The country is the most popular among tourists. It has a warm Mediterranean climate, so you can enjoy good weather and lots of beaches for most of the year. But then, the population density means that buildings are tightly packed together, so Monaco does feel extremely crowded.
If you are interested in the Monaco lifestyle to move there, you may want to reconsider it – unless you like crowded and chaotic places. There is not too much green around, so lots of people would rather relocate to France, close to Monaco – free travel between the two places.
Monaco has gained popularity as a tax haven. There are not too many taxes to pay there, so lots of wealthy individuals have chosen to change their location in order to keep more money for themselves – it makes perfect sense.
The principality is trying to diversify its economy a little, though, yet banking and finances will always represent the main point. For instance, you will need a solid €1 million deposit in a local bank. A letter confirming it is mandatory in your residency application process.
Most residents are French, but there is a significant number of Monegasque individuals too. There are lots of citizens from other European countries too. While not part of the European Union, Monaco relies on the euro as its official currency.
The Monaco lifestyle has been made famous by lots of celebrities and fictional characters – take James Bond, for example. It has become a top-notch holiday spot due to its good weather and nice atmosphere. However, there is not too much room there, as Monaco is one of the world’s smallest countries.
Believe it or not, about 30% of the local population consists of millionaires, which is easy to understand, given the tax haven status of the country. All these things make Monaco a great retirement place for those who like such a lifestyle.
A few words about MonacoMonaco is a tiny country. Believe it or not, it covers less than a square mile, so you can literally walk it in no time. Despite the size, it has a population of around 40,000 people, which may feel a bit too much – the most densely populated country in the world. This is why it feels so crowded.
The country is located in the southern part of France, by the French Riviera. It is one of the wealthiest countries out there and uses French as the official language. Pretty much everyone can also speak English or Italian, not to mention the old residents who still use the Monegasque dialect.
Given the size, there is obviously room for one city only – a small one. It is both a country and a capital, meaning Monaco is the capital of Monaco. Over its history, Monaco has been established more times as colonies or cities. It has also become independent more times – the last time, in 1911.
The best time of the year to visit Monaco
Most people who live in Monaco have more than one nationality. They are either trying to optimize tax by relocating to a tax haven, diversifying their assets or simply enjoying holidays and the exquisite atmosphere. Whether you plan to relocate there or move part time, when should you do it?
Given the Mediterranean climate, weather in Monaco is always a bit mild. Summers tend to last forever. They are quite warm – heatwaves can make them feel unbearable. It is not the type of weather for everyone, though.
On the other hand, winters are just as mild – someone from a cold country could probably wear shorts and T shirts year round. They are relatively short. To help you get an idea, the average yearly temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the summertime – it can get higher than that too.
On the other hand, you should expect around 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the wintertime, which is not too bad. Monaco – as well as this part of France – will benefit from nice days and sunshine for more than 300 days per year.
With these thoughts in mind, it makes no difference when you want to get to Monaco – the weather will not let you down. It depends on whether you want it crowded or you would rather relax in a calmer environment.
Areas of Monaco explainedMonaco may be tiny, but it is still divided into a few different parts, and each of them has a different personality. Monte Carlo is where most of the action takes place – ideal for shopping, casinos, restaurants, and cafes.
Monaco Ville is in the southern part of Monaco. It is the oldest quarter in Monaco and hosts a few historical buildings. Some locals refer to it as Le Rocher. The Prince’s Palace is probably the most important landmark.
Then, you have Fontvieille, which is even further south. The area is quite new and hosts the local port. You will find all sorts of yachts there – quite a joy to walk around and hire them. Sports arenas are located in the same quarter.
If you go there with your family or you are a local, La Condamine is an excellent choice. You also have a local market for food. Interested in something fancier? Head to Moneghetti – that is where most of the skyscrapers are located. Plus, the local train station is in this district.
Interested in fully embracing the Monaco lifestyle and getting a property there? La Colle, Moneghetty, Saint Michel, and Les Revoires are more affordable than other parts of Monaco, but still way above what you can find in other countries.
Quality of life and cost of livingQuality of life is high in Monaco, especially since it is probably the safest country in the world. The life expectancy is high too – over 85 years. Unemployment is almost null, and there is no poverty. After all, Monaco hosts celebrities, royalty, successful business people, and so on.
