Travel guide to Monaco

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» Monaco
On the French Riviera lies the fascinating and enchanting principality of Monaco. This two square kilometre miniature state is a playground for the world's jetsetters - and for the rich and famous who come here both to see and to be seen.

Facts

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Local name
Principaute de Monaco
Capital
Monaco
Size
1.95 km2
Principal Languages
French
Principal Religion
Catholicism
Inhabitants
31.693 (2000)
Government
Constitutional monarchy
Geography
Monaco is the second smallest state in Europe after the Vatican. It is beautifully situated on the French coast of the Mediterranean just a few kilometres from the Italian boarder. The country consists of a narrow stone covered coastline that is approximately two kilometres long and a half a kilometre wide.

Travel preparation

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Best time to visit

Monaco has over 300 sunny days a year, and the climate is mild, so you can basically go there all year around. The principality is overrun with tourists between June and August, and it is usually very warm during this period. For those who are interested in motoring it is worth mentioning that Monaco has its Formal One Grand-Prix in May and its classic car rally in January.

Literature

Inside Monaco

Local conditions

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Currency

French franc (F), 1 franc = 100 centimes

Net cafes

There is only one Internet café in Monaco.

In case of emergency

To call for help in an emergency you must dial the following numbers: Ambulance and fire department (93 30 19 45 - 18) Police (93 15 30 15 - 17)

Tipping

Hotels and restaurants normally include 15 % on the bill. If this is not the case then it is customary to add 15% as a tip. Taxi drivers also usually get 15%.

Timezone

When it is 12:00 in England it is 13:00 in Monaco.

Weight and Measures

In Monaco the following weight and measure schemes are used: Weight: kilo Length: metre Fluids: litre

Photography

When taking pictures it is important to be careful of the many prohibitions that are listed on signs everywhere. For example you might risk being arrested for using a tripod in the wrong area.

Drinking water

You can drink the tap water, but it has an aftertaste of chlorine and can give you stomach problems. Instead it is recommended that you drink bottled water the first couple of weeks of your trip.

Electricity

220V, 50Hz

Behaviour

During the day it is acceptable to wear casual clothing, but upon entering the fashionable restaurants, clubs, and casinos a different dress code is required. A handshake and a kiss on each cheek is the normal way of greeting one another, and in addition smoking is not acceptable while dining.

Business Hours

Shops are open from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 15:00 to 18:30 (Monday-Saturday). Office hours are from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 (Monday-Friday). Banks are open from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00 (Monday-Friday).

Food and drink

The Monacan restaurants offer a large variety of dishes that are hardly distinguishable from those you will find in France. Of the local dinner dishes these are worth mentioning: barbagiuan, fougasse, socca, and stokafi. In Monaco wine is the main beverage at meals.

Disabled travellers

Monaco has 12 public wheelchair lifts that take people up and down the stone covered rocky slopes. Furthermore, most hotels have lifts.

Holidays

New Year's Day, January 1st St Dévote's day, January 27th May 1st The Virgin Mary's Ascension Day, August 15th All Saints Day, November 1st National Day, November 18th - 19th The Day of The Immaculate Conception, December 8th Christmas Eve, December 24th Christmas Day, December 25th Alternating Holidays Easter Monday, March or April Christ's Ascension Day, March or April Whit Monday, May or June Corpus Christi, May of June

Accommodation / Hotel

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Hotels

The Monacan hotels are split into 5 categories. The first four have been given one to four stars while the last and most expensive ones have been described as four-star deluxe-hotels. There are 19 hotels in the principality whereof four are in the most expensive category.

Bed og breakfast or guesthouse

In Monaco you can rent so-called self-catering houses that have kitchen facilities, so you can prepare your own food.

Hostels

There is one youth hostel in Monaco. In the peak season there is a limit to how many days you can stay there, and it can be the case that the limit is one day.

Local transport

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Planes

There are no domestic flights in the area. But it is possible to rent a helicopter that can fly you around, but it is a very costly affair.

Bus

Monaco has six permanent bus routes that cover the whole miniature state. If you are out later than 21:00 it is necessary to take a taxi home.

Trains

There are no domestic trains in Monaco.

Taxi

Taxi-cabs in Monaco are quite expensive and not really worth it in light of the fact that everything is within walking distance. Two large taxi ranks ensure that you easily can get a taxi. There is one by the casino and the other is by the train station. Furthermore, there are four smaller taxi ranks by: Place des Moulins, Avenue de la Costa, Fontvieille, and Beach Plaza. If you are arriving at the airport in Nice alone and will be continuing to Monaco then it is cheaper to take a five-seat helicopter than it is to take a taxi!

Car rental

You can rent both ordinary cars and limousines in Monaco. Moreover you can also rent boats, yachts, and bicycles.

Boat or Ferry

The two large harbours in Monaco are La Condamine at Monte Carlo and Fontvieille in the southern part of the principality. There is room for both yachts and luxury liners.

Other Transport

The miniature state has two helicopter companies which take passengers from the airport in Nice to Monaco

Special conditions

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Security in Monaco is very high and there are surveillance cameras and police everywhere. For example you risk receiving a fine if you walk barefoot in the old town. It is therefore important that you read the warning signs thoroughly whilst in Monaco.

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