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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 27 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

First run by the local automobile club in 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix is like no other race on the Formula 1 circuit: a heady cocktail of money, bling and VIPs, combined with the adrenaline-packed insanity of cars racing past mega yachts, around tight bends, through a tunnel and the steep streets of a densely packed city.

Because it is so dangerous, it’s shorter and slower than other F1 races, and often yields unexpected results. Some call it a drivers’ race (many drivers live in tax-haven Monaco) as it’s actually the least viewer-friendly of all F1 races – although for many diehard fans, that’s the attraction. Ideally, you’ll want access to a television to see what’s happening on the rest of the track.

While you’re there (for petrol heads) 

It’s not the same, of course, but several local operators offer you the opportunity to drive around Monaco – and several parts of the track – in Lamborghinis or Ferraris. They’ll also take you driving up along the breathtaking Grand Corniche.

Logistics

Price from: £50
Minimum age: 6
Age suitable: 13+
Frequency: annually
When: Last weekend May
Duration: 4 days

Getting there & doing it

Don’t drive into Monaco during the four race days – traffic is very restricted, and most of the city’s car parks are used for grandstands (or charge outrageous rates). Instead, take the train from Nice, or boat over from St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat – big spenders could also helicopter in from Nice airport.  

Book tickets online through the Monaco Grand Prix website: the most desirable grandstands usually sell out by early April. If you have the budget, book the VIP terraces – gold, silver or platinum; and for the very best, book places in the F1 Paddock Club, with its Champagne-inclusive open bar.  

The Hôtel de Paris Monte Carlo is not only home to Monaco’s most famous restaurant, but also enjoys fine views of the race from its terrace. All holders of Saturday or Sunday grandstand tickets or Rocher Sunday tickets are eligible for free visits to the pits on Friday afternoons. 

When to do it

The Grand Prix is held over four days from Thursday to Sunday, in the last week of May. The Formula 1 race is the last race on Sunday.

Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Monaco

Cote d'Azur, France

Monaco

The Riviera’s Never Never Land for the rich, offering bling, glamour, sights, high-roller casinos and entertainment galore.

Cannes

Cote d'Azur, France

View of the beach and seafront in Cannes

Sister city of Hollywood and host of the famous film festival, Cannes, with its palm-lined La Croisette, golden beach and five star hotels oozes cinematic and pure Riviera glamour.

French Riviera

Cote d'Azur, France

View of boating marina and the town on hills behind

Money, glamour and bombshell looks: this beach-trimmed stretch of French coast offers decadent hotels, lounging in beach clubs, fine restaurants and world-class art.