a red and white logo with a white background
Formula 1

Know Before You Go: Monaco and Canada

Read the latest F1 news from around the web
Download the app

Insider tips and tricks to maximize your F1 experience at the Monaco and Canadian Grand Prix races.

Watch the full session

About the panel

AdamR46: Founder of Grand Prix Travel, the #1 community on Reddit and FanAmp for Formula 1 fans enjoying races around the world

🟠FanAmp Base


🌐Monaco race review

🌐Canada race review

Join_FanAmp: Greg is the Founder of FanAmp, the app connecting Formula 1 fans to the communities, live conversations, news, and more that maximize their F1 experiences

🟠Reach out on FanAmp

What to Know Before You Go

[00:00:00] AdamR46: Hey guys, what's going on? This is AdamR46. I am the founder of the subreddit r/GrandPrixTravel, and today we're going to be talking about the Monaco GP and the Montreal or Canadian GP. This is the latest episode of Know Before You Go. Joining me today, we've got Greg with FanAmp.

[00:00:23] Join_FanAmp: Hey guys, everyone knows what we're doing. Happy Holidays if you're celebrating this weekend.

[00:00:27] AdamR46: Yeah, happy Easter all.

[00:00:29] Join_FanAmp: Yeah.

[00:00:30] AdamR46: Let's see. So today for the Monaco GP, I ended up… so my wife and I, we had a long plan for our big anniversary scheduled. It was supposed to happen in 2020 and we bought the tickets in 2019 and planned for a couple years, this year we're gonna go to Monaco. And so we bought the tickets 2019, we had everything booked, flights, hotel or Airbnb. Everything planned and then Covid happened. So I still have unused tickets from a race that never happened. It's the only time the Monaco GP is not taking place since 1950 or so.

[00:01:15] Join_FanAmp: [correction: 1955], yeah.

[00:10:16] AdamR46: Yeah. So I have tickets for that race sitting in a drawer somewhere. It's a souvenir at this point. But so I didn't wanna reschedule everything for 2021, because at the time everything was still up in the air as far as tourism and restrictions on entering the country. So I ended up… everything was so last minute for the 2021 Grand Prix. I pushed everything to 2022 and I was able to use some of the, I guess some of the bookings I had were non-refundable, and so I just kept rolling over and rolling over to 2022. So we went last year and we had just an incredible experience. The Monaco GP, it's not the greatest racing. It seems like most of it is qualifying. That's the big day.

Really, I got there on Tuesday and it's mind blowing how they just cram this circuit into this city that it just, it doesn't make sense. And seeing it in person is just mind blowing, that this is actually happening, this is real. This is the thing and has been a thing forever. We lucked out and we're able to plan ahead and we stayed about a five minute walk from the casino square. Overall, it's just a great experience and it's something that, it takes a little bit of planning, but it can be done pretty reasonably. Because it was a big trip for us we did splurge a bit. We did some hospitality one day type of thing and got tickets for the grandstands and different sections each day too, which was pretty cool. Let's see.

[00:03:03] Join_FanAmp: And I think it's worth just setting the stage of the place itself. Because I've never been to that specific race, but having been to Monaco a couple times, it's just such a unique environment. Like we've talked before about the city races or park races, but this is sort of this weird anomaly almost, because you have this harbor that you're set with everything against. The view is just insane, and I just think the spectacle, the opulence is such a key characteristic of what this race is. One other thing that I find really interesting about it is the number of laps actually could work to your advantage as a fan, even if it's not overtakes, but you get more opportunities to see a car for every seat that you're in, which is kind of cool.

[00:03:51] AdamR46: And then you never know if it's gonna rain.


[00:03:55] Join_FanAmp: Although I feel like Canada is probably gonna be the one that's a bigger variable for than this one.

[00:04:00] AdamR46: Yeah, exactly. But yeah, I lucked out. The year that I won, it rained and it caused a really interesting race. It was still a bit of a precession as far as overtaking, but the race itself was awesome. I had a blast. Let's see. The overall vibe at the race is pretty… the circuit itself is laid out along the harbor, so you have grandstands in some key areas. The biggest one is probably gonna be Grandstand K, which is facing the harbor away from the city. So you don't get a lot of that backdrop because most of the view is behind you, but you can see the car is coming out of the tunnel and through the… I forget what that chicane is called, coming into the harbor.

