Monaco is a principality located along the Mediterranean Sea in the resort of the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera). It lies just nine miles from Nice, France, and five from the Italian border.
Despite being geographically small — said to be roughly the size of Central Park in New York (although some claim it’s smaller) — Monaco has forged a big reputation for itself as a destination for the wealthy and anyone who likes to live in luxury. Below is a look in-depth at Monaco, providing some facts about this extravagant part of the world.
1. Monaco has only a mild climate
As warm and as luxurious as Monaco appears (and is in the case of the latter), it’s not actually the place to go if you’re a complete sun worshipper. The principality has only a mild Mediterranean climate, rather than the more tropical one you might be expecting.
In January, the average temperature hits around 10°C, whereas in August it will climb to around 24°C. Some other parts of the Med can get much hotter. The good news is that it doesn’t rain so much in Monaco, though. The principality experiences rainfall around 60 days per year.
2. There’s no income tax in Monaco
One of the reasons Monaco has become such a super hub of the rich is the fact there’s no income tax and that other taxes on individuals and on businesses are relatively low.
The principality did away with income tax way back in 1869. This prospect of hanging onto more of their wealth has attracted people from more than 100 different nations.
3. Monaco hosts one of the world’s most prestigious races
If you’re a fan of motor racing, you’ll already be aware that Monaco is a Formula 1 venue. Drivers contest the Monaco Grand Prix over 78 laps on the Circuit de Monaco. The race first became part of the calendar in 1950, the first year of the Formula 1 World Championship, and has been a permanent fixture since 1955.
The track itself is incredibly narrow, demanding almost pinpoint accuracy of the drivers, and truly puts the sport’s professionals to the test, which is one of the reasons they love it. Overtaking on the streets of the circuit is especially tough as well. The former F1 driver Nelson Piquet once remarked that driving around Monaco was like riding a bicycle around your living room.
4. Monaco citizens can’t gamble
Despite the fact Monaco has become one of the world’s major gambling capitals and has some of the most famous casinos on the planet, Monaco’s citizens aren’t actually allowed to gamble in them. The principality’s laws forbid them from doing this and leaves all the gambling up to the tourists and foreign residents, who are only too happy to oblige.
Of course, the existence of the internet and the arrival of online casinos means you don’t have to enter a physical location to play casino games today. You can practice and learn to play them at online casinos. Then once you understand roulette odds or how to play other games, you can start playing in cash games online.
5. Hollywood loves Monaco
The glitz and glamour of Monaco has long captured the imagination of Hollywood film directors and some of them have seen it as an ideal location to film parts of their movies. Monaco has been especially good to the fictional British secret agent James Bond.
Filming of “Never Say Never Again”, starring the late Sean Connery as the dashing spy, saw some of the action scenes reveal the French Riviera beachfront and streets of Monaco. Later, the casino scenes of “GoldenEye”, starring Pierce Brosnan, were also shot in Monaco and, as you’d expect, in the Casino de Monte Carlo.
6. Monaco isn’t as quiet as you’d imagine
You might be tempted to think Monaco is an idyllic place where the wealthy can get some peace and quiet as well as indulge in a more affluent way of life. The affluent part you’ll have got right, but as for the peace and quiet element, that’s not quite the case.
Although it’s possible to relax out on yachts, Monaco can get pretty loud if you’re not on the water. Supercars are a common sight. You’ll often hear the roar from their engines in the streets echo off the high-rise apartment buildings. A lot of tourists will travel to Monaco just to see them and take photos of these vehicles.
You’ll find them bunched together sometimes on street corners, cameras or phones in hands, waiting for the next high-powered luxury automobile to cruise by.
7. Monaco has unusual demographics
Monaco has attracted such an influx of foreign nationals that its own native people, Monégasques — that is, people who have been born in Monaco or naturalized there — have actually been reduced to being in a minority.
French nationals make up the largest part of Monaco’s population, followed by the Monégasques themselves and then by Italian nationals. British, Swiss, Belgian, German and other nationals then make up much smaller parts of the population.
Monaco is the place to be if you have the money to live a more luxurious lifestyle. You may even fancy splashing some of that cash in the principality’s famous Monte Carlo casino. You don’t always have to go to Monaco to live the high life, however. You can go there and just take photos of the awesome supercars, of which you’ll see plenty on its streets.