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Monaco travel guide - Travel S helper

Monaco

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Monaco is a sovereign city-state and microstate in Western Europe, situated on the French Riviera. France encircles the nation on three sides and shares a border with the Mediterranean Sea on the fourth. Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi) and has a population of about 37,800; it is the world’s second smallest and densestly inhabited nation. Monaco has a land boundary of 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles), a coastline of 4.1 kilometers (2.5 miles), and a breadth ranging from 1,700 to 349 meters (1,859 and 382 yd). The country’s highest point is 161 metres (528 feet) above sea level, on the slopes of Mont Agel in the Les Révoires Ward.

Monte Carlo is Monaco’s most populated Quartier, whereas Larvotto/Bas Moulins is its most populous Ward. Monaco’s land mass has increased by 20% as a result of land reclamation. Monaco, despite its little size, is very ancient and well-known, particularly for its position as a playground for the wealthy and famous, who serve as a spectacle for visitors and an economic engine for the Mediterranean. In 2014, it was estimated that about 30% of the population was millionaires, comparable to Zürich or Geneva.

Monaco is a principality administered by a type of constitutional monarchy under the leadership of Prince Albert II. Despite the fact that Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he has enormous political influence. Since 1297, the House of Grimaldi has governed Monaco with short intervals. Although French is the official language, Monégasque, Italian, and English are commonly spoken and understood. Monaco’s sovereignty was formally acknowledged in 1861 by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty, with Monaco becoming a full voting member of the United Nations in 1993. Despite Monaco’s independence and distinct foreign policy, France is responsible for its defense. Monaco does, however, retain two minor military forces.

Economic growth was accelerated in the late nineteenth century with the establishment of the country’s first casino, Monte Carlo, and the establishment of a railway link to Paris. Monaco’s warm temperature, magnificent landscape, and premium gaming facilities have all contributed to the principality’s reputation as a major tourist destination and leisure center for the wealthy and famous throughout the years. Monaco has developed into a significant financial center in recent years and has effectively diversified its economy towards services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting businesses. The state has no personal income tax, minimal corporate taxes, and is well-known as a tax haven. It is also the site of the annual Monaco Grand Prix, one of Formula One’s original Grands Prix.

Monaco is not an official member of the European Union (EU), although it does participate in certain EU regulations, such as customs and border controls. Monaco utilizes the euro as its only currency as a result of its connection with France (before, it used the Monégasque franc). Monaco became a member of the Council of Europe in 2004. It is a member of the Francophonie Internationale Organisation (OIF).

TOURISM

The principality of Monaco, or the city-state Monaco, is located between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, bordered to the east and west by the French Riviera, with the Italian Riviera just a few kilometers to the east.

This is the world’s second-smallest sovereign state (after the Vatican) and is nearly completely urban. Monte Carlo is a government district, not the capital of Monaco. Monaco-Ville (the ancient city), the Condamine (the port district), Monte-Carlo (business and leisure), and Fontvieille are the four regions of the nation (recreation and light industry). With no natural resources to exploit apart from its position and temperature, the principality has evolved into a tourist destination and a tax shelter for companies. Monaco is six times the size of the Vatican and the most densely inhabited nation on the planet. While its boundaries have not changed since 1861 (when it de jure lost more than 80% of its territory to France), Monaco has continued to expand its territory by constructing artificial land from the sea, which is how the Fontvielle region came to be.

If your bank account allows it, try your luck at the Grand Casino and gamble alongside the world’s wealthiest and frequently most famous people. You’ll need your passport to enter (Monégasque nationals are not permitted to gamble at the casino), and entrance costs vary greatly depending on which room you visit – frequently ranging from 30€ to hundreds of euros. You may also go to the casino without playing for a little charge. Inside, the dress code is very strict: males must wear jackets and ties, and casual or ‘tennis’ shoes are not permitted. The game rooms themselves are breathtaking, with stained glass, paintings, and sculptures adorning every surface. In Monte Carlo, there are two additional Americanized casinos. There is no entrance charge for either of these, and the dress code is more relaxed.

