Though countless people have heard of the small wonder that is Monaco, few have actually travelled there in person (in spite of the fact that its main source of income is tourism). Known officially as the Principality of Monaco, the Mediterranean microstate has a population of just over 38,000. Its hot-summer Mediterranean climate makes it an excellent tourist destination and we especially recommend it for people from the Americas for it is not only exotic but also exquisite. So, without further ado, let us look at the top five things to know before visiting Monaco.
1. The Monte Carlo Casino:
If you are one of those people who like to play poker or to try their luck at the slot machine, well, Monaco has just the thing for you! The Monte Carlo Casino is undoubtedly the most renowned and most visited landmark of its parent country. But this is no ordinary casino that you can just blow your money at: it is an elite establishment where local citizens are denied entry. Wait what? Yes, that’s right, the Monégasque (Monacan) people are not allowed to gamble by law (let alone enter the casino). This might seem an interesting restriction as it would look counterproductive on paper but know that there are plenty of tourists to keep it alive and make it thrive. And here’s the positive side: our next point.
Not allowing your residents to gamble may have thought-provoking side-effects: it will facilitate the lowest poverty rate in the world. Yes, Monaco is, on paper, the least-afflicted country in the world when it comes to people without food and shelter. We added “on paper” because, while it is true 100%, people should also take into consideration the fact that its population is small. Keeping 38,000 people off the streets is not as difficult as doing the same in a global megalopolis, for example – now that would be a problem. So, back to the point, Monaco has a little extra to add to its grandeur: 99% literacy. If you truly wish to visit a thriving country, you cannot overlook this scintillating principality.
3. Lined with gold:
That subtle subtitle was meant to add a little shine to the elite nature of Monaco. Here’s the fact: the Principality has the largest number of millionaires per capita (again, take the total population into consideration) and also the largest police force in that regard. To reflect the aforementioned high class, Monaco’s public establishments will make you feel that you are living in a different century (in the best way possible). Even something as simple as going out for a beer can land you in a place that you are going to remember for a lifetime. Just don’t get too plastered because drunken tourists are not fun (wink)!
4. Our beautiful blue planet:
Alright, that subtitle might have been a little poetic but it does reflect what we wanted to express: using public transportation in Monaco is completely obsolete. Why? Because it is only about 3 kilometres long. Walking from one end to another will not take more than 45 minutes… if you are slow and sightseeing. When you are galloping, you can whizz past it like there’s no tomorrow. So, staying eco-friendly in the Principality is as effortless as it can get anywhere in the world. Oh, and a little exercise can never hurt (wink)!
As we have stated countless times before: knowing the tipping policy of the country that you are visiting is half the victory. In Monaco, hotel service is included in the bill but public service can be showed appreciation for. People there are relaxed and tipping is left completely to the will of the visitor. While it is considered polite to leave the global average of 10% as extra, you are not going to be frowned upon if you consider that your budget is low. Relax as the locals do, for, in truth, that is most probably the reason why you are visiting a Mediterranean country anyway.
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in Monaco and how have they shaped your trip? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and be sure to check back for some exciting updates from time to time! Safe gambling… we mean travels (double blink)!