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Moving to Monaco

Many expats moving to Monaco expect nothing but a playground for the rich and famous. While this aspect of the country is certainly at the forefront of its culture, it is also possible to live a 'normal' middle-class existence. Whether expats are moving to Monaco to start a business, retire in a peaceful countryside or work in the luxury industry, Monaco has a lot to offer.

Monaco has long been an attractive destination for those seeking a life of luxurious living. Its temperate Mediterranean climate and favourable income tax laws have meant that the state has become a haven for businesses and the super-rich.

The economy is largely based on tourism and luxury living. Golf courses, stunning beaches, yachting, ski resorts and an abundance of international cultural and sporting events occur all year round. The famous casino of Monte Carlo attracts many tourists each year.

Monaco covers just less than two square kilometres and is almost entirely urban, squeezed into a strip between the Mediterranean and French mountains across the border. Walking is by far the easiest way to get around, but expats can also rely on taxis or the extensive bus system.

Although it has been ruled almost without interruption by the House of Grimaldi for 700 years, the state is surrounded by France and has similar laws and culture. Expats from all over Europe and the US intermingle with the local population to create a very international, cosmopolitan nation and cultural experience. Although French is the official language, expats will hear other languages like English and German spoken widely throughout Monaco.

Expats might be pleasantly surprised to know that the cost of living is not as high as the state’s reputation for grandeur might lead one to expect; although it is possible to spend astronomical amounts of money in Monaco’s high-end fashion boutiques, restaurants and casino, the price of day-to-day goods and services is comparable to large French cities like Paris.

For those expats moving to Monaco with a family, the state has a selection of French-speaking state schools and a private international school, which is very popular with the expat community.

Essential Info for Monaco

Population: About 30,000

Capital city: Monaco

Geography:  Monaco is a sovereign city-state located on the French Riviera. It is bordered by France's Alps on three sides, with one side bordering the Mediterranean Sea. 

Political system: Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy.

Major religion: Catholicism

Main language: French

Time: GMT+1 (GMT+2 from late March to late October)

Currency: Euro (EUR) which is divided into 100 cents. ATMs are readily available throughout Monaco and major credit cards are accepted in most places.

Tipping: Prices in Monaco often include a service charge. In cases where it is not, one should tip about 10 to 15 percent. 

Electricity: 230 volts, 50 Hz. Plugs with two round pins are used.

International dialing code: +377

Internet domain: .mc

Emergency numbers: 17 (police), 18 (ambulance and fire). The general emergency number for the EU is 112 and is also in operation in Monaco. Monaco's emergency services are efficient and offer an extremely professional service in line with standards in Western Europe. 

Driving: Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road. Monaco has an extensive bus network which covers a large area. Boats and taxis are also good transport options. 

Public Holidays in Monaco




New Year's Day

1 January

1 January

Saint Dévote's Day

27 January

27 January

Easter Monday

22 April

13 April

Labour Day

1 May

1 May

Ascension Day

30 May

21 May

Whit Monday

10 June

1 June

Corpus Christi

20 June

11 June

Assumption Day

15 August

15 August

All Saints' Day

1 November

1 November

National Day

19 November

19 November

Immaculate Conception Day 

8 December

8 December

Christmas Day

25 December

25 December

*If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday becomes a holiday.