Monaco is a country in southern Europe. Like Luxembourg, Hong Kong or Singapore, the Principality compensates its small territory with a very high standard of living. Here live many celebrities including Elton John. Monaco is a home to many other artists, actors and especially star athletes. It is also a favourite tourist destination of the rich and famous, because here they can find everything they need.
Geographic location, boundaries and size. Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world (the second smallest after the Vatican). It occupies an area of 1.95 sq. km.
It is located on the north coast of the western Mediterranean, at 43° north latitude. Monaco is located entirely within the borders of France near the Italian border. It falls entirely within the French Riviera which is considered to be one of the most prestigious tourist regions on the planet.
This small country can be crawled walk without difficulty. In the longest part Monaco extends about 3.4 km.
Government type of Monaco. Monaco is a constitutional monarchy – principality. It is not a member of the European Union, but in many respects is treated as part of the French Republic.
The official currency here is the Euro. Although not a member of the Community, between Monaco and France there is not border control and only the signs tell you exactly when you enter in the principality.
A brief history of Monaco. Monaco was originally Phoenician colony. Since 1215 the principality exists in the form that we know today. Also in 1915 Monaco became a colony of Genoa.
In 1297 Grimaldi family come to power in the principality. In 1993 it became a member of the UN. From 2001, the euro is the official currency of Monaco.In 2005 Prince Albert 2nd became a Head of State of Monaco.
Climate Monaco. Monaco falls in the subtropical climate zone and enjoys a wonderful weather in most of the year. The climate of the small Mediterranean country is unusually warm for these latitudes.
Summer is hot and sunny. This is the longest season. Winter is brief mild and humid. The transitional seasons are short and offer pleasant temperatures. Summer days and high temperatures last from mid-May to late September.
Average summer daily temperatures vary between 23 and 26°C, but in July and August there are days with heat. In Monaco it is real challenge to go out at noon in July and August because of the scorching Mediterranean sun!
October was quite warm. The daily temperatures are around 19 – 20°C. In November, temperatures fall, reaching 15 – 17°C. Winter is quite mild. It lasts from December to March.
Temperatures vary in the range 10 – 15°C. The coldest winter month is January. It is not excluded in some cooler days to snow, but it happens rarely (once every few years), and the snow cover is thin and perishable.
Spring is short. With such a mild winter like the one in Monaco transition between winter and summer is not very large. In April, temperatures are around 16°C and during the first half of May reach around 20°C.
Overall Monaco is not suffering from serious drought, but here is typical seasonality of precipitation. The main part of the rain falls during the autumn-winter season, especially during October and November.
Economy of Monaco. Monaco is one of the richest countries in Europe and worldwide. The local population enjoys an exceptionally high standard of living. The main part of the country’s revenues comes from highly developed tourist industry.
Here we should mention that, along with Las Vegas (USA) and Macau (China), Monaco is one of the world’s gambling capitals. The small Mediterranean country can reasonably be called a European Beverly Hills.
As a result of its favourable tax policy Monaco attracts many wealthy businessmen and celebrities. Furthermore, the Principality has a highly developed food industry.
Population of Monaco. Monaco is home to about 35,000 people, only one third of who were born here. Most of them are Frenchmen, but overall population is very diverse.
Monaco impresses with its large number of millionaires who come to live here because of low taxes. This little principality has always been considered to be a tax haven.
The population density is extremely high and therefore the homes are very expensive. In Monaco the official language is French, but everybody speaks English or Italian.
Tourism in Monaco
Monaco is one of the most interesting and elegant places in Europe. Here remain fascinated even the most discerning and demanding travellers. Restaurants and hotels are very luxury and fascinated.
Even small Mediterranean-style cafes which are otherwise typical for the whole of southern Europe radiate style and incredible charm. The city-state has indeed flawless infrastructure and everything is neat in the smallest details.
The most shining and rich district of Monaco is Monte Carlo. Here every year is held the racing of Formula1. In Monte Carlo is also one of the biggest attractions of the Principality – the palace of the royal family.
The most of the Monaco’s streets are narrow, steep and make very sharp turns. The reason is that the Principality is situated in a very steep area where the mountains descend to the waters of the Mediterranean.