Mostly aimed at the rich, Monaco is not for everyone. Apart from accommodation costs, expect to pay around €5,000 a month for a family. If you are single, your costs without rent could exceed €1,500. A regular meal can cost about €30, while a large meal for a couple will exceed €150.
Gas is expensive, but you can walk all over the country – literally. Compared to the USA, the rent price is about five times cheaper. Get a one bedroom flat in the city center, and you will pay over €4,000 a month. As for a three bedroom flat, you may pay up to €20,000 a month in the city center.
Interested in buying a home? Prices vary widely. A nice mansion will obviously cost more than a basic one bedroom flat. However, for a proper house, you may end up having to pay over €5 million – it might have belonged to a celebrity too.
The Monaco lifestyle for entrepreneurs and freelancers
Monaco is not the ideal type for a freelancer or someone running a local business. Instead, it makes more sense to retire in Monaco or perhaps run a digital business abroad. When it comes to co-working spaces, the area is too small to host too many.
Therefore, you will find it difficult to rent an office. However, there are a few places worth mentioning:
As a general rule of thumb, residents will pay less than nonresidents.
Safety standards and accessibilityMonaco is one of the safest countries in the world because there is literally no crime there. Authorities are extremely careful about who they let in, and they have certain requirements in terms of budget and holiday plans.
The whole country is monitored through an extensive network of surveillance cameras – people are watching on a 24/7 basis, so crime can be tackled straight away, yet it is less likely to occur. Other than that, there is a police officer for every 100 residents, so there is always someone around.
Since it is such a small place, Monaco does not have its own airport – in fact, a large international airport would require more space than the actual country has. Most visitors fly to France and get transportation or transfers to Monaco.
The closest airport is located in Nice – the Nice Cote d'Azur Airport. It is international, and only half an hour from Monaco, so transfers are fairly simple. There is, however, a tiny airport in Monaco – known as the Monaco Heliport, it is located in Fontvieille.
What to do in MonacoEmbracing the Monaco lifestyle is also about exploring the local culture, getting used to the local customs, and visiting the main attractions. There are not plenty of them, but there are quite a few places worth visiting.
Monaco is mostly famous for the local Monaco Grand Prix. The Formula Event is held in May every year – if you manage to get there and you are into cars, you should not miss it. Other than that, you can also admire luxury cars on the roads of Monaco.
The Monte Carlo Casino is another important attraction – you might have heard about it if you like James Bond. It is famous all over the world and great if you like to gamble – you can also just take a tour inside, without spending money. On a side note, citizens are not allowed to gamble in Monaco.
The Saint Nicholas Cathedral is worth some attention too, even if you are not too religious or you have a different religion. Many members of the local royal family are buried in this cathedral – quite an interesting attraction.
Take your family to the Oceanographic Museum too – established in 1910, it displays all sorts of interesting creatures. Finally, the Prince’s Palace is another appealing landmark – located in the old town. Watch the guard changing daily and admire the prince’s impressive car collection.
Whether it is the wealth or the weather, Monaco is a popular destination for people from all over the world. Residents have all kinds of nationalities – over 130 of them. In fact, most of the residents were born abroad. Therefore, locals are used to foreign influences.
The fiscal system in MonacoInterested in relocating and living in Monaco? The fiscal system is part of the Monaco lifestyle and what makes it so appealing. There is no such thing as a direct taxation system in Monaco, so the country is a proper tax haven.
Believe it or not, the income tax was eliminated in Monaco in 1869, way before other countries even brought it in. There are no capital gains taxes either, not to mention wealth tax – common sense, given the amounts of millionaires there.
Although Monaco does not have a property tax, you will need to pay 1% in rental taxes, as well as a massive 33.3% tax when you sell real estate – therefore, most people would rather keep their properties and make money renting them out.
Corporate tax makes Monaco a good choice for business people too. There is no need to pay any tax, with one exception – if more than 25% of the revenue comes from abroad, you will be taxed. However, taxes vary based on what you do.
For example, services and goods are taxed at 20%, while transportation services and food are taxed at 5.5% only. Anything involving medicines, cultural activities, and newspapers will be taxed at just over 2%. The same rule applies – more than 25% of the income must come from abroad to be taxed.
Now, gift taxes are nonexistent if the beneficiary is a direct relative – there is no tax for parents, children, or spouses. However, gifts to brothers and sisters are taxed at 8%. On the other hand, the tax is doubled up if the beneficiary is not related.
