Monaco Grand Prix is one of my favourite events here on the French Riviera and it’s a complete myth you have to be stacked with cash to enjoy it (though that can help immensely!).
If you want to visit the Grand Prix, the main race is Sunday and there’s usually no way to get around the price of tickets, so unless you have hospitable friends with apartments or offices overlooking the circuit or plan to charter a superyacht , you’ll have to pay up.
However, you can buy tickets for the Thursday practice day at a fraction of Sunday’s prices, or head to Monaco on the Friday for the free day. FREE! Same circuit, different cars but there are always lots of people around and I find the atmosphere is great the entire 4-days anyway.
If you’re a complete cheap skate, you can still get to Monaco and head to Place d’Armes on Sunday where they have free big screens relaying the race action and driver simulators, beer kiosks and other free entertainment so you can soak up the atmosphere.
If you’re hoping to get a free glimpse of the circuit up close, you’re out of luck – the fencing goes into place well in advance and entry to the stands is via gated security HOWEVER I have a super tip for somewhere in Monaco where you can watch a snippet of the live race for free and no I’m not referring to a pub television! Stay tuned for my Grand Prix blog coming soon with more GP info….
At the end of each race day, they open up the circuit so you can walk on it. Race merchandise can be bought any day for less than €15 (caps, t-shirts etc) and well-priced food and drinks including beer is sold everywhere. The crowds in the bars are generally well behaved and I’ve never seen the local police turf anyone off the street for wandering around with a plastic beer cup in public during Grand Prix.
If you love motor racing, another option is to get a ticket for the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique which is held every 2 years in Monaco on the same circuit and always a few weeks before the F1 event.
In 2016, Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is held from 13-15 May, with the F1 Grand Prix from 26-29 May. I actually prefer the GP Historique over the F1 racing as it features classic cars including F1 Grand Prix cars from the 1960’s and 1970’s as well as sports cars from the 1950’s such as Astons and Jags.
I will be posting another blog article in the coming weeks about tips specifically for Monaco Grand Prix, so stay tuned!