Monte-Carlo – spectators’ experiences

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Rubens Barrichello, Honda, Monte-Carlo, 2006Tell us about your experiences of visiting the Monte-Carlo street circuit.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

Are you going to the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix? Chat with other F1 fans who are going to the race here: 2011 Monaco Grand Prix discussion

339 comments on Monte-Carlo – spectators’ experiences

  1. Gabriel said on 7th December 2010, 19:44

    i will go to monaco gp on 2011 and i read the opinions for general admition (rocher).
    is it that bad? what if you go an hour before the start of the race? some people went 5-6 hours before.
    on the otherhand, the next cheaper ticket costs 300 euros or so….

    • Hi Gabriel

      In short and in my humble opinion – yes it is that bad. Some people like it however!

      If you want the best spots on Rocher be prepared to camp overnight, 5-6 hours before won’t get you the best locations.

      And be prepared for a long journey to and from the toilet or any other facilities.

      Good luck, if I can help with anything else let me know.
      Best wishes

  2. Jean Pierre Auger said on 11th December 2010, 17:16

    Hi F1 fans,
    In 1972 I was cruising around the Med on the USS John F Kennedy, and it just so happened that our port of call was Cannes during the film festival. But not being a movie person, at the time, I boarded a train to Monaco. I had purchased tix on the ship so the only thing for me to do was find a room. Able to speak canadien french, I found a small room in Nice. Yes it was very wet and dreary both Sat and Sun. I do not recall how my friend and I got access but we found ourselves watching the mechanics working on rear end gears like it was nothing, they would reach in a pail of cleaner and fish around and come up with the proper part to put it all together. And seeing the drivers like Stewart was a thrill. If you still have pix of the circuit, you’ll notice at the last turn before going to the s/f line, that the hay bales have been disturbed. That’s where some shipmates formed a bed and slept Sat night. The race itself was amazing and we could walk around the circuit during the race so we crossed over the pedestrian bridge and made our way to the hairpin turn where the cars are at their slowest and some great pix can be had. And when I heard who had won the race I was ecstatic. Another Jean Pierre had won the race, well I was in good company. A time in my life I shall cherish forever. Thanks to those who have enjoyed my story. Jean Pierre Auger

  3. Alex Ings said on 18th December 2010, 21:54

    I’m going to Monaco next year for my birthday and am looking into stuff now. Have been thinking of staying in Nice and training over – probably booking a flight / hotel package from as it deosn’t seem much more value to do it sepertely – if I can even find a hotel with vacancies.

    Ticket wise am thinking of having Sunday somewhere high up in T grandstand – am I right in thinking you can see into the pits from there?

    Also, I want to get seats in other grandstands for the Thursday and Saturday – any suggestions as to where else would be good to view from?

    Any help is much appreciated :-)

    • Hi Alex

      Staying in Nice and getting the train is a great way to keep the cost of going to the Monaco GP down. A return ticket on the train is around 10-12€ just make sure you buy your ticket in advance, maybe the day before, and get there a little early, if you get the timing wrong you’ll be queuing for a while. Lots of hotel options in Nice, many will have a three day minimum charge but if that doesn’t meet your requirements search around and you’ll find one that does 1 or 2 nights instead. We use the Villa Victoria (3*), Le Méridien (4*) and Palais de la Méditerranée (4* deluxe) in Nice and they are all excellent.

      High in T – yest you can see into the pits, good choice.

      Thursday/Saturday – you could also try K but the betters stands in K (K1/K2 right on Tabac corner) will probably be sold out.

      If you interested in Porsche Supercup and GP2 those series race on Friday morning and this is free.

      If you need any more help just holler.
      Merry Christmas

      • Alex Ings said on 21st December 2010, 15:22

        Thanks for the reply and the information Ed – much appreciated!

        Just one more thing – where is the best place to buy race tickets from?

        • Hi Alex

          I agree with Stephanie, if you are organising everything yourself the best place to buy them is online direct from the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM). Unless an agent our tour operator like ourselves is adding value in some way (transfers, kangaroo tv included, hotel, etc.) then the best place is direct. There is no point in paying more through someone else if they are not adding value for you.

