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Different Areas in Monaco

Dreaming of making the move to Monaco, one of the smallest countries on Earth? Then you had better be prepared for an extremely competitive housing market in addition to the high society lifestyle! You can read up on housing, visas, neighborhoods, etc. in the InterNations Expat Guide on moving to Monaco.
Monaco-Ville, also known as Le Rocher, is the oldest part of the city and houses the Prince’s Palace.

Monaco used to be subdivided into three municipalities, also known as quarters. However, in 1917 these quarters were merged and the borders of the City of Monaco equaled with those of the State of Monaco.

Nowadays, the city-state is divided into ten different wards. The names of the former municipalities are often still used to refer to their formerly bigger areas, though.

Magical Monte Carlo

Monaco’s best-known ward, Monte Carlo, has reached international fame as a luxury resort with its Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Hôtel de Paris. So if you are looking for some big designer names, it’s best to head over to Monte Carlo’s Carré d’Or, where you will find the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Chanel.

Just as famous is the yearly repurpose of Monte Carlo’s (and La Condamine’s) streets as a Formula One race track, which has brought Monte Carlo even further acclaim and draws in numerous tourists every year.

However, when talking about Monte Carlo, many people actually still refer to the former municipally of Monte Carlo. This includes, apart from the ward of Monte Carlo / Spélugues, also the following wards:

  • La Rousse / Saint Roman
  • Larvotto / Bas Moulins
  • Saint Michel

Together, these four wards make up more than 47% of the principality’s surface area and include nearly half of all of Monaco’s residential building areas. You can also find more than 64% of Monaco’s hotels in the Monte Carlo quarter.

Commercial La Condamine

Similarly to Monte Carlo, La Condamine refers both to the current ward and to one of the former municipalities. As such, it is often still used as an umbrella term for the wards of:

  • La Condamine
  • La Colle
  • Les Révoires
  • Moneghetti / Boulevard de Belgique

It is the oldest commercial quarter and home to the Port Hercule, as well as the Condamine Market. Here, you will find over 200 shops to browse around in. The market is open every day, all year round, and is a brilliant place to discover the traditions of the principality. Princess Caroline pedestrian area is also a particularly pleasurable spot for window shopping and a stroll, due to the restriction on cars allowed to enter.

Thanks to the port, the actual ward of La Condamine is, after Monte Carlo, Monaco’s biggest commercial hub and a hive of activity. Moneghetti, La Colle, and Le Révoires, on the other hand, function mainly as residential areas.

Medieval Monaco-Ville

Le Rocher or the Rock, as Monaco-Ville is often referred to, is the oldest part of the city. Built up high on a rocky headland extending into the Mediterranean Sea, it houses the Prince’s Palace, as well as the Cathedral, and has stayed true to its medieval village character. As such, it is nowadays mostly a tourist destination, with a number of small boutiques, souvenir and crafts shops, as well as little cafés and restaurants to be found.

Reclaimed from the Sea: Fontvieille

Fontvieille is, for the most part, the result of a massive project undertaken in the 1970s and 80s to reclaim land from the sea. As such, it is the youngest ward and often referred to as the new, fourth quarter. Nowadays, it is the second largest ward in Monaco, as well as the city’s main industrial and economical area. However, you will also find a number of slightly cheaper residential buildings in this ward, as well as the famous Princess Grace Rose Garden.

Here you will also find the Fontvieille Shopping Centre, which offers various restaurants and shops, which are of a less expensive nature than in neighboring areas. The mall is open Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 20:00.

Due to the demands of a growing population and economy, there are also plans reclaim even more land from the sea, following the example of Fontvieille, with work on a 1-billion-euros, 6-hector project having been begun in 2016.


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