July 20, 2024

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Formula 1 Monaco Travel Guide
Red Bull Racing’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez drives during the third practice session of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix on May 25 2024 at the Circuit de Monaco, on the eve of the race. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)

The Monaco Grand Prix pulsates with an energy unlike any other sporting event. Having just returned from braving the throngs of enthusiastic fans and the heady mix of champagne and exhaust fumes at the 2024 race, we can tell you firsthand, it’s an experience that seeps into your soul.

The iconic circuit, snaking its way through the heart of Monte-Carlo, is more than just a racetrack; it’s a pilgrimage site for Formula 1 devotees. But Monte-Carlo’s magic extends far beyond the roar of the engines. This pocket-sized Principality is a tapestry woven with threads of rich history, breathtaking scenery, and an undeniable air of exclusivity.

Planning a trip to witness the Monaco Grand Prix can feel like navigating a chic labyrinth, but, that’s why we’re here! GRAZIA’s comprehensive travel guide, brimming with insights and insider tips gleaned from our own Monte-Carlo adventure, will equip you to craft your dream Monaco Grand Prix getaway.

  • What You Need to Know About the Monaco Grand Prix
  • 2024 Monaco Grand Prix Winner and Highlights
  • Things to Consider While Planning Your Monaco Grand Prix Adventure
  • What to Do Beyond the Race
  • Where to Stay in Monte-Carlo

What You Need to Know About the Monaco Grand Prix:

Formula 1 Monaco Travel Guide
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 26: Race winner Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 and third placed Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-24 celebrate on the slow down lap during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

A Grand Prix Steeped in Royalty and Racing Legend

The Monaco Grand Prix is the crown jewel of Formula 1, boasting one of the longest lineages on the current calendar. The first race roared to life in 1929, organized by Antony Noghès, a Monegasque tobacco manufacturer with a passion for motorsports. He envisioned a grand prix that would showcase the glamour of the French Riviera alongside cutting-edge automotive technology. The inaugural race, won by William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti, was a resounding success, attracting international attention and laying the foundation for the glittering spectacle it is today.

The Monaco circuit is unlike any other on the calendar. Forget the wide-open expanses of Monza or the high-speed blasts of Spa-Francorchamps. Monaco is a symphony of tight corners, demanding precision and audacity from drivers in equal measure. Iconic landmarks like the Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Fairmont Hairpin become part of the racing narrative, adding a touch of surrealism to the competition. Winning here isn’t just about crossing the finish line first; it’s about etching your name into the annals of motorsport history.

2024 Monaco Grand Prix Winner and Highlights:

Formula 1 Monaco Travel Guide
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 26: Race winner Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Charles Leclerc for the Win

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, held on Sunday, May 26, was a thrilling display of skill and strategy. Charles Leclerc, the hometown hero from Monaco, secured a dominant victory for Ferrari, starting from pole position and marking a momentous occasion for both himself and the Principality.

The race weekend wasn’t short of emotions, culminating in Leclerc’s dream victory. It began with a dramatic twist — a multi-car crash involving Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez, and Nico Hulkenberg on the very first lap. This incident triggered a red flag, forcing a complete restart after the chaos at Sainte Devote corner. Leclerc, however, remained unfazed. He aced the restart just like the original start, showcasing his composure under pressure.

His win, achieved after a strong showing by McLaren driver Oscar Piastri in qualifying and a tight midfield battle, ignited a roar of celebration from the Monte-Carlo crowd, solidifying Leclerc’s place in Formula 1 history.

Formula 1 fashion moments

You didn’t think we could write about the race weekend highlights without talking about the fashion of Formula 1, did you? This year’s Grand Prix brought out everyone’s designer A-game, from Lewis Hamilton rocking custom Dior to Charles Leclerc receiving the 81st Grand Prix de Monaco trophy in a bespoke Louis Vuitton trunk.

We’ve rounded up the most iconic and luxe looks from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, to fuel all your fashion inspiration for F1:

Things to Consider While Planning Your Monaco Grand Prix Adventure:

Formula 1 Monaco Travel Guide
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 25: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR23 Mercedes through Casino Square Qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.(Photo by Song Haiyuan/MB Media/Getty Images)

Formula 1 Tickets

Obtaining tickets is the Holy Grail for any Formula 1 fan. They go on sale months before the race, on the Formula 1 Tickets website, and prices range from *splurge-worthy* to *eye-watering*. Grandstand options cater to a variety of budgets, but be prepared to book early and act fast. Remember, securing a prime viewing spot for this legendary race is half the battle!

