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The principality of Monaco covers only 1.95 sq km (0.76 sq mi) and has been ruled by the Grimaldi family since 1297

Although it's more a pre-breakfast stroll than a country, Monaco packs a lot of living into a little land. Most of the people who dwell here come from somewhere else, drawn by the sun, glamourous lifestyle and - most importantly - tax-free income.

This is the playground of Europe's elite, a country where Lady Luck might clean you out at the casino one day and put you on the Grimaldi guest list the next. It's one glittering, preening, swanking opportunity for people watching that shouldn't be passed up by amateur anthropologists.

For those whose 'things to pack' list doesn't include a backless ballgown, Monaco can still be a hoot. Although you won't find cheap digs, native culture or untouched wilderness, you can snap up a Prince Rainier commemorative mug, gawk at the limos outside the Casino and surround yourself with topless wannabe starlets on Monte Carlo's beach. Live it up.

Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track
Getting Around
Further reading

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