The most iconic viewing experiences of F1's visit to Monaco

Where's the best place in Monaco to watch the iconic Grand Prix? (1:34)

Laurence Edmondson reveals his research into the best possible place to watch the Monaco Grand Prix. (1:34)

MONACO -- The Monaco Grand Prix is unlike any other event in the world of sport. The glamour, history and sheer absurdity of the race combine to offer an experience that sits atop the bucket list of many Formula One fans.

Despite its reputation, attending the race is not as expensive as you might think, with general admission tickets for La Rocher (the hill overlooking the final two corners) costing €199 for race day or just €75 for Friday practice.

But what if money is no object? What if you want to experience the race from the most exclusive and desirable locations possible? Well, you might find yourself at one of the places on this list -- but be warned, it mostly won't come cheap.

Watching from a yacht

Monaco's Port Hercule, skirted by the racetrack on two of its three sides, acts as a magnet for the Mediterranean's superyachts each May. Its 160,000 square metres of liquid real estate transforms into the ultimate playground for the rich and famous, making it among the most sought-after places to watch a sporting event anywhere in the world.

- Watch the Monaco Grand Prix all weekend on ESPN networks

On a race weekend, a berth in Port Hercule can cost anywhere between €8,000 and €128,000 depending on location and the size of boat, and there is a €3,000 fee just to enter the harbour. The most expensive positions offer views of the track between the Nouvelle Chicane and the Swimming Pool complex, while countless other berths will see your yacht parked up without a sightline to the circuit.

The very biggest boats have no choice but to moor on "The T" behind the Swimming Pool grandstand, with their bows pointing out to sea. In recent years, the largest yacht in the harbour has been Faith, a 316-foot leviathan worth an estimated $200 million.

According to media reports in 2020, Faith was sold by Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll to Canadian billionaire Michael Latifi, the father of former Williams racing driver Nicholas and chairman of Sofina Foods.

Details of Faith can be found online, including its seasonal charter rate of €1,600,000 per week. That money not only buys you a lot of yacht for seven days, it also comes with a list of amenities that would make a number of Monaco's five-star hotels look rather ill-equipped.

The five-storey floating palace houses a cinema, spa, swimming pool, massage room, steam room, hammam, gym and, rumour has it, a snow room. It has seven bedrooms that can sleep up to 12 guests, a VIP stateroom to entertain friends and an elevator that conveniently links its five decks.

But if you're not a multibillionaire, there are cheaper ways to get on the water over race week. A number of companies offer yacht access during the track action, with prices starting at around €850 for a Friday, including a meal on a tri-deck yacht, to €6,000 for the same experience on race day.

Overnight accommodation on a yacht during the weekend will set you back anywhere between €23,000 and €28,000, according to the prices listed by F1's famous party-throwers Amber Lounge. Once the track action is done for the day, Amber Lounge also boasts a "€1.5 million party" in the gardens of Le Meridien Hotel. A place on a shared table at the Amber Lounge party starts at €1,375, but those wanting to grab a spot close to the party's most famous attendees, including Pamela Anderson and Daniel Ricciardo, need to fork out $70,000. Amber Lounge claims that the champagne flows all night, with a nine-litre bottle available on request, which requires a crew of four people to carry it to your table and open it.

Watching from the Hotel de Paris

For a more traditional experience, the Hotel de Paris, situated at the highest point of the F1 circuit overlooking Casino Square, represents the Grande Dame of Monaco hospitality. The hotel was opened in 1864 by the Société des Bains de Mer, a state-owned development group that still owns the hotel today and is also responsible for the running of the famous Monte Carlo Casino across the square.

The modern-day hotel, which benefited from a $280 million renovation in 2019, has 207 rooms and is among the most prestigious properties in the principality. While the hotel goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of its visitors, previous guests are known to include Frank Sinatra, Michael Jordan and Lady Gaga.

Over the race weekend, the hotel insists on a four-night minimum stay with prices starting at €18,000 -- albeit not necessarily with a view of the track. With two days to go before this year's grand prix, the last rooms still available were listed at €10,500 per night (or €42,000 for the four nights).

The two largest suites, named after Princess Grace (983 square metres) and Prince Rainier III (830 square metres), are marketed on the basis of "those who have to ask can't afford," but reportedly command a nightly rate between €45,000 and €51,000 away from the race weekend. Over the Monaco Grand Prix, you can expect those prices to multiply. For your small fortune, you'll get two bedrooms, a private rooftop swimming pool and an expansive terrace with views over Monaco.

If your budget doesn't stretch to staying at the Hotel de Paris on race weekend, you can still get a taste for the hotel's hospitality at one of its three restaurants overlooking the track. The most famous of the three is Alain Ducasse's Le Louis XV, which carries three Michelin stars.

A four-course menu on the trackside terrace will set you back €500 per person on Friday, €800 per person on qualifying day and a whopping €1,800 per person on race day -- and that's before you dive into the wine list.

All the restaurants linked to the Hotel de Paris benefit from its cavernous cellar, which was carved into the bedrock under the property in 1874. The current cellar houses the finest wines known to humanity, with a remarkable stock of more than 350,000 bottles.

During World War II, part of the cellar was walled up to protect 20,000 bottles of vintage Lafite, Rothschild, Petrus and Cheval Blanc. Broken glass was scattered in the corridors leading up to the sealed compartment in the hope it would deter any would-be raiders from finding the secret stash.

When the temporary wall was removed in 1945, one of the hotel's most famous visitors, Winston Churchill, was on hand to ensure the very best bottles had survived.

Watching from terraces

As one of Europe's most desirable tax havens, Monaco has the dubious honour of being the world's most densely populated sovereign state. In order to house so many multi-millionaires in such a small amount of space, property developers have increasingly built upward to maximise returns on small plots of land, resulting in a concrete jungle built into the hillside.

That's good news for those hoping to get a good vantage point over the two-mile Monaco circuit, as a number of terraces in the highest tower blocks are available to rent over the weekend. A view from one of the larger apartment buildings overlooking the first corner starts at €650 for Friday access and rockets up to €3,500 for the entire weekend.

Views of the famous Fairmont Hairpin -- the tightest corner in F1 -- are also available from the very hotel that gives the corner its name. A suite with a balcony will set you back €3,700 for the weekend and comes with optional evening yacht parties at an additional €700 to €900 per night.

Rising above it

Believe it or not, one of the best views of Monaco on a race weekend is entirely free -- although you'll need a pair of high-powered binoculars to see the cars. Tete de Chien ("dog's head" in English) is the name given to the huge cliff face hanging above the principality and it costs precisely €0 to access.

Standing 550 metres above the principality (and across the border in France), a hike to the top of the cliff will provide spectacular views of the harbour and the possibility to make out small slithers of racetrack between the buildings. You'll likely have no idea what's going on below, but with fresh air in your lungs and a saving of several thousand Euros in your pocket, it's a small price to pay.