Getting to the Monaco Grand Prix, Formula 1’s crown jewel, is undoubtedly a dream for many. It’s one of the most prestigious events in the world, and the Monaco Grand Prix is hands-down the best location to experience it, albeit one of the shortest races on the calendar. Every single driver considers it a rite of passage. When you conquer Monaco, you’ve truly arrived. After all, the track was designed for cars a third the size of today’s Formula One monsters. If you can master it in Monaco, you can master it anywhere.
This year marked my second visit, and I vividly recall chatting with Marco. Last year, I arrived a mere two days early, catching a glimpse of all the preparations but missing the actual Grand Prix. It struck me that in Monaco, you must decide whether you’re part of the action or a distant observer. Monaco doesn’t give you a choice; you can’t help but return.
In the coming months, I’m gearing up to get everything in order: planning, securing credentials, and more. My top priority for 2023? Not merely visiting Monaco but attending the 80th Anniversary of the Monaco Grand Prix .
What did I learn about getting to the Monaco Grand Prix and celebrating the 80th anniversary of this iconic track? Well, it’s no small feat. Monaco, as most of you may know (or might not!), is a minuscule principality, covering less than 3 square miles. Yet, during Grand Prix weekend, it hosts approximately 300,000 people, while its normal population hovers just over 39,000. You’ll need some tricks up your sleeve to navigate this logistical puzzle.
I won’t delve into the nitty-gritty of how I nearly missed the race, but my past experience has taught me valuable lessons, which I’m eager to share with you.
1. Don’t Drive!
To put it bluntly, during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, driving is a big no-no. Don’t even think about driving into the city if you want to arrive on time. The country was designed for 39,000 residents, not the hordes that descend for the Grand Prix. Public transportation like Uber or buses won’t save you either. Use the train or the metro – they’re your only ticket to guaranteed arrival. Sure, you might need to walk a bit after you disembark, but it beats the hassle of driving and searching for parking in the city.
2. Stay Outside Monaco
If you’re coming for the Grand Prix, avoid staying in Monaco, especially if you’re not made of money. Instead, consider places like Nice or Cannes. I, for one, stayed in the charming town of Frejus, which offered affordability without sacrificing beauty. From there, you can hop on a train that will whisk you to Monaco’s Monte Carlo station. While other cities are great options too, Nice, Cannes, and Monaco remain the prime choices for most attendees.
3. Be Respectful and Polite
Amid the Grand Prix madness, it’s crucial to remain respectful and polite. Yes, there will be endless distractions, parties, and tight schedules, but remember you’re in someone else’s home, someone else’s country. Even if you speak English, there’s a good chance you’ll find someone who understands it. Monegasque, the locals, might be friendly, but they won’t tolerate disrespect. Keep it in check.
Bonus Tip: Leave Early
Once the race concludes, consider making a hasty exit. The line to the train station will be a chaotic mess. I once stayed two hours after the race for a meet and greet, and I ended up in a 50-minute line just to get into the station.
So, there you have it – your guide to conquering the Monaco Grand Prix, filled with lessons learned from my adventures. Enjoy the thrill of the race, and remember that in Monaco, the journey is as exciting as the destination!