Life in Monaco, the World’s Smallest French-Speaking Country

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Monaco is situated on the northern central coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the world’s most densely populated sovereign country. Its land border is on three sides with France, and it is less than 10 miles from Italy. Most of Monaco’s residents, about 84 percent, are from foreign countries and are wealthy. This is because Monaco is one of the only countries in the world that does not charge an income tax.

The Monte Carlo Casino resides in this country alongside the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium, Formula One Racing Events, the Princess Grace Rose Gardens and a host of five star hotels.

What is the cost of living in Monaco?

Basic utilities in Monaco will run you about $112 each month. A pair of name brand jeans is about $105, and a pair of Nikes runs $152. For a one bedroom apartment outside of the city center, you will pay $1,700 a month. A one way ticket using local transportation is $2.66. Groceries like fresh fruits and vegetables are a little pricier.

Since Monaco is a tax haven, one of the main sources of income is tourism. It is about 12 to 13 percent cheaper than the cost of living in New York City. Some French nationals may be subject to French income taxes. Generally, there are no property taxes or capital gains taxes, or levies for net wealth taxes.

What are some common facts about Monaco?

Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, after Vatican City. It is only 1.24 square miles in size. It takes an average person 56 minutes to walk the width of the entire country. Monaco is the name of the country but also its capital city, which is the only city in the country.

The country/city is known for its casino in Monte Carlo, as well as the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, an American actress. The casino only brings in five person of the country’s income, with tourism being the number one source of income.go living in monaco

What are some lesser known facts about Monaco?

Monaco has the same flag as the country of Indonesia but the Indonesian flag is wider. This is because the colors of the flag are the heraldic colors of the Grimaldi House, the oldest ruling house in Europe. People that are native to Monaco are known as Monegasque. If someone is a resident of Monaco but they are born in a foreign country, they are considered to be a Monacoian. The native Monegasques number about 6,000 and make up less than a fifth of Monaco’s population. The citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble or visit the casinos.

At least once a month, Monaco has an event. There are balls, concerts, sporting events, an international marathon and the Grand Prix. There are no airports in Monaco, so you must travel by train, yacht or helicopter. During the week, helicopter flights have only a 20 minute interval between them in Monaco’s heliport.

Monaco is home to 108 different nationalities so it’s diversified and there is plenty to do and see. It is possible to sightsee in Monaco on a budget. There are many things that you can even do for free, such as walking down the streets in the Old Town. The Old Town is one of five areas of Monaco. The Old Town or ‘old city’ is known as Monaco-Ville. The other four areas are the Condamine or port quarter, Monte-Carlo for business and recreation, Fontvieille for recreation and light industry, and Moneghetti, home to the Exotic Gardens.

Buying a property in Monaco

With property prices increasing by 6.1 percent in the first half of 2013, Monaco’s real estate market is growing by leaps and bounds, outpacing much of the rest of the world.

In fact, the Mediterranean principality is among the world’s most expensive real estate markets, thanks to its tiny size and limited development opportunities. Covering an area smaller than 2 square kilometers, Monaco is also economically stable.

Prior to the recent global recession, Monaco’s real estate prices climbed steadily. However, unlike many other locations throughout the globe, they did not fall much, at last not by comparison, when the international credit crunch struck.

Economists attribute Monaco’s resilience in part to its independence from the European Union, in which countries such as Greece and Italy continue to grapple with debt.

A popular resort on the border of France, Monaco is also a center of banking. In recent years, many new businesses focused on non-polluting industry have also sprung up there. It is a well-known tax haven for wealthy individuals throughout the world. A number of international businesses keep their headquarters in the principality.

Monaco also offers low taxations as well as a complete lack of income taxes for individuals. There are no capital gains or inheritance taxes related to real estate there either.

Living standards in Monaco are relatively high, comparable to those in France’s most prosperous metropolitan areas. It is known as an exclusive destination for those who enjoy sunning themselves along the Mediterranean coastline and gambling in high-end casinos.

While new real estate development is rare in Monaco, it is highly lucrative when it does occur. For example the Tour Odeon, a 50-story high rise offering large apartments to upscale buyers, is the largest apartment building to be constructed in Monaco since the 1980s.

Buyers paid $36.7 million, including fees, for a 4,600-square-foot apartment at the Tour Odeon early this year. That’s double the average price of a home in Monaco.

From penthouse apartments to detached homes, Monaco offers an array of real estate suitable for everyone from the single person to a large family. The price per square foot in Monaco is $3,700, which is twice what it was in 2006, before the global recession.

Ex-pats hoping to purchase real estate in Monaco are well advised to prove that he or she is financially self-sufficient by obtaining a deposit certificate from any Monaco bank.

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Miki Mo

I am a traveler. I have seen lots of places – from exotic Asia to sophisticated Europe! What makes me appreciate every place the most are the warm people who welcome me – and their willingness to show their culture and tradition! Most of the events I really love, involve feasts and celebrations – each country, each ethnic group has a unique way of celebrating nature, and each has unique tradition – which is such a magnificent scene to watch. Truly, there is a lot to learn in the world – a lot of things to explore, and the journey never ends, well, at least for me ☺


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