The most well-known Formula One Grand Prix is held on the streets of Monaco. It is also one of Europe’s most important social events of the year. Every year, the Automobile Club of Monaco hosts this magnificent Formula 1 event. The Grand Prix lasts 78 circuits through Monte Carlo’s most tight and twisty streets. The closeness of the fast Formula One vehicles to the race fans is the primary draw of the Monaco Grand Prix. The thrill of roaring engines, burning tires, and desperate drivers adds to the excitement of the Monaco Grand Prix, making it one of the most thrilling races in the world. More than 3,000 tickets are available for purchase on the circuit, with prices ranging from 90€ to more than 500€. Monaco residents often rent out their terraces for the four-day festival, with rates ranging from 8000€ to 140,000€. During the off season, you may stroll around the circuit. The path is well indicated on tourist office maps, but believers won’t need them! Those who can afford it may also take a trip around the track in a high-performance vehicle.
Aquavision: Explore Monaco from the water on this exciting boat trip! The “Aquavision” is a catamaran-style boat with two underwater vision windows in the hull, enabling passengers to explore the natural bottom of the coast in a unique manner. The boat can transport up to 120 passengers on a single trip. Adults pay 11€, while children and students between the ages of 3 and 18 pay 8€.
The Azur Express is a fun tourist train that makes daily excursions around Monaco. The Monaco Port, Monte-Carlo and its Palaces, the renowned Casino and its gardens, the Old Town for City Hall, and lastly the royal Prince’s Palace will be visited. The commentary is available in English, Italian, German, and French. This pleasant trip lasts about 30 minutes and costs 6€; children under the age of 5 ride free.

In the summer, Monte-Carlo comes alive with spectacular performances at the elite Monte-Carlo Sporting Club. Among those who have performed at the club have been Natalie Cole, Andrea Bocelli, the Beach Boys, Lionel Richie, and Julio Inglesias. The club also has a tiny casino with basic casino games. The cost per person is 20€ if no one under the age of 18 is present.

CLIMATE

Monaco has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate that is affected by both the oceanic and humid subtropical climates. As a consequence, it has hot, dry summers and moderate, wet winters. Cool and wet interludes may break up the dry summer season, which is also shorter on average. Summer afternoons are seldom hot (temperatures over 30 °C or 86 °F are uncommon) since the atmosphere is moderate due to continuous sea breezes. The evenings, on the other hand, are extremely pleasant owing to the relatively high temperature of the sea in July. Temperatures seldom fall below 20 °C (68 °F) throughout this season. Frosts and snowfalls are very uncommon in the winter, occurring just once or twice every 10 years.

GEOGRAPHY

Monaco is a sovereign city-state on the French Riviera in Western Europe, comprising 5 Quartiers and 10 Wards. It is bounded on three sides by France’s Alpes-Maritimes département, with one side touching the Mediterranean Sea. Its center is about 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) from Italy and just 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) northeast of Nice, France. Monaco is the world’s second smallest and most densely inhabited nation, with an area of 2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi) or 202 hectares (500 acres) with a population of 36,371. The nation has a land boundary of just 4.4 km (2.7 mi), a coastline of 4.1 km (2.5 mi), a marine claim of 22.2 km (13.8 mi), and a breadth ranging from 1,700 to 349 m. (5,577 and 1,145 ft).

At 164.4 metres (539 feet) above sea level, the entrance to the Patio Palace residential building (Jardin Exotique area) from the D6007 (Moyenne Corniche street) is the highest point in the nation. The Mediterranean Sea is the country’s lowest point. Saint-Jean is the longest flowing body of water, measuring about 0.19 km (0.12 miles), while Fontvieille is the biggest lake, at approximately 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres). The most populous Quartier in Monaco is Monte Carlo, while the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins. Monaco’s total area has increased to 2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi) or 202 hectares (500 acres) following the recent expansion of Port Hercules; as a result, new plans have been approved to extend the district of Fontvieille by 0.08 km2 (0.031 sq mi) or 8 hectares (20 acres) using land reclaimed from the Mediterranean Sea. Extending the Fontvieille district is one of the current land reclamation initiatives. Monaco has two ports: Hercules and Port Fontvieille. Monaco’s sole natural resource is fishing; since virtually the whole nation is urban, Monaco lacks any commercial agricultural sector. Near Monaco, there is a nearby French port named Cap d’Ail.

