Spectators wait along the route of the Monaco Grand Prix

A Day at The Monaco Grand

So the Grand Prix has come and gone, and as usual, it was such an amazing experience.

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I wrote about the Grand Prix not so long ago, but since then, we’ve been getting a lot of bookings for places to stay in Monaco next year, so I thought I should write a more in depth description of the experience. I’m lucky enough to have a family member who attended the Grand Prix this year, so I took it upon myself to give him a little interview, so that I could share the entire experience with you all.

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I’ll start off by describing the Monaco area, and what you can do there during the event. I will then finish off with telling you all about his own personal experience with the race itself.

Whilst in Monaco, it’s easy to get a little bit overwhelmed due to all of the amazing sights around you, so it’s smart to take it slow and do all of the things on your check list. The Monaco beach is a beautiful place to explore, thanks to its white sandy beach. There are a lot of cafes around for you to have a bite to eat, however the prices are extremely varied, but thanks to menus set outside of all of the restaurants and cafes, you can make an informed decision based on all of the different prices, although it was obvious that the cafes near the front of Monaco were more reasonably priced that ones further up.
One of the best places to go to whilst in Monaco is the marina, there are so many yachts it will make you think you’re seeing things. All of the yachts are so beautiful and about the size of two small houses, you can very easily spend a couple of hours just wandering around the marina, admiring them all. The views are also pretty spectacular, so much so that you won’t want to put away your camera for a second. You’ll absolutely love walking through the town, as you’ll be able to see all of the high rollers in their spectacular sports cars. If you enjoy seeing how the mega rich live, you should definitely walk around the town. You’ll be gobsmacked by the amount of extremely posh cars and shops you’ll see, especially at Casino Square. You can take a stroll down Promenade des Champions, where you can see the footprints of the likes of George Best, Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can get to the race track via helicopter from Nice.

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The experience of the race in itself, is a whole other thing. First of all, the atmosphere will floor you. Every single person is in such high spirits and everyone is there to experience the same thing, it’s honestly like you’ve been transported into a different world. Thankfully my cousin who went to the Grand Prix this year, is here to provide us all with some great tips.

You should definitely try and park away from the centre, as most of the roads are closed, and the ones that aren’t are very busy. There is an underground car park not too far from the centre, as well as a lot of other places on the street where you can park. The walk into the centre is lovely, so even if you’re parked 30 minutes away from the centre, it will still be a very enjoyable experience thanks to all of the beautiful views.

Once you’ve arrived in the centre, its time to take your seats. My cousin was sitting in Grand Stand K, and according to him, it was one of the best places to be. His seat was overlooking the marina, he had a great view of the race cars coming out of the tunnel, as well as a couple of big screens.

If you purchase the Grand Stand tickets, you’re able to go to the track before the race (on a Friday), and walk alone the pit lane, free of charge, and meet a lot of the racers, as well as a few celebrities if you’re lucky. All you have to do is show your ticket to the security guard at the entrance, and you’re free to walk around as you please. You can also meet some of the racers who will be happy to take photos with you and give you an autograph. However, as you can imagine, it can get quite busy down there.

Once you’ve found your seats, it’s time to sit down and get the day started. Before the race starts, there’s a drivers parade, which is when the drivers all sit on the back of a lorry and get interviewed whilst driving around the track. You can see this on the big screen, and also on the track itself depending on your seats. People seated in Grand Stand K, could see this.

The seats in themselves aren’t the best, they’re quite hard, so its recommended that you bring a little pillow or something to sit on, but if you forget one, you can buy some from a couple of stands for around 5 euros. If you have sensitive ears, you should bring some earplugs, as well as the usual hats, sunglasses and sun cream. Binoculars are also quite helpful, as some of the stands don’t have a big screen visible to them.

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Once the race kicks off, the atmosphere becomes even better. You can practically smell the wealth, and seeing all of the different cars gives you goosebumps. A great thing about being so close to the track, is that you can smell burning rubber as the cars go past and you can smell the smoke when there’s a crash.

It’s advised that you take a packed lunch with you, although if you do fancy having something a bit more, the food isn’t very pricey. A tip that can prove to be quite important, regarding the toilets, it’s advised that you take a toilet break before the interval, as if you wait until the interval, the queues will be massive. You should also bring some toilet paper, as towards the end of the day, it’s possible that the toilets run out (mainly the women’s toilets)

One the race is finished, that’s when all of the exciting partying starts. The yachts start sounding their horns, waving flags and playing very loud music, it becomes a big party down at the marina! About 2 hours after the race is finished, the track also turns into a party, as it is opened up to the public, and bars emerge from nowhere and are placed on the track itself. You’ll most likely find waitresses walking around with trays, selling you extravagant drinks, bubbles are blown everywhere and there are a lot of people dancing the night away and celebrating. You can also walk through the famous tunnel itself and see where the race cars were just two hours earlier.

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Monaco is known to be one of the best sites of the Grand Prix, thanks to its small size, you can get very close to the track. So close that you can feel the vibrations as the cars whizz past you.

Hopefully this review of the Grand Prix, from the perspective of someone who was there just a few weeks ago, has helped you to form tour own opinion on it. If you are now interested in going to experience the Monaco Grand Prix, you can buy your tickets here: http://www.grand-prix-monaco.com Although you may want to book soon, as tickets are selling quickly! If you need some accommodation, be sure to check the South France Holiday Villas website, as we will definitely find you somewhere fabulous to stay.

Featured image par Hans de Pixabay

Gina Evans-Forte
Gina Evans-Forte
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