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Monaco Grand Prix

My husband and son are planning to attend the Monaco Grand Prix in May of 2016 and then join the rest of the family in Naples for a month touring Italy.
* Where are the best (yet not most expensive) Grand Stand seats for viewing the race?
* Any "cheap" hotel recommendations nearby?.....in Monte Carlo?
* They plan to take a train out of Monte Carlo to Italy.....possibly Genoa to stay the night....do they buy the train tickets when they are in Monaco rather than on-line?
* Is Genoa a good place to spend an afternoon/evening before they take a train to Naples?.....or is there a better place for convenience?

Thanks!

Posted by
720 posts

Can't help you with Genoa, but nothing about the Monaco Grand Prix is cheap. I attended in 2007, and sat in grandstand K. If you're familiar with the track, that's by Tabac.You get a good view of them coming out of the chicane and then through to the beginning of the Piscine complex. There is also a big video monitor if front of you that you can watch the television feed on. I thought they were good seats. My ticket back then--for qualifying and race day--was €430. They're probably more now.

We also took a train after the race, but only to Nice. Everything was packed, as many other people where going by train as well. It took quite a while to make it through the crowds and then onto a train. It was pretty crazy.

Don't know what your definition of "cheap" is, but nothing in Monte Carlo on Grand Prix weekend is going to be cheap by my standards.

Having said all that, if your husband and son are F1 fans, there's nothing else like it. If I had the means, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Posted by
60 posts

Thanks Eric! We expect to pay about $1000.00 per person to see Saturday's and Sunday's events....yikes! Also...thanks for the seat information! I was wondering if a room that lists for $200.00 per night on "off season" will more than double on race weekend? We just want to know what to expect so we can budget accordingly. "Craziness" is expected, but my husband has been following F1 for more than 35 years (same year he bought his 1962 Ferrari) and this would be an AMAZING experience for him and my son. He just hopes Ferrari starts winning races again by then!

Posted by
720 posts

First, I am with you in hoping Ferrari gets their act together soon--these past several years have been painful (but, I guess it's just leveling out after their earlier dominance--though I wish this weren't so!)

As far as hotel prices doubling, I don't have any experience, but I would guess that doubling the off-season rate for any place in Monaco would just be the starting point. If it were me, I'd start checking early and often. There are some other people on this site who have vast Monegasque knowledge about--among other things--lodging, so hopefully they'll chime in soon and be able to help you with that. I do hope your husband and son end up going. As I said before, it is spectacular.

Posted by
3214 posts

I'm assuming that you have thoroughly explored the F1 Monaco website: http://www.grand-prix-monaco.com/formula1monaco/grandprix/track.html. If not, you may find lots of your answers there.

Be sure to go to the Monaco Tickets part at http://www.formula1-grand-prix.com/redirticket.php?idgp=15&lang=en. There you can click on the grandstand and find a description and pictures of it as well as what you can see from it. When you click on them, they get quite large, so you see things very clearly. That will show you why the prices vary. There is also a clickable map on the same page that shows the track and where the various grandstands are.

The prices shown are for 2015. $1000 per person may be a conservative estimate for 2016 depending on the location and if they go for practice and qualifying as well as the race.

It was great seeing someone ask about this and someone else respond. My husband is a road racer himself at the club level and an F1 nut. Some kind of racing thing has been a part of our trips to Europe for the past 5 years.

Last year we made a pilgrimage to his favorite track, Spa Francorchamps, for a track tour. And we actually started our trip staying in Zandvoort, within walking distance of the track. He went over there to see some club racing on that former F1 track.

On our first trip over together he went to Brands Hatch as a spectator, drove the Nordschliefe of the Nurburgring in a race prepared rental car and visited the "factory" where his race car was built near Belfast. Two years ago we stumbled on a Go Kart track on a little back road near St. Tropez and he drove it. There he learned that French Go Kart tracks are designed much better than US ones and that the karts themselves have much more power. So if your husband and son like to drive as well as watch, there are lots of opportunities in Europe.