ECONOMY

Monaco has the world’s second highest GDP nominal per capita of US$153,177, GDP PPP per capita of $132,571, and GNP per capita of $183,150. It also has a 2% unemployment rate, with over 48,000 employees commuting daily from France and Italy. Monaco has the world’s lowest poverty rate and the greatest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita, according to the CIA World Factbook. Monaco was the world’s most expensive real estate market in 2012 for the fourth year in a row, at $58,300 per square metre.

Tourism is one of Monaco’s major sources of revenue. Every year, a large number of foreigners are drawn to its casino (where residents are prohibited access) and nice temperature. It has also developed into a significant banking hub, with over €100 billion in assets under management. The principality has been successful in diversifying its economic basis by focusing on services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting businesses such as cosmetics and biothermics.

The government maintains monopolies in a number of industries, notably tobacco and the postal service. The state used to control the whole telephone network (Monaco Telecom); it currently owns just 45 percent, with the remaining 55 percent held by both Cable & Wireless Communications (49 percent) and Compagnie Monégasque de Banque (6 percent ). It is, however, still a monopoly. The quality of living is excellent, approximately equivalent to that of wealthy French urban regions.

Monaco does not belong to the European Union. It is, nevertheless, extremely tightly connected to France through a customs union, and as such, its currency, the euro, is the same as that of France. Monaco used to manufacture its own coins, the Monegasque franc, until 2002. Monaco has obtained the authority to manufacture euro coins featuring Monegasque patterns on the reverse.

GAMBLING INDUSTRY

During Florestan I’s rule in 1846, a casino gambling scheme was proposed. However, under Louis-petite-bourgeoisregime, Philippe’s a dignitary like as the Prince of Monaco was not permitted to own a gaming establishment. All of this altered under Napoleon III’s dissolute Second French Empire. The House of Grimaldi was desperate for funds. The cities of Menton and Roquebrune, which had been the Grimaldi family’s primary sources of wealth for generations, had become used to a considerably better quality of life and liberal taxation as a result of Sardinian involvement and clamoured for financial and political concession, even independence. The Grimaldi family believed that the newly legal business would help them overcome their problems, particularly the heavy debt they had acquired, but Monaco’s first casino would not open until after Charles III inherited the king in 1856.

The grantee of the princely concession (licensed) was unable to attract enough business to maintain the enterprise and sold the concession to French casino magnates François and Louis Blanc for 1.7 million francs after moving the casino numerous times. The Blancs had previously established a very profitable casino (the biggest in Europe) in Bad-Homburg, a tiny German principality similar to Monaco, and immediately petitioned Charles III to rename a poor coastal region known as “Les Spelegures (Den of Thieves)” to “Monte Carlo (Mount Charles).” They subsequently built their casino in the newly renamed “Monte Carlo” and cleaned away the area’s less-than-savory features to make the neighborhood around the business more tourist-friendly.

In 1858, the Blancs constructed Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo, which profited from the tourist traffic generated by the newly developed French railway system. Monaco ultimately recovered from the preceding half-century of economic depression thanks to the combination of the casino and the railways, and the principality’s prosperity attracted new companies. Monaco established the Oceanographic Museum and the Monte Carlo Opera House in the years after the casino’s inauguration, 46 hotels were constructed, and the number of jewelers working in Monaco almost five-folded. By 1869, the casino was generating so much money that the principality could afford to stop collecting taxes from the Monegasques – a brilliant move that would draw wealthy people from all across Europe.

Today, the Société des bains de mer de Monaco, which controls Le Grand Casino, continues to operate in the same structure that the Blancs built and has been joined by many additional casinos, including the Le Casino Café de Paris, the Monte Carlo Sporting Club & Casino, and the Sun Casino. The Monte Carlo Bay Casino, which lies on 4 hectares of the Mediterranean Sea and, among other things, features 145 slot machines, all equipped with “ticket-in, ticket-out” (TITO); it is the first Mediterranean casino to utilize this technology.

