What Else Is There To Do Apart From The Race In Monaco?
Monaco Is A Fantastic Place To Visit During May!
MONACO: GRAND PRIX WEEKEND
Ok, you’ve got tickets to one of the greatest sporting spectacles on earth – the Monaco Grand Prix – what should you do first?
We look at Formula One hotspots and other delights of Monaco (of which there are plenty) for when the racing has finished.
Every year in May, an estimated 150,000 Formula One fans flock to Monaco to watch the racing. The race is difficult. The location is stunning. The hospitality extraordinary.
Seasoned fans will have a favourite vantage point/hangout, but for those who have yet to experience the ultimate Grand Prix weekend – we have put together 5 hotspots.
Get yourself in position for the best views of racing, or to share the VIP treatment with the rich and famous.
1. The Shangri La: Few views in Formula One can rival this one. The VIP Shangri La allows spectacular views across the harbour circuit – this takes in the start/finish straight, the pit lane and the straight between the tunnel and the chicane. Wait, I haven’t finished yet – it also includes views of the Prince's Palace of Monaco, a crowd of superyachts and a giant screen so that you can keep your eye on other parts of the track. You won’t miss a thing up here. Catering is local. Beer is on tap. And there is plenty of quality champagne too.
2. Pit Lane Visit: Almost certainly a must see when you are here at the Monaco Grand Prix. You can mingle with the Formula One teams, drivers and officials.
Of course, with this location and its privileges comes some of the finest hospitality in the world: expect gourmet cuisine, quality entertainment and an open bar.
3. The Amber Lounge: If you are looking for somewhere that epitomises the glitz and grace of a Formula One weekend in Monaco – look no further than the Amber Lounge. This place attracts the rich and famous. They come for Michelin-star dining, exclusive fashion/charity events and lavish parties.
On Friday head to U*NITE for pre-show cocktails, the Monaco Fashion Show and charity auctions. On Saturday and Sunday there is a famous after party – where drivers gather with their teams to celebrate or commiserate. Sometimes they party until Tuesday morning.
4. Trackside Parties: Because the track weaves through the streets of Monaco – when the racing has finished – spectators don’t have to go far to continue the party well into the early hours.
Trendy bars, nightclubs, and 5-star restaurants are a-plenty.
Some of the best track-side locations are La Racasse, Jimmy’z Sporting Monte-Carlo and the Sea Lounge Monte-Carlo. If you are lucky enough to receive a VIP invite – head to a yacht party. These superyachts are equipped with dance floors, DJ booths and light machines.
Bring your dancing shoes. Monte Carlo knows how to party.
5. Casino Monte-Carlo: Not visiting the Casino on a trip to Monaco would be like going to Rome and ignoring the Colosseum. Classier than Las Vegas, this casino opened in 1865 - created to save the ruling family, the House of Grimaldi from bankruptcy. The Opera de Monte-Carlo and office of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo are included in same complex.
Put your glad rags and a bet on - and luxuriate in the grand rooms.
Watch the racing from Grandstand B to keep an eye on Turn 4 and enjoy the fine-looking Casino in the backdrop.
And what else...? Another 5:
1. Barbajuan: After the Vatican City, Monaco is the smallest country in the world. But it still manages to have multiple Michelin star restaurants. And its own delicacies. Barbajuan is probably the most famous of these – known across France and Italy.
A Barbajuan is a fried fritter traditionally filled with Swiss chard and ricotta. They can also be stuffed with leeks, parmesan and spinach etc. You can purchase some at the Marche de la Condamine from popular bakeries including Maison Mullot and La Roca.
The Barbajuan is mostly eaten on Monaco’s national day, but not exclusively! The Monaco Grand Prix is equally as important here - so tuck in.
2. Tete de Chien: Monaco is a truly beautiful location; surrounded by hills and the Mediterranean. For the perfect viewing platform (and some exercise) climb the Tete de Chien (a 550m high rock) to take in the astonishing views of the Med.
3. Head to Nice: It could be, of course, that you are staying in Nice if you are attending the Grand Prix weekend. But if not, it is definitely worth a visit on its own. One of France’s most popular cities to be found on the coast; most of the beaches are open to the public (unlike Monaco) so you can dip your toes in the Mediterranean.
Nice has a 7km walkway lining the coast – The Promenade des Anglais – that was built in the 1820s.
At one end is Parc Phoenix, a wonderful 7-hectare park: containing a botanical garden and one of Europe’s largest greenhouses with 2,500 species of plant. There is also a variety of wildlife; animals to spot include exotic birds, monkeys and crocodiles.
4. Villa Ephrussi: A Belle Epoque villa positioned between Nice and Monaco – The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a glorious palace set in grounds containing 9 themed gardens: a French garden, Spanish garden, Japanese garden, Florentine garden, Provencal garden, stone garden, exotic garden, rose garden and a garden of Sevres.
Relax in the many gardens (I feel to truly experience each one you will require multiple trips) with a book, your loved ones or perhaps just your own thoughts. The Tea Room can provide you with a picnic or you can be taken care of inside the restaurant with unrestricted views of the bay. If history and beautiful décor are also your thing – take a look around the palace itself.
5. Grimaldi Forum: A unique glass and steel structure poised on the oceanfront, the Grimaldi Forum Monaco is the Government’s Congress and Cultural Centre. It is host to an average of 100 events annually – for conferences, trade fairs, conventions, concerts, exhibitions, shows and digital events. Take a look at what’s on while you’re there. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.