Capital | Monaco
Population | 32,965 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 1.95 SQ KM
Official Language | French
Holidays | National Day (Saint Rainier's Day), 19 November (1857)
Currency | eruo (EUR)
Time Zone | UTC +1
Best Time to Visit | April/May and September/October (spring and autumn)
Connecting with the Culture | Visiting the Musee Oceanographique, probably the best aquarium in Europe, with 90 seawater tanks and a display of living coral. Wandering around Monaco’s Palais du Prince, which was built in the 13th century. Checking out the spectacular views from the Jardin Exotique, which has 7000 varieties of cacti and succulents Gambling in the over-the-top splendor of the Monte Carlo Casino. Sailing off Monaco in a glass-bottom boat.
Read | Perter Mayle’s Anything Considered, a novel about Monaco featuring monks, crime and truffles.
Listen | to the prize-winning Monte Carlo Philharmonic
Watch | GoldenEye, with Pierce Brosnan as ‘Bond, James Bond’ and location shots from the Grand Corniche and Monte Carlo Casino.
Eat | finger food (if you want to keep up with the bathing beauties on Monte Carlo’s beach)
Drink | martinis
In a Word | Tres chi-chi
Characteristics | Royalty; the casino; the Formula One Grand Prix; a tax-free haven; Ferraris
Surprises | The citizens of Monaco (known as Monegasques) only number about 5000 out of the total population. The police presence in Monaco is striking and their perpetual vigilance is aided by TV cameras posted on nearly every corner. Street crime is virtually unknown.