TAXES

Some have attempted to utilize Monaco as a “tax haven” from their own nation’s taxes, owing to the fact that Monaco, as an independent country, is not required to pay taxes to other countries. Individuals in Monaco are not liable to income tax, subject to certain circumstances. The absence of a personal income tax in the principality has drawn a significant 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 the most attention, but the vast majority are lesser-known business people. The no-personal-income-tax provision does not apply to French citizens.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published its first study on the financial systems of tax havens in 1998. Monaco did not appear on this list until 2004, when the OECD became outraged with the Monegasque situation and denounced it in its most recent report, along with Andorra, Liechtenstein, Liberia, and the Marshall Islands, emphasizing its lack of cooperation regarding financial information disclosure and availability.

In 2000, a report by French parliamentarians Arnaud Montebourg and Vincent Peillon claimed that Monaco had relaxed money laundering policies, including within its famed casino, and that the government of Monaco had placed political pressure on the judiciary, resulting in alleged crimes not being properly investigated.

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) said in 2000: “Monaco has a robust anti-money laundering system. However, nations involved in international investigations into severe crimes that seem to be connected to tax issues have run into complications with Monaco. Furthermore, the FIU of Monaco (SICCFIN) is severely under-resourced. Monaco’s government have indicated that they would give SICCFIN with more resources.” The Principality, along with all other jurisdictions, is no longer implicated in the 2005 FATF report. However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has designated Monaco, along with 36 other territories, as a tax haven since 2003.

The Council of Europe also agreed to publish studies that identify tax havens. Thus, twenty-two territories, including Monaco, were assessed in the first round between 1998 and 2000. Monaco was the only territory that declined to carry out the second round, which was scheduled to take place between 2001 and 2003, while the other 21 territories intended to carry out the third and final round, which was scheduled to take place between 2005 and 2007.

Monaco imposes hefty social insurance levies on both businesses and workers. Employers contribute between 28 percent and 40 percent (on average 35 percent) of gross income plus benefits, with workers contributing an additional 10 percent to 14 percent (averaging 13 percent ).

SUBDIVISIONS

Monaco is the world’s second-smallest nation in terms of land area, behind Vatican City. Monaco is both the world’s second smallest monarchy and the world’s most densely inhabited nation. There is just one municipality in the state (commune). Although there is no geographical difference between the State and City of Monaco, the duties of the government (at the state level) and the municipality (at the city level) are separate. The principality was split into three municipalities under the 1911 constitution:

  • Monaco-Ville, the ancient city perched on a rocky outcropping jutting into the Mediterranean known as the Rock of Monaco, or simply “The Rock”;
  • Monte Carlo is the main residential and resort district, with the Monte Carlo Casino to the east and northeast.
  • La Condamine is the southwestern part of the island, which includes the port town of Port Hercules.

After allegations that the government was working on the slogan “divide and conquer,” the municipalities were combined into one in 1917, and they were given the status of Wards or Quartiers afterwards.

  • Fontvieille, a newly constructed area claimed from the sea in the 1970s, was added as a fourth ward;
  • Moneghetti became the fifth ward, created from part of La Condamine;
  • Larvotto became the sixth ward, created from part of Monte Carlo; and
  • La Rousse/Saint Roman (including Le Ténao) became the seventh ward, also created from part of Monte Carlo.

As a result, three new wards were established:

  • Saint Michel was formed from a portion of Monte Carlo;
  • La Colle was made from a portion of La Condamine; and
  • Les Révoires was also created from a portion of La Condamine.

An extra ward was scheduled to be inhabited by fresh land reclamation starting in 2014, however Prince Albert II stated in his 2009 New Year Speech that he had canceled preparations owing to the present economic environment. However, Prince Albert II firmly resumed the initiative in mid-2010. Anse du Portier, a new development, was announced in 2015.

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