Sights to See Around Monaco

Monaco’s allure extends far beyond the confines of the racetrack. Factor in time to explore the medieval charm of Monaco Ville — perched dramatically on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Mediterranean — wander the narrow alleys, lose yourself in the serenity of the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, or soak up the panoramic views from the Prince’s Palace. For a touch of high-roller glamour, try your luck (responsibly, of course) at the opulent Casino de Monte-Carlo — and remember, the dress code is strictly enforced.

Getting Around Monaco

Keep in mind that Monaco is a very walkable city, but some activities and excursions might be located outside the central area. While taxis are available, navigating the crowds and wait times during Grand Prix weekend can be very time-consuming. And if you’re planning on continuing the celebrations after nightfall, *easily* getting a taxi is few and far between.

Ridesharing services like Uber are not permitted in Monaco, however, if you make the walk over to the town of Beausoleil, France, you can call an Uber to your next destination — if you are in the right place at the right time with Uber availability (don’t say we didn’t warn ya!).

Here are a few transportation options to consider to make the most of your travels around Monaco:

  • Car Rental: If you’re comfortable navigating unfamiliar roads, consider renting a car for the duration of your trip. This gives you the flexibility to explore Monaco and the surrounding French Riviera at your own pace, especially if you opt to stay at a hotel or house outside of Monaco. But, be aware that parking can be expensive, so factor that into your budget.
  • Pre-Booked Chauffeur: For a luxurious and stress-free experience, consider pre-booking a chauffeur service. This eliminates the hassle of navigating traffic and finding parking, especially during the peak of the Grand Prix weekend.
  • Public Transportation: Monaco has a well-developed public bus network that can connect you to most areas within the Principality. It’s a budget-friendly option, but keep in mind that wait times and crowded buses might be more frequent during the Grand Prix.

What to Do Beyond the Race:

Formula 1 Monaco Travel Guide
This photograph taken on May 22, 2024 shows yachts docked at the Monte Carlo harbour in front of the stands of the Circuit de Monaco, four days ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP)

The Grand Prix weekend isn’t just about the on-track action. Of course, here at GRAZIA, we also prioritize the glitz and glam of this infamous weekend in the prized Monte-Carlo. From Formula 1 fan moments to luxurious yacht parties, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy and find excitement in.

Here are some highlights of the top things to do, outside of the actual Grand Prix, that will give you a taste of the unique Monegasque flavor:

Superyacht Parties and Events

Monaco is a playground for the rich and famous — even garnering the nickname “the billionaires’ playground” — and the Grand Prix weekend is no exception. The harbor is filled with luxurious yachts, and it’s a great place to see and be seen. While scoring an invite to a private yacht party will depend on who you know, there are also dockside bars and restaurants where you can soak up the atmosphere. You might even catch a glimpse of your favorite driver or F1 personality disembarking from a gleaming vessel.

If you’re lucky enough to cop an invite onto these Monte-Carlo staples, this is where *everyone who’s anyone* will be posted up during off-race hours. For the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, superyacht soirees took place all weekend long on the Monte-Carlo Harbor.

Some highlights from GRAZIA’s race weekend included Raquel Diniz — who is married to part-owner and executive chairman of Aston Martin, Lawrence Stroll — hosting a luxe luncheon for her namesake brand on their superyacht, Faith. Industry names including Ashley Graham, Rebecca Donaldson, and Jessica De Oliveira attended the brand brunch. The F1 Paddock Club also hosted an invite-only yacht party, with a Las Vegas theme, that quickly turned into a can’t-miss event with a surprise performance by Diplo.