          If there’s anything else don’t hesitate.

  4. stephanie isherwood said on 21st December 2010, 22:12

    I would buy race tickets from the official website. It’s pretty easy to use. If you buy grandstand tickets for the Saturday and Sunday you get Thursday for free plus a pit walk on the Friday. I sat in K on the Thursday this year (and will in 2011) There are no numbered seats on that day and the stand won’t be full so get there early enough and you’ll get the best spot. This year I was in upper stand T for the Saturday and Sunday but imo it’s better to sit there on the Saturday rather than the race because you don’t get much pit action on race day whilst there is more on the Saturday.

    I booked with a tour company last year but it’s so easy to do it independantly and it’s saving me around £200

  5. Alex Ings said on 31st December 2010, 11:03

    Thanks Ed & Stephanie! Good point about less action in the pits on a sunday now – any suggestions of a good grandstand for the Sunday then?

    If I go with different grandstands for Saturday & Sunday, do you still get the thursday free and the friday pitwalk?

    • stephanie isherwood said on 1st January 2011, 13:15

      yes you do. I’m in K for Thursday, T for Saturday and I think V for Sunday. Think V may be full now as it’s only a small stand. I do like the look of the stand just coming out of the tunnel by the chicane. Sounds a bit of a trip to get to but you’ve got a good chance of seeing some action. Otherwise I would go for K probably but I haven’t had much experience of any of the other smaller stands around the circuit

  6. Alex Ings said on 2nd January 2011, 13:08

    Thanks Stephanie. I think I’m sorted on what to go for. Thursday B casino square – Saturday T2 to see into the pits – Sunday K6 near the entrance of the swimming pool.

    I’ve seen the grandstand you mentioned on the exit of the tunnel on some track maps, but can’t find them listed on the ACM website, so maybe that’s not being used this year.

    Having gone through to the checkout (but not yet bought) it seems odd that a 1 day ticket is coming up at the same if you want three days in the same seat. Is this right, or have I done something wrong?

    Thanks for all your help by the way :-)

    • Hi Alex, that doesn’t sound right. A three day ticket should be more expensive than one day regardless of seat. There is a discount for Saturday + Sunday 2 day tickets (10% off Saturday) and Thursday + Saturday + Sunday 3 day tickets (Thursday free). It may be a glitch in the ACM website. They do speak English so you could call them to make sure you get exactly what you want. Regards, Ed.

      • Alex Ings said on 5th January 2011, 19:57

        Cheers Ed, I’ve just had another look. If I click on grandstand T for Sunday the prices come up as: 450 Full price, 450 2 days package, 450 3 days package.

        Am I just being thick? (quite likely, by the way :) )

        • stephanie isherwood said on 5th January 2011, 22:01

          Hi Alex,

          I think the Sunday price is the same for all offers. If you look at a grandstand for the Thursday it will give you the option for full price and also for the 3 day package which should say €0. Then if you look at Saturday you will have the full price. The 2 day package which will be at a cheaper rate and the 3 day package which will be at the full price.

          hope that makes sense

  7. Neils on Wheels said on 4th January 2011, 19:53

    I am arranging to go with a mate this year, we are on a family holiday and plan to sneak away for a night or two. Reckon we will try and get a hotel in to the holiday inn (he has a deal and reckons he can get a room) and we will do Rocher – we are only doing the Saturday qualifying. Any tips and tricks? Primarily getting in and out of Monaco and what to avoid. Thanks in advance.


  8. Hi Neil, I guess you’re talking about the Holiday Inn in Nice as the two closest are Nice and St Laurent du Var a little further west along the coast from Nice. The one in Nice is on Victor Hugo Boulevard not far from one of the hotels we use, which is a good location for the train station and train is the cheapest method of transport to Monaco. Provided you get there early enough you will miss the worst of the queues. Rocher is another matter, get there VERY early for a good spot, you will find people who have camped from the day before to get the best locations. Personally, I’d rather sit in a bar in Nice or Monaco with a cold beer and watch the race on the TV than watch it from Rocher…but, if you’re going for the Rocher experience and to say you’ve done it go for it – but be prepared for it and set your expectations low! Good luck and come back to post your comments to let us know what you think after the event. All the best, Ed.

