Monaco through the eyes of a local

16th November 2017

Monaco is undoubtedly an extraordinary country, largely due to its “tax haven” status, stunningly small size of 202 hectares and well-known royal family, into which the American actress Grace Kelly married in 1956. Given that a large proportion of the city-state’s population is wealthy, it’s tempting to think that day-to-day life in Monaco must be entirely unlike almost anywhere else in the world. However, in reality, what is it like living in Monaco?

First impressions of Monaco

It’s fair to say that Monaco has transformed significantly since the late nineteenth century. Back then and even in the early twentieth century, Monaco had what could be deemed “working-class neighbourhoods”; however, The Globe and Mail reports that they are now long gone. Writing for the site, Adam Hammond comments: “The first thing I discovered when I arrived in Monaco was that it’s definitely not a regular place, and no normal people live there.”

Upon arriving in the area, its amazingly modest size can also be quickly evident. Travelling in from the sea, it’s possible to see what looks akin to a huge glove – with the harbour resembling a heel, the city a palm, and the surrounding mountains fingers and webbing. However, only that heel and palm are technically Monaco, with the mountains instead of being in France.

Fancy living next to Novak Djokovic?

Though there is clearly room for only a limited number of people in Monaco, it could still surprise just how close-knit the city-state’s community is. Hammond recalls, during his stint in Monaco, meeting “a stunningly elegant 6-foot-tall Italian with an aristocratic Austro-Hungarian last name” who, when asked for her opinion about the reigning monarch, replied: “Albert? We went to school together. When I see him on the street, we kiss.”

Hammond also reports visiting the vegetarian restaurant Eqvita, a project of tennis titan Novak Djokovic. Hammond notes how “everyone seemed to know each other” and remembers meeting a man who often ate at Eqvita, which was within close physical proximity to his family home in a tower. When asked how he heard about this eatery, the man replied: “Oh, Novak is my neighbour.”

Even more compelling reasons to reside in Monaco

However, Hammond also comments that the restaurant’s food was “strangely affordable, with mains available for €15 ($22), the price of a coffee in some Monte Carlo cafés”. The restaurant is also 100% vegetarian, while another vegetarian eatery that many locals would recommend is Eat Me, an elegant and reserved place where the food is both delicious and thoughtfully decorated. Prices there, too, are decent; the price of a lunch mains starts at €14.

One Monaco resident says that, as explained on the La Muse Blue site, many people choose to live in Monaco due to its high standards of security and healthcare. It reflects very well on Monaco that the life expectancy for its residents exceeds 85. You can start reaping the benefits by moving to Monaco with various forms of assistance from us here at Monaco Relocation Services.