And then you get to see that whole short straight as they go to back corner and into the swimming pool. It's probably one of the more expensive seats which is surprising, because you can get a ticket for pit lane and where you get the garage views for a similar price. I don't think it's very much different. But Grandstand K has probably the most accessible as far as being able to find tickets for. Then right after that is probably the, well, I guess what's the next favorite is Grandstand O, which is at the center of the swimming pool.

Right there it's, you have N, O and P. N and P are pretty short. You don't get much elevated views, but Grandstand O, I was able to get the top row on that and I could see everything from Tabac Corner through the exit of swimming pool onto the Grandstand T area. I sat there for qualifying and that's where you can really see the cars push under… both of, the first chicane into the swimming pool and then hard breaks where Danny Ric crashed out, and then Mick Schumacher crashed out right in that section on the race. It’s pretty cool to see and it’s got a fun vibe.

You have to take a couple bridges and it's a bit of a zigzag pattern to get to that section, and that's where… Monaco as a circuit, you can't really… when the track is closed and the streets are closed, you can only access your section or your grandstand area. You aren't able to just walk around the circuit and watch the cars. Even walking to your circuit when you get to Grandstand O, you walk behind T, or underneath T and you walk along the edge of the harbor and the marshals are directing you not to stop and take photos. They yell at you to keep moving because they don't want people standing right along the fence. They want you away from where there could be potential accident because everything is just so compact on how they fit everything.

[00:07:22] Join_FanAmp: What does that mean for the atmosphere of the city? Because I remember walking through the streets and there really is no space because everything's sort of set within this cliff or, well, not a cliff but a very steep hill. And so it feels very tight. What does that mean in terms of getting around in general?

[00:07:40] AdamR46: Getting around is pretty easy. You just need to be prepared to walk uphill constantly. That's what it feels like. There's that saying of uphill both ways. Well, it's like it is because it just… I mean, there's public escalators, there's public elevators around town, but it's just when the track is closed, it's hard to get near the circuit. You can't really see anything without a ticket because they use a lot of the nearby roads or service roads. So they all get fenced off, closed off, and there's advertisements all over everything.

So without a ticket, there's maybe one spot that I stumbled across that you can see from super elevated view, and you can only see one tiny section of the circuit, which right in front of K. But it's really hard to get near the circuit because of the, all the service roads required to move Formula 1’s infrastructure and marshals around during track closure. But as far as walking around Monaco, it’s pretty easy. There's a lot of foot traffic leaving the train station at the base of it because the train station itself is in the middle of a mountain. And so when you get out, you have to take an elevator up like six levels, or you can take a couple of escalators and go down and it dumps you out right there by the turn one area.

But that's where some of the paths get congested and blocked and you can't just exit as you would a normal train, because it's all lines to get out of the train station through the bag checks and then into what is the track when it’s just kind of like public streets, but they check your bags and they check your tickets to make sure you're an attendee. So getting closer to the circuit is where you really need to show your ticket. It helps to have a lanyard because you're gonna have to show your ticket several times just to get to whatever section you want.

[00:09:48] Join_FanAmp: It feels like for this race, it’s one of those where you're not really gonna be wandering around outside or even when you're in there. It's not like a campus vibe, it's much more, go to your seat, sit down, enjoy the race. But you're not gonna be moving around.

[00:10:04] AdamR46: Yeah, exactly. And there's amenities around where if you're at K there's this whole… all right, sorry. If you're at T or K, there's a lot of bridges to get to that section that you have to cross. You cross over the start straight and to get to your section you have to walk through Monaco neighborhoods. But there's a lot of restaurants, bars, street vendors. The streets are just filled with all kinds of booths as well as the merch. And so you can just hang out at a restaurant right before you go to your seat. And to get to that area, you have to show your ticket a couple of times.

