Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix is a third of motorsport’s Triple Crown. It is one of the most prestigious races to win and its narrow streets make it an extremely difficult event for drivers to navigate. Fans are right on top of the action when the Monaco Grand Prix takes place as large numbers of spectators typically turn out for the race.
In 2019, before COVID-19 impacted the world of sports, Formula 1 saw 4 million spectators turn out for the racing league’s 21 events. Being that the Monaco Grand Prix is held on the city’s streets, it makes it a little difficult to gauge just how many fans turned out for the event. You can expect a large number of fans each year at the grand prix, however. This means you should get your tickets early, but don’t be downhearted. You can always arrive in Monaco for race weekend and experience the atmosphere.
Regardless of which driver wins the Monaco Grand Prix, the yearly race, which takes place this year on May 29, is a gateway to the playground of the rich and famous. Monaco is an incredible vacation destination thanks to its history and culture, dining, and luxury hotels.
Monaco is less than two square kilometers, making it the second smallest country. Despite its small size, Monaco packs a mighty punch. If you are looking for a last-minute trip this May and need some extra encouragement, here are a few reasons to visit the principality.
Monaco Grand Prix
Okay, let’s start with the obvious reason to visit Monaco this May. Super-fast cars driven by world-class athletes – yes, Formula 1 drivers are athletes – speed around the streets of Monaco, making tight turns in one of the greatest sporting events in the world.
Drivers compete on the Circuit de Monte-Carlo where they complete 78 laps. Each lap of the circuit is 3.337 kilometers (2.07 miles). If you are a fan of motorsports, the Monaco Grand Prix is the best example of a world-class driver’s ability to control a racecar. The technical driving is off the charts.
If you are a foodie, then you don’t want to miss Monaco’s restaurant scene. With so many millionaires and billionaires living in a small space, the principality has to have fine dining options worthy of the rich and famous. Your palette will thank you when it tastes the culinary treats available throughout the city.
Monaco’s diverse range of restaurants makes it ideal for foodies. There are traditional French restaurants, chic Michelin starred dining spots, and bistros offering up savory recipes. Monaco’s collection of cultures provides foodies with a variety of dining options from Mediterranean to Italian to French foods.
One of Monaco’s most famous restaurants is La Table d’Antonio Salvatore au Rampoldi. You will find the restaurant in an old cigar lounge which provides a great location for your meal. Table d’Antonio Salvatore offers up a menu of modern Monegasque recipes. Make your reservations early as there are only five tables as this intimate dining experience.
For further fine dining, visit Elsa at Monte-Carlo Beach which is located in a 1930s era luxury hotel that overlooks the water. Elsa is a Michelin starred restaurant that serves 100% organic food. The seafood is wild-caught and never farmed. Else takes ethical dining seriously and it works with local French producers to source its ingredients.
Culture and History
Monaco has a lot of history that race fans may overlook. The city has a glorious past that can be seen around nearly every corner. You can spend your days visiting Monaco’s museums to learn about the local history.
The Musée Oceanographique should be atop every visitor to Monaco’s must-see list. The museum is located on Le Rocher overlooking the water. The museum and aquariums took more than a decade to build. It was opened in 1910 and is one of the oldest aquariums in the world today. Musée Oceanographique has renowned marine exhibits. If you are traveling alone or with family, it is a great place to spend a few hours.
For more history, explore the Palais du Prince, the private residence of the world’s oldest monarchy. The palace is located high above the water, offering some of the most beautiful views of Le Rocher peninsula. First built in the 1200s, the Palais du Prince has panoramic views of the area. You can visit the Palais du Prince at certain times of the year when it is open to the public.
What should you do in Monaco?
You will find plenty of historical and cultural places in Monaco, but there are some off the beaten path that you shouldn’t miss. One of the most interesting places to explore is Prince Rainier III of Monaco’s private collection of antique cars.
In the late 1950s, Prince Rainier III began collecting automobiles. Over the years, his collection grew and in 1993, he opened up the collection to the public. This is a tremendously unique museum for car collectors or automobile enthusiast to see.
Place du Casino, also known as Casino Square, is a gorgeous green park area with Belle Époque architecture, chic hotels, and glamorous casinos surrounding it. The square is in the center of Monaco and offers a prime location to visitors to watch life roll by.
Casino Square is a short walk from the waterfront. It is located next to the Circuit de Monte-Carlo. Explore the statues and fountains before taking on the casinos, where you will do your best James Bond impression. These casinos are where the world’s real high rollers go to gamble.
Where to stay?
Finally, you are going to need a place to sleep after the race, dining, and sightseeing, so why night book a room at the illustrious Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo? The hotel was constructed in 1864 and is a short walk away from the Place du Casino.
You will be waited on with exceptional service. Your dream vacation will be complete by selecting one of the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo’s excellent accommodation options. The architecture is exquisite with marble caryatids, colonnades, and crystal chandeliers. You will experience a true Monegasque lifestyle during a stay at the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo.
A vacation to Monaco this May is the ideal way to get away from it all. Visit the principality for the Monaco Grand Prix and stay for the incredible offerings the world’s second smallest country has to offer. You won’t regret it!
Journalist and author. Contributor