It is roughly 3-4 hours to Genoa from Monaco-Monte-Carlo by train according to the DB Bahn website. Depending on when the race is over, they might be able to get there before it gets too late, spend the night and then go on to Naples the next day, which would take 5-6 hours.

This is the link to the DB Bahn website: http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en. Although you can't buy tickets through it, you can certainly see the current schedules and times. You will see the train changes and you can click on the intermediate stops. Be sure to click on the map to see the route. The shortest and best way I think is along the coast.

I was puzzled by your question about spending an afternoon/evening in Genoa before taking the train to Naples. With most trains from there to Naples taking 5-6 hours with only one change and running very frequently, I'd spend a slow morning in Genoa and leave there NLT noonish. I've stayed in Genoa twice and although you can find some things to see there, I would want to get to Naples earlier in the day rather than later.

If they spend the night in Monte Carlo after the race, the straight run from there to Naples is about 9-10 hours and is shown to run inland through Milan and Florence with 2 train changes. You can manipulate the route to go along the coast by adding a "stopover" in Livorno. It will take about the same amount of time and require 2-3 train changes.

I know it all sounds very complicated, but once you play with the DB Bahn search, you will find it becomes clearer.

You have lots of time to plan for this trip 2 years from now, but I believe it is never too early to start and doing some of this research ahead will help you avoid most, if not all, of the unpleasant surprises.

Posted by
1451 posts

Maybe for some of interest: Michael Schumacher has his own in- and outdoor kart center near Kerpen some 25km west of Köln. See www.ms-kartcenter.de

Posted by
60 posts

Thanks for the additional information!....I really appreciate any help I can get with planning! The reason my husband and son would stay in Genoa for a night is because the rest of us won't be arriving to Naples until Wednesday, which gives them an extra day to break up the travel to Naples.

Posted by
1406 posts

You might also check out the site for Grand Prix tours, a private company that takes tours to every GP race around the world. Even if you don't want to partake of their services, you can get a sense of what they are charging for the various parts of the package.

Posted by
16743 posts

The regional train tickets can be hard to buy in advance, and are not reserved, so I would buy those in any train station in that coastal region. You could pre-purchase the longer Genova-Napoli train ticket for a possible advance discount, up to 3 months ahead. Also consider a direct flight from Nice to Rome on EasyJet, about $125, see also www.skyscanner.com. A train from Rome to Naples takes only one hour and regular, 2nd-class fare is around $55. (Flights to Naples mostly require connections in other countries.)

Posted by
60 posts

Great information....thanks all! Now, about that "cheap" hotel.........

Posted by
60 posts

Thanks David. We know some people who have also used the tour company. I will definitely look into it. My college-aged son is willing to sleep on the street to be able to go...:-) I think we can do better than that......

Posted by
23257 posts

I agree that prices all along the Nice end of the Cote d'Azur always sky-rocket for the week prior to the GP, and especially the weekend of, but I have been very successful over the years in getting quite reasonable prices (for Monaco) a day or two afterwards.

It can be quite cool to walk the course while the ARMCO is still up, the marbles are still around the corners, the black marks are still on the roads - although with the cars sounding like blue-bottles in a glass jar the sounds echoing around my hand just won't cut the mustard. There are motorcycles that make a better sound.

and as for passing - or the inability to - did nobody here actually watch the race this last weekend? Now that was a race. It has been years since we have had that much attrition. Yes, I know a lot is because of the blue-bottle effect, and the inability of Renault to make a usable engine contributes, but I saw a fair amount of passing, some where I'd never seen it before.

I thought it was a seriously cool race.

and it's not every day that you see somebody driving a race like Monaco with one eye shut. Mega.

Can I suggest that your race fans make a good weekend or more out of it - from before Quali One through the Monday or Tuesday after and just live it... Who wants to be just running away with all the crowds after the race is run?

Ferrari will eventually improve but don't rule out others. McLaren will come back too, maybe Williams. The field is always improving. They may all sound like ***** but at least they can go quick.

Keep praying for Michael Schumacher.