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Difference Between Monaco and Monte-Carlo

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The main difference between Monaco and Monte Carlo is that Monaco is a country while Monte Carlo is a district of Monaco. They are two very distinct places even though they are often confused. This confusion may be due to the fact that Monte Carlo is in Monaco. Most people also mistakenly think that Monte Carlo is the capital of Monaco, probably because of its fame. However, being a city-state, the capital of Monaco is Monaco itself.

What is Monaco?

Overview of the city of Monaco

Monaco is a small independent city-state located on the French Riviera. The country covers an area of just two square kilometers, making it the second smallest country in the world after the Vatican. Monaco is bordered by France to the north and west, and by Italy to the east. The Principality of Monaco has been ruled by the Grimaldi family since 1297.

The current Prince of Monaco Albert II, heir to the throne of the Grimaldi royal family, is also the head of state. The country is composed of four main cities which are: Monaco city (old town), La Condamine (port area), Fontvieille (industrial area) and Monte Carlo.

Today, 5 new districts have come to divide these first four. These new districts are: Le Larvotto, La Rousse, Les Moneghetti, Le Jardin Exotique and Ravin de Sainte Dévote.

The State of Monaco, which is officially called the Principality of Monaco, is governed by a constitutional monarchy. The official language spoken in Monaco is French, but Monegasque is also spoken, which is the national language of the Monegasques. The official currency used in Monaco is the Euro since January 1, 1999, replacing the Monegasque franc. This date also marks the official entry of Monaco into the euro zone. One of the events that make this city famous and attract the most tourists is the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

What is Monte-Carlo?

monte carlo
Monte-Carlo, district of Monaco

Monte Carlo is one of the four administrative districts of Monaco. It is the administrative and economic center of the Principality of Monaco. The district covers an area of one square kilometer. Monte-Carlo is the most populated district in Monaco with a population of just over 8,000. Unlike other parts of Monaco, Monte-Carlo was not part of the original principality ruled by the Grimaldi family however later it was annexed to Monaco.

This area is known for the iconic Monte-Carlo Casino. Built in 1863 by Charles III of Monaco, the Monte-Carlo casino is one of the city's main tourist attractions and brings in about 100 million euros a year. Monte-Carlo is also known for its many palaces and luxury hotels, the most famous of which are the Hotel de Paris and the Hotel Hermitage. Monte-Carlo has become the number one tourist destination coveted by wealthy people from all over the world.

The differences between Monaco and Monte Carlo


The first and most obvious difference between Monaco and Monte Carlo is that Monaco is a country and Monte Carlo is a district of Monaco.


The population of Monaco is just over 30,000 while that of Monte Carlo is just over 8,000.


Monaco covers an area of two square kilometers while Monte Carlo covers only about half a square kilometer.


Monaco is famous for its luxury casinos, while Monte-Carlo is better known for its Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Comparison Chart: Monaco Vs Monte-Carlo

StatusCity-State (Sovereign country)District of Monaco
Number of populationAbout 38 000 Approximately 8000
Surface area2,02 km2 0.436760 km2
Famous attractionMonaco Grand PrixLuxury Casinos


Official language

The official language spoken in Monaco is French, but Monegasque is also spoken there and is the national language of Monaco. Similarly, the official language spoken in Monte-Carlo is French, but Monegasque is also spoken there.


The official currency used in Monaco, as in the entire euro zone, is the Euro. Thus, the same currency is used in both countries.


Monaco and Monte Carlo are two places that attract many tourists from all over the world, especially the wealthy.


Monaco or Monte-Carlo: what to choose?

If you are looking for a luxurious destination with many high-end hotels and activities, then Monte Carlo is the place for you. If you want to experience the real culture and history of Monaco, a visit to the capital is a must. Whatever your preference, both destinations offer visitors an unforgettable experience.

How many days should I spend in Monaco?

Most visitors to Monaco stay at least three or four days. This is enough time to explore the main sights of Monte Carlo and Monaco City. If you stay longer, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, such as hiking, biking, and exploring nearby towns on the French Riviera.

What is the best time of year to visit Monaco?

The best time to visit Monaco is from April to May or September to October. These months offer mild weather and fewer crowds than during the summer months. If you want to attend the famous Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, plan your trip in late May. However, if you're a fan of casino gambling, you can plan to go to Monte Carlo at any time, as this area of Monaco is lively year-round.


Although Monaco and Monte Carlo are often used interchangeably, they are two distinct entities. Monaco is a sovereign city-state, while Monte Carlo is just one of the cities in the small country of Monaco. There are also differences in the size, population and main economic activities of the two cities. Nevertheless, there are some similarities between the two cities, such as the fact that the same official languages are spoken and the currency used.


Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
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