11 crazy facts about the billionaires' playground, Monaco

What makes the Billionaires’ Playground of Monaco so interesting? Small in size but mighty in stature, these are the Monaco facts you never knew you needed in your life… until now.

1. Teeny tiny in size

Lace-up your running shoes and you won’t even break a sweat if you were to run around Monaco. At only 0.78 square miles, Monaco is smaller than New York’s Central Park.  It’s second only in size to the Vatican City, but it also holds the distinction of being the world’s most densely populated country. It is estimated that you could walk across the entire width of the country in less than an hour.

2. Born with a silver spoon

You won’t need to go far before you bump into a millionaire. There’s a reason Monaco is renowned as a billionaires’ playground, with over 12,000 millionaires in less than one square mile. That’s more than a third of residents who are literally rolling in it.

Monaco Marina with yachts - Billionnaires' Playground

3. No jumbos allowed

You can forget about jetting into Monaco. The country is too small to have an airport, but that doesn’t mean you can’t arrive in style. Hop in a helicopter and take the seven-minute journey from the Cote d’Azure to Monaco Heliport. You’ll fit right into the billionaires’ playground.

4. The Grimaldi family curse

The ruling Grimaldis, who have ruled Monaco since 1297, are said to carry a curse preventing them from ever finding true happiness in marriage. They’ve certainly had their fair share of tragedy and misfortune, so perhaps the legend is true.

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 5. Fun with flags

The national flag of Monaco, comprising red and white horizontal bands, strongly resembles that of Indonesia. The only difference being that the Indonesian flag is slightly wider.

 6. Shaken, not stirred

It’s a wonder 007 hasn’t secured himself a little pied-à-terre in Monaco. The fictional sexy spy has been spotted no fewer than three times filming James Bond blockbusters in Monaco. The main attraction? None other than the Monte Carlo Casino.

Monaco Casino - Billionnaires' Playground

7. Monégasque vs Monacoian

Only a fifth of Monaco residents are born and bred in the principality. They are referred to as the Monégasque. If you are a resident of Monaco, but were not born there, you would be referred to as Monacoian.

8. Olympian royalty

The prince and princess of Monaco are both Olympians in their own right. Prince Albert II competed in the bobsleigh event at five consecutive Winter Olympics, while Princess Charlene, won several swimming medals, representing her home country, South Africa.

9. French, but not French

Monaco may have strong links with France based on a long history, shared language and its French border. However, the principality was never a part of France. Interestingly, the Monégasque dialect is a variety of Ligurian (spoken in Northern Italy). Without its own army, however, it also falls to France to defend Monaco from its enemies.

Gardens in Monaco

10. No taxes

Death and taxes – of the two certainties that the rest of the world cannot avoid, the latter is easily dodged by wealthy Monaco residents. This billionaires’ playground has a zero income tax policy, making it an attractive haven for anyone seeking to avoid giving their pound of flesh to the taxman.

11. Not quite EU

Monaco is part of the Eurozone, but is not in the EU. It does, however, use the euro as legal tender although it mints its own euro coin.

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