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Monaco Travel Guide

Monaco area

“Monaco, protected by the oldest of weapons: guile and determination.”

Count Fernando D’Aillieres
Monaco

Top Five Destinations in Monaco

  1. Monaco Old Town The old city of Monaco, known as Monaco-Ville, is where many tourist attractions are located. The number one highlight is the Prince’s Palace, the Prince’s official residence of Monaco. It was first built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress. Wandering this area, you find grand homes, gorgeous views, and exquisite landscaping.
  2. Oceanographic Museum of Monaco This is quite a unique place as it is over 110 years old. The museum is as stunning from the outside as itis on the inside. This magnificent building proudly stands on top of a cliff and welcomes passersby to enter its world of whale skeletons, aquariums, and marine life.
  3. The Casino de Monte Carlo This country is a rich and famous playground. This is where to glamour of this city is revealed. Dress up (there is a strict dress code), have a passport, and explore this fabulous and over-the-top casino. This is not the place for the casual gamblers; this is for the best at the game. Watch the cars that pull up for a bit; it is a car extravaganza in its own right.
  4. Jardin Exotique of Monaco This magnificent botanical garden has around 7,000 types of plants and cacti. It is as if you are in the desert while enjoying breathtaking ocean views.
  5. Cathedral de Monaco Constructed back in 1875 with white stone from La Turbie, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is Monaco’s most popular tourist site. There are impressive paintings, 12th-century-style windows, and a Carrara marble Great Altar. Monaco’s Cathedral is best known for being the resting place of the Royal family, including Prince Rainier III and his wife, Grace Kelly.

Did you know?

Monaco stats

  • Population: 39,000
  • Capital City: Monaco
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Government type: Constitutional Monarchy.
  • Minister of State: Pierre Dartout since 2020.
  • Monarch: Prince Albert II.
  • The ruling house of Monaco is the oldest ruling house in Europe.
  • Ethnic groups: Monegasque 32.1%, French 19.9%, Italian 15.3%, British 5%, Belgian 2.3%, Swiss 2%, other 23.4%
  • Languages: French (official), English, Italian, Monegasque.
  • Religions: Roman Catholic 90% (official), other 10%
  • National Anthem is A Marcia de Muneghu (The March of Monaco)
  • A Monegasque was born in or has ancestry from the principality of Monaco.
  • US State Department Risk Level: Level 4 due to Covid.
  • Terrorist groups: N/A.
  • The land area of Monaco is .8 square miles. That makes it the second smallest country in the world and the most densely populated.
  • The country does have its own military per se. The country’s defense though, is in the hands of France.
  • In 1931 Monaco became a member of the United Nations.
  • The unemployment rate is zero.
  • Monaco has the world’s third-highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) behind Liechtenstein and Qatar.
  • Monaco is a tax haven. The country relies solely on the revenue generated by its tourism and casinos.
  • Fish and seafood are the only natural resource the country has.
  • Real estate in Monaco is considered the most expensive in the world.
  • Monaco has grown in size by 20% in reclaiming land from the sea.
  • Education is compulsory from ages 6 to 16.
  • The country has monopolies in a several sectors; including tobacco, the telephone network, and the postal service. This helps bring in revenue for the country.
  • Leading industries are banking, insurance, tourism, construction, small-scale industrial, and consumer products.
  • Exports are around $1 billion a year.
  • Monaco has one of the highest life expectancies in the world at 89.5 years old.
  • The death rate is more than the birth rate.
  • Literacy rate if 99%

Funs facts

  • Thirty percent of the population of Monaco are millionaires.
  • One in every three residents of Monaco are millionaires.
  • Three James Bond Films have been shot here in Monte-Carlo Casino.
  • Monaco Grand Prix is one of the main events that the country hosts every year.
  • Monaco has more policemen per person than any other country in the world.
  • The residents of Monaco are not allowed to gamble in their country. They are not even allowed to enter the casinos.
  • Monaco is the only country in the world with Human Development Index above 1.
  • Monaco has over 1.5 million tourists a year.
  • Casino de Monte-Carlo was opened in Monaco in 1863.
  • Monaco truly is the playground for the rich and famous. It is a place for those with money to be seen.
  • More than 50,000 workers arrive daily from France and Italy to work in Monaco.
  • Monaco has the largest display of in-water yachts in Europe.
  •  Societe des Bains de Mer is the country’s biggest employer. It runs the vast majority of Monaco’s tourism-related activities.
  • Monaco doesn’t have an airport due to its size, but it does have heliports. From the heliport, you can take the helicopter to Nice airport within a matter of minutes.
  • The natives of Monaco are in the minority here, one 1/5 of the population. The largest population in Monaco is the French, followed by Italian and British.
  • Monaco is a premier tourist destination and recreation center.
  • Monaco is part of the Eurozone, but not the EU.
  • If you’re a resident of Monaco but aren’t born here, you’re not called a Monégasque but a Monacoian.
  • Italy lies to the eastern side of Italy at a distance of 8 kilometers.
  • Monaco is a city-state and therefore does not have a separate capital.
  • You can walk across the length of the country in 56 minutes.
  • Archeological evidence has found that Monaco has been inhabited for 300,000 years.