Fueling Your F1 Fan Fever

The roar of the engines might be the main attraction, but the Monaco Grand Prix offers a smorgasbord of experiences for die-hard Formula 1 fans. Here’s how to truly immerse yourself in the motorsport madness:

  • Driver Appearances and Autograph Sessions: Dream of getting a selfie with your favorite driver? The Grand Prix weekend often features scheduled autograph sessions where you can meet the stars of Formula 1. Keep an eye on team websites and social media for announcements and schedules.
  • Team Hospitality Suites: For the ultimate insider experience, some teams offer exclusive hospitality packages that grant access to their trackside lounges. These havens offer premium viewing locations, gourmet food and drinks, and the chance to rub shoulders with team personnel and VIP guests (if your budget allows, of course!). Availability and prices vary, so it’s best to book early and check with individual teams for details.
  • F1 Fan Zone: Immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere of the official F1 Fan Zone. You can expect interactive exhibits, driver simulators, merchandise stalls, and live entertainment — a playground for Formula 1 fanatics of all ages.
  • Historic Displays and Exhibitions: Dive deeper into the rich history of Formula 1 with the many museums and cultural institutions in Monaco, such as the Prince of Monaco’s Car Collection. These institutions often host temporary exhibitions showcasing iconic race cars, driver memorabilia, and behind-the-scenes insights into the world of motorsport. Other local museums and cultural buildings may also participate, offering a unique glimpse into the sport’s heritage.

Walking Tours and Cultural Gems in Monaco

The Grand Prix weekend isn’t just about the on-track action. Here are some highlights of F1 festivities that will give you a taste of the unique Monegasque flavor:

  • Historic Walking Tours:
    • Take a guided walk along the legendary Formula 1 circuit. Learn about its history and iconic corners, and get a behind-the-scenes peek at the track when it’s not roaring with activity.
    • Explore the charming streets and secret gardens beyond the glitz of Casino Square.
    • Discover hidden historical landmarks and architectural marvels with a knowledgeable guide and delve deeper into specific areas of interest. Explore the royal heritage with a Prince’s Palace tour, or uncover Monaco’s maritime past with a harbor walk.
  • Monaco Museums:
    • Immerse yourself in the underwater world at the acclaimed Oceanographic Museum. Explore exhibits on marine life, oceanography, and the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystems.
    • Journey through Monegasque history at the National Museum of Monaco, from prehistoric times to the present day. Discover fascinating artifacts, art collections, and exhibits showcasing the Grimaldi dynasty’s rich legacy.
  • Casino de Monte-Carlo: We highly recommend marveling at the opulent architecture of the iconic Casino de Monte-Carlo, a bucket list spot for many travelers! Enjoy a self-guided tour of the stunning atrium and its luxurious Belle Époque salons, and try your hand in gambling (responsibly, of course).

Nightlife and Nightclubs

As the checkered flag falls and the champagne corks pop, the Monaco Grand Prix doesn’t just end — it transforms. The electrifying energy pulsates into the night, spilling out from the racetrack and igniting the legendary nightlife scene of Monte-Carlo. From exclusive champagne bars where F1 royalty mingle to pulsating nightclubs with world-famous DJs, the options are as diverse as the clientele.

  • Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo: This iconic nightclub is a staple of the Monaco nightlife scene, so it was no surprise that it was packed with celebrities and F1 drivers during the 2024 Grand Prix — including Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc who attended Jimmy’z after his iconic win on Raceday. DJs Adriatique, Diplo, BLOND:ISH, and Black Coffee all performed at the venue over the 2024 Grand Prix weekend.
  • Lilly’s Monte-Carlo: This year another club made the it-list: Lilly’s, located within the Fairmont Monte-Carlo hotel. The venue attracted a fashionable crowd with headline DJs each night of the race weekend, including The Martinez Brothers, Rampa, Peggy Gou, and Travis Scott.
  • Established Hotspots: In addition to these exclusive clubs, Monaco offered its usual dose of glamorous nightlife at a plethora of elitist bars and established hotspots. Nikki Beach, Buddah-Bar, Amazónico, Cipriani, Sass Café, and Café de Paris Monte-Carlo were among the favorites frequented by Monaco mavens, keeping the party going throughout the Grand Prix weekend.

Where to Stay in Monte-Carlo:

Monaco boasts a kaleidoscope of accommodation options, from palatial hotels frequented by royalty to charming boutique boltholes. Below is a breakdown of our top three hotel property recommendations in the midst of the Monte-Carlo action, to suit your GRAZIA-worthy travel style:

  • Best for Celebrity Spottings
  • Best for Feeling Like Royalty and Race Car Drivers
  • Best for an Elite Location with Track Access

Best for Celebrity Spottings: Hotel Metropole (Monte-Carlo)

Photo Credit: Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

If brushing shoulders with A-listers is your goal, then Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is your haven. This historic hotel is a magnet for celebrities, from Hollywood royalty to F1 drivers. The opulent lobby is a prime people-watching spot, and you never know who you might bump into in the elevator. Beyond the stargazing potential, Hotel Metropole offers luxurious accommodations, impeccable service, and a prime location within walking distance of the casino and harbor.

