Located on the French Riviera, the world’s second smallest country after the Vatican is renowned for Grace Kelly, its Monte Carlo casino and Grand Prix. A sovereign country with a strong historic and cultural tradition, Monaco is home to beautiful palaces and picturesque streets. It’s also one of the safest destinations in Europe.
Languages: French, Monegasque
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Government: Unitary Principality, Constitutional Monarchy
DID YOU KNOW?
- As the second smallest country in the world, it only takes 56 minutes for someone to walk across the width of the entire country.
- The Monaco Grand Prix has been an annual event since 1929. It takes six weeks to create the circuit and three weeks to remove it.
- The Monaco flag is identical to the Indonesia flag.
- Monaco is home to the Grimaldis, the oldest ruling family in Europe, who have been power since 1200 CE.
Sitting on the French Riviera, Monaco is subject to warm, dry summers with mild, rainy winters. The hottest months are July and August and summer temperatures can go up to 30 degrees Celsius, but are peppered with balmy breezes from the nearby Mediterranean. Winter temperatures do not drop below 20 degrees Celsius. Snowfalls are extremely rare in Monaco and the coldest months are January and February.
- Winter: November–April
- Spring: April–June
- Summer: July–August
- Autumn: September–November
The history of Monaco is tied closely to the ruling family, the Grimaldis. Coming from Genoa, the Grimaldis rose to prominence in the 1200s, and have remained in power for the last 800 years. The ruling family has been a celebrated part of the Monaco tradition, helping the country stay independent (until the French Revolution when they were absorbed for a short period of time). Monaco was an independent territory for 600 years before becoming annexed by France in 1793. In 1861, a treaty was signed and Monaco was taken under French guardianship, but stayed sovereign. To this day, Monaco has remained autonomous and has a booming tourist industry, attracting nearly 1.5 million visitors every year, who come for the country’s beautiful beaches and glamorous nightlife.
World-renowned for its casino and Formula One Grand Prix, the administrative heart of Monaco has thousands of people flocking to it every year.
MONACO FORMULA ONE GRAND PRIX
Monaco’s claim to fame, this annual event draws in thousands and has become a national source of pride. Attracting the rich and affluent, it is a major society event and even has the royal Grimaldi family joining in each year. This is a coveted win for any Formula One racecar driver.
PALACE DU PRINCE
The home of the royal family, this palace has been around since the 1200s and is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most elegant castles. Make sure to see the changing of the guard and the 15 rooms, which are open to the public (including the Throne Room!).
Sitting atop a cliff, this building was built in 1910 by Prince Albert and houses both prey and predators from the ocean. It is also home to a 7.5 metre-long coral reef with gorgeous tropical fish from all over the world.
CATHEDRAL DE MONACO
Built in 1875, this cathedral features a Romanesque-Byzantine style and is a sight to behold. It is also the resting place of the fairy tale couple Princess Grace and Prine Rainier III.