They say big things come in small packages. But when you travel to Monaco, you’ll want to replace the word “big” with “beautiful”. For a country that’s vacuum-packed into just 200 hectares, Monaco has a big heart and a huge fanbase amongst the rich and famous. The second smallest country in the world is the first destination on many people’s wish lists. Whether you’re a high-roller, a racing enthusiast or a pleasure seeker, this is the place to be. Oh, did we mention that Monaco is home to the most glamorous Formula One Grand Prix ever? (But you knew that already.) So put your foot on the accelerator and take a sharp left into our unexpected guide to Monaco.
And if you want to discover Monaco in an unexpected way, view our recap of our activation TAG Heuer at the Monaco Grand Prix, in 2022.
Step into the original Monaco
Narrow, windy, medieval lanes. The air of a town that has stood the test of time. Welcome to Monaco Ville, also known as Le Rocher. It’s the part of Monaco that is steeped in history and remains untouched from the modern world. The area moves upwards on a pistol-shaped rock. From here, you’ll get a wonderful view overlooking the sea. The best way to go up is via Rampe Major. It starts from Place d’Armes near the port.
The museum on the edge
As you stroll up the Avenue Saint-Martin, you’ll see a magnificent building dramatically merged into the edge of a cliff. This is the famous Musée Océanographique de Monaco, founded by Prince Albert I. At the heart of this gem is an aquarium with a 6 meter deep lagoon. Here you’ll find a kaleidoscope of 450 Mediterranean and tropical species, sustained by 250,000 liters of freshly pumped seawater per day. Walk up the stairs and you’ll discover the history of oceanography and marine biology through photographs, specimens and interactive displays. And finally, head to the rooftop terrace and café for gorgeous views of Monaco and the Med.
Stained glass, stunning sculptures, a marble and gold atrium. We don’t encourage gambling but the Monte Carlo Casino is well worth the trip. It’s a feast for the eyes. The building is open to visitors every morning, including Europe’s most lavish example of belle époque architecture – the salons privés. The casino was the brainchild of Prince Charles III. In fact, it was named ‘Monte Carlo’ – Ligurian for ‘Mount Charles’ – in honor of the prince.
Every car lover’s dream come true
An avid car enthusiast, Prince Rainier III began collecting vehicles in the late ‘50s. As his collection grew, the garage at the prince’s palace proved too small to house so many gorgeous automobiles. That’s why in 1993, Prince Rainier III decided to hold an exhibition and unveil his treasures to the public. Located on the Terrasses de Fontvieille, this remarkable collection brings together almost 100 cars from different decades. You’ll find the 1903 De Dion-Bouton, Rolls Royces, Maseratis and even race cars that have competed in the Rallye de Monte Carlo and Monaco Grand Prix. It’s a must-see exhibition for any car lover.
Where royalty rests
A short walk from Musée Océanographique de Monaco lies the Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Built in a Roman-Byzantine style, it was constructed in 1875 with white stone from La Turbie. The cathedral is the final resting place of Monaco’s former princes. Inside, you’ll find a magnificent high altar and the episcopal throne made from white Carrara marble.
And last but not least
Once you’ve roamed through Monaco and had your fill of the Mediterranean air, why not swing by our TAG Heuer shop?
TAG Heuer, 17 Avenue des Spélugues, 98000 Monaco, France