The Principality of Monaco is a tiny city-state on the southwestern coast of Europe. It is bordered on three sides by France, and is about 16km (10 mi) from the border of Italy. The principality has a population of close to 33,000 people on a mere 2.02 sq km (0.78 sq mi). Monaco is the second smallest independent country in the world after the Vatican City, and the world's most densely populated independent country. It is a famous tax haven attracting wealthy foreigners who form some 84% of its population.
Monaco is a constitutional monarchy. Its head of state is Prince Albert II of the House of Grimaldi, which has ruled the principality since 1297.
Monte Carlo Opera House http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Casino_Monaco.jpg Zil
Monaco comprises ten electoral districts, or wards, of which the most highly populated is Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo is known for its casinos and wealth, and travelers go there from all over the world to play roulette and other casino games. The highest point in Monaco is 163 meters (535 ft) above sea level on the southern slopes of 1,109m (3,638ft) Mont Agel, whose peak is in France.
Monaco experiences a Mediterranean climate influenced by oceanic climate and the humid subtropical climate. Its warmest months are July and August, when the average high temperature reaches 25.9°C (78.6°F). The coldest months are January and February, with average low temperature dropping to 8.1°C (46.6°F). The wettest months are October and November.
View of the Palace and harbour of Monaco http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monaco003.jpg Georges Jansoone
Preparing Money for Monaco
The currency used in Monaco is the Euro (EUR).
Planning your visit to Monaco
The nearest airport to Monaco is the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE) located 40 km (25 mi) away, which receives regular flights from London and Paris. There are taxis from the terminal building. Take note that shady taxi drivers frequently overcharge tourists, so make sure you agree to a fare or that the meter is switched on at the start of the journey.
Alternatively, you can catch a helicopter from the airport to Monaco. The journey costs €100-€300, depending on season, and up to €700 during the Cannes Film Festival in late May.
Monaco Railway Station http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gare_de_Monaco_-_Quai.jpg DarioSpagnolo )
There are trains going to the Monaco-Monte Carlo Railway Station from neighbouring cities in France including Nice and Cannes.
Highway A8 runs west of Monaco between Nice and Marseilles, and is the most common highway to reach the principality.
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