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Monaco

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Concierge.com's insider take:

Monaco is famous for its over-the top, stratospherically priced shops and restaurants, and the antics of the Grimaldis, its ruling family. The postage-stamp principality was said by Evelyn Waugh to be "supremely artificial," and today this feels more true than ever, with the towering luxury apartment buildings, Belle Époque palaces, and a harbor full of palatial yachts. The casino, an extravaganza of 19th-century architectural and interior design, is the place to get a quick, strong dose of James Bond–style gambling and excess. Top-end shopping happens at the Avenue des Beaux-Arts and the Avenue Monte Carlo. Alain Ducasse's Le Louis XV restaurant in the Hôtel de Paris is pretty much the swankest eatery in southern France. To get past its doors, or those of the casino or many clubs, for that matter, men will need a jacket and tie. For those in a hurry, just pop down to the port to see the yachts unload: The parade of surgical and sartorial excess is worth the drive.

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