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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Monaco

Monaco travel guide

About Monaco

From the multi-million pound yachts glinting in Monte Carlo harbour, to the endless flow of golden champagne, Monaco oozes privilege. Celebrities flock to this Mediterranean members-only club, with its opulent lifestyle, discreet banking facilities and heavily policed streets.

There's more to this 200-hectare principality than meets the eye, though, with some terrific restaurants and an interesting history that continues to beguile to this day. In this, the second smallest country after the Vatican, natives still speak the Monégasque dialect, which sits somewhere between French and Italian. Meanwhile, Monaco's citizens famously don't have to pay taxes, which has partly made it an attractive place to live for some of the world's richest people.

For visitors wishing to bask in some Monaco glitz, there are big annual events such as the Tennis Masters Series in April and the Formula 1 Grand Prix in May. Other festivals include the Monaco International Non Violent Film Festival, the Monte Carlo Opera and the annual Spring Arts Festival.

In Monaco, you can expect plenty of luxury hotel towers, glamorous nightclubs and grand casinos. The latter attraction is tied up with the modern fate of Monaco. The tiny country's history of gambling dates back to the 1850s when the head of state commissioned the building of a casino to provide him with income, without having to increase taxes on his citizens. At first, the casino remained bizarrely empty, until a railroad connected Monaco with the rest of the world. It was soon doing so well that the principality was able to do away with taxes altogether. Overnight, Monaco became popular for Europe's most hedonistic elites, who came for the ever-flowing champagne and renowned opera productions.

Away from the glamour, Monaco's balmy climate and seaside location make it a naturally beautiful place to visit. You can enjoy scenic walking routes along pretty costal bays, and stop for a drink at many al fresco cafés. For those with a couple of days to spare, Provence, the French Riviera and Italy are all within easy reach.

Key facts

Area:

2 sq km (0.8 sq miles).

Population:

37,863 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

18,865.5 per sq km.

Capital:

Monaco.

Government:

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state:

Prince Albert II since 2005.

Head of government:

Minister of State Pierre Dartout since 2020.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Monaco on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Monaco.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Monaco

You can find more information regarding the measures in place on the Monaco government website.

If you are planning on travelling through France, the French government have implemented their own measures, including required documents for travel into, and transit through, France.

If you are planning to use this route, check the latest travel advice for France ahead of your journey.

Information on the measures taken to tackle COVID-19 in Monaco is available on the website of the Principality of Monaco.

Healthcare in Monaco

If you are in Monaco and you believe you have symptoms or have any questions please call Monaco’s coronavirus emergency number 98 98 48 50 or 06 78 63 85 68.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Monaco.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Monaco

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Monaco announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

Monaco’s national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (also known as Comirnaty). British nationals resident in Monaco are eligible for vaccination. For information on how to access vaccinations in Monaco please check with local authorities, more information can be found on the Government of Monaco’s COVID-19 vaccination website.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Monaco, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Help and support

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Police have issued warnings that counterfeit Euro notes are in circulation. Check that notes you receive are genuine.

Street crime is rare, but you should take sensible precautions to safeguard your passport and valuables.

Thefts have occurred on trains to and from Monaco, and at Nice airport, particularly at the car rental parks where bags have been stolen while drivers are loading their cars. 

Road travel

To drive in Monaco you must have a valid UK driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents. If you are driving a vehicle that does not belong to you then written permission from the registered owner may also be required.

The minimum age for driving a car is 18 years

Speed and alcohol limits are strictly enforced.

See the AA and RAC guides on driving in Monaco.

Swimming

Follow local advice regarding swimming in the sea especially if jellyfish are present in the sea.

Terrorist attacks in Monaco can’t be ruled out. You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public places, including those visited by foreigners.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Apart from on the beaches and in bathing areas, it is not permitted to walk about in swimsuits, stripped to the waist, or bare foot. Appropriate clothing must be worn in all public places and especially in religious buildings.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Monaco set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The authorities of the Principality of Monaco have announced new measures applicable to all travellers arriving in the Principality. Regardless of nationality, you must contact the COVID-19 Call Centre as soon as you arrive in Monaco if you enter the Principality from either:

  • A country within Europe which has recorded more than 60 cases per 100,000 people in 14 days (areas marked red, and dark orange on the following map on the ECDC website.

  • A country outside Europe.

Travellers will be required to provide their contact details and other relevant information. They may be subject to a period of quarantine. More information is available on the website of the Government of Monaco.

Anyone aged 11 or over who enters Monaco from a foreign country may be asked by the authorities for proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test, carried out less than 72 hours before arrival.

Visas

France handles immigration and customs matters for Monaco. If your passport describes you as a British Citizen you will not need a visa to enter France. Other British passport holders should check the current entry requirements on the website of the French Foreign Ministry and if necessary confirm with the nearest French Diplomatic mission.

Passport validity

You must hold a valid passport to enter Monaco. Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

UK emergency travel documents

UK emergency travel documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Monaco.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for COUNTRY on the TravelHealthPro website See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in [country].

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Local medical care

Monaco is not a Member of the European Union and therefore EU reciprocal medical arrangements do not apply. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) does not provide health cover in Monaco. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 18 (or 112 from a mobile) and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Even though Monaco is not a member of the European Union, the local currency is the Euro.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry.We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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