Monaco tourist information
Monaco is a sovereign city state on the CĂ´te d'Azur (French Riviera). It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about 16 km (9.9 mi) from Italy. Its area is 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi) with a population of 35,986 as of 2011. Monaco boasts the world's highest GDP nominal per capita at $151,630 and is the most densely populated country in the world. Monaco also has the world's highest life expectancy at almost 90 years, and the lowest unemployment rate. After a recent expansion of Port Hercule Monaco's total area is 2.05 km2 (0.79 sq mi), with new plans to extend the district of Fontvieille, with land reclaimed from the Mediterranean Sea.
Win up to CHF 200
Have you ever been to Monaco? For a living, vacation or on business? Sharing your experience about Monaco will help future visitors of Monaco to plan their stay! Now you can win up to CHF 200.00 every month by becoming a 4 Smart Tourist ™Advisor and writing down your authentic advise about Monaco.
be a advisor how to win
Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco since 1297, and the state's sovereignty was officially recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. Despite Monaco being independent and pursuing its own foreign policy course, its national defence is the responsibility of France.
Monaco is the second smallest country (by size) in the world; only the Vatican City is smaller. Monaco is also the world's second smallest monarchy, and is the most densely populated country in the world. The state consists of only one municipality (commune). There is no geographical distinction between the State and City of Monaco, although responsibilities of the government (state-level) and of the municipality (city-level) are different. According to the constitution of 1911, the principality was subdivided into three municipalities:
Monaco (Monaco-Ville), the old city on a rocky promontory extending into the Mediterranean, known as the Rock of Monaco, or simply Le Rocher (the Rock), where the palace is located; Monte Carlo, the principal residential and resort area with the Monte Carlo Casino in the east and northeast; La Condamine, the southwestern section including the port area, Port Hercule.
The municipalities were merged into one in 1917, after accusations that the government was acting according to the motto "divide and conquer," and they were accorded the status of wards (quartiers) thereafter.
Fontvieille was added as fourth ward, a newly constructed area reclaimed from the sea (in the 1970s) also a new district inside of Fontvieille is planned; Moneghetti became the fifth ward, created from a part of La Condamine; Larvotto became the sixth ward, created from a part of Monte Carlo; La Rousse/Saint Roman (including Le TĂ©nao) became the seventh ward, also created from a part of Monte Carlo.
One of Monaco's main sources of income is tourism; each year many are attracted to its casino and pleasant climate. Monaco's own citizens are not allowed to gamble in the casino. In 2001, a major new construction project extended the pier used by cruise ships in the main harbour. The principality has successfully sought to diversify into services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries, such as cosmetics and biothermics.
The state retains monopolies in numerous sectors, including tobacco and the postal service. The telephone network (Monaco Telecom) used to be fully owned by the state; it now owns only 45%, while the remaining 55% is owned by both Cable & Wireless Communications (49%) and Compagnie MonĂ©gasque de Banque (6%). It is still, however, a monopoly. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas.
Monaco is not a member of the European Union. However, it is very closely linked via a customs union with France, and as such, its currency is the same as that of France, the euro. Before 2002, Monaco minted its own coins, the Monegasque franc. Monaco has acquired the right to mint euro coins with Monegasque designs on its national side.
The plan for casino gambling was mooted during the reign of Florestan I in 1846. Under Louis-Philippe's petite-bourgeois regime, however, a dignitary such as Prince of Monaco was not allowed to operate a gambling house. All this changed in the dissolute Second Empire under Napoleon III. The House of Grimaldi was in dire need to generate cash. Menton and Roquebrune, which had been main source of income for the Grimaldis for centuries, now accustomed to much improved standard of living and lenient taxation thanks to Sardinian intervention, clamoured for financial and political concession, even for separation. The Grimaldis hoped the newly legal industry would help alleviate the difficulties they faced, above all the crushing debt the family had incurred, but Monaco's first casino would not be ready to operate until after Charles III assumed the throne in 1856.
The grantee of the princely concession (license) was unable to attract enough business to sustain the operation and, after relocating the casino several times, sold the concession to French casino magnates FranĂ§ois and Louis Blanc for 1.7 million francs. The Blancs had already set up a highly successful casino(in fact the biggest in Europe)in Bad-Homburg in the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Homburg, a small German principality comparable to Monaco, and quickly petitioned Charles III to rename a depressed seaside area known as "Les Spelegures (Den of Thieves)". "Monte Carlo (Mount Charles)." They then constructed their casino in the newly dubbed "Monte Carlo" and cleared out the area's less-than-savory elements to make the neighborhood surrounding the establishment more conducive to tourism.
