The Monaco F1 Grand Prix is the definition of glamour on the Formula One calendar. The second-smallest country in the world overflows with parties attended by the rich and famous. Oh, and there’s a pretty intense race over the weekend too.
Racing through the streets alongside the harbours of Monte Carlo in May, the atmosphere at the Monaco Grand Prix is a unique one. And that’s partly down to this special principality.
Where is the Monaco Grand Prix?
One of the oldest and most illustrious Grand Prix on the F1 calendar is has roots which date back as far as 1929. Like many old races, they don’t quite make them like they used to.
This race roars through the heart of Monte Carlo. Originally designed for much smaller cars, the modern Formula 1 machines squeeze dramatically through the tunnels and corners of the public roads in Monaco.
Monaco is a microstate bordering southern France, but also close to the Italian border, which sits just 16km (10 miles) to the east.
How to get to the Monaco F1 Grand Prix
Travel by plane
The easiest way to travel is by plane. There are flights from across the UK and Europe to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, approximately 30km from the Circuit de Monaco. From London Heathrow, there are several flights a day that will have you on the tarmac in the south of France in two hours.
From further afield, flights from the US may require a change in a European city. However, there are daily direct fights from New York’s JFK International to Nice. From other US airports, racegoers can fly to Barcelona, Copenhagen, Lisbon and a host of other European capitals before boarding a connecting flight to Nice on the same day.
When you land in Nice, the St. Augustin train station is just a 10 minute walk from the terminal and from there you can jump on a direct train to Monte Carlo. The TER service operated by SNCF towards Ventimiglia or Menton will have you sipping champagne on the harbour just half an hour after leaving the Nice St. Augustin station.
Bus to the Monaco Grand Prix
Alternatively, when you arrive in Nice, buses are readily available to take you to Monaco. This is especially helpful if you decide to stay in Nice during the weekend, and travel into Monte Carlo for the event.
From La Port, the LR100 bus operates services towards Monaco and Menton which takes about 45 minutes to take you to the centre of Monaco for as little as €2.50. The bus leaves every 15 minutes, and the service runs from 6am to 8pm. The journey can take between 40 and 55 minutes.
Timetables and more information is available here for the Nice to Monaco bus service.
Trains to the Monaco Grand Prix
France is home to one of Europe’s best connected train stations in Paris’ Gare du Nord. Trains from London via Eurostar, and the Netherlands and Germany via Thalys all run to Paris, making is easy to access from across the continent.
Once arrived at Gare du Nord, high-speed trains will take you directly to the south of France in a matter of hours. You can travel directly to Nice before connecting to Monaco, or jump off to explore French cities such as Marseille, Toulon and Cannes.
When you finally arrive in Nice, SNCF run services towards Menton and Ventimiglia which stop at the Monaco-Monte Carlo station every half an hour, for as little as €4. Always try and buy tickets in advance to get them substantially cheaper. Train tickets from Nice to Monaco can be bought here.
The journey can take between 20 and 30 minutes.
How to get to Nice by car
The journey to Nice by car is a serene one. The 12-hour journey from the Eurotunnel at Calais takes you from the north coast through to the south, giving you a myriad of options on the way.
Take the E17 towards Arras, and then there are a number of routes you can choose. Stop off in Paris, or discover a few under-the-radar cities along the route. Like Dijon, Lyon, Reims and Saint-Etienne – all quintessentially French and perfect for stocking up on authentic French picnic snacks for the Grand Prix weekend.
How to get from Nice to Monaco by car
If you’re planning to drive to Monaco then you can choose one of two options. The first is the A8 motorway which has tolls but is much more direct. This route takes around 35 minutes.
Alternatively, you can avoid the charge and take the slower more scenic route up the coast via the M6007. This route takes around 45 minutes but may well get busier over the race weekend.
Monaco Grand Prix Parking
It is highly recommended that you take the train to the Moaco Grand Prix on race weekend as the traffic will get very busy and, as it is a street circuit, many roads my be blocked.
However, if you are sure you want to drive, parking is available in the AS Monaco football stadium, which costs around €20 a day. There are also plenty of underground car parks throughout Monte Carlo but make sure you book well in advance.
Take a helicopter from Nice to Monaco
Yep, if you want to finish off your journey in real style, helicopter options are available from Nice. Monacair offer helicopter transfers from Nice Airport which take just six minutes to get you to the principality. There is no classier way to get to the race than gliding over the coastline, and getting your first great view of the area from the air.