Glitz, glamour and the most iconic track.
When I look back on my 29 years in this life, I can confidently say I’ve had some really, really fantastic weekends. Weekends filled with sunshine, laughter, family and adventure. Weekends exploring new cities, weekends away with friends, weekends just sitting at home rugged up with a movie on a cold winter night.
But I have to say – I recently experienced what will always and forever be one of the BEST weekends of my entire life.
Enter: The Monaco Grand Prix.
I have been following the Formula 1 for a couple of years now (and before you ask – yes, Drive To Survive had a lot to do with it, and yes, that is OK), and I am now a genuine fan of the sport. I just love it. I love knowing how much work goes into it, how prestigious and glamorous the sport can be, how much we love the drivers and the history of Formula One. I think it’s pretty dope.
So, naturally, Vanessa and I (we have fallen into the F1 rabbit hole together) in the midst of a lockdown-related meltdown decided it best we attend the most famous Grand Prix weekend of all – Monaco.
F1 Experiences Ticket Packages
We’ll take it back to the beginning – purchasing the tickets. We had absolutely no idea how to go about this, or what the costs would be. We did a bit of research and decided to book with F1 Experiences. We registered our interest online in November and the next day we were called by a sales rep. Our new bestie Stuart chatted with us about the different packages and prices on offer.
Now I’ll be honest – Monaco is obviously expensive. But we knew it would be.
For context – we were able to purchase a 4 day grandstand pass for the Melbourne GP in 2022 for $400 total.
Monaco on the other hand…
Monaco GP Ticket Pricing
After chatting with our sales rep, we decided to purchase the ‘Starter Pack’.
- A fully catered day on a yacht by the track (which we later found out was the Below Deck yacht, lol) including alcoholic drinks
- Three day grandstand tickets – Grandstand L
- The cost: $2500 AUD*
After spending our day on the yacht, and now knowing exactly where our seats were, I can say with absolutely certainty that it was money well spent. I actually would go as far to say as it almost… could have cost more and I still would have paid it?
*This was for 2022, I have now seen the prices for 2023 and there has been a significant increase in ticket prices.
Ticket collection = Chaos
We had to make our way to the port in Fontveille in Monaco to pick up our physical tickets on the Thursday of GP weekend, and that was hell.
It was hot, I had blisters, and Monaco is a devil to navigate the first time you go. Because of the steep layout of the city, Google Maps doesn’t work very well. When we finally found the port an hour after arriving at the train station, Vanessa’s tickets weren’t there. Obviously we sat for a morning mimosa while they were collected, and we caught our breath.
Once we realised what we were in for, all frustration and worry fell away. We jumped on a tender and headed to the Sirocco Yacht, which was docked to face the track in the Monaco Port. I’ve never felt so fancy in my life. We spent the entire day on this yacht, drinking champagne, eating catered lunch and enjoying nibbles throughout the day. We made friends from all around the world, and we saw a few of the drivers riding past while they did their track lap. It was a magical day I will never forget.
Friday was when the racing fun kicked off, and we went to find our seats, which would be our spot for qualifying and the race too.
We had NO idea how good our seats were going to be. As we exited the overpass I saw Sebastian Vettel on the Aston Martin balcony, and I realised we were sitting right next to pit lane?? You couldn’t have asked for better seats in my opinion. We were directly opposite the Williams and Alfa Romeo garages, which meant we could see EVERYTHING. All the drivers, the team principles, the celebrities, the engineers working on the cars, the pit stop practices, the journalists.
It was phenomenal. I didn’t know where to look.
What other tickets can you buy?
Due to it being the most iconic race, there are plenty of ticket options available. We would recommend going through an official F1 site for tickets – not a re-seller – so you have peace of mind if something goes wrong. We did hear from locals that you cannot buy tickets on the day anymore as it is too popular – so make sure you book ahead of time.
You can buy tickets for the Paddock Club, watch from an apartment (there are tickets for this, or if you’ve got connections you’re in luck), watch from a yacht for the whole weekend (which is personally my goal for next time), or get there SUPER early and set up a rug on the hills surrounding the track and watch with the locals. That’s your most cost-effective solution, but if it rains you are in strife. It did rain when we were there and these silly geese forgot ponchos.
Getting to the Monaco Grand Prix
Now, unless you’ve got the funds to do so, chances are you won’t be staying in the Principality of Monaco this weekend. It would be SO convenient, but I you’ll be spending thousands a night on accommodation.
Fortunately, Monaco is easily accessed via the SNCF and regional trains that service the South of France. We stayed in an Airbnb in Nice, and had no issues getting in from there. The trains run every half hour and it was maybe 10 euro for return tickets. It was BUSY on the trains though, so be prepared to stand for the 25 minute journey. We made friends on the train – everyone is just happy to be there.
A word of advice on the trains – they stop running at 11pm, even when there is a massive event happening. To avoid getting stranded in Monaco and needing to pay hundreds of dollars to get home (guilty) I would highllyyyy suggest setting an alarm to get the last train home. There are no ubers in Monaco, and cab drivers can basically charge whatever they see fit to get you home.
Is the Monaco Grand Prix worth it?
100%. This was, and will always be, one of the highlights of my life. It was a highlight of the trip, and I still talk about it to anyone who will listen. I felt as though I was in another world, and I loved being so close to the action. Monaco is a famous track for a reason – as it is so small and a street circuit, you are right in the thick of the action everywhere you go.
I can confidentally say I will be doing EVERY type of manifestation possible to get back to Monaco for another race… hopefully on a yacht this time. Watch this space.
PS. I covered our entire weekend in Monaco on my TikTok @kellyrosemua_