I always think people need to ‘walk the walk’ after they ‘talk the talk’. So, everything you’re about to read is from my own experience – like a month ago!
Every top fan deserves a good ‘football getaway’, and for that, we need some rules.
First off, we need a good game to go to. Ideally in a stadium with some history for a squad that employ some decent players to watch. Then, it needs to be in an easily accessible part of the world, to keep things as convenient as possible.
Oh, and it needs to be quite cheap. Because … energy prices … innit.
This trip I made to watch Monaco v Nice ticked pretty much every box.
Flights to Nice from London Gatwick (LGW) ~ £70
Forming a crucial part of the ‘football getaway’ is, in fact, the getaway bit.
Now, let me throw something out there:
I hate flying. With every fibre of my being.
I don’t understand how they stay up, turbulence will give me a heart attack one day and I detest the fact that the attendants must remind me (before every single bloody flight) about what the protocol is if the thing crashes. But don’t worry … because you get a whistle!
Nevertheless, it’s a necessary evil for travelling and SkyScanner makes it easier.
Flights from London (most airports) to Nice are pretty common, and you can usually find one in the morning with a top airline (I flew with British Airways) for under £100 return.
Stay in Nice instead of Monaco ~ £50
This is crucial for keeping the costs of this football getaway low.
Monaco is a bloody expensive place.
To stay there, you’re most likely committing a few hundred quid a night in a top hotel near the riviera, so I would suggest staying in Nice instead – which is only about 30 mins away.
Better still, there’s a lot more diversity in the hotel options (which you can nail down for between £40-55 p/night for a nice double room) and the city itself has its own surprises in store. Including a massive beachfront and a number of Lidls – which is always handy.
Plus, almost atop its geographical point is the Nice-Ville train station.
From there, it’s a €5 journey aboard a DOUBLE-DECKER TRAIN to get to Monaco Monte Carlo. And the race track is pretty much outside.
And the trains run between these two cities every 20-or-so minutes.
Painless when you consider how much you’ll save as a result.
Tickets to an AS Monaco Match ~ £30
Naturally, this is probably the first thing you’re going to look at for your football getaway – otherwise there’s not much ‘football’ to the ‘getaway’ is there?
And fear not!
Not only is their website available in English, but it’s actually user-friendly!
They usually post ticket prices and availability around 10-14 days before the game takes place (depending on the competition), and all you have to do is make an account with them.
Not for sordid ‘give me your data’ reasons, either.
But because they’ll send the tickets directly to your email address.
It’ll have a QR code that you need to scan at the gates, and there are generally a number of stewards around who will direct you to the right gate before patting you down.
Getting to the game is a little tricky, as I’m sure the Monegasque directions were done in jest. (I once took four right turns because they told me to).
So, use Google Maps, keep your battery saver mode on and you’re golden.
My ticket cost me €30 for a derby too. Painless!
The rest is up to you!
In my opinion, Monaco can be done in a day.
But a proper football getaway needs a blend of action of rest.
I think a happy medium is to go for one night, stay for the most of the two days either side of that night (flights permitting) and exploring either city either day.
Plus, both Nice and Monaco are almost tailor-made for this time of exploration.
I didn’t book a single thing (bar the game) and saw everything there was to see.
Overall, I’d give this Football Getaway a solid 8/10.
The one thing that lets it down is (unfortunately) the atmosphere. The sound escapes way too easily through the gaping creeks in the stands and the fans themselves don’t seem massively up for it. The Ultras group is smaller than my member and it could do with a revamp in the near future.
Football was pretty good though – I particularly rate Tchouameni after that.
Oh, and to the travelling Nice fans, you guys are absolutely crazy!
But I like ya.
Enjoying our blog so far? Check out another article right here.