Joining us for the 2020 Monaco Grand Prix on 21-24 May? Here’s the lowdown on where to stay, what to do and the best places to eat and drink in the Principality on race weekend.
- Visas: citizens from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK don’t need a visa to visit Monaco. Just provide your valid passport on entry and you’ll be granted up to 90 days in the country. Monaco is also a part of the Schengen zone which comprises 26 European countries with a common visa policy and no internal borders.
- Currency: Monaco uses the Euro. ATM’s are easy to find and you can pay with plastic almost everywhere. Rewarding good service with a 10-15% tip is common in Monaco, apart from in restaurants, which usually add a service charge to your bill.
- Language: the official language of Monaco is French, though some locals also speak Monégasque. English and Italian are also widely spoken.
- Time Zone: in May, Monaco is on Central European Summer Time (UTC + 2 hour)
- In an Emergency: dial 112
- Power Sockets: Monaco and France use the same Type F power sockets as the rest of mainland Europe. Bring an adaptor if you are travelling from another part of the world.
- Weather: the Grand Prix falls before the height of the summer heat in Monaco, though it can still be very warm and sunny. Daytime highs on race weekend average around 22°C (72°F) and lows 14°C (57°F). Expect up to 12 hours of sunshine per day and a fairly low chance of rain.
Arrival & Getting Around
Nice Côte d’Azur airport (NCE), 30km from Monaco, is the closest international airport to the Principality. To get to the circuit, you can choose from trains, buses, taxis and helicopter transfers. Driving yourself is another option, though there can be congestion on the weekend as larger crowds arrive. The coastal trains are the best choice for fans staying in Nice, Menton and other towns along the Riviera. More information: 2020 Monaco Grand Prix – Getting Around Guide
Where to Stay
Many fans choose to stay in nearby Nice, which has a good selection of accommodation to suit all budgets - not to mention popular beaches and a historic Old Town. Other nearby towns with easy access to the circuit via train include Menton and Ventimiglia, across the border in Italy.
Why not add accommodation to your Official Ticket Package? F1 Experiences offers a 4-night stay at select hotels in Monaco and Nice. Daily coach transfers to and from the circuit are included for guests staying at our hotels in Nice.
Where to Eat & Drink in Monaco
Unsurprisingly, Monaco has its fair share of exclusive restaurants, bars and nightclubs. But it doesn’t cost anything to walk around and soak up the atmosphere in the Principality on race weekend and cheaper options do exist. Here’s a selection of the best places to eat and drink in Monaco:
- Restaurants: for unpretentious eats, head to Stars 'N' Bars, a popular sports bar serving American favourites next to the harbour. Café de Paris is a local favourite serving brasserie-style food next to the casino, while Le Louis XV by world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse is recognized as one of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.
- Bars & Nightclubs: located on the turn of the same name, La Rascasse is a Monaco institution. This hugely popular bar has a large terrace for alfresco drinking and also hosts late night DJ sets on race weekend. Recommended! Other bars worth checking out include Brasserie de Monaco, which serves locally-made craft beers, Le Bar Américain in Hotel de Paris and Buddha-Bar on Casino Square. After dark, join the party crowd at the legendary Jimmy’z or Le Living Room for exclusive DJ sets.
- Looking for more affordable eating and drinking? Head over the hill to Fontvieille, where you can find everything from McDonalds to affordable trattorias.
What to Do in Monaco
- Casino de Monte Carlo: Monaco’s iconic casino is housed in a historic belle époque building dating back to 1893. Try your luck at various table games, including blackjack, roulette, poker and baccarat, plus hundreds of slot machines. Open daily from 2pm. Entry is free and you’ll need your passport to enter (over 18s only). It’s worth dressing up if you are planning to visit in the evening. More info here.
- Prince’s Palace & Monaco Ville: the panoramic views from the home of Monaco’s royal family make the 10-minute walk up the hill from Place d’Armes a must. You can also watch the changing of the guard every day at 11:55, take a tour of the state rooms (open daily from 10:00 to 17:30; €8 for adults, €4 for children aged 6-16) or wander around the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town.
- H.S.H. Prince Rainier III of Monaco Car Collection: the incredible collection of cars amassed by Prince Rainier III are housed in a museum on the Terrases de Fontvieille, a short walk from the circuit. You can see over 100 cars, including a good selection of F1 machines that have raced on the streets of Monaco. Open daily from 10:00-18:00; €8 for adults, €4 for children aged 6-16. More info here.
Larvotto Beach: this popular beach is open to the general public and only a short walk from the circuit. The beaches in this part of the world have pebbles rather than sand, so don’t forget to pack some comfortable shoes. Loungers and umbrellas can be hired for around €20. Click here for a map.
Other Events Happening in France during May 2020
Looking for holiday ideas or things to do away from the track? Here’s some of the best events happening in France, and on the French Riviera, in May 2020.
- French Motorcycle Grand Prix: The iconic Le Mans circuit hosts MotoGP on the weekend before the Monaco Grand Prix. The city of Le Mans is a beautiful mid-sized town close to Paris and the French MotoGP is a popular event with an excellent trackside atmosphere.
- French Open Tennis: The only clay-court Grand Slam event, won a record 12 times by Spanish player Rafael Nadal, begins on 24 May at Roland-Garros in Paris and runs to 7 June.
- Cannes Film Festival: One of the world’s premier film festivals, Cannes takes place this year from 12-23 May. While the event is not strictly open to the public, a limited number of seats are available to the public during red carpet screenings, or you can just soak up the atmosphere and go celebrity spotting.
Elite Supercar Tour Monaco
For the ultimate experience, we also recommend the 2020 Elite Supercar Tour Monaco! This 8-Day Driving Tour, which takes in some of the best driving routes, hotels and gourmet restaurants on the French Riviera, culminates in a weekend of trackside luxury at the 2020 Monaco Grand Prix. Highlights include track time at Circuit Paul Ricard, home of the French Grand Prix and a visit to St. Tropez. More information here.
Official Ticket Packages for the 2020 Monaco Grand Prix include grandstand seats or access to trackside hospitality in the Champions Club and trackside yacht, plus driver meet-and-greets and more exclusive benefits. Get yours today!