May in Monaco: Grand Prix excitement and a packed cultural calendar

Publication date: 08/05/2024
Experience the very best of sport and culture in Monaco throughout May!

With new exhibitions, an iconic venue celebrating its 150th anniversary, great new restaurants, and of course sporting thrills and spills galore as racing cars zoom through the streets of the city, there’s so much going on in the Principality this May.  

Essential exhibitions:

"Pasolini in Chiaroscuro" at the Villa Sauber, until 29 September
This exhibition is the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco’s tribute to Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of Europe’s greatest intellectuals. Half a century after his death, the world-renowned polymath’s influence continues to be felt in a multitude of fields, inspiring contemporary creators. The exhibition looks at the influence of classical and contemporary art on the aesthetics of his films. Part of the exhibition also features works by several international artists in homage to Pasolini.

"The Ice Giants" at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, until 6 October
Polar bears and emperor penguins are the big stars of this new exhibition, “The Ice Giants”, by Michel Bassompierre. Seven monumental sculptures standing up to 3 metres tall, including five new creations made specially by the artist for this exhibition, will take over the Oceanographic Museum and its roof terrace. Visitors can also discover a selection of original drawings and sketches, accompanied by a film about the artist’s work. This temporary exhibition is part of the Polar Mission programme launched by the Oceanographic Institute in 2022.

"Ferrari and Formula 1 in Monaco: History and Triumphs", at the Cars Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco, from 9 May to 31 August 2024
The Cars Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco is proud to present its brand new temporary exhibition, entitled “Ferrari and Formula 1 in Monaco: History and Triumphs”. It looks back at the history of Scuderia Ferrari in Monaco, beginning in 1950 when the team made its world championship debut in that year’s Monaco Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari, at the wheel of a 125S, took Ferrari to a podium finish in the Principality, following up that maiden achievement with a record-breaking series of nine wins in the 1953 season. The cars on display include models driven by Michael Schumacher, Niki Lauda, Gilles Villeneuve, Sebastian Vettel, and the SF90 in which Charles Leclerc claimed wins at Spa and Monza in 2019. Ferrari remains the only team to have competed in every single Formula 1 season since 1950.

"Lascaux in Monaco" at the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology, until 21 November 2024
Explore the fascinating world of "Lascaux in Monaco" with a captivating scenography featuring lifelike replicas and an immersive virtual reality experience with #SPL LASCAUX, exclusively thanks to our partners at the Museum. Admire authentic objects from the Lascaux caves, kindly loaned by the National Museum of Prehistory (Les Eyzies, Dordogne) and the Institute of Human Palaeontology (Paris). Discover the ultra-realistic reconstructions created by Elisabeth Daynes and a 1/10th scale model of the Lascaux caves themselves, with prehistoric paintings and lighting. Try the numerous interactive exhibits, for an unforgettable immersive experience.


"The Early Days of Télé Monte-Carlo, 1954-1974" at the Audiovisual Institute of Monaco, until 31 January 2025
The Audiovisual Institute of Monaco invites you to step inside its Cabinet of Curiosities and travel back in time through the archives of Monegasque TV station Télé Monte-Carlo, founded in 1954. The exhibition tells the story of the channel’s first two decades, with this year marking its 70 anniversary.  Explore a treasure trove of fascinating archives and items from the 50s and 60s, when television was making the move to colour. The exhibition features images and other materials entrusted by Télé Monte-Carlo to the Institute for safekeeping, along with documents from partner institutions and loans from private individuals.

"Laure Prouvost – MoMo" at the Villa Paloma, until 3 June
Artist Laure Prouvost, originally from Molenbeek (Belgium), took up the NMNM’s invitation to create a new link between Monaco and her home town in the shape of MoMo (Monaco - Molenbeek), an imaginary space that breaks down boundaries to connect energies and devise new possibilities. This spring, you’ll see eight new flags fluttering on the roof of the Villa Paloma, each designed by the artist. Beginning in 2021, the NMNM’s “Eight Flags” programme invites artists to design their own flags for the Villa Paloma while the museum is closed for part of the year.