But then walking around, it's just like any other busy day in Monaco where the restaurants are open, the little shops are open. You can find some branded stuff to hang out near your section. So taking food and stuff is a good idea, but it's pretty easy to be able to get a meal or at least something that you can eat standing up if there's lines and stuff, like pizza or sandwich. Things like that are pretty easy to get around the around the circuit area.

[00:11:19] Join_FanAmp: And can you, you can bring in a water bottle, for example, metal water bottle or plastic?

[00:11:24] AdamR46: I usually just take plastic water bottles. Security wasn't too heavy as for, or I guess invasive is a better word for their bag checks. It was more so just looking for alcohol and glass. So I think as long as you don't have any glass, they're not really gonna, I don't know… They won't dig any further, I don't think. And you can take food. I usually carry a cooler in my backpack and I freeze some plastic water bottles and I use them as ice. And so I keep, I don't know, like meat, cheese, fruit, some basic stuff that I can just carry through the day.

And then in between sessions is when you go down and get something a little bit more substantial like a sandwich, or things like that. But you're not gonna get turned away at the gate for bringing food in, it's allowed.

[00:12:17] Join_FanAmp: Actually, depending on some of the seats you have, I know GA will talk about it in a minute, but general admission's not a big part of the circuit. But for that you can bring cushions or chairs depending on where you're sitting.

[00:12:28] AdamR46: Yeah, which most of the seats are bleacher style, or they have… It’s like Grandstand T is, it's like a bleacher base, but it's got like a seat where it's plastic and it's a little bit more comfortable compared to just the metal bench. But it does help to have a cushion.

[00:12:49] Join_FanAmp: We actually had a clarification from Andy who's watching, who was saying, did you say that we should be laminating your tickets or putting them in a lanyard or you said something else?

[00:13:00] AdamR46: I think the lanyard holder, they sell at all the ticket booths. It's just a basic insert, like a plastic insert that you can put your ticket in, that way you can ticket in and out. Especially if you have a different ticket for each day, it just helps to ticket in and out. I don't think you need to necessarily laminate it, but yeah, one of those ticket holders, they're usually like three or four euros. They can help quite a bit.

[00:13:28] Join_FanAmp: Yeah. Maybe don't buy it immediately outside the venue, because I'm sure you'll get something a little bit more than you have to pay.

[00:13:33] AdamR46: Well, so what's cool about Monaco is that they have popup ticket booths from the actual ACM and they can… basically what they sell at the souvenir shops or is an option when you buy your tickets, you can get that lanyard for just a few dollars or euros, but the prices usually aren't too bad.

[00:14:00] Join_FanAmp: Cool. So this might be a good segue into the piece on tickets in general. Where were you sitting when you were at the race?

[00:14:10] AdamR46: I had different sections each day. I got to Monaco on Wednesday and I walked around, scoped it out, and just explored the circuit because it's public streets whenever the track action isn't happening. And on Thursday they did Formula 2, the Porsche Super Cup free practice and stuff like that. I actually sat at, I was able to get a ticket at Grandstand B for I think it was like 25 euros. It was fairly cheap. And it's only an afternoon, it's not a full day that they close the circuit because it's not Formula 1 on track that day, it's only the support race is getting some practice in.

On Thursday I sat at Grandstand B, which is right next to the casino. That has a pretty good view. You see the car is at high speed coming up, making their way up the hill and going around the casino area. And they go, they hang a right and then go down towards the Fairmont hairpin. And then because you could buy a different ticket each day, on Friday, one of the big things that my wife and I had planned was to do a yacht hospitality ticket for free practice because the price is way less than watching from a yacht for qualifying or the race.

So we paid about 900 euros per person and we got to hang out on a yacht at Tabac Corner, which is in between, if you're looking at the circuit map, it would be between K and the section Z general admission. And so that yacht itself had, I mean, it had a private or a personal chef lived and worked on the boat. So we had a full catering meal on the boat. It was pretty awesome. As soon as we get there, they're greeting us with champagne and beer and everything was open bar. And the staff, everybody was really friendly and they let you just hang out, enjoy the boat and just eat and drink whatever you want all day. And they just constantly offer you food.

