Circuit de Catalunya
The Spanish Grand Prix takes place at the Circuit du Catalunya in Montmelo, a small town about 32 km from Barcelona where the vast majority of F1 spectators will be based for the race weekend.
Most fans from outside of Spain arrive by plane at Barcelona El Prat airport (BCN) – about 15km from the city centre – though budget carriers like Ryanair and Easyjet often use Girona (GRO) or Reus (REU) airports which are about 100km to the north and south respectively.
Kiwi.com lets you search for the lowest cost flights and shows you route combinations that often don’t show up on other search engines. If you miss a connecting flight due to delay the Kiwi guarantee means you can take the next available flight at no extra cost.
Coming to Barcelona by train is a good option for fans travelling from within Spain and Portugal, the south of France and Northern Italy. Even visitors from Northern Europe may consider the high-speed TGV trains from Paris as a more leisurely alternative to flying and enjoying the convenience of city centre to city centre travel.
Barcelona’s metro runs from early morning until midnight and all night long on Saturdays. It’s a reasonably priced and simple way of getting around the city.
Hola Barcelona Travel Cards are aimed at visitors and allow unlimited travel on the network including to and from the airport. These are available for 2, 3, 4 and 5 days.
If you’re just in town for the Grand Prix though and not hopping around various tourist spots it might work out cheaper to pick up the Targeta T-10. This gives you 10 rides anywhere in zone 1 for €10.20, or zones 1 and 2 for €20.10. Montmello is in zone 2 so you’ll need the two zone version if you plan to go to the track by train.
Barcelona’s yellow and black taxis are not going to be much use for trips around the largely pedestrianized city centre but for suburban jaunts they make a nice alternative to the metro. They run on a meter and are affordable at about €10 for a 15 minute journey.
The narrow winding streets of Barcelona’s old town are best tackled on foot.
If you have the luxury of your own wheels, you can drive from Barcelona to the Circuit in about 40 minutes, though expect some delays especially on race day and, as always with Grand Prix, leaving the circuit especially will require some patience.
There are two possible access roads you can take to the Grand Prix circuit. Take the C-17 road (Montmelo exit) or the AP-7 highway toll road and exit at 13, 14 or 15. Either way, once you exit it’s a short, well signed trip to the appropriate car park. Be prepared by knowing which car park you are in and be advised that alternative routes to what your GPS might give may be in operation.
Parking at the circuit is free for motorbikes. For cars expect to pay about €15-20 for a Friday to Sunday ticket which you have to buy in advance, and park in one of the circuit’s 32,000 parking spaces within the appropriate car park for your grandstand.
|Car Park A||Grandstands H, C, G, B, N and General Admission|
|Car Park A1||Grandstand N and General Admission|
|Car Park A3||Grandstands H and I|
|Car Park B||Grandstands H, C, G, B and General Admission|
|Car Park C||Grandstands J, K, E, F, I and the Main Grandstand|
|Car Park D||Grandstands L, M and General Admission|
|Car Park F||Grandstands A, F, E, K, J|
The train is the most affordable way to get to the Spanish Grand Prix. Montmelo train station is the closest stop to the Grand Prix circuit and commuter trains from Barcelona reach the station in about 25 minutes.
Spanish train operator Rondials usually put on extra services to deal with the hoards of F1 fans, usually with one train running every 20 minutes from Barcelona Sants, Barcelona Passeig de Gracia and Barcelona El Clot-Arago stations. You can expect it to still be pretty crowded though, particularly on Sunday after the race.
There’s no need to book tickets in advance as there are no seat reservations on these trains. Arrive at the station in good time and purchase on the day of travel, or, if you purchased the T-10 ticket package (see above) you can use one of these.
Montmelo train station is about a 30 minute walk from the circuit. Follow the signs, the crowd, or the sound of F1 cars. If you want to save your legs there is a shuttle service to and from the circuit for a nominal fee of about 1 or 2 Euros, though reports in previous years have noted that these buses are not frequent enough to cater for the vast numbers of fans, and walking may be your fastest option.
The Sagalés bus company provide transport to the circuit from Barcelona Nord bus terminal and makes a cost effective alternative to a taxi and much less time consuming option than the train. The coach service is available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the journey time from station to circuit is about 45 minutes.
Another bus route also by Sagalés runs from Lloret de Mar on Saturday and Sunday only, and takes about 2 hours to reach the circuit in Montmelo.
Return tickets starting from under €20 can be booked at Motorsport Tickets.
A taxi to the Circuit de Catalunya from Barcelona will take about 40 minutes and cost upwards of €65. If thinking of getting a taxi to the circuit, try to arrange something in advance, especially for the return trip after the race on Sunday where you could potentially be waiting a very long time for an available taxi.
I’m Danny, an incurable Formula 1 fan for over 30 years and founder of The F1 Spectator. My aim is to inform and inspire, arming you with helpful tips and advice for your next F1 trip.