Going to the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya

Best way to travel and stay for F1 Race

This topic contains 16 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Ryan Day Ryan Day 2 years, 6 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Steve

    Hi, I am looking at going to my first F1 race overseas. Managed to go to Silverstone in 2010, and now prices are just on the up.
    I have an opportunity to see a race abroad and so we are looking at Spain. We want to take our 2 children (6yrs & 7yrs). And so we think the best value for money would be a 3 day ticket for General admission only, otherwise it looks like it may cost a fortune. Would you recommend getting a package deal through a Company for it all, or purchase tickets, flights & hotel seperately. I did consider driving, but not too sure this would actually be any cheaper as it is about an 1800 mile round trip from the UK. Never driven abroad so I have no idea how much the crossing would be let alone tolls.
    Other fanatics experiences extremely welcomed !!

    Profile photo of Andrew

    Would certainly recommend Italy for price and easiness to get to.

    Profile photo of Amanda

    Hey Steve,

    We went last year and will likely go again this year. We flew with Monarch from Manchester (quite cheap) and camped there. Many others we knew stayed in Barca, you can get the train out to Montmelo and its about half hour from the station to walk. Would recommend camping if possible, cheap and right next to the track. General admin is good you can get some great views.

    Profile photo of RichGr

    We went two years ago, stayed in Barcelona and took the train up each day, travel very cheap compared to our train journeys from Nice to Monaco the following week. There was a little road train you could use to get from the village of Montmelo up to the track if required, we managed the walk no problem, 20-30 minutes uphill.

    General admission was what we did too, you can get into the grandstands on the Friday which was great. We sat on “Alonso Hill”, atmosphere was great! Everytime Alonso went past the Spanish fans were cheering him. Hamilton broke down in front of us promoting Alonso, the fans went crazy! You would need to get there fairly early on race day, although watching on the telly this year, the hill looked a bit quieter than when we were there.

    I would recommend getting a hotel close to a train station. We went for the Sants train station, five minute walk away perfect after a day at the track.

    You can bring food in to the track, but I remember bags being checked prob for glass bottles.


    Profile photo of RichGr

    With regard to doing it yourself or a package tour. We did a package tour the first time we went abroad, we found it quite restrictive, missed track action and was expensive. A bit of research on the net made it easy for us to get a shuttle bus from the airport to our hotel and get trains from Barca to Montmelo. We can’t speak Spanish, but we did take a phrase book and managed to get along.

    Profile photo of Steve

    I was guessing that booking myself was going to be the way to go.
    3 Day tickets total £150
    Hotel / Camping TBC
    Flights £650 – ouch …….
    Anybody found a better price for 2 adults and 2 children from Gatwick ??

    Profile photo of doodie111

    G’day Steve. Purely from the perspective of self booking versus a package, I’ve travelled from Australia to Singapore for the last four races as well as the USGP a few weeks ago. Both times booked flights, accommodation, race tickets, etc, directly rather than any third party. As alluded to by others, this offers me the most flexibility and options for airfares and race ticket prices and doing anything else on your visit.

    Have fun! Kids will love it.

    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine

    @burgo Straight from the horse’s mouth:

    Profile photo of Mick


    Firstly I would always book everything myself. Get the tickets straight from the race track and book hotels flights etc from the internet. Its really easy and cheaper. Add to that last year there were issues with at least one but I think two ticketing companies where they were in financial difficulties and people were not geting their tickets. If you get them directly from the race track I feel safer and its generally cheaper.

    As far as flying versus driving is concened, driving would probaby be cheaper unless you’ve got a gas guzzler. I’m driving to Spain in May for the GP and have costed it all out including tolls etc and it is dearer for two to drive, but for 4 of you driving would probably be cheaper, including an overnight stay half way there and back. We’re driving as we want to stop off somewhere on the way. Driving on the continent is no problem as there are fewer cars on the roads. Touch wood I have never had any issues. Have not driven to Spain before but have done the south of France and its a really nice drive.

    As far as accomodation is concerned I would stay in Barcelona. There are plenty of reasonably priced hotels / hostels. I did speak to camping F1 as i did consider camping but they told be there wasn’t much there. Certainly no entertainment so may be a bit dull for the kids. It seems it’s just a basic site and all the food, drink etc is in the track.

    Getting from Barca to the track seems fairly easy. There is a train, but it seems this does leave you with a bit of a walk to the track. Alternatively Sagales has a bus service running for all three days which drops you off within a few hundred yards of the entrance. You can pre book tickets on line for 9 euros return. Thats what we’ve done.