Monaco Map

Good to know before you go – Monaco

  • Tipping is customary in Monaco. This includes restaurants and cab drivers, porters, bartenders, and other service workers. Credit cards are accepted everywhere.
  • Overall, clothing is stylish, and many will dress elegantly and extravagantly. People wear jeans during the day, but they are well kept and more fitted. Dress modestly in churches, with shoulders and torso covered. Formal attire is expected in specific social settings, including evening visits to the Casino de Monte Carlo.
  • Monaco is a tiny country, as a result driving is standard city driving. It can be slow to get around. Roads are clean and easy to navigate.
  • Overall, Monaco has one of the highest living standards in the world. Differences in social stratification are not immediately apparent.
  • Use the formal vous when speaking French to anyone unknown or older than you. The informal tu is reserved for close friends, family, and children.
  • Men will typically shake hands when greeting each other. A man and a woman, or two women, may exchange kisses on the cheek.
  • Most Monegasque are Roman Catholic, and the church plays a vital role in Monegasque traditions, particularly on feast days and special holidays.
  • Marriage is an integral part of the Monaco culture. Weddings are held based on the traditions of Roman Catholics.
  • Monaco traditions are deeply rooted in the 700-year history of the Grimaldi Dynasty. Due to this a National Committee of Monaco Traditions was created in 1924 by representatives of the oldest Monaco families to ensure that these traditions were kept alive.
  • The rules of etiquette are much like those found in France, emphasizing respect for privacy.
  • This is a country that plays by the rules, so follow them.
  • Monaco is a country that strongly supports the art and humanities.
  • Monaco’s traditional foods include barbagiuan, fougasse, socca, and stocafi.
  • Access to fresh, local produce and the sea has led to exceptional local cuisine. Monaco has many restaurants, and seafood is featured in many dishes. Daily eating habits reflect a Mediterranean heritage, and both French and Italian influences can be found in the local recipes.
  • The area around Monaco has an enormous mount of activities and sites to see. Places like Eze, France (see our post on this beautiful location, click here), Nice, the French Riviera beaches, Italy are just a few choices nearby.
  • Breakfast is minimal, but lunch and dinner often have several courses.
  • Security cameras are everywhere!!
  • It is a very safe country. Crime is very low.

Monaco Essential Info

US Consular Emergency
The 24-hour number from a US Phone is 1-888-407-4747
Outside of US 011-202-501-4444

US Embassy Nice, France
U.S. Consular Agent – Nice
7, Avenue Gustave V
3rd floor
06000 Nice
Telephone: +(33) (493) 88-89-55
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 01-43-12-22-22 and then dial 0
Fax: +(33) (493) 87-07-38
Email: usca.nice@orange.fr
Website: https://fr.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/marseille/

Emergency Numbers
GENERAL 112

Country Code
+377

Time Zone
UTC+1 Suumer UTC+2

Driving
Right side

Adaptors
“Standard” Euro plug
Type C or F

Tourism Office
https://www.visitmonaco.com/en

When to go to Monaco

Monaco benefits from a mild and pleasant Mediterranean climate and averages about 300 days of sunshine a year. There are no bad times to go to Monaco.

Our Favorite Monaco Resources

This resource section contains some Amazon affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Travel Books/Guides

Joelle visited Monaco with her sister-in-law during an Italy, Monaco, and France tip. It has turned out to be one of our favorite places. The guides and tools below helped build that excitement and made for the perfect trip.

Fodors Provence & French Riveria (Full-Color Guide) by Fodors

Due to the size of Monaco, there are not any dedicated travel guides we would suggest. You will find it within guides of the greater area.  Fodor’s Provence & the French Riviera guidebook is packed with maps, carefully curated recommendations, and everything else you need to simplify your trip-planning process and make the most of your time. Discover this travel guide here.

Rick Steves Provence and the French Riviera by Rick Steves

Full disclosure, we are huge Rick Steve’s fans, it will be rare we do not recommend one of his wonderful guides. We love his travel style and perspective. His off-the-beaten-path approach, together with his independent travel philosophy, matches well with how we travel. The guides never disappoint. This book made the cut into our suitcase and was a fantastic resource. Find this must-have guide here.

Our favorite websites

1. Monaco tourism site

2. US Department of State: Bureau of Consular Affairs Monaco Country Info

We cannot encourage you enough to visit this website as you plan and prepare for your trip. This is the US Federal Government addressing the safety, security, travel risk, entry, exit, visa documents mandates, emergency US and Embassy contacts, health, local laws, special circumstances, threats, traveler vulnerabilities, government warnings, and transportation in Portugal. This is your best and most reliable resource for all this important info. Check back often before you go, as things can change quickly. Being prepared is essential in all travel, but especially internationally.

Monaco International Travel Information (state.gov)

3. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers Health Resource

This CDC travel resource provides essential health info for your specific destination. Using their tool, you can determine which vaccines, medications, and health advice recommendations are needed for Portugal.