    • Neils on Wheels said on 5th January 2011, 19:59

      Thanks Ed for the advice – I shall let you know how we get on.
      I think my mate is talking about the Holiday Inn Garden Court Cannes-Le Cannet in Monaco. But Nice sounds much more realistic

  9. Hi,

    Can anyone say what sectuer rocher is like? its about £70 versus grandstands £350+.

    Saw on utube view could be a bit obscurred.

    Is there much happening after the race? Parties etc?

    Thanks in advance


  10. Nikhil said on 25th February 2011, 8:39

    am i glad i got this site and discussions on it,
    I am planned to be in monte-carlo for the F-1 2011, with family all girls from 15 to 55 yr.old and myself (51yrs), please tell me what are the events on thurs, fri and saturday and at what time they are.
    which are pay events and which are not to pay.
    Also, is there any offers for viewing the race from a terrace top of bldg. on payable basis is also ok.
    pls reccommend a good family hotel in Nice.


  11. Neils on Wheels said on 25th February 2011, 18:51


    Took the plunge and bought 2 tickets in Grandstand T (lower) near La Rascasse. Anyone been there, any good? I bought the tickets from (anyone used these??) – are they reliable? Anyway, I was going to get the train in from Nice, just not sure what time to get there. Are there loads of other things going on before the races?

    Thanks in advance – Neil

  12. Dana said on 21st March 2011, 14:55

    Hi everyone,
    Thank you all for posting here. You were of much help to me when I went to Spa last year. This year I would like to go to Monaco, I was thinking about Rocher section (I am on a low budget), but after what I read here (and having been to Magny-Cours and Spa in GA), I am thinking about making a hole in my budget and going for a grandstand. Which option would be the best between Portier and grandstand P (in terms of view, spectacle, toilettes and other facilities)?

    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Dana

      Personally I would take P over Portier, there is more to see, it is closer to the majority of the bars, restaurants, etc. after the race, the atmosphere in the harbour is great, and so on.

      Have fun

  13. Jeff said on 11th April 2011, 2:49

    Thanks for all the comments.

    I went to the GP in Monaco in 2009. I had a great time, our seats are at the cafe de Paris building.

    What frustrated me though is the fact that we were basically in and out. We could not go anywhere because there were barricades everywhere.

    We are going again this year, same seats. Plan to be there Sunday at aroun 9:00 to be able to walk around a little. We typically park under the Casino square. Does anyone have any tips in terms of getting around on Sunday or even Friday or saturday?

    Are taxis a possibility? is there a map that shows what is barricaded and what is not? If you are in Casino square, can someone provide directions (while avoiding the barricades) to get to other parts of the track?


    • Hi Jeff

      Getting around on Sunday – before the track opens your best bets are either by foot or scooter. I use a scooter the entire time we are in Monaco. Taxis are possible but I wouldn’t rely on them. If you are staying at a hotel in Monaco they will be able to arrange a car for you but give them notice.

      There isn’t a map I’m aware of which shows you which roads are closed although someone else may know of a resource for this. To get to other parts of the track from Casino Square head to the side of the Hotel de Paris past the Hotel Hermitage and keep going downhill staying left, it will very much be a follow your nose affair! There are public elevators at points which take you to the harbour from this area but you may not get very far before/during race time if you don’t have the right pass.

      You can always make your way to the train station and follow the crowds/signs to Rue Grimaldi which is behind the start/finish straight. Rue Grimaldi runs from Place D’arme to St Devote where it meets what is the racetrack, but this is barricaded obviously and you will not be able to see the track with a pass for a restaurant or private terrace here. You can’t really see the track without a pass anywhere, little snippets through fenced and barricades but that’s it.

      Hope that helps

  14. kelly said on 15th April 2011, 20:14

    I need to know 2011 , where is best place to sit Z1 grass or Sector Rocher

  15. kelly said on 15th April 2011, 20:16

    please advise +27826350370 where is best view Z1 or Rocher Mountain please advise

    • Out of those two options Kelly I would say Z1…but be prepared to be uncomfortable at either!