The Monaco Grand Prix – Glamour, Prestige, Danger…

Monaco Grand Prix – May 2015

Glamour, Prestige, Danger…  What’s not to love ???

A truly spectacular environment, surrounded by the rich and famous, with really fast cars, plus all the excitement and competition of a race…  Even if you are not terribly interested in car racing, the sheer excitement and glamour of the event in such a splendid environment with as a bonus the most amazing people watching makes this nothing short of must do.

Keep in mind, it’s not cheap to attend. General Admission on Sunday (race day) starts at 100€ – and that’s up on the rock by the Palace way above the race track. Prices go up to 720€ for stadium seating by the pool, which are considered one of the best choices. After that, VIP passes with premium seating are available at crazy expensive prices…

The Monaco Grand Prix, known as the “Grand Prix de Monaco” in French, is a very famous race that is held each year in Monaco since 1929. It is one of the most prestigious races around, similar to the Indianapolis 500 or the Le Mans race. The track goes right through the narrow streets of downtown Monaco, those same roads we folks usually drive through in our boring regular old cars.

The difficult circuit includes maneuvering crazy hairpin turns, climbing and descending steep hills, navigating narrow streets, and piloting through dark tunnels all at super high speeds. The circuit has been called “an exceptional location of glamour and prestige”.  Those of you who are into video games most likely know the virtual track through the classic “Monaco Grand Prix Racing Simulation”. I drove through the remains of the Monaco Grand Prix a couple of days after the event on my way to the Grimaldi Forum, and I admit to getting a little zippy through those tight curves…


The entire (tiny) country of Monaco essentially shuts down for nearly a week for the event, with most businesses and schools closed. Don’t even think about trying to drive into town, let alone parking, or trying to get a hotel at the last-minute !

Want to go next year ?  Here are a few useful tips :

  • Book your hotel early
  • Arrive by train
  • Pack a lunch
  • Show up early in the morning, races end early
  • Tickets are expensive – attend the free Friday qualification races


Dignity in despair was the theme of this year’s race…

Lewis Hamilton had it in the bag with a 21 second lead, but lost to Nico Rosberg after the team called him back to the pit in a tragic miscalculation.

Monaco Grand Prix

That gave Nico his third straight consecutive win in the last three years. Max Verstappen, the 17-year-old Formula 1 prodigy with the spectacular crash caused by clipping the back of a Lotus, is the one who inadvertently caused Hamilton his win. Verstappen is the F1 sports youngest driver ever, and definitely one to watch over the next few years.  My sympathies for the boys parents…  Luckily I don’t have to worry about Verstappen, but I do have my own and they prefer drifting  !  Why can’t they just pick up knitting or something safe like that ???


 Are you brave enough ?

Monaco Grand Prix

And for those hands on adrenaline seeking type of folks out there (like my boys), why not try a spin on the track yourself ?  Book “stage de pilotage” (racing lessons) starting at around 100€ and get behind the wheel of the car of your choice – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, or even a Formula 1.


Happy Travels,
-Girl Gone Gallic

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  1 comment for “The Monaco Grand Prix – Glamour, Prestige, Danger…

  1. July 2, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    My husband went to the time trails this year and even they aren’t free anymore, but affordable and you get a great view of all the drivers and plenty of noise. Another tip is to bring earplugs! It certainly is a crazy race circuit and I always think it’s amazing there aren’t more crashes. Thanks for linking p to #AAF

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