"Untamed Powers and Timeless Icons: Meeting of Legends” at the Hôtel Méridien Beach Plaza, until 30 June 2024
The exhibition “Untamed Powers and Timeless Icons: Meeting of Legends” is an unforgettable art experience to be found in the lobby of the Hôtel Méridien Beach Plaza. In a collection of unique pieces, artist YannC brings together famous faces from past and present with the animal kingdom. His unusual works deftly combine matter, negative space, and colour to somehow create an image, a silhouette or a subject of surprisingly intense emotional power.

Unmissable events:

Celebrating 150 years of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo Cellars, until 31 October

This year, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer is celebrating a century and a half of one of the Principality’s hidden treasures: the Cellars of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. Since opening in 1874, they have stood through a hundred and fifty years of the company’s history- and often played an important role in that story. Tucked away beneath the very foundations of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, the Cellars are the very quintessence of refinement and exclusivity. To mark this special occasion, the world’s largest hotel cellars are opening their doors for a unique celebration, with fascinating tours, exclusive dinners, exceptional wine-tasting, and much more besides. Don’t miss the chance to discover this iconic part of Monaco’s history!

The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, from 10 to 12 May

The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is returning for its 14th edition, to the delight of the thousands of classic car fans who flock to the Principality to enjoy the spectacle. First organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco in 1997, the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique takes place every two years, just before the Formula 1 Grand Prix. The event will feature tributes and anniversary celebrations in honour of legendary drivers and cars, and as always promises a real journey through the history of automobiles, all the way back to 1924.

RM Sotheby’s MonacoAuction” at the Grimaldi Forum, 11 May

In Monaco, the month of May is, naturally, synonymous with all things automotive. And car enthusiasts will be excited to learn that RM Sotheby’s are hosting their seventh biennial auction at the Grimaldi Forum. The lots up for sale will include historic models, racing cars once owned by top drivers, and some of the finest machines ever created, guaranteeing an event that collectors and aficionados will not want to miss. 

81st Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, from 23 to 26 May

The 81st edition of the world’s most famous motor race, the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, will take place from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 May 2024.
Experience the crackling energy of the race like nowhere else... Come and cheer on your favourite driver, ready to take on one of the most challenging - and most iconic - circuits in Formula 1. Who will take the crown from Max Verstappen, winner of last year’s 80th Monaco Grand Prix?

Even more things to do in May:

A stroll in the parks and gardens of the Principality

As the green shoots of spring burst into life, visit Monaco’s glorious gardens. Breathe in the fragrant floral aromas as you admire the vibrantly coloured flower beds and the elegant artworks along the Rainier III Sculpture Trail in a peaceful and enchanting setting.
Escape the bustle of the city for an hour or two, and relax in a green oasis of tranquillity.


New restaurants to try

The Principality never stands still. There’s something new to experience every day, and that includes when it comes to great food. Check out these three exciting new restaurants:
Da Valentino: for a taste of the Dolce Vita in an elegant piano bar serving sensational Italian cuisine.

Relais de Venise: for the ultimate steak, fries and salad, a timeless classic that needs no introduction!

Amazonico: for a thrilling voyage of the senses in a jungle-chic party vibe on the rooftop of the legendary Café de Paris, overlooking the equally legendary Place du Casino.


Big events coming next month:

Top Marques, from 5 to 9 June 2024
Top Marques is the world’s most exclusive auto show, a “supercar heaven” where fans of the ultimate in luxury gather to admire the latest models, and perhaps drive home in their new purchase.

Television Festival, from 14 to 18 June 2024
The Monte-Carlo Television Festival is the essential annual gathering of the TV industry held in June every year, attracting stars from all over the world to its famous red carpet. Winning a coveted Golden Nymph at the closing ceremony is one of the greatest accolades in television. 

Photo credits: crédits photos : Benjamin Vergély / ©Institut_oceanographique_de_Monaco_Frederic_Pacorel / ACM-Mickael Alesi / DR / Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer / Top Marques Monaco / Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo