Living in Monaco – Local Info

Language & Currency

Language

The official language of Monaco is French. However, English is the second most spoken language and Italian is also widely spoken. The Italian community makes up nearly one-fifth of the population in the principality, while the British make up roughly ten per cent. Speakers of Monegasque and Occitan, two languages native to Monaco, are also well represented.

Currency

The local currency in the principality is the Euro.

Climate

Climate

A real plus for Monaco is its fabulous micro-climate, generally three to four degrees warmer than elsewhere on the Riviera. Every summer here is warm without being too hot, thanks, in part, to the gentle sea breezes that come ashore around its four kilometres of stunning coastline. The principality’s average daily temperatures only vary by thirteen or fourteen degrees over the course of a year, ranging from an average high of twenty–four to twenty-six degrees in July and August, to an average low of eight to ten degrees in January and February. The average rainfall is only seventy-seven centimetres per year, usually spread over only sixty days, and these more likely to be during the cooler months of winter. This, of course, leaves more than three hundred days of glorious weather with over two thousand-five hundred hours of sunshine every year. A long-lasting tan is always on the cards!

Travel

Getting to and from Monaco is very straightforward as it is only twenty-four kilometres away from Nice International Airport, from where you can easily rent a car or simply take a seven-minute helicopter ride that will drop you at the principality’s Heliport situated on the sea-front in the district of Fontvieille. There are plenty of flights every day with transfers every fifteen minutes between eight a.m. and eight p.m., other destinations, for example glamorous Cannes or St. Tropez to the south, or Italy and the ski resorts to the north, can be accommodated at the heliport on request.

The principality’s railway station, the Gare de Monaco-Monte Carlo, is located in the north central Les Moneghetti district. Extensively rebuilt at the end of the last century, it is only a pleasant thirty-minute train-journey from glamorous Cannes. The Italian border is half an hour’s gentle drive to the north along a stunning coastal road that has outstanding views over the clear-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Portofino is only an hour away, Milano only three hours, and you can even reach Geneva in just over five hours. For those that enjoy the winter alpine experience the ski resort of Limone can be reached in an hour and a half, and a short trip by helicopter will get you to Courcheval. You really are at the heart of Europe when you are in Monaco.

If you are a frequent traveler to Monaco, might as well buy your own holiday apartment. Choose from our prime selection of apartments for sale in Monaco.

Schools

Families wishing to make the move to the principality will be interested to hear that there is an excellent choice of schools from nursery right up to university. Resident’s children must attend school from the ages of six to sixteen years, the school year starting every September and running through three terms. The children of the wealthier residents in Monaco grow up alongside the local children giving them a wonderfully balanced upbringing. The schools here are all extremely safe and educational standards here are very high. Arguably the best school in the principality is the Lycee Albert I on Rue Emile de Loth in Monaco Ville, and the ‘International School of Monaco’ is especially popular with foreign residents who appreciate the fact that all children are educated bilingually, in both English and French.

Schools

Health

Monaco’s exceptional state-funded healthcare system, complete with highly trained medical staff and excellent facilities, is being expanded at this very moment in order to offer more specialised services. Most of the principality’s residents obtain their own private insurance, known as a ‘mutuelle’, to cover any services that are not covered under the state system.

Residents in need of hospital care are well looked after in Monaco. There is an outstanding general hospital, the Princess Grace, in the capital Monte Carlo, that is impressively provided with the very latest technology and all staff here are trained in the latest healthcare practices to provide an outstanding level of care.

Some of the world’s top surgeons practice in Monaco. Fantastic private-health practices and excellent dental clinics are widespread in the principality and there is also the excellent Monaco Cardio-Thoracic Centre.

Entertainment

For the more culturally inclined residents there is the chance to visit the Opera de Monte Carlo in the extravagant, palatial splendour of the Salle Garnier, part of the Monte Carlo Casino and restored in the manner of a Renaissance dream. It really is a special building and an incredible venue for the arts. As well as the opera performances one can also enjoy wonderful Jazz music here every autumn during the world renowned Monte Carlo Jazz Festival.

When you arrive as a new resident in Monaco you will find that it is very easy to meet people and make new connections in the relaxed and friendly atmosphere here. There are many vibrant clubs in which to meet, for example ‘Club des Résidents Etrangers de Monaco’, or ‘CREM’ on Avenue Princess Grace, who state: “Friendship, good fellowship and service” as the values of their club and will endeavour to make you feel right at home. You could try the exclusive Automobile club de Monaco with its wonderful restaurant; the aforementioned exclusive Yacht Club de Monaco, with sleek super-yachts on display at its moorings; or, if you are more musically inclined, you might want to try the Association des Amis de L’Opera Monte Carlo.

The ideal setting for any rendezvous in the principality is the Café de Paris, located on the Casino Square, wonderfully decorated in the style of an old Parisian bistro creating a vibrant and friendly atmosphere, especially in its legendary terrace bar. The Café de Paris is the best place on Earth to enjoy a Crêpe Suzette; they were invented here, quite by accident, at the end of the nineteenth century.

The Monaco Red Cross Ball features high on the list of social events in the principality. A charitable event held every year in the Salle des Etoiles at the Sporting Monte Carlo, the Red Cross Ball is a magnet for the wealthy and famous who attend year on year, making this one of the most glamorous events in the calendar.

The pastime most obviously associated with Monaco is gambling, and as you walk through the grand entrance from Casino Square and along the magnificent marble floor of the Atrium you will feel a tingle of excitement knowing that you are following the footsteps of legends into the magnificent opulence of the Monte Carlo Casino.

Dining

There are many wonderful places to eat in Monaco and many of the principality’s restaurants feature in the Michelin guide, but there are surely none finer than the highly acclaimed Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris in the Casino Square. The top-class menu is described as “modern and authentic” and it was the first hotel restaurant ever to receive three Michelin stars.

It is not just the lustrous sheen of the wonderful walnut wall panelling or the fantastic service given here that makes Cipriani restaurant special, the amazing Italian food on the menu has made it one of the most celebrated places to eat.

Mixing traditional Japanese dishes with typical Latin American flavours has been the trademark of the acclaimed Nobu Fairmont Monte Carlo where celebrity chef and owner, Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, has created some unique recipes that will make your dining experience here truly unforgettable.

Well deserving of its Michelin star, the Blue Bay in Monte Carlo is also recommended and the brilliant young chef, Marcel Raven, presents diners with a treat adding his own special Caribbean twist to the menu.

Recreation

There is always something to enjoy in Monaco. A great way to spend a warm summer’s afternoon is to take a stroll along the wonderful local beaches or to some of the local landmarks, such as stunning Cap d’Ail, just a short distance from the Fontvieille district to the south of the principality. A bit further south and you reach Mala Beach with its beautiful golden sands and clear waters, and Anjuna, the swinging private beach restaurant located in the bay of Èze. Èze itself is a beautiful medieval town with narrow cobbled streets, brightly coloured by the stunning purple bougainvillea that flow down the sides of its quaint old buildings. At five hundred metres above sea level Èze offers astonishing views of the surrounding countryside and out over the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean, and there are few better places to eat than the famous Chateau de la Chévre d’Or restaurant.

The principality has many amazing leisure facilities, including the celebrated Monte Carlo Beach Club on Avenue Princess Grace, offering opportunities to indulge in many different water-based activities such as Parasailing, Jet skiing, and Flyboarding. It also has its own private beach.

Just a few yards further along the Avenue, off the Promenade de Larvotto, you will find the celebrated Miami Plage with its great gym, renowned beach volleyball facilities, and its wide beach.

At nine hundred metres above sea level the Monte Carlo Golf Club must surely be one of the world’s most inspiring venues for a round of golf. It offers astonishing views of the principality and the wide blue Mediterranean beyond, and is only a short drive away from La Turbie among the rolling green hills close to Mont Agel.

Overlooking Avenue Princess Grace and the Monte Carlo Beach are the twenty-three tennis courts at the famous Monte Carlo Country Club, venue for the yearly ATP Rolex Masters Tennis Tournament. The complex also has excellent facilities for squash, snooker, swimming, and fitness training; as well as a relaxation and wellness area, pro-shop, and restaurants.

Recreation
Recreation 2

Relaxation

For those who enjoy a more tranquil time there are some amazing spa facilities in the principality. Perhaps best known is the much acclaimed Thermes Marins in Monte Carlo which offers an extremely high-tech, yet at the same time, totally relaxing experience. You can workout in the impressively appointed gym and then follow that up with a dip in the luxurious indoor swimming pool, or lay back and relax outside on the sun-drenched terrace with its wonderful view over the marina.

The new, Norman Foster designed, Monaco Yacht Club building exudes opulence and exclusivity; featuring marble bars, lustrous wooden decking, a fantastic swimming pool and fitness area, and two excellent restaurants. This highly esteemed members-only club is one of the world’s most famous maritime institutions.

Safety & Security

Safety & Security

Monaco has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, and, with one police officer for every one hundred residents, the principality has the largest police force, per capita, and per area, on the planet. All officers are armed and within the force there is a specialist marine unit that operates surveillance and patrol boats.

Surveillance in Monaco is prodigious, with twenty-four hour total coverage of the entire principality by video camera. More than six hundred cameras, some with facial recognition systems and number plate monitoring features, are being used to prevent criminal activities, making this the only place in Europe where women can wear all of their jewels, drive expensive cars, and feel totally safe.

Financial

Financial

Benefits
One of the most celebrated benefits of living in Monaco is the propitious tax regime enjoyed by all of its official residents, both foreign and Monégasque. The only exception being the treatment of French nationals resident in the principality who do have to pay personal income tax under French tax laws.

The principality is a full member of the UN and the Council of Europe, however, not a member of the European Union and, accordingly, not subject to European directives and legislation. This means that, with some exceptions, notably in regard to banking and insurance, Monaco carries out all of its own internal legislation. Monaco’s non-French residents, especially those with real estate investments, benefit from this fact in many ways; such as, no tax on wealth, income, property, capital gains on the resale of real estate (except VAT in some circumstances), or on rental income from unfurnished offices and apartments; and also estate duties that only apply in certain limited circumstances. These factors have a significant positive effect on the price of real estate in the principality.

Banking
Monaco’s many affluent residents are very well supported by wealth management and consultation services. There are many private banks of all categories incorporated in Monaco. For example: Banque J. Safra (Monaco), Barclays Wealth (Monaco), and many other major international financial institutions renowned for their extremely high standards of professionalism and also confidentiality, one of the guiding principles of Monaco’s banks.

Moving to Monaco

Our official Monaco realtor partner will be pleased to help facilitate each step of your moving process:

  • Obtaining Monaco residency cards
  • Registering your children in the international schools
  • Finding a lawyer
  • Finding the best private banks
  • Finding specialist tax consultants
  • Obtaining a Monaco driving licence
  • Registering a car
  • Engaging housekeeping services
  • Apply for membership at any of the principality’s many sporting clubs