Based on an agreement Monaco has with France, French citizens living in the principality will not be able to benefit from the income tax exemption. In other words, if you are French, you cannot really travel to Monaco, work there and pay no tax.
How to get residency in MonacoThere is a particular Monaco lifestyle for those who visit Monaco or choose to stay there for a limited period of time, as well as a completely different lifestyle for those who decide to live there. Claiming residency is the best way to begin this venture.
There are three different ways to get your residency. The easiest one implies finding a job in Monaco. Once you are employed by a local business, you will be able to get the residency. The second option is more straightforward and implies setting up a business in Monaco.
Finally, just like other countries, Monaco has its own program to offer residency by investment. This so-called golden visa is like buying residency – no work required, but just take the money out and invest it locally.
You will not be able to get permanent residency in Monaco straight away, though. Instead, it will be a temporary card. There is no rush, though – it will keep you in the country for up to a year. Plus, you can renew it two times.
Whether you want to wait three years or do it within the first year, you can get the so-called ordinary residency card. This card will give you three years in Monaco, but you can also renew it – no limitations at all here.
There is one requirement to keep your residency, though – whether it is temporary or ordinary. You must spend at least three months a year in Monaco – not too strict, considering other countries will ask for at least half a year.
You can renew the ordinary residency card as many times as you want. However, after nine years of residency in the country, you can take things even further – get the privileged residency card. This card will last for 10 years.
Requirements change with this card – you must stay in Monaco for 183 days or more every year.
In other words, some people would rather renew an ordinary residency card.
Before getting any type of residency and enjoying the local Monaco lifestyle, you need a long-term visa. You need proof of accommodation, as well as a good financial situation to support yourself. After all, the poverty rate in Monaco is 0%, and the country does not want to start with you.
citizenship" data-toc="1" >How to get the Monaco citizenshipGetting residency in Monaco is fairly simple – assuming your financial situation allows you to live in the small principality, there should be no issues whatsoever. Everything changes when it comes to going for citizenship, though, and requirements are a bit harsher.
Before even considering citizenship, you should know that Monaco does not allow dual citizenship. You can start the procedures, but once you get the citizenship, you will have to renounce your current nationality or nationalities – not a suitable option for everyone.
At the same time, gaining further nationalities and upgrading your portfolio will be out of the discussion, unless you give up the one in Monaco. At the same time, authorities are quite strict, and there are no loopholes to avoid this restriction.
The main requirement for citizenship in Monaco is residency. You need to reside in Monaco for at least 10 years. Just because you have been there for ages, it does not mean that you will be granted citizenship – even if you are eligible for it, you can still be rejected. There are no guarantees at all.
Most people would find citizenship irrelevant, though. You can live in Monaco and enjoy the local Monaco lifestyle without being a citizen. You have a few more options in terms of residency, and you can even spend the rest of your life there if you renew the residency on a regular basis.
There are often more suitable options when looking for citizenship, as the residency will give you pretty much everything the citizenship will anyway. Obviously, citizenship is also a good choice for those who want to relocate everything to Monaco – including themselves.
ConclusionAs a short final conclusion, the Monaco lifestyle is definitely not for everyone. It represents a good option for wealthy people and not only – at the end of the day, it depends on your overall goals and possibilities in the long run.
The cost of living is higher when compared to many other countries – most countries in Europe as well. However, there are more expensive places out there. For instance, living in the central part of London may imply higher costs.
Monaco, on the other hand, has never been associated with opportunities for companies and corporations. Sure, being a tax haven, it makes an excellent choice for certain industries that do not require too much space to operate.
But then, Monaco is mostly associated with a playground for the rich. Lots of people transfer their wealth there, mostly because of the insignificant taxes. It makes a good choice for those who want to optimize taxes, but the price is worth some attention too.
The Monaco lifestyle is mostly seen as a luxurious one. Take a trip to Monaco, and you will be impressed by the supercars you see everywhere, as well as the rich people and celebrities hanging around. With about 33% of the population consisting of millionaires, it makes perfect sense.
With all these, there are parts of Monaco that are not so flashy – parts where regular people live, work and send their children to school. There is something for everyone in there, and while it may not suit everyone, there are lots of entrepreneurs who find it perfect.