10 Things You Might Not Know About: Monaco

Monaco is a tiny sovereign-city state on the French Riviera that borders France on three sides and the Mediterranean Sea by its fourth. It’s the second-smallest nation globally and earned a glamourous reputation for lavish wealth. Monaco is one of the most iconic places worldwide, and it’s safe to say that the country offers more than casinos, yachts, and millionaires. 

Everything In Walking Distance

Monaco bay view with wonderful yachts and residential buildings in Monte Carlo, Monaco

You know your country is tiny if you can walk across the width of it from one side to the other in just 56 minutes at an average walking pace. Yep, that’s possible in Monaco. 

Monaco’s Increasing In Size

Monaco Monte Carlo harbour french riviera

Yes, Monaco’s expanding its land size thanks to offshore extensions. The Principality already began increasing in size by 20% in the 19th century by claiming land from the Mediterranean Sea. This extension allowed Monaco to build hundreds of new homes – and the numbers are steadily going up!

No Gambling For Monegasques

Many poker chips in a suitcase isolated on a black background. Poker

The residents of Monaco, also known as “Monegasques,” are forbidden by law to gamble and even visit a casino. This fact is even more surprising since the country is home to the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino and, therefore, a premier destination for gambling enthusiasts and tourists.

Heliports

Tour helicopter ready to take off. NYC, USA

If you’re looking for an airport to visit Monaco, you’re out of luck. The nearest airport is in Nice Côte d’Azur, France, and it takes about 40 minutes by car to arrive in Monaco-Ville. However, if you have the money, you can choose between various heliports to visit the country extravagantly.

Tax Haven

Golden piggy bank with cash money, euro and dollar banknotes. Golden money box, huge savings, money accumulation. Money saving, moneybox, finance and investments, budget concept. Copyspace.

Ok, this one is actually an already well-known fact. There’s no income tax or corporate tax for businesses in Monaco, which makes the country extremely attractive for the super-rich around the globe. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Monaco has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita.

Once At The Brink Of Bankruptcy

Today, Monaco is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but there was once a time when Monaco’s royal rulers had to fear bankruptcy. It was Princess Caroline who found a way to save the country from ruin and introduced the highly profitable gambling business.

If you’re interested in the whole story (which we’d highly recommend you to read!), check out the article from The History Press

The Successful Casino-Oriented City State

The Monte Carlo Casino, gambling and entertainment complex in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Cote de Azul, Europe.

This fact follows up on Monaco’s introduction to the gambling business in the 19th century. Back then, the country was solely dependent on the casino business. With Prince Rainer III as Monaco’s official ruler, it began diversifying its revenue by managing to attract the investment banking industry to make Monaco a hub for “wealth management” services. 

Lowest Unemployment Rate

Yacht Club de Monaco. Yachts in Monaco harbor. Expensive luxury yachts in harbor of Monaco principality. Beautiful landscape with clear water and blue sky.

With an unemployment rate of just 2%, as of 2012, one could debate that the actual unemployment rate is, in fact, even 0%. If you think of the vast amount of millionaires and even billionaires in the country, would you choose to work if you don’t have to? 

Monaco And The Chocolate Factory

Monaco never had commercial agriculture (there’s just no space), and the only natural resource is fish, which wasn’t very profitable. Before the gambling business became a standard in Monaco, the first industries developing were chocolate factories, breweries, and flour mills.

The Famous Royal Grimaldi Family

Panoramic view of Monaco City, aka Le Rocher or The Rock, Principality of Monaco, Cote d’Azur, French Riviera

The house of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco for more than 600 years, making it the oldest ruling house in Europe. Before 2002, there was a treaty stating that if there were no Grimaldi heirs to rule Monaco, France would take control. However, this treaty was abolished and replaced by a new one saying that Monaco will still retain its status as an independent nation if the Grimaldi family fails to leave an heir.