Before you leave

Passport & Visa
Any person of foreign nationality who wishes to enter Monégasque territory and stay there for a period not exceeding three months must have the document (passport, travel or identity document) required for entry into French territory.

Language
French is the official language, however, English and Italian are widely spoken and understood.

Time Zone
Monaco is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Credit Cards
All major credit cards are accepted in Monaco.

Currency
The Euro is the official currency of Monaco. It is based on the decimal system. There are one hundred cents to each Euro. Euro notes come in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins come in denominations of 1, 2 Euro, 50, 10, 5, 2, 1 cents. The Euro sign is €.

Money Exchange
You can change money at the hotel or at the nearest banks. Bank hours are 9:00AM to 12:00PM and 2:00PM to 4:00PM. Banks are closed on weekends and national holidays except for “Credit Foncier de Monaco” near the Casino, which is open daily for 12:00PM to 11:00PM including Sundays and holidays.

Traveler's Cheques
Traveler’s cheques in $USD should be exchanged at banks or exchange offices, as very few businesses will accept them.

Voltage
The electric current in the hotels is 220 volts 50 cycles (in the US it is 110 volts, 50 cycles). A transformer is necessary to convert local power to U.S. standard. An adapter is needed for plugs, as European plugs are different from the ones in the U.S. Please use the bathroom plug only for electric razors. Hair dryers and irons must be used in the bedroom only.

Dress Code
Apart from on the beaches and bathing areas, it is forbidden to walk about in swimsuits, stripped to the waist or bare foot. Appropriate clothing must be worn in all public establishments and in particular in religious buildings. For receptions or the casino, a jacket and tie should be worn. For gala events, black tie (dinner jacket) is required.

Shopping
The main shopping area is near the Place du Casino where one finds luxury fashion boutiques and jewelry stores. On the Boulevard des Moulins, prices are more reasonable. Shopping hours are from 9:00AM to 12:00PM and from 2:00PM to 7:00PM daily, except Sundays.

VAT Refund
To benefit from a VAT (valued added tax) refund, the unitary purchase price inclusive of tax from any single store must be at least 175 €. At the time of purchase the salesman can either refund VAT immediately, either collect the tax directly and wait for the reception of the stamped “export sales invoice” from Customs to be refunded at the departure airport. In both cases, an “export sales invoice” (“Bordereau de Vente” in French) will be given to you. Look for shops with a duty free stickers in their windows.

Telephone
Calling home: all major long-distance phone carriers make it easy to phone using their calling card codes from any pay phone or hotel.

Postal Information
The main post office, la Scala Palace Beaumarchais Square, is located across from the Hôtel Hermitage. It has a full range of services: telephones, telegrams, fax and calling cards and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 12:00PM. For additional postal information, call (+377) 93 25 11 11.

Getting Around Monaco
Walking throughout Monaco is made easy thanks to the numerous elevators –a comfortable way to reach a number of places. The Monégasque Bus Company (Companie des Autobus de Monaco) operates six lines with departures approximately every 11 minutes, Monday through Friday, from 7:00AM to 9:00PM. Your welcome kit should include a bus map. A flat rate is applied whatever the destination. However, cards for 4 to 8 journeys can be purchased at a reduced rate.

Temperature
Situated in the heart of Mediterranean Europe, the Principality of Monaco enjoys a particularly mild climate, with more than 300 days of sunshine per year. In winter, temperatures average between 48 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit with sunny days and cool nights. In the springtime, "Le Mistral" wind creates crystal clear skies with temperatures in the 50s-60s. Most summers are in the 80s with hot spells for a week or so in July and August. Sea breezes cool down the evenings. One of the loveliest times to be in Monaco is Fall. With temperatures in the 60s to 70s, people are still sun tanning on the beach until mid-October. Click here to see current temperature and weather forecast in Monaco.