The Exotic Garden district on Monaco's western border is the gateway to the Principality for many visitors arriving by road. At the point where the foothills of the Alps meet the Mediterranean, overlooked by the famous "Tête de Chien" or dog's head promontory, the district commands unrivalled views over the entire country.
The nearby Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology tells a story that began hundreds of thousands of years ago. As in the rest of the district, the modern rubs shoulders with the ancient, and these two sites neighbour the Villa Paloma, one of the two locations forming the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, which hosts contemporary art exhibitions all year round.
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For a little break, stroll through Princesse Antoinette park, with its olive trees and splendid views of the sea and the Rock. There you'll find a snack bar, mini-golf, and miniature farm. A breath of fresh air in the district.
The Exotic Garden, a district where different styles and eras meet, is home to some of the finest examples of Monegasque architecture. From the Persian-style Villa Ispahan, chosen in 1910 by the Iranian Prince Arfa Mirza Riza Khan, to the Simona building, whose particular style and brilliant white colour are the architectural highlight of Monaco's western entrance, via the very modern Villa Troglodyte, built into the rock itself, a walk through the district is sure to delight those with an appreciation for history and aesthetics.
©Benjamin Vergély / Monaco City Hall