Watching the Grand Prix in Monaco

Watching the Grand Prix in Monaco is an experience you won’t be soon to forget. Even if you aren’t a Formula One fan (or even any kind of racing fan for that matter), there’s something unique and exhilarating about watching these massive, powerful, and incredibly loud machines zip around the Circuit de Monaco. There are a few different ways to watch the race which is held every year in May.

Perhaps the most obvious way is from the bleachers. These tickets are not cheap. VIP passes for both Saturday and Sunday will run you between $2,200 to $3,200 USD. A ticket for just Sunday, race day, costs anywhere from $200 to $800 USD, depending on how close to the track you want to sit. If you want to attend any of the practice races on the Thursday or Saturday before the race, those tickets will need to be bought separately as well. There are also $100 tickets on race day if you want to stand for the whole race.

If you’d rather deal with less crowds, you can also watch the race from your balcony as a guests at the famous Hotel de Paris. Rooms with a view of the track will start around $2,000 USD per night and range all the way up to $16,000 USD a night. Make sure to book far in advance because the hotel is fully booked on race weekend!

For around $7 USD, you can buy a day’s entry into the Stade Nautique Rainier III municipal swimming pool where sunbathers can look straight down onto the track. Keep in mind that there are conflicting reports about whether the pool is open on race day, but for $7, it’s worth a look.

Perhaps most luxuriously, you can watch the race from the deck of a 181-foot yacht. Hundreds of yachts line up in Port Hercule, Monaco’s main harbor, because a significant portion of the track runs along it. This is one of the most amazing views in any sporting event, but you’ll be paying for it. For a whopping $22,000 USD per couple, you can get four days on a yacht which includes an open bar and fine dining. You will also be able to attended the annual Royal Party which is hosted on the yacht. Other attendees of the party include Prince Albert II. Unless, of course, you would like to purchase the yacht outright for a cool $30 million USD and pay the thousands of dollars per night fee to dock it in the harbor on race weekend.

If spending thousands of dollars or squishing next to an old guy in a Speedo isn’t your thing, then here’s a free solution (you read that correctly). Kill two birds with one stone and venture up to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. It’s a small uphill walk, but once you’re there, you can tour the palace and walk around the surrounding old city perched above Monte Carlo overlooking, you guessed it, the Circuit de Monaco. You won’t be able to see the entire track, but it’s not like anyone else can either. You’re also not in the thick of it as the cars are smaller and the sound is lessened (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as almost everyone down on track level has to wear earmuffs), but you’ll have an amazing bird’s eye view of the track, the Mediterranean, and all of Monaco.

The Monaco Grand Prix is the greatest and most prestigious race in all of motorsport. It has everything: yachts, champagne, supermodels, royalty, parties, not to mention one of the world’s most historic racetracks. If you aren’t planning on being in Monaco for the 2015 Grand Prix, you should be.

Photo Credit: Paul D’Ambra – Australia via photopin cc