Capital – Monaco
Currency – Euro (€/EUR)
Official & Recognised Languages – French
Population – 39,000
Time – GMT+1 (Winter)/GMT+2 (Summer)
Sport in Monaco
The second smallest country in the world, think of Monaco and more often than not sports fans will think of Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix (and more recently the Formula E Monaco ePrix) held annually on the streets of the microstate that make up the Circuit de Monaco. Considered the most prestigious and perhaps most demanding on the drivers, the race features narrow roads and tight turns. If like me, you’ve always wanted to walk the circuit, it is relatively easy to do so and would probably take you about an hour? (a route map is available on Google here) Although walking the circuit on a normal day didn’t quite have the same allure seeing an Smart car stuck in Friday afternoon traffic congestion rather than a Ferrari F1 car hurtling round the track.
AS Monaco compete in Ligue 1, winning the championship on 8 occasions and being runners up in the UEFA Champions League in 2004. The club play at the Stade Louis II, which also hosts the Herculis IAAF Diamond League athletics meet.
At the other end of Monaco (and technically in France), the Monte-Carlo Masters tennis event takes place on the clay courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club. =
The famous Monte Carlo Rally, as part of the World Rally Championship, also takes part across the area in January – although the event is usually held in French territory!
What to do in Monaco
The Place du Casino is the heart of wealth in Monaco, surrounded by glamorous hotels and the famed Casino de Monte Carlo. The principality’s royal family still reside in the palace in Le Rocher, with changing of the guard taking place everyday at 11:55am. The most popular museum is the Musée océanographique de Monaco, with the centrepiece being the aquarium.
Where to stay in Monaco
Travelling to Monaco
Airport – Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the closest airport to Monaco, being approximately 30km west of the principality. The airport is the third busiest in France, offering flights to a number of different destinations.
Bus: Bus number 100 travels from the port in Nice and bus station in Menton every 15 minutes, or bus number 110 runs every 30 minutes from Nice Airport.
Train – The underground train station of Monaco (Gare de Monaco-Monte-Carlo) has regular services from Cannes, Genoa (Italy), Marseille, Milan (Italy), Nice and Paris. There is also a weekly night service further afield to Innsbruck (Austria), Vienna (Austria), Warsaw (Poland), Minsk (Belarus) and Moscow (Russia).