Why GRAZIA Loves Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo:

  • Haute Couture Rejuvenation: GRAZIA, with our appreciation for high fashion, is captivated by the Spa Metropole by Givenchy. Unwind with personalized treatments featuring Givenchy skincare products, surrounded by a stunning design reminiscent of the label’s Haute Couture creations.
  • Art at Every Turn: Immerse yourself in a curated art collection featuring iconic artists like Picasso and Andy Warhol. These unexpected encounters with artistic masterpieces in the hotel bar and lounge add a touch of cultural enrichment to your stay.
  • Prime Location: Gear up for the thrill! Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo boasts a prime location for experiencing the legendary Monaco Grand Prix. Watch the world’s most skilled drivers navigate the challenging circuit from the comfort of your private balcony, or elevate your experience with a table at the two Michelin-starred restaurant, Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac, offering a breathtaking view of the race.
Photo Credit: Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

Beyond Luxury: A Haven for Exquisite Experiences

Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo transcends the ordinary definition of luxury. While exceptional service and opulent accommodations are a given, the true magic lies in the curated experiences that go above and beyond. From indulging in Michelin-starred gastronomy to unwinding poolside in a Karl Lagerfeld-designed haven, here, every detail is meticulously crafted to create a truly unforgettable stay.

  • Michelin-Starred Gastronomy: Savor culinary masterpieces at Yoshi, the only Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant on the French Riviera, or indulge in the contemporary Mediterranean cuisine offered at Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac, another Michelin-starred gem.
  • Odyssey by Karl Lagerfeld: Unwind poolside in a luxurious setting designed by the iconic Karl Lagerfeld himself. This haven of relaxation epitomizes the fusion of haute couture and poolside paradise.
  • Tailored Experiences: Craft your perfect stay with “Just for You” experiences. Explore hidden corners of Monaco with a private guide, or take a cooking class with your children at the hotel’s pastry kitchen.
  • Sustainable Practices: Experience luxury with a conscience. Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo prioritizes eco-friendly practices, allowing you to enjoy your stay while contributing to a sustainable future.
Photo Credit: Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

Ready to Embrace the Magic of Monaco?

Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo offers an unparalleled escape for the discerning traveler of the Monaco Grand Prix, and we can’t recommend soaking up the refined glamour of Monte-Carlo at this luxury property enough. Immerse yourself in art and culture by experiencing the exhilarating energy of Monaco here during your trip.

Best For Feeling Like Royalty and Race Car Drivers: Hôtel de Paris (Monte-Carlo)

Photo Credit: Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

This palatial hotel epitomizes Monegasque grandeur. However, what truly sets Hôtel de Paris apart is its rich heritage. Opened in 1864, it has hosted royalty and celebrities for over a century. Imagine yourself walking the same halls once graced by the likes of Coco Chanel and Alfred Hitchcock. Beyond the history, you’ll find Michelin-starred dining experiences and a world-class spa, making it the perfect blend of elegance and indulgence.

Why GRAZIA Loves Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo:

  • Unrivaled Location: Step out your door and directly onto the iconic Place du Casino. Immerse yourself in the heart of the action, with the buzz of the casino, the elegance of the opera house, and the thrill of Formula 1 all within walking distance.
  • Culinary Delights: Embark on a world-class culinary adventure with a collection of exceptional restaurants. Experience the legendary Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse, boasting three Michelin stars and exquisite French haute cuisine. For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to the terrace at Le Grill, offering stunning panoramic views alongside delectable seafood dishes.
  • Ultimate Relaxation at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo: Unwind and rejuvenate at the renowned Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, consistently ranked among Europe’s finest spas. Indulge in a personalized wellness program or simply bask in the tranquility of the rooftop pool, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.
Photo Credit: Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

Above and Beyond Opulence

While the grandeur of the hotel is undeniable, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo offers more than just luxurious accommodations. Here, guests can truly immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of Monaco.