The Blancs opened Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo in 1858, and the casino benefited from the tourist traffic the newly built French railway system created. Due to the combination of the casino and the railroads, Monaco finally recovered from the previous half century of economic slump, and the principality's success attracted other businesses. In the years following the casino's opening Monaco founded its Oceanographic Museum and the Monte Carlo Opera House, 46 hotels sprang up and the number of jewellers operating in Monaco increased by nearly 500 percent. By 1869, the casino was making such a vast sum of money that the principality could afford not to collect tax from the Monegasques; a master stroke that was to attract affluent residents from all over Europe.
Today, Le Grand Casino still operates in the original building the Blancs constructed and has been joined by several other casinos, including Le Casino CafĂ© de Paris, the Monte Carlo Bay Casino, the Monte Carlo Sporting Club & Casino (Summer Casino) and the Sun Casino. The most recent addition to the listâ€”the first casino to open in Monte Carlo in 75 yearsâ€”is the Monte Carlo Bay Casino, which sits on 4 hectares of the Mediterranean Garden and, among other things, offers 145 slot machines, all equipped with "Ticket-In, Ticket-Out" (TITO); it is the first Mediterranean casino to utilize this technology.
Monaco levies no income tax on individuals. The absence of a personal income tax in the principality has attracted to it a considerable number of wealthy "tax refugee" residents from European countries who derive the majority of their income from activity outside Monaco; celebrities such as Formula One drivers attract most of the attention, but the vast majority of them are less well-known business people.. This applies to all residents of Monaco of any nationality except French citizens whose residency started after 1957. These French citizens still must pay French income tax.
In 1998, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued a first report on the consequences of the tax havens' financial systems. Monaco did not appear in the list of these territories until 2004, when OECD became indignant regarding the Monegasque situation and denounced it in its last report, as well as Andorra, Liechtenstein, Liberia and the Marshall Islands, underlining its lack of co-operation as regards financial information disclosure and availability.
In 2000, a report by the French parliamentarians, Arnaud Montebourg and Vincent Peillon, alleged that Monaco had lax policies with respect to money laundering, including within its famed casino, and that the government of Monaco had been placing political pressure on the judiciary, so that alleged crimes were not being properly investigated.
In 2000, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) stated: "The anti-money laundering system in Monaco is comprehensive. However, difficulties have been encountered with Monaco by countries in international investigations on serious crimes that appear to be linked also with tax matters. In addition, the FIU of Monaco (SICCFIN) suffers a great lack of adequate resources. The authorities of Monaco have stated that they will provide additional resources to SICCFIN." The Principality is no longer blamed in the 2005 FATF report, as well as all other territories. However, since 2003, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has identified Monaco, along with 36 other territories, as a tax haven.
The Council of Europe also decided to issue reports naming tax havens. Twenty-two territories, including Monaco, were thus evaluated between 1998 and 2000 on a first round. Monaco is the only territory that refuses to perform the second round, initially forecast between 2001 and 2003, whereas the 21 other territories are implementing the third and last round, planned between 2005 and 2007.
However, Monaco has high social insurance taxes payable by both employer and employee. The employer's contribution is between 28%â€“40% (averaging 35%) of gross salary including benefits and the employee pays a further 10%â€“14% (averaging 13%).
Monaco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (KĂ¶ppen climate classification: Csa), which is influenced by the oceanic climate and the humid subtropical climate.
As a result, it has warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Cool and rainy interludes can interrupt the dry summer season, the average length of which is also shorter. Summer afternoons are infrequently hot (indeed, temperatures > 30 Â°C /86 Â°F are rare) as the atmosphere is tempered by constant sea breezes. On the other hand, the nights are very mild, this being due to the fairly high temperature of the sea in summer. Generally, temperatures do not drop below 20 Â°C in this season. In winter, frosts and snowfalls are extremely rare, generally occurring once or twice every ten years.
Monaco is served by several train systems and the Monte Carlo International Heliport. The closest airport is CĂ´te d'Azur Airport in Nice, France. Some airlines marketed Monaco via Nice Airport.