 tour, I made sure I checked out all of the most prestigious casinos, many of which are housed in glorious old buildings dating back to the 19th and even 18th centuries.

In some later blog posts on www.grand2013.ch, I hope to go into more detail about the 10 countries I visited, how I got around and how my luck faired while playing! For now, you can head over to my grand 2013 post about my time in Monte-Carlo, read more about me (on the ‘About Me’ page) or get in contact with me by using the grand2013 contact form.