  • Experience the Thrill of Formula 1: During the Monaco Grand Prix, witness the spectacle unfold from a privileged vantage point. Many rooms offer balcony views of the world-famous racetrack, placing you right in the heart of the action.
  • Art and Culture: The hotel itself boasts an impressive art collection, showcasing works by renowned artists. Additionally, its prime location provides easy access to Monaco’s rich cultural offerings, including the prestigious Opera de Monte-Carlo.
  • History & Royalty: Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo has played host to a dazzling array of dignitaries and celebrities throughout its long history. From royalty like Grace Kelly and Rainier III to cultural icons such as Sarah Bernhardt and F1 legends, the hotel’s walls whisper tales of glamour and intrigue. This rich legacy adds another layer of mystique to your stay, making you feel part of a timeless tradition.
  • A Legacy of Hospitality: Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo takes pride in its impeccable service. Expect a dedicated team of multilingual staff catering to your every whim, ensuring an unforgettable stay.
Photo Credit: Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

Experience a Location Steeped in Pure Luxury

Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo is the epitome of Monegasque luxury. For those seeking an unforgettable stay in the heart of the action, this historic palace offers an unparalleled experience that blends timeless elegance with modern amenities.

Best for an Elite Location with Track Access: Fairmont (Monte-Carlo)

Photo Credit: Fairmont Monte-Carlo

For the ultimate in trackside access, look no further than Fairmont Monte-Carlo. Splash out for a balcony room overlooking the legendary Fairmont Hairpin — you’ll have a front-row seat to all the drama as the cars screech past during qualifying and the race. Don’t miss the hotel’s rooftop pool, where you can sip cocktails and mingle with fellow race fans while enjoying stunning city views.

Why GRAZIA Loves Fairmont Monte-Carlo:

  • Prime Hairpin Location: During the Monaco Grand Prix, some rooms at Fairmont Monte-Carlo offer a truly unique vantage point. These rooms overlook the legendary “Fairmont Hairpin,” a notoriously tight corner on the racetrack where drivers battle for position. Experience the roar of the engines and the drama of the race from the comfort of your balcony.
  • Above the Water: Fairmont Monte-Carlo boasts a stunning waterfront location, offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and iconic landmarks like the Monte-Carlo Harbor and the legendary Casino Square. Step out onto the hotel’s terrace and soak in the vibrant energy of Monaco.
  • A Celebration of Entertainment: This hotel property pulsates with an energy unlike any other. Depending on your vibe each day and night, you can catch live music performances in the lobby, let your hair down at the glamorous Nikki Beach Club — a notable rooftop haven offering stunning views alongside cocktails and entertainment — or dance the night away at this season’s hottest nightclub, Lilly’s.
Photo Credit: Nikki Beach Monte-Carlo

A Mediterranean Masterpiece

While the Fairmont Monte-Carlo offers undeniable glamour, it also caters to guests seeking a well-rounded experience in Monaco.

  • Spacious Accommodations: The hotel boasts a variety of rooms and suites, many offering private balconies with breathtaking views. Upgrade to a sea view room to truly capture the essence of the Riviera.
  • A Haven for Art Enthusiasts: The hotel itself boasts a curated art collection, showcasing modern and contemporary pieces by established and emerging artists. Additionally, the hotel regularly partners with local galleries to host exhibitions, offering guests a chance to immerse themselves in the vibrant art scene of Monaco.
  • Eco-Conscious Practices: Fairmont Monte-Carlo implements various eco-conscious practices throughout the hotel. This includes initiatives like reducing energy and water consumption, using eco-friendly cleaning products, and offering recycling options. They strive to provide guests with a luxurious experience while minimizing their environmental impact.
Photo Credit: Fairmont Monte-Carlo

Unlock the Keys to the Heart of Monte-Carlo

Fairmont Monte-Carlo offers a dynamic experience in the heart of Monaco. This luxurious hotel caters to discerning travelers seeking a blend of comfort, stunning views, the party scene, and easy access to the city’s vibrant energy.

Formula 1 Monaco Travel Guide
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 26: A general view over the harbour as the field round turn one during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The Monaco Grand Prix is more than just a race; it’s a sensory overload (in the best way possible) and an experience that will leave you breathless time and time again. It’s a chance to witness the pinnacle of motorsport, mingle with the rich and famous, and immerse yourself in the intoxicating glamour of the French Riviera.

With GRAZIA’s Formula 1 Monaco travel guide, you have everything you need to start planning your Grand Prix getaway. So, secure those tickets (remember, the early bird gets the worm!), pack your most A-list-worthy outfits, and get ready to be swept away by the purely indescribable magic of Monte-Carlo. We’ll see you there!


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