Going to the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix at Monte-Carlo
Tagged: 2014 Monaco Grand Prix
13th March 2014, 12:29 at 12:29 pm #251923
Just booked flights and accomodation in Nice planning on going for the Thursday and venture around on the friday as well probably for a drive on the track where possible.
We’ve been looking at grandstand L, to over look a bit of track and the pits, anyone else got any ideas on where best to go for practice day?
The other issue is that i’ll be nearly 6 months pregnant, (can’t drink so what better say to spend my 30th birthday!!) what’s the best way to get there from Nice..train? how far a walk is it going to be? We’re hiring a car for our holiday anyway so would parking there be a better option for me?
Any help will be useful, thanks L15th March 2014, 19:02 at 7:02 pm #252613
To be honest it depends how much you want to spend but also be aware that on Thursday your seats are not allocated. We usually do hospitality on a Thursday as you can get some great deals and get to see what the premium costs buy you on Sat/Sun. As you will be 6 months pregnant a balcony may be a better option as you will also have shade and somewhere to sit that is comfortable as well as food provided.
If you want to do a grandstand we would always recommend K the views are probably the best on the circuit overlooking the harbour. The pit grandstand is literally all you see apart from a small section of the track. Unfortunately tickets are not roving so whichever grandstand you go with is the only area you can go in.
Regarding travel the train on Thursday is the best option however you need to be mindful of the fact that the trains get packed. The train we were on last year was horrific – when I say it was packed, I mean it was packed. We couldn’t believe that people were still getting on the train – it was that full the doors would not close but they were determined to get on one way or the other, so not recommended in your condition.
If it was Sat/Sun would suggest the boat but they don’t sail on Thursday. Either drive or taxi may be better although not sure of parking or taxi costs. If you do decide on the train where your ticket is will dictate how far you have to walk. The train station is at the top of the hill in Monaco so it is a hike back up to the station wherever you sit – hospitality or grandstand.
Not sure if that helps or just confuses you more.
Caroline17th March 2014, 15:37 at 3:37 pm #252913
Hey guys, I visited the race last year and found the 2013 version of this group very helpful. I found it quite difficult to find practical info so I put together a bit of a guide for another (Aussie) forum I’m on. Thought I’d post it here in case anyone finds it useful.
How much will it cost me?
So, it’s not a cheap exercise – but it doesn’t have to bankrupt you unless you want it to.
Tickets are expensive (more on that later), however the rest of it really isn’t too bad. You can dial it up & down as much as you want. I’ll base this on the assumption that the person reading it is a normal human being, and won’t be requiring helicopter transfers from Nice airport to The Fairmont Hotel. Some indicative costs below:
2/3 star hotel with sea views (staying within 15 mins train of Monaco): <€150/night
5cl beer at the track (which you can drink in the stands): €5
Ham sandwich/kebab at the track: €4
Train from Nice: €5
Two course lunch & some drinks at a half-decent restaurant in Monaco: €35pp
Team hat/shirt: €30-40
Sweet. Where do I sit?
Well, you need to buy grandstand tickets – there is no such thing as general admission & you cannot see the track from anywhere in Monaco except the grandstands (or secteur rocher – I’ll get to that) – there’s hoarding everywhere to block views.
Widely regarded as the “best” views are Stand K1 “high”. This is the first stand at Tabac corner on the harbour, seated at the back of the stand (high up). It has views of Nouvelle Chicane, the run into Tabac, Tabac corner, and the entry into Swimming Pool. If you’re in the back row, you can also stand up & peer over the edge onto the main straight. The only downside is you are not quite so close to the cars. I did K1 “low” in the very front row, and while you don’t quite get the panoramic views that the upper seats get, you are literally 2m from the cars as they go past at 160km/h. And if Max Chilton punts Pastor Maldonado into the wall in front of you, you get a face full of dust & a carbon fibre winglet off a Williams F1 car to keep
Anywhere in Stand K is brilliant as you have the widest views of the track, a screen, and you’re right across from the boats which is a pretty iconic Monaco GP view.
Also great was Stand B – Casino Square. You are sitting directly opposite Casino Monte Carlo, again with a screen right in front of you. The cars are not as quick through here, but regardless of how many times you’ve seen the race on TV, it is a bizarre sight to see F1 cars going through what is usually a busy carpark. The sound here (IMO) was much louder & better too – must have been all the echoing off buildings etc.
The best way is to jump on YouTube and look for views from various stands – you’ll get a good idea pretty quickly (in French the word for grandstand is ‘tribune’ – so search “Monaco grand prix tribune k” for example). I would definitely recommend stand K & B (in that order) – maybe do a mix i.e. stand B on Saturday, Stand K on Sunday. I’m sure the other stands are fine, however I have no experience with them so can’t say.
Note: when you buy Saturday & Sunday tickets, you get tickets for Thursday Free Practice included for no cost.
Budget up to €700pp for tickets if doing a full weekend.