In Monaco there are almost no houses and the reason is the extremely limited living space. By contrast, most people live in luxury apartment buildings whose upper floors offer amazing panoramic views of the city.
Most of the buildings are painted in bright and pleasant nuances of pink, peach, yellow or beige. Unlike many other resorts in the world, everything here is built with a lot of style and no kitsch.
Attractions of Monaco
1. In the northern part of the small Mediterranean Principality you will find a small but very picturesque beach. Its name is Larvotto, and there is no need to mention that it is very beautiful – it is enough to say only that Monaco is a part of the French Riviera.
Standing on the beach, you are in the lowest part of Monaco and the view that reveals to you is even more impressive. Before your eyes rise very large and luxurious residential buildings, and behind them rise the mountains of Seaside Alps.
Sometimes the beach enjoys the sun shining while the mountain slopes surrounding the Monaco of the north are covered with clouds.
2. One of the biggest attractions of the Principality is Casino Monte Carlo. It was opened in 1878 and since then is a symbol of luxury, wealth and extravagance. It is one of the best in the world.
It is located in the eponymous district of Monte Carlo, which is the most expensive and elite in Monaco. The building itself is a real masterpiece. It is the work of French architect Charles Garnier.
The casino is richly decorated and the entire facade radiates aristocratic. Opposite the casino there is gorgeous garden with palm trees, exotic flowers and numerous fountains.
3. Royal Palace in Monaco is one of the biggest attractions. It is situated on a rock on the coast of the Mediterranean. Besides one of the largest Mediterranean tourist attractions, it is also the place where lived the royal family – Grimaldi.
The palace dates from the 12th century, and its lighter tones create a feeling of friendliness and aristocracy.
4. It would be craziness if you miss visiting the Monaco Cathedral (Cathedrale de Monaco). This is the largest Christian church in the country.
This architectural gem was built in 1875. Special festive liturgies are served on 27 January and 19 November.
5. Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is world famous. It is situated on the rocks on the shore of the Mediterranean. Even before you go inside you realize that this museum is special.
In front of the building you will see the submarine of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Here you will find the largest aquarium of the Mediterranean.
6. Do not miss the Larvotto. This is an underwater national park that is located in the northern part of the Principality of Monaco. If you’re lover of the underwater adventures you could be pretty impressed by the flora and fauna. The underwater world of the Mediterranean Sea is very rich and picturesque.
7. As we talk about nature, we can not overlook and Japanese garden. Like everything else in Monaco, it was built with great taste. The garden is a wonderful place to relax surrounded by carefully maintained greenness and under the shade of Japanese-style trees.
You will feel the magic of nature only a few steps from the modern high buildings of Monaco and at the same time just a few meters away from the Mediterranean Sea.
Formula 1 in Monaco. Formula 1 is the most prestigious motor race in the world. Races are held in many countries and one of them is Monaco. Host of the championship is the most prestigious city of the Principality – Monte Carlo.
The route in Monaco is the shortest of all the other tracks, but its extreme complexity makes it crucial in the championship. The length of a circumference is 3370 meters.
Grand Prix of Monaco is held in late May or early June. Because of the smaller length, the pilots in Monaco make 78 laps – more than in any other countries.
Personal security in Monaco. There is hardly to find any other place on our planet, with higher level of security in comparison with Monaco.
The small Mediterranean Principality can boasts with the fact that there is the highest number of policemen per capita in the world. In Monaco you can go at any time and any place without worry that you will be attacked or robbed.
When to visit Monaco? June, July, August and September are the best months for tourism in Monaco. This is the main tourist season here.
In May and October, daily temperatures are also very nice and usually not less than 20°C, so if you want to avoid the crowds of tourists you could pick one of these two months. During winter months the weather is mild and humid.
In general, daytime temperatures below 10°C here are very rare. However during the winter months often appear strong winds, called Mistral, which can make your stay out quite unpleasant.
What clothes to wear in Monaco? From June to September summer clothes are required. If you worry about the weather you can take a light coat or jacket. In May and October is better to wear both – spring and summer clothes.
If you travel to Monaco in the period from November to April, bring your winter clothes consistent with the local climate. Avoid too warm clothes. Sweater and a not very thick jacket are absolutely enough.