A trip to the Monaco F1 Grand Prix should be on everyone’s bucket list, and to ensure you have a great time, I have put together my top 5 things to do at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Monaco Grand Prix is the Formula One motor race held at the end of May each year on the Circuit de Monaco (the streets of Monaco itself!) and an exceptional location of glamour and prestige! The race has been running since 1929 and is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world, closely followed by the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24 hours. Celebrities flock to this event like bees to a honey pot because it is quite possibly the world’s most glamorous sporting event. To name a few that have visited in recent years: Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Hugh Grant, Patrick Dempsey, Liz Hurley, Geri Horner, Ronan Keating, numerous football stars, and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
As an F1 fan myself, I could bore you with the specifics like the fact it’s one of the most demanding tracks in F1 and the only Grand Prix that does not adhere to the FIA’s mandatory 305km (190-mile) minimum race distance, but that’s not what I’m here to tell you about, instead let me introduce you to the glamorous things you can get up to while attending this impressive and glitz-filled event!
It’s important to note the Monaco GP is the only one on the calendar where practice falls on a Thursday, so you can enjoy a free day on Friday before qualifying and the race on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Tip: the only things you can’t do while the racing is on is visit the Casino or the port, so it’s worth visiting these on Friday.
1) Experience the thrill of Monaco from the water
Visiting Monaco in GP season is something of an experience in itself, but if you take to the water, you get an utterly different perspective of Monaco’s seascape and impressive monuments. I thoroughly recommend a Wajer Yacht Tour arranged by GPexperiences, which will add another touch of elegance and flair to your Monaco Grand Prix experience. You’ll be whisked away on a mesmerizing tour through the beauty of Monaco and the French Riviera, all from the comforts of a Wajer 38 luxury yacht. This luxurious tour will give you a unique view of some of Monte-Carlo’s most impressive sights, such as the Hotel de Paris Casino, the Fairmont Hotel, the Grimaldi Forum, and all the impressive yachts that are docked in the famous harbor. And during all of this, you can sit back with a chilled glass of fine premium Champagne in hand – bliss!
2) Visit the Casino
While attending the Monaco GP, it’s definitely worth soaking up a bit of the pre or post-race atmosphere, and where better than a glamorous casino? Entrance to the Casino de Monte-Carlo will set you back a mere €10 EUR. However, don’t forget to bring your passport and to pack something smart to wear – tip: jackets are recommended for men, and no trainers are allowed.
3) Hire your own private yacht or be a guest on someone else’s!
Okay, so I’m not made of money, and truthfully hiring your own yacht can be prohibitively expensive, with port fees alone being over £20000 GBP for a decent size yacht! However, if you can splash the cash (around 50k for yacht hire), many yachts can accommodate 10 of your nearest and dearest overnight for the entire 5 days of the event and host a further 50 guests during the days, so it might not be so farfetched after all if 60 of your closest friends are willing to chip in! But, if £70000 GBP is beyond your reach for a long weekend, then there is always the option of chartering a smaller yacht for the day and anchoring outside the port. From under £400 GBP per head for 10 guests, you can get a 70ft Sunseeker for the day – that’s less than the cost of a grandstand ticket! From the anchor, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the cars as they round Portier and scream into the tunnel, and with the home comforts of huge satellite TVs onboard, you can follow the race in your own style and comfort.
If, however, you would prefer to be a little closer to the action, you can buy individual tickets to enjoy the race from a luxury yacht within the coveted “zone 1” of Monaco harbor! From £2000 GBP for the weekend, you can get aboard a 50m yacht moored in a trackside berth which gives you direct views of all the action. So why not lay back on a sunbed whilst the crew serves you another glass of Cristal before lunch, an haute cuisine affair, is served on the aft deck?
Alternatively, Monaco Terraces offer another unique way to enjoy the race as a true VIP. You can secure a spot at one of GPexperiences´ Terraces by Ste Devote and Beau Rivage for an exciting overview of the track and port, accompanied by VIP hospitality features such as open Champagne bar and gourmet lunch buffet.
4) Embrace the crowds with drinks, dinner … and breakfast!
Post-race, immerse yourself in the F1 crowds by heading to La Rascasse, a lively club that’s kinder to your bank balance than the likes of Jimmy’z, Black Legend, or Moods, where you can expect to pay at least €30 EUR a drink! With the party spilling out onto the racetrack itself on the Friday and Saturday nights, this is a great little place to grab something chilled before heading off on to somewhere like the SAS Cafe for a light bite to eat before hitting the famous Amber Lounge for more dancing into the night. And for the morning after the night before, the Cafe de Paris does the best Bloody Marys around as well as breakfast bites to help you recover.
5) Private Beaches
Monaco enjoys an average of 300 days’ sunshine per year, and the GP falls at the end of May – a gorgeous time to visit the French Riviera, so if you need a break from the fast pace of F1 and a little R&R, then an escape to the beach is what’s called for. Nice’s town beaches are shingly, but the beachfront hotels and restaurants more than make up for the ouch-factor in the luxury service they provide their guests. So, if you have the time, try to devote at least one afternoon to visiting Nice to a bit of cocktail-sipping and people-watching on the beach – my favorite, and by far the poshest is Plage Beau Rivage, well worth a visit and if you fancy a little action on the water yourself then try Blue Beach. If you have a few more days to kill, you could always head further afield to St Tropez with its beautiful beaches and fantastic restaurants to enjoy too.
There are few destinations in the world as glamorous as Monaco, a wonderful place to visit at any time of year, but if you are joining the masses when the Formula One circus rolls into town, then make sure you enjoy a few of these activities as well.
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