Book directly through the Automobile Club Monaco website (www.acm.mc) – it is a horrible website, the ticketing UX sucks balls, and it only seems to work on Internet Explorer but persevere. They will send your tickets via registered post to your address & mine came in about Jan/Feb (ahead of the May race).
Hmm….not sure I can justify spending $1k pp on tickets.
No problem, there is another option. Secteur Rocher is a rocky hill near La Rascasse, and you can buy tickets to that for about €70 I think. There is no allocated seating so it’s first in best dressed (meaning you’ll need to get there early), however it has great (albeit a bit distant) views of the track and excellent views of the pits.
How do I get around while I’m there?
To get to Monaco, take the train. It costs €5 each way, trains leave every 15mins or so, and it only takes 10-15mins. The last train leaves Monaco at around 11.30pm.
It’s then only a short (but steep) walk from the train station to the grandstands, and everything’s clearly signed. The little ticket machines at the station are super easy to use too.
The roads are pretty diabolical on this weekend (the Cannes Film Festival is usually on around the same time 30mins up the road so you have all these people there at once) so buses are out, and a cab between Nice & Monaco apparently costs €250 each way on race weekend. If you have a bigger budget, helicopter transfers are easy to come across & aren’t as expensive as you might think (probably comparable to a cab).
Once you’re in Monaco, just walk everywhere. It’s tiny. The great thing is you can watch quali in the stands, then walk a few hundred metres to a myriad of half-decent (and sensibly priced) restaurants to have lunch/drinks while you wait for the next session to start.
Where do I stay?
If you have the budget, stay in Monaco if you can. While getting around is super easy, it would have been easier to just wander back to the room at the end of each day. I wouldn’t pay €500 a night or anything, but if you can get something for, say €200-250 I’d do it. That might be a bit optimistic though.
Otherwise, the obvious answer is Nice, but to be honest I (personally) would prefer to stay in a smaller town. I stayed in Villefranche-sur-Mer, but you could try Eze, Cap Ferrat or Bealieu-sur-Mer. They’re just a bit quieter/prettier than Nice. Villefranche was nice & relaxed – plenty of places to eat & drink but no hustle & bussle. It was good to leave hectic/noisy Monaco behind at the end of each day and just chill in a nice quiet little town. Pretty much just look at the map & pick a town that looks nice.
What else is there to do there?
Shitloads. The track opens to the public after each session (around 6pm) and then opens to traffic at 7pm. The restaurant La Rascasse turns into this massive party that spills out on to the road/track…DJs, drinks, the whole box & dice. Hundreds & hundreds of people there.
All the restaurants and bars are packed & have plenty on. There’s stuff going on in the street (merchandise, Lotus had a stand where you could drive their sim, live music in the street), beers everywhere. Lots to see.
You can go up to Casino Square, which can only be described as a circus on Saturday night. I’m not kidding, it is wall to wall rich kids posing in supercars. You are standing there watching a 20yr old kid rolling past the casino in an orange Murcielago (on Kuwaiti plates…meaning he has shipped it over from Kuwait for the weekend), just wondering to yourself “who are these people?!” Young girls driving McLarens, Veyrons, SLRs, an Aston One77, Ferraris, you name it. You know the most recent Batmobile? That was there. As was a RR Phantom painted in camo green. It’s mental.
You probably can’t go to any of the nice restaurants or bars. They are generally private events for special people only…I watched people getting turned away from Buddha Bar while playboys and socialites breezed in. Gotta be a part of the club.
Is everyone there millionaires?
Nope. The crowd were mostly just genuine F1 fans from all over the world. LOTS of Aussies. My missus was a bit worried about what to wear thinking everyone was gonna be dressed up…nope.
All the billionaires are segregated in their viewing terraces or yachts.
You can generally tell who the special people are – they are always tanned, have perfect teeth. The men wear Hublot Big Bangs/AP Royal Oak Offshores, and the smoking hot women are dressed head to toe in Chanel. They are all a bunch of wankers to be honest, the whole “look at how rich I am” thing is amusing for about 10 minutes and then it becomes sad.
Monaco is a procession why would I want to go there herpa derpity derp
Who cares, it’s a brilliant spectacle & the atmosphere is amazing. You see the cars hammering around the track, and then when you’re walking the circuit 2hrs later & you cannot believe that they actually allow this race to happen.
Any other tips?
Yeah, after the race, head down to the paddock area near the pit entry/La Rascasse. They open it up to the public around 5.30/6pm. You will be able to walk into the paddock area. You’ll see drivers, team bosses, celebrities, media, etc. I said a quick hello to Michael Douglas, Christian Horner, Adrian Newey, Esteban Gutierrez, Sergio Perez. Saw DC, EJ, Brundle & co filming their post-race shows. And shook Mark Webber’s hand & congratulated him on his podium.
