20+ Facts That Prove Life in Microstates Is Like Living in a Parallel Universe

Microstates are surrounded by myths. For instance, many people believe that only multimillionaires live in Monaco and only the priesthood lives in the Vatican. But usually, legends appear around something that causes interest. That’s because the majority of us have no idea what it’s like to live in a country that you can walk through in just one day.

At Bright Side, we couldn’t pass by this curious topic and found the most intriguing facts about life in microstates.

The Vatican

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Vatican City is the smallest state in the world. Its residents have 2 types of passports. The city-state issues ordinary passports, and the Holy See, which are diplomatic ones, allow you to get to almost anywhere in the world. But citizenship here is temporary; only local workers and their family members can obtain it. After the end of the service to the Holy See, the passport of this microstate will be changed to an Italian one, and the former citizen will be escorted outside the centuries-old walls.

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Children born to Vatican citizens also receive citizenship. But they lose it as soon as they turn 18 years old or their parents lose their right to a passport from this state.

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Vatican shops are tax-free, and prices are lower than in Rome by almost 25%. This applies to food, medicine, beauty products and perfumery, technology, branded clothing, and footwear.

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Vatican citizens should not appear outside with bare shoulders, nor can they wear short skirts or shorts. Noisy parties with dancing until the morning are also prohibited.

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There are no bars or clubs in Vatican City, and the residents go to Rome to have fun. The main rule is not to be late when coming back. The microstate’s gate closes at 1:15 a.m. and opens at 5:45 a.m. Of course, revelers won’t be left to spend the night on the street, but they will be included in a special register of violators.

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Vatican residents can invite friends from other countries to visit them. But exactly at midnight, visitors must leave the city-state, and the hosts must escort them to the gate. Only close relatives can stay overnight.

Monaco

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Monaco is the second smallest European country after Vatican City. “I could walk from one end of the country to the other in literally 50 minutes, maybe even 40 if I jog,” one Reddit user writes.

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Monaco citizens have certain privileges, like a housing subsidy. But getting a passport of this principality is not easy: in the majority of cases, you have to be a native resident of this country. Another option is to marry a Monégasque. But citizenship will be granted only 10 years after the date of marriage.

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Monaco has a strict dress code. For example, you can’t walk barefoot there. On the other hand, it’s forbidden to wear shoes on a yacht.

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There is no army or navy there, but there are a lot of policemen per capita. Thanks to this, the country has a very low crime rate, and people go to prison mainly for theft or financial fraud. However, they say you can get there just for publicly offending an animal. The cells overlook the sea, and the prisoners even have a gym.

San Marino

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San Marino is run by 2 captains regent, who are elected for a period of 6 months. During their tenure, they are not allowed to drive a car.

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There was only one prisoner in San Marino for a long time. He had a gym, library, and TV room at his disposal.

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It’s the only country in the world that has more cars than people. So there are 1.6 cars per person in San Marino.

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In 2017, San Marino was named the least visited country in Europe.

Malta

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Winters in Malta are warm, with temperatures rarely falling below 50°F. But since there is no central heating or thermal insulation, it’s as cold inside the houses as it is outside.

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Maltese is the only Semitic language in the world that is written in the Latin script. It sounds like Arabic with a touch of Italian. The second official language in the country is English, which almost everyone speaks. But if you don’t know Maltese, you can never become local.

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This state has some rather strange laws. For example, it’s prohibited to “run violently” in public places, which means jogging, during which an athlete works too actively with their arms and legs and can harm others. Also, ladders or other tools that can be used by thieves or other intruders should not be left on the streets of the cities. So you can be put on trial for a ladder that’s forgotten next to your house.

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No one’s in a hurry here. “I spent a month trying to get into the household goods store on the neighboring street,” says a girl who came to Malta to study and eventually stayed there. New announcements appeared on its door every week: “Sorry, we’re fishing. Probably won’t be back soon.”

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Malta is a very densely populated country. “No matter where you go, there will be someone else around; often they’re people you know,” says a British guy who lives in Malta.

Andorra

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Andorra is a tiny principality bordered by France and Spain. It is run by 2 co-rulers, one of whom is the President of France, and the other one is the Bishop of Urgell, the representative of Spain.

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In 1864, the authorities of the principality forbade lawyers to appear in court because representatives of this profession “can make black appear white and white appear black.”

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In general, this is not the most demanded profession in this country. Due to the low crime rate, Andorra is a very safe country. “My parents weren’t so worried about letting me stay out late or wander around or go by myself to somewhere nearby, like the ski resorts. My sister spent most of her teenage years in Barcelona, Spain, and didn’t have as much freedom as I had,” a Quora user writes.

Liechtenstein

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Liechtenstein has zero poverty. And more than half of all employees come from the neighboring countries, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany daily.

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The Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, walks around without a bodyguard. He easily communicates with passers-by, and he even holds a party in his castle to which all residents of the country are invited.

Would you want to live in a microstate? Which one would you choose? Tell us in the comments below.

Preview photo credit Shutterstock.com, Shutterstock.com
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