    Someone else suggested Italy as an alternative. We have been there for the last two years and absolutley loved it. Great track and great atmosphere. As far as a comparative cost os concerned dont think its much if any cheaper. I know what it cost us for the last couple of years and I doubt if overall there will be more than a hundred or two pounds between them. Italy will definatly leave you with a good walk each day as the bus to the track drops you in Monza park and you have to walk through it to the track 20-30 minutes. and on the way back it can be a long hot wait for the bus. The other thing with Italy is the cost for food. It is quite pricey to eat out (hope Spain is cheaper) so unless you’re going to eat pizza every night expect to be spending a good amount of cash.

    Whatever you do, good luck. I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

    Profile photo of Ian Lockwood
    Ian Lockwood

    Hi Steve,

    You may save a few quid driving, and I think it would be quite nice if it was just adults travelling, but with two kids in tow I think it would be worth paying for the flights (just imagine the first “are we nearly there yet?” coming an hour or so into the journey!).

    I think Spain is a good choice if you are going general admission. GA is pretty good anyway in Spain, and with the recession hitting their economy hard, it won’t be too busy. Italy is a fantastic circuit, but there is lots of walking from the nearest entrance to the track and there isn’t as much good GA viewing. If flights are too expensive, and you have to drive, I would put Spa on your list – a much shorter journey.

    Back to Spain, it is pretty easy to do everything independently. Another option is to arrange your flights & transport to your hotel yourself, but book GP tickets, Hotel, & circuit transfers as a package. We have booked for 2013 through http://www.montmelotickets.com You can stay in Barcelona, or for a cheaper option, with shorter transfer time around 30 – 45 minutes hotel to circuit. (& maybe better for the kids as the hotels have pools & some have entertainment etc in the evenings) take a look at their Costa Brava deals: 3 Nights B&B, GA ticket & Circuit Transfers from €256 / £208 per adult, with free kids places.

    Finally, with the cheap cost of hotels, you might be better off extending your trip a it and spend an extra night at the hotel. For your party of 2 adults & 2 kids, you could currently fly to Barcelona with Easyjet, going on the Thursday before the GP & coming back on the Tuesday Morning for £343.

    Profile photo of Steve

    Hi everyone.
    Many thanks for all the detailed replies. I have been looking at various options and prices.
    Ian, my first choice would have been the Belgium GP but unfortunately we are already on holiday and unable to change.
    I then looked at Monza, but if we do take our children, I have heard the GA tickets don’t have as many good choices of viewing and so Granstand seats for all just bumps the price up even further.
    I think Spain is our best bet.
    As previously stated, we can get the flights for around £340. The hotel and GA for 2 adults and 4 children is around 700EUR.
    I have also thought about saving a bit more and go in 2014 instead but there seems to be even more venue changes. Belgium & France alternating, so i expect France will be 2014, and Barcelona and Valencia alternating so Valencia in 2014 (not one of my favourite circuits).
    More searching and bank balance checking before I decide i think.
    Thanks again everyone

    Profile photo of mrgrieves

    Im heading out to Spain at the start of May and really hope to fit it around the race. This has been very helpful guys. Thanks Fanatics!

    Profile photo of HoolyF1

    Hi guys,
    Planning my second GP trip and Spain suits best. I went to Germany this year with my uncle and we want to do another trip next year. He is a Vettel fan so he enjoyed going to Germany, but as an Alonso fan, the result went my way much to his annoyance! Now I want to check out Alonso territory. Can anyone recommend any specific hotels in Barcelona itself? Affordable and basic, as we won’t be spending much time there, but nice. 3 star preferably.
    Race tickets themselves seem to be quite good value (much cheaper than Germany were) and they have discounts up until 1st March. I think we will go for Grandstand K. Does anyone know how good the seats are there?
    Also does anyone know how the whole Thursday pitlane walks work? We are planning to fly in on the Wednesday to take part in them. I think that if you have a weekend ticket you can go on the pitlane walk, but could anyone possibly share their own experiences?
    Thanks a million!

    Profile photo of JP

    Spain pit walk will also be my first. But I did the pit walk in Monaco 2012, and it was great fun but very busy. You can see the cars at close range. I think it usualy starts around 15:00.
    Try to find a hotel close to the R2 train line, it runs from the airport to the track. We booked our hotel close to Praca de Catalonia. The hotels will be getting more expensive, so it is wise to make a reservation as early as possible. We have bought tickets at grandstand F to have a great view at the first corner to see some overtaking.

    Profile photo of TommyC

    Easyjet currently have a sale on, managed to get return flights from Gatwick for just over £50. Combine them with a cheap hotel for £100 for the week (me and the two kids) on the Costa Brava and I’ve got another fantastic week of sun & F1

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