Hope that helps – any queries let me know.18th March 2014, 22:21 at 10:21 pm #253156
great info Ben, are you heading to monaco again this year?19th March 2014, 8:41 at 8:41 am #253172
First time to Monaco for me this year. Having read Ben’s post, I will leave my Casio G-Shock watch at home.
One tip I read somewhere is that if you are travelling by train from Nice to Monaco, then pre book the tickets and you will avoid some of the long queues at Nice Station. You are able to book them now from the voyages-sncf website.
H10th April 2014, 13:20 at 1:20 pm #256603
Hey guys, am going to the Grand Prix for the first time this year, going on my own sort of a bucket list thing for me, staying in a budget hotel in nice, more like a hostle but not too fussed it’s very cheap and near train station! Sitting in Casino Thursday, opposite the pits in grandstand t on sat and grandstand o (lower) on Sunday! Am literally buzzing for it already!!
Thanks Ben who pretty much covered all bases, valuable info!
Couple of questions on Wednesday and Friday is the circuit open to the public, is it possible to walk it?!
Heard Wednesday you can watch teams set up and drivers and other f1 personalities usually all freely walk around the area and easy to get a pic or autograph with them, hope this is the case, will have my eyes peeled!
Most gp’s have a pit lane walkabout before the weekend begins anyone know if Monaco does the same?!
Also if their are any other f1 fanatics here who are going on their own or fancy a drink at any point,discuss f1 and take in the atmosphere let me know would be great to chat to f1 fans from around the world and stop me been a Billy no mates for a while! Lol
Dave10th April 2014, 13:38 at 1:38 pm #256604
Just bought all my train tickets for weekend,return ticket is€6.60 per day on voyages sncf website! Saves money and hassle of queuing!13th April 2014, 4:44 at 4:44 am #256788
Counting down the days until I leave for the Monaco GP. First time, doing K grandstand on the Thursday then Ermanno Terrace on the sat/sun.
I have been trying to find a map with the access points and more general detail then just grandstand layouts. Does anybody have a map or direct me somewhere online to find one?13th April 2014, 7:02 at 7:02 am #256789
All the information on here has been super helpful! My question is in regards to “numbered seats”, as indicated on the official F1 website.
I purchased tickets for Thursday in Grandstand K. While I was purchasing them online, I was never prompted to select seats, nor was I assigned any. Even after receiving my email confirmation/E-voucher, no mention of specific seats was listed. I double checked just to be sure, for Thursday it DOES say “numbered seats”.
Could someone please clarify how I can determine my numbered seats? Am I assigned numbered seats when I pick up my tickets at the exchange box or do things happen differently on the Thursday?
Following that, how can I ensure I am able to sit in the upper levels of K1/K2 on Thursday?
If someone could answer my questions, that would be greatly appreciated!
A13th April 2014, 8:25 at 8:25 am #256790
Unfortunately on Thursday no seats are allocated (not sure why your confirmation says numbered seats) – it is first come first served. Allocated seats are only for Saturday/Sunday. The most popular sections of the grandstand are K1/K2 so it is a case of getting there early if you want to sit in that section and high up.
Caroline16th April 2014, 12:18 at 12:18 pm #257127
Does anybody have any experiences with parking in the days leading up to the Grand Prix?
I am hiring a car from Monday until Thursday, doing some days trips to St Tropez, Cannes, Nice etc. Will be needing car parking space at night. I am happy to use the expensive secure car parks if availability is there. I have read parking can be very hard this time of year, I am thinking it would be okay until later in the week when more people arrive. Thoughts?24th April 2014, 13:02 at 1:02 pm #258059
Has anybody ever been to the F1 Charity Soccer match on the Tuesday before the GP?
Was it worth while?
Do many people go?
Is it on this year?24th April 2014, 23:44 at 11:44 pm #258101
Just catching up so replied to your email also…
Link to the stadium http://www.asm-fc.com/en/club/contact-1-315.html
Parking info below
The Chemin des Pêcheurs parking lot, built to serve Monaco-Ville, is located under the Oceanographic Museum; it can hold 55 busses and 750 private cars.
With the permanent development of the new area of Fontvieille, more than 2,700 places for private cars and 180 places for camping cars are also available. The other main car parks are located in the Condamine on the Place St. Dévote, in Monte-Carlo under the Boulingrins Gardens, Avenue Princesse Grace (Larvotto and Portier), Boulevard de Belgique, Avenue St. Charles, Avenue des Spélugues (the Metropole gallery), Boulevard Louis II, Avenue de la Costa and Place des Moulins.
For more parking information, please call: (+377) 93 15 88 27
Ed27th April 2014, 14:06 at 2:06 pm #258288
Thanks Ed, I have read your email.
Thanks for the information!
Is there English commentary over the weekend that we can tune into using personal am/fm radio’s?28th April 2014, 21:47 at 9:47 pm #258433
Yes there is an English commentary over the circuit PA system and also on local radio. Unfortunately we don’t have Fanvision anymore, they are great little units.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.