There was both hot and cold food throughout the day. They had like a dedicated lunch that was hot and then they left some cold food out throughout the day to kind of help keep you from getting too drunk [laughs].

[00:16:36] Join_FanAmp: Which is probably important because also it's very hot, very sunny usually.

[00:16:38] AdamR46: Yeah.

[00:16:42] Join_FanAmp: In terms of the experience, so the thing that's unique about it is we were saying before there's limited GA, the Rocher, what you can see on the top left there in the image, the hill, first come first serve, very steep. Basically, you wanna be camping out or there incredibly early in the morning to be able to get space once it opens up. And I think a lot of people I've seen have locked their chairs against trees overnight to hold their spots. So if you are able to get it, great, and the tickets are usually what, like 70 euro maybe for the first day and then they can make up to like 200 euro towards the end.

But then the experience sort of scales up from there and I think there's a lot of unique experiences. Like you said, a lot of the packages are like a multi-day where you have a different grandstand each day, or you have a grandstand ticket on Friday and then qualifying and the race are on a rooftop, for example. And so there's a lot of really cool experiences and then obviously the yachts which typically got the harbor and you're probably not going on to, but this time you actually get to buy a spot on that, which is really exciting.

[00:17:50] AdamR46: Yeah. And so there's some hospitality companies out there like Senate Grand Prix, I was able to buy a single day. That's what's cool about Monaco, is you can really piece together whatever experience you want because they sell tickets per day, per section, and you do get a discount when you buy from the circuit if you buy two days or more. Or if you buy a Saturday, Sunday, they give you 10 percent off. So like you said, the next tier up from general admission would be the grandstands. At this point, I believe they might all be sold out for Sunday, but there's still some tickets available for Thursday F2, Friday and Saturday. The prices range quite a bit, but they're between around 800 to 1400 for some of the high-end stuff.

[00:18:37] Join_FanAmp: Yeah. And that's in euro, right?

[00:18:38] AdamR46: Yes.

[00:18:39] Join_FanAmp: And then the yachts I think were around 2,200 to 2,500 or somewhere… Oh sorry. Well, they obviously scale well beyond that, but starting price is around two to two and a half thousand dollars for a what, for a two day package usually?

[00:18:53] AdamR46: That might be per day.

[00:18:55] Join_FanAmp: Okay.

[00:18:56] AdamR46: Yeah. For a full weekend on a yacht, you're looking at several thousand dollars. Around two to three is probably about the going rate for Saturday, and you're looking at probably three to four minimal for Sunday. And then there's a lot of the hospitality companies that also sell, they host events inside some of the hotels and things like that with balcony access. That's where you can get like what we've got categories as the rooftops.

[00:19:29] Join_FanAmp: So worth looking in advance if you know you're gonna go and buying one of the packages early on and just securing that while it's the cheapest it'll be.

[00:19:36] AdamR46: Yeah, I've also had a friend in the Missed Apex Podcast Slack group, who told me that he went to Monaco without tickets a few years ago, and he ended up speaking to somebody with clipboards who had some open availability to get into some of the hospitality. And so he was able to hang out for a day on one of the balconies overlooking the race. But yeah, some of that stuff, it might be hard to come by now with all the hype and following that Formula 1 gets now.

[00:20:14] Join_FanAmp: Well, to that, so we had a question from Greg about can you go in and out of the track between sessions? Do you have that flexibility? Could you poke your head out from a grandstand from time to time and check in?

[00:20:25] AdamR46: It depends on your section whether you actually need to do that or want to do that, but I believe you can. Because depending how far you get, sometimes the… I'm gonna say traffic, but it's just people, it can get a little hard to move around, where you can leave and go to a restaurant and get lunch. But at the same time, you might not get very far before you have to turn around and get back and wait in line to get back into the circuit. But I believe that you can leave, but I didn't have to do so just because I had food on me in my bag, and then we were able to just take advantage of the food vendors underneath our grandstands in each section where we're at.

