Moving to Monaco
Expats to Monaco might expect nothing but a playground for the rich and famous – but while this aspect of the country is certainly at the forefront of its culture, it is also possible to live a 'normal' middle-class existence. Whether expats are moving to Monaco to start a business, retire in a country with both romance and good infrastructure or work in the luxury industry, Monaco has a lot to offer.
Monaco has long been an attractive destination for those seeking a life of luxurious living. Its temperate Mediterranean climate and favourable income tax laws have meant that the state has become a haven for the super-rich and for businesses.
The economy is based on tourism and luxury living: golf courses, stunning beaches, yachting, ski resorts and an abundance of international cultural and sporting events occur all year round. The famous casino of Monte Carlo attracts many tourists each year.
Monaco covers just less than two square kilometres and is almost entirely urban, squeezed into a strip between the Mediterranean and French mountains across the border. Walking is by far the easiest way to get around, or expats can rely on taxis or the extensive bus system.
Although it has been ruled almost without interruption by the (originally Italian) House of Grimaldi for 700 years, the state is surrounded by France and has similar laws and culture. Expats from all over Europe and the US intermingle with the local population to create a very international, cosmopolitan nation and cultural experience. Although French is the official language, in reality expats will hear other languages like English and German spoken widely throughout Monaco; up to 80 percent of the population are expats.
Expats might be pleasantly surprised to know that the cost of living is not as high as the state’s reputation for grandeur might lead one to expect; although it is possible to spend astronomical amounts of money in Monaco’s high-end fashion boutiques, restaurants and casino, the price of day-to-day goods and services is comparable to large French cities like Paris.
For those expats moving to Monaco with a family, the state has a selection of French-speaking state schools and a private international school, which is very popular with the expat community.