CDC’s Travelers Health Page for Monaco

Our favorite maps
Our favorite apps

Rome2rio: Trip Planner Trip and Holiday Organizer Enter any address, landmark, or city in the app will instantly display all your travel options, booking info, along with accommodation providers and things to do. Find at your local app store.

Duolingo-Language Lesson Audio lessons that help improve your listening and speaking skills. Find on your local app store.

Rick Steves Audio Europe This app includes a vast library of Rick Steve’s audio content. Get cultural and travel info. Includes self-guided tours of top attractions and historic walks. Amsterdam options. A must-have. Find it at your local app store.

Google Translate We used this often to practice proper pronunciations of French words. As we always encourage, it is essential to learn the basics to greet and thank people in the local language. Google translate was an easy app to use. If needed, you can enter text in English, and it will speak back in French to aid in communicating with locals. Furthermore, it came in very handy to translate text into images instantly.

Do you have a favorite Monaco travel resource? Share your favorites in the comments section at the bottom of this page or

Check out Monaco related posts

Squaremouth.com

Our favorite travel insurance site!

If you are booking a trip, don’t forget to get travel insurance within 14 days of your first booking. We could not be stronger advocates of being well insured. Not for the little stuff but the big stuff like medical emergencies. We never leave home without it. Over the years, we have used many sites but have now found our go-to place. Squaremouth.com does a fantastic job; it has a user-friendly interface, they use top-rated and reputable insurance carriers, and most policies cover Covid medical issues and cancellations. They also mediate on your behalf if you have problems with your policy.

MedjetAssist

Medical transport back home from anywhere in the world

They are the premier global air medical transport. One caveat to travel insurance is that medical evacuation usually gets you to the closest facility to care for you. Medjet gets you back to the US to the hospital of your choice once you are stable enough to fly. They cover Covid-related transports as well.

Medjet carries its own policies. The policy is only for transport and no other aspects of travel insurance. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for $295. Most of their policies limit the age to 74 and younger. Prices are not based on age below that.

Expedia.com 

Hotels, home rentals, BNBs, flights, and other transportation & tours 

Expedia is a US-based company whose mission is to power global travel for everyone and everywhere. Whether planning a family vacation, booking for business, or organizing the trip of a lifetime, they are a fantastic resource. Wanderers Compass focuses on independent travel, and using sites like Expedia makes that possible. Every aspect of travel you would need, from airfare, accommodations, rental car, cruises, to activities to do at your destination, can be booked on Expedia.  

Booking.com

Hotels, Home rentals, BNBs, Flights, and other Transportation & Tours 

Booking.com connects millions of travelers to memorable experiences, various transportation options, and incredible places to stay – from homes to hotels and much more. It is one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes.

We always start with Expedia to check prices, but it sometimes says it is sold out. We then try Booking.com, and we find it lists plenty of rooms. It could be they are a Europe-based company. Try both before booking accommodations.

Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO)

Traveling with a family or having an extended stay at your destination?

With over 2 million bookable vacation rentals, VRBO connects homeowners with families and vacationers looking for something more than a hotel for their trip. The VRBO community offers families or groups various rental property types such as condos, cabins, lake rentals, beach houses, etc.

VRBO is under the Expedia group ownership now, which many were worried about, but it hasn’t panned out to be a concern. It is a massive network that also has access to all forms of lodging should issues arise. Joelle has used VRBO for many years with her family, with no problems to date.

Rail Europe

Discover Europe by Train

Rail Europe sells train and bus tickets for travel across Europe. They cover 24 countries, 105 rail operations, and 20,000 stations. They are the official rail and bus operations agents in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Rail Europe continues to add coverage all the time.

It is a fast, easy and economical way to purchase train and bus tickets for Europe. Eurail passes are also available to buy through their site.

Amazon.com

An excellent source for travel essentials and guides

Amazon is one of the most extensive shopping online sources in the world. On behalf of their customers, teams worldwide provide lower prices, better selection, and rapid delivery. They offer a vast inventory, and it is their 1.7 million small and medium businesses worldwide selling on Amazon.com that provide extensive options for customers.

We buy most of our travel books, accessories, and luggage from Amazon. We have ordered up to two days before travel and get what we need.

Travelpro Luggage

Thoughtfully Designed | Meticulously Constructed | Quality Guaranteed.

We have used this luggage for years, left briefly to try others, and returned to Travelpro. Travelpro luggage is carried by crews from over 90 airlines worldwide.

Travelpro takes the time to learn what travelers want and need, then builds it. The key factor for us is that it must be lightweight upfront and very resistant to rough handling. Their luggage is the best, and we could not recommend it enough. It is our go-to luggage.

iVisa

Travel documentation made more accessible

iVisa.com is dedicated to providing customers with a simple, fast, and reliable way to get travel documentation for their journey. Their online application process makes getting visas, health declarations, or passport photos a breeze, all from your home’s comfort. As a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry, they take pride in making global travel more accessible for everyone. In the end, it is a simple and affordable travel resource to get the necessary entry documents complete for your international travel.

This section contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

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