The Grand Casino Monaco, located in the district of Monte Carlo, is one of the world's most famous and glamorous casinos. Designed by Charles Garnier in 1863, the magnificent casino is decorated with marble, onyx, frescoes, and sculptures. More than just a gamer's heaven, the casino in Monte Carlo is a symbol of the wealth and clientele that Monaco attracts. Here, one can see billionaires dressed to the nines in tuxedos and ball gowns, chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces, and high-rollers betting large sums of money on roulette and poker. If you're interested in being surrounded by the rich—and sometimes famous—the Grand Casino Monte Carlo should definitely be a stop on your itinerary while visiting the Principality of Monaco.
The Grand Casino Monte Carlo is open daily for those wishing to try their luck. You must be eighteen years of age in order to enter the casino and there are no exceptions, so be sure to bring a valid form of identification with you as you will be asked to present it to one of the guards. Although formal dress is not required as it was years ago, smart dress is strongly encouraged, and no shorts or flip-flops are allowed. Despite the more relaxed dress code, many patrons still dress in suits and long gowns, giving the Grand Casino Monaco a true upper-class feel.
As you enter the largest of the casinos in Monaco, you're sure to be awed by the atrium paved in marble and filled with onyx columns. As you continue your walk into the palace-like building, be sure to spend time in the Salle Garnier, the opera auditorium. The auditorium is decorated in red and gold and plastered with sculptures, reliefs, and artwork. Internationally renowned operas, ballets, and concerts are held here, and if you happen to be visiting while one of these works is in town, and you have the money to spare, you should consider buying tickets to this splendid entertainment.
For the gaming options, the Grand Casino Monaco is divided into various rooms based on what games or slots are located there. The Atrium and the Salle Blanche both offer slot machines, and the Atrium charges no admission. Both rooms are open daily from 2 pm and stay open until the casino closes in the early hours of the morning. The Salon Europe, offering 30/40, European and English Roulette, and Punto Banco, and the Salle des Ameriques, offering Black Jack, Craps, and American roulette, both also open at 2 pm and they both require a 10 euro entrance fee. The Private Salons, which offer table games such as European Roulette, Chemin de Fer, Blackjack, and Punto Banco, are open Thursday through Sunday from 2 pm. The other games available in these private salons at the Grand Casino Monte Carlo are Banque a Deux Tableaux, open from 5 pm on, and 30/40, which opens at 10 pm. If you wish to participate in one of the private rooms' gambling, a 10 euro supplement is required on top of the 10 euro entrance fee. The Private Salons also have a stricter dress code; after 8 pm men are required to wear a jacket, and no military or religious uniforms are permitted.
In order to fit in with the regular patrons at this casino in Monte Carlo, be sure to visit the lobby of the Hotel de Paris. Gamblers first stop in this magnificent lobby to rub the left knee of the statue of Louis XIV's horse for good luck. While you are there, be sure to take a look around at the grand hotel. Completed one year after the Grand Casino Monaco opened, this posh hotel looms over the main square of the entrance to the casino. Built for wealthy guests and celebrities from around the world, this hotel boasts some of the best accommodation in Europe. If you have the budget, splurge on a room (which is much cheaper in the off-season), a day at the spa, or a gourmet dinner at Le Louis XV. If you're looking to spend less, you can opt for a drink at Cafe de Paris, a popular site for gamblers on their way to or from the gaming rooms. Here you can enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while observing the casino-goers. The Grand Casino Monaco, by far the most grand and popular casino in Monte Carlo, is well worth a stop during any trip to the principality. If you don't feel like partaking in the games, visit the casino during the day to explore the lush gardens that surround the area and explore the inside of the Grand Casino Monte Carlo and Hotel de Paris without the glamorous crowds.