[00:21:13] Join_FanAmp: What about the disability access, given the whole setup of the city and some of the inconveniences of things like those grandstand seats. Were there a lot of accessibility options that you saw?

[00:21:25] AdamR46: I didn't really see any, but I know that there are some specific platforms within some of the bigger grandstands that do have accessibility limited areas. I believe the circuit has specific tickets that you can buy along with the accompanying person to have access to these sections.

[00:21:48] Join_FanAmp: Cool. All right. Should we jump to how do you actually get to the circuit?

[00:21:55] AdamR46: Yeah.

[00:21:57] Join_FanAmp: Let me do this. So where is Monaco [laughs]?

[00:22:03] AdamR46: [laughs] Monaco is the little hidden gem. The nearest airport is gonna be the airport in Nice, which is actually in France, but it's pretty well connected. There's a ton of international flights to the area or to that airport that you can get to Monaco from pretty easily. The Nice airport itself has a tram connection that'll get you into Nice proper, even though the airport feels like it's right in the middle of the city. But it's easy to get from the airport to Nice where you can then connect to one of the regional train stations and you can catch a train to Monaco, which is probably about a 25 to 30 minute ride. In total, you can probably get to Monaco by public transport in about an hour, maybe a little more, depending on connection times.

[00:23:01] Join_FanAmp: Yeah, but I think the fact that you are so close to Nice is actually a big bonus because the cost is one of the things that you mentioned a bit with the seating options. Having access to a city like that, something that is only 25 minutes away by train, you can balance some of the affordability.

[00:23:17] AdamR46: Oh, definitely.

[00:23:18] Join_FanAmp: There’s a lot more plethora of hotels or Airbnbs or anything else.

[00:23:22] AdamR46: Yeah. So because the train ride is actually not too bad from Monaco to Nice and back and forth, it only costs about four euros, and the time isn't bad. The only thing you have to worry about is the crowds, and so it's very reasonable to stay in Nice. You can probably find a hotel or Airbnb for around a hundred euros a night on Race Week. Whenever we went, we stayed in Nice for I think four days before we went to Monaco, and I had a two-bedroom, two bath Airbnb for 90 euros. It was in the the historic city center of Nice, and it was well connected by trams and we were able to take a train.

France also has Uber, so we were able to get around to pretty much anywhere pretty reasonably. But staying in Nice would be a really good option to find something a little bit cheaper compared to staying in Monaco for the Grand Prix.

[00:24:22] Join_FanAmp: And then there was one thing that you and I talked about in the past, which was the helicopter. And I know that I thought it was a kind of a cool way or cool experience that you can have here. You mind sharing a bit more about that one?

[00:24:38] AdamR46: Yeah. There's the Monaco heliport, which is pretty… if you watch any social media videos or a day in the life of Charles Leclerc style stuff, a lot of these guys, you see them kind of get in a helicopter and get to the airport flying a private plane and get to the next race. Well, the heliport offers public flights that you can either get a shared helicopter or private helicopter and you can get from the Monaco heliport to the Nice airport in about seven or eight minutes. They range in price from about 200 to 250 euros per person. You can get a private helicopter for about 600 one way.

So you can fit, depending on the weight, there's weight limits for both bags and people, you know, passengers. But we actually flew from Monaco to the airport when we were trying to catch our plane because moving around Monaco with bags can be, not hectic, but it can be just tiring and mentally exhausting because it's constant hills everywhere. Your bags wanna roll this way, then you got to roll your bag through brick road or brick sidewalk, and it just, it's Europe at the same time. So a lot of the walking paths just feel kind of, I don't know, brick and cobblestone.

And so we ended up like I said, our anniversary stuff, we splurged on a private helicopter, and we took it from Monaco Heliport, yeah, from the Monaco heliport to the Nice airport, just so we can catch our flight without having to deal with lugging our bags around. We had four bags. We were in Europe for about 10 or 15 days. I don't know.

[00:26:26] AdamR46: That'd be a lot.

[00:26:29] Join_FanAmp: Yeah.

[00:26:29] AdamR46: And the trains were pretty hectic, especially after the races.

