Living in Monaco?
Transportation in Monaco
Due to its relatively small size, getting around Monaco is not difficult. There are plenty of public transportation options available, even including a boat bus, and walking is also a feasible option. Driving your own car, on the other hand, is often more of a hassle than an easy journey, due to severely limited parking spaces, generally heavy traffic, and even road blocks during the Monte Carlo Formula One Grand Prix.
Getting Around on Public Transportation in Monaco
There are six bus routes in Monaco which operate during the day and throughout the week. In addition, the bus de nuit runs until 00:20 during the work week, as well as until four o’clock in the morning on weekends. An interactive map of routes and timetables is available in French on the website of the Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco, including information on the night routes, as well as the boat bus across the Port Hercule. At the time of writing in October 2016, this ”Bateau-Bus” ran between 08:00 and 19:50 daily, with equal rates to that of the buses in the principality.
Tickets are available on the buses themselves, in a number of shops, at some bus stations, or at the office of the Monaco Bus Company (located at 3 Avenue President J.F. Kennedy). Make sure to have the exact fare ready when buying on the bus, as change is not given. At the time of writing in 2016, prices started at 2 EUR per single trip, with various passes also available, for example a monthly pass for 27 EUR and an annual one for 199 EUR.
Children under the age of five years travel for free and reduced fares apply for quarterly or annual subscriptions made by those aged 25 or less. Resident seniors (age 60+) can even get an annual customer name card for free use of the public transportation network.
If you are planning on taking a cab in Monaco, you will not be able to simply hail one on the street. Instead, you have to call ahead to book or go to one of the taxi ranks. You can find a map with the locations of ranks and cab call phones on the website of Taxi Monaco Prestige.
The services offered are not limited to just the principality, but also include journeys to destinations further afield in France, Italy, Switzerland, and even Spain, although particularly the latter will cost you a pretty penny. The 30-minute trip to Nice’s airport, for instance, will set you back around 90 EUR.
Driving a Car on Monte Carlo’s Formula One Track
Owning and driving a car in the principality famed for driving and cars is ironically not necessarily advisable, as free parking is scarce and traffic typically very heavy due to the principality’s high population density. This is made even worse by full or partial road blocks during the Monte Carlo Grand Prix in May.
If you nevertheless plan on driving in Monaco, check for public car parks on the Monaco-Parkings homepage. On this site, you can find information on parking rates, real-time information on availabilities, and more. There are more than 40 such public car parks around the city, with the first hour of parking free.
You can furthermore check online for live traffic updates, weekly forecasts, and information on road closures.
Registering a Car in Monaco
Residents of Monaco, i.e. those with a Monegasque ID or a residence card, can register their car in the principality with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office. You can check which documents you need on the public services website. This initial registration needs to be renewed on a yearly basis and includes paying your vehicle tax.
You have up to one year to exchange your foreign driving license after having moved to Monaco. In order to do so, you need to hand in a completed application form (downloadable on the public services website), as well as all supporting documents, at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office (23 Avenue Albert II).
Supporting documents for your application are:
- your valid foreign driving license (original)
- Monegasque ID or residence card (copy)
- ID photo (33x43mm)
- statement or certificate from the country that issued your driving license, confirming your right to drive (this could, for instance, be a penalty points statement)
- medical certificate (only for drivers aged 70 or older)
At the time of writing in October 2016 , you had to pay a fee of 78 EUR when exchanging your license.
Also bear in mind that the legal age for being allowed to drive in Monaco is 18 years old.
Why Not Walk or Cycle?
Walking or cycling will get you around Monaco without any problems and for free to boot. You can, in fact, get around the city on foot in less than an hour’s time. Plus, there are several public escalators and lifts available throughout the city-state to help you to tackle the steep and rocky terrain in Monaco, and ease your journey on foot or by bike. You can check the public services website for a map of local walking and cycling routes, as well as up-to-date information on potential path closures.
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