Let The F1 Spectator Monaco page guide you around Monte Carlo as you make your travel plans for the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
- Useful information about the circuit and it’s location.
- Directions for getting to the track by car or public transport.
- Intuitive guide to this years ticket prices.
- Insider tips on the best grandstands and general admission areas to view all the weekends F1 action.
Monaco is a square mile principality in the south of France. The nearest international airport is the Nice Cote d’Azur and it’s in Nice (about 40km from Monaco) where most visitors to the Monaco Grand Prix will base themselves for the weekend of the race and commute to and from Monte Carlo each day. It’s a short journey by bus or train and works out a lot cheaper than staying in Monaco.
Arrival in Nice for the Monaco Grand Prix
Cote d’Azur International – Monaco’s nearest Airport
In all about 60 airlines serve the Nice Cote d’Azur airport from destinations in France, elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world. Easyjet operate flights from the UK and elsewhere in France, Germanwings offers flights from a number of German cities and for any fans coming from the Middle East, Asia or Australia, Emitrates fly in and out of Dubai.
Transport from the Airport to Downtown Nice
Airport express buses leaving from both terminals 1 and 2 take you to the Nice bus and train stations downtown. Bus 98 goes to the bus station in downtown Nice and bus 99 goes to the main Nice train station. Pay the driver €6 when you get on and your pass can be used all day to hop on and off buses all over Nice. Departures are every 30 minutes from 6am to midnight.
Alternatively use the local bus service no.23 for just €1 departing from terminal 1, but be aware that the service only runs until 8:05pm.
(See below for how to get directly from the airport to Monaco).
Arrival in Nice by Train
Nice is well connected to other cities and towns in France and elsewhere in Europe by train. France’s world famous high speed TGV trains service Nice main station (Gare de Nice-Ville) in just 6 hours from Paris. Coming to the Monaco Grand Prix from the UK? Why not skip all that airplane malarkey and get a Eurostar / TGV combo for a total journey time of about 9 hours.
|Distance by train to Nice in hours|
TGV trains need a compulsory reservation and you can save a lot by booking as early as possible. Tickets bought just a day before can be 5 times as expensive as if you buy earlier. Usually tickets go on sale 92 days before the date of travel.
Arrival in Nice by Car
Driving as far as Nice is a perfectly good option for many, though you should keep in mind that you’ll still need to use public transport for the rest of the way to Monaco – finding a parking space in Monaco will be about as easy as getting a royal flush at the casino.
|Approximate driving time to Nice in hours|
|LONDON||14 (via Channel Tunnel)|
Getting around in Nice
The historical centre of Nice is easily traversed on foot. There is no metro in the city so for longer trips across town your best options are over-crowded local buses, over-priced taxis and underused bicycles.
Bus fares are charged at a flat rate of €1.50 per journey, which can include onward or return journeys as long as it’s within 74 minutes of validating your ticket (do this in the machine as you enter the bus). Multi-10 tickets are good for 10 journeys and cost €10 and can be used by several people at once. Very handy if you’re in a group.
Just be aware that the buses can be crowded and time-tables are unreliable. Few services run after 8pm so always check when the last bus is on the route you’re using to get back after the days F1 sessions are over, and don’t get stranded.
If you do get stranded you might have no other option but to use a taxi. Always use a registered taxi and insist that the meter is on for the whole journey or agree a fare in advance. Taxi drivers in the region have a bad reputation for overcharging tourists, and at certain times of the year – like the Monaco Grand Prix weekend – the likelihood is even stronger.
Probably overall the best way of getting around in Nice, Velo Bleu is the city’s initiative to be more green and ease congestion and at a cost of €1/day it’s hard to argue with it. Go to www.velobleu.org for a map showing where the stations are.
Getting to the Monaco Grand Prix
Wherever you’re staying in the region you can almost bet that it is short train or bus ride away from Monaco. Ticket fares are generally inexpensive, but some routes do get very busy at certain times at this time of year. Transport strikes are also common so try to have a back-up plan in place that preferably isn’t a taxi.
Driving & Parking
Parking in Monaco is going to be tricky unless you have a hotel booking which includes parking. It’s strongly advised to leave the car in Nice and jump on a bus or train or if you prefer, a taxi will set you back about €70 one way, off-peak.
If you really want to drive, Monte Carlo can be reached by car on the A8 Motorway. From Nice the journey will take about 40 minutes. Take Exit 56-Monaco and follow signs for Monte Carlo. Be aware that there are many unannounced road closures and diversions in the area over the race weekend.
…from central Nice
TER local Trains from Nice reach Monaco in about 18 – 25 minutes from Nice main station (Gare de Nice-Ville, Avenue Thiers).
Trains leave about every 30 minutes usually though more trains run at peak times to over the Grand Prix weekend accommodate fans going to and from the track. You don’t need a reservation, just turn up, buy your ticket from the self-service machines (if you don’t have a card with a chip you’ll need to go to a ticket counter), validate your ticket at one of the yellow machines and jump on a train. The fare costs €3.90.
You can expect the station to be packed with F1 fans on the day of the Grand Prix so be there in good time and be prepared to stand for the duration of the journey. First train departs to Monaco at 05:47.On the return journey, the last Nice bound train leaves Monaco at 23:07.
…from Nice International
If departing from the airport directly to Monaco, the Nice St Augustine train station about 500m from T1 reaches Monaco’s main station Monaco-Monte Carlo (SNCF) in about 30 – 40 minutes.
At Terminal 1, exit the arrivals hall via Gate 1. Walk along the pedestrian walkway under Promenade des Anglais bridge. Go straight at the roundabout so that you are heading straight down Lindbergh Avenue towards the railway line. Turn left and walk parallel with the track until the traffic lights. Cross under the railway and turn right onto Edouard Grinda Ave. where you’ll see the station entrance.
Monaco’s main station Monaco-Monte Carlo (SNCF) is a short walk from the circuit.
Whether you’re getting the train from the airport or downtown Nice there are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Buy a return ticket in the morning to avoid waiting in line for a ticket again in the afternoon
- Don’t rush back to Nice. Hang around in Monaco to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a more relaxed journey home
- Make use of the toilets in the station; they are a lot less crowded than the sparse temporary facilities elsewhere
Getting around in Monaco
The best way to get around Monaco during the Grand Prix weekend is on foot. Everything is well sign-posted for pedestrians with signs pointing the way to each grandstand from the moment you arrive in Monte-Carlo train station, and you won’t have to walk further than about 15 minutes to get to your grandstand. Conveniently Monaco’s hilly streets are connected by a network of escalators and elevators that take the effort out your walks around the principality.
It can be worth picking up a walking map of the town and familiarizing yourself with the shortcuts. These are available from the information center in the train station or just about anywhere else in the region and from newsagents around town for a small fee.