[00:26:33] Join_FanAmp: Yeah. And so luckily the company I booked the helicopter through, they actually picked up our bags in the morning and drove them to us, and they were waiting for us at the at the airport.

[00:26:43] AdamR46: So you saved on the wait too?

[00:26:46] Join_FanAmp: Yeah, it was just, it's just pretty easy to do. You're paying more convenience, but also the views on the helicopter are just incredible. I mean, you're flying over Monaco [laughs]. You're right along the beach coast the whole way, and it's just mountains. That's an experience of its own.

[00:27:03] Join_FanAmp: Yeah, that's awesome. Should we talk a bit about then the ambience, the environment, what you can do outside of the race itself in the city?

[00:27:13] AdamR46: Yeah. In the evening after the circuit or after the track action ends, the circuit actually opens and it's a full on public street with traffic and people walking everywhere because everybody wants to walk the track. So you get to get up close and see some of these iconic corners, there's still rubber bits laying around. It's pretty cool. You don't get too much opportunity to actually walk an F1 track, let alone at Monaco. The street over by the harbor, by Rascasse, as you see in the picture turns into a club in the evening and they're just blaring loud music and it's just a fun vibe.

You will have to pay a cover to get in. I don't remember how much it was. It was probably only like 10 or 15 euros to get in. The beers are reasonably priced, drinks aren't too bad. But yeah, you'll notice a lot of orange around and it's a lot of the marshals having a few beers after work.

[00:28:15] Join_FanAmp: Hopefully they didn't pay the cover. It would've been a bad work perk [laughs].

[00:28:19] AdamR46: Yeah, I don't know what they do… sorry, go ahead.

[00:28:23] Join_FanAmp: No, I was just gonna say that the casino was another one, because I remember having gone there. It's such a beautiful building and being able to go inside is a really cool experience. I don't remember losing a lot of money, but it was definitely, no matter what, it's worth it, I think even if you can go or maybe take a trip on your way out. But I think it's a cool spot to go to, and then there was a set of restaurants in the area, like a neighborhood that you had been to.

[00:28:50] AdamR46: Yeah, well actually we went to the casino also. One thing I wanted to talk about on there, is I was worried that I was gonna be underdressed whenever I went there because they're pretty strict on dress code enforcement. And so I had a bit of hesitancy or, I didn't know if my shoes were going to, if they were gonna turn me away. I have just like some on cloud running shoes, but they're all black, so it's kind of like a, they don't really stand out, they're not flashy, but you need something comfortable walking around Monaco.

I was worried that they were gonna turn me away. I just had normal pants and a buttoned up shirt, and my own shoes and they let me in. And yeah, you don't have to dress super fancy. I think as long as you are presentable, kind of smart casual, they should let you write in. Don't be too intimidated on having to drop a bunch of money. You don't have to buy a drink, there's no pressure. The bars are cool and they make some really great cocktails and I think you can probably expect to pay around 20 euros per drink. And for gambling, I think I exchanged like a hundred euros and we… I stretched that out for probably about an hour and a half, or just played some slots, played a little bit of roulette and some… what's the other game?

No, I think it was mostly just roulette. We just, we won a little bit. We weren't gambling heavily, but we were just kind of enjoying that it's about a hundred euros of admission, so felt like it was worth it. But there was a guy in front of me who exchanged like 20,000 euros. It was like, whoa.

[00:30:32] Join_FanAmp: Yeah. I think that's how I've always looked at gambling [laughs], because I think I've always walked away in the red and you just look at it like the entertainment tax. It's like you're gonna go for the hour, have a drink or two on the house and play a couple hands. And I think, and then if you go on with that attitude, you're not gonna have a bad time.

[00:30:46] AdamR46: Yeah. Also just walking in there, they had a Ferrari on display. One is Charles Leclerc's car from the previous year just sitting in the lobby, perfectly lit for a photo. And so that is really cool. And it's just an old, iconic building. It's been used to film a ton of movies. And

Read all the latest Formula 1 news from around the web in the app
Download the app

Related Articles