If your Sundays are all about high-speed and adrenaline then a visit to the Barcelona racetrack (known as the Circuit de Catalunya) lands in can’t-miss territory.
Whether you’re there for the F1 Spanish Grand Prix or want to take a Ferrari out on one of the world’s best racetracks knowing how to get the most out of your visit is paramount.
Let me show you the activities, dates, directions and other events to make it a moment you won’t forget.
1. The Circuit de Catalunya
2. Grand Prix + testing tickets 2018
3. MotoGP tickets
4. Seating plan + best seats
5. Other 2018 events + races
6. Racetrack visits + guest driving + other activities
7. Getting to Circuit de Catalunya
9. What else to see in Montmeló
The Circuit de Catalunya
This 16 turn car and motorcycle track has been hosting the MotoGP Catalunya and the Spanish Grand Prix since 1992. It has a capacity of 140,700.
The Catalunya circuit itself is divided into 3 tracks: the Grand Prix track (F1), a 4655 m track completed in 64 laps. The Circuit Nacional is a 3067 meter track used for the MotoGP race. Finally, the Circuit ‘practice track‘ (Circuit de la Escuela) measures 1703 m.
What’s good about the area is that it has a mild climate for all-season racing – drivers appreciate it for its shape: a few curves opening up into long straightaways that allow cars to really get into top gear. The famous turn called Elf really makes the race more exciting.
In 2017 the Spanish Grand Prix was won by Englishman Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) while the MotoGP Catalunya was won by Italian Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).
Spanish Grand Prix Tickets 2018
The 2018 Spanish Grand Prix runs May 11-13.
You can by tickets for the practice runs on Friday, the qualifying laps on Saturday, the main race Sunday or even packages including all three.
The tickets start at just €55.00 for the Friday, and €100.00 for the Saturday or Sunday.
3 day passes start at €130.00 but if you want to be in the stands in front of the podium you can pay up to €400.00! All tickets can be bought online via the Spanish Grand Prix tickets page on Ticketmaster.
On either site there are two standards of tickets: the green zone is the cheapest and comes with views of a very large screen to follow the race, while the J zone and the North Zone (B, G, C, and H) are the best viewpoints.
F1 Testing Tickets
The Circuit de Catalunya is the only racetrack worldwide that hosts preseason testing to help the companies fine tune the vehicles before the season starts.
The testing runs for two separate weeks, usually in February and March. The 2018 testing dates are February 26th to March 1st and then March 6th to March 9th.
Testing tickets are €18.00 and can be bought at (2019 link version TBA).
MotoGP Catalunya Tickets 2018
The 2018 Barcelona MotoGP goes June 15-17.
Like the F1 event you can buy your MotoGP tickets as one day entry or 3 day passes. Single day tickets start at just €70.00 while 3-day tickets start at €80.00 and go all the way up to €140.00.
Here’s a few things you should know before getting tickets:
- If you want to get seats in the supporters section of your favourite rider, you’ll have to get tickets for the ‘Excellence’ stands (C, I, H, G, and F). These tickets are naturally limited availability since they also offer the best sight-lines for the race along the panoramic straightaway (prices are about double regular tickets).
- There are other sets of stands (A, L, B, E) classified as “super fan” sections that are a bit cheaper, and then naturally those for regular fans (N, J, K, in the main sections 1-10 and 11-28).
Circuit de Catalunya Seating Plan
The Best Seats
I suggest going for Section A, it’s at the end of the straightway with a view of the most important turns.
There’s also the main covered section situated in front of the boxes, where you’ll only see the straightaway but you’ll be able to check out the podiums and pit stops of the last turn.
Pelouse General Admission
The “pelouse” zone (the grassy knoll area) is the cheapest; in total there are 6 sections divided around the perimeter of the course, with a direct view of the track and 8 giant TV screens.
The good thing about these tickets is that it’s an open area where you can move around, try a few vantage points, and see the track from a ton of locations. If you’re not a massive fan but still want to see the action this is your ticket.
Circuit de Catalunya 2018 Events
Here’s a list of 2018 Catalunya Circuit events:
- FIA World Rallycross Championship: every year BarcelonaRX organizes a weekend full of speed and nail-biting turns and the 2018 version goes April 14-16 2018.
- 24 Horas de Catalunya de Motociclismo: this classic motorcycle team endurance event has changed venues from Montjuic and goes at the circuit from July 6-8 2018.
- 24 Horas de Barcelona de Automovilismo: the four-wheeled version of the motorcycle endurance event runs September 7-9 2018.
- Espíritu de Montjuïc: this classic throw-back race involving classic cars from the 1960’s and 1970’s goes from April 6-8 2018.
- International GT Open: the Catalonian stop of this Spanish tourer-style sports car race involves a ton of free things to do for families and kids goes October 20-21 2018.
- Festival de la Velocidad de Barcelona: this race involving over 250 cars includes a sizable sideshow with a market, super cars, and mods, running Sept 28-30 2018.
- V de V Endurance Series: the first stop of the French racing series involves about 100 vehicles (some classics) doing both sprints and endurance. It goes Mar 24-25 2018.
- RFME Campeonato de España de Velocidad: this racing series run by the Royal Spanish Motorcycle Federation goes May 26-27 2018.
- FIM CEV Repsol International Championship: one of the biggest events for discovering the best talent in young motorcycling. June 16th and 17th 2018.
- Campeonatos de Catalunya de Automovilismo: another super-intense race with more than 100 cars, the 2018 version has yet to be launched but usually runs in the middle of September.
- BiCircuit Festival: a weekend (April 21st-22nd 2018) dedicated to bicycle racing with events for both adults and children.
There are also athletics competitions and charity events on tap throughout the year and on the official El Circuit de Montmelo website you can find a complete events calendar.
Circuit de Catalunya Activities
The Circuit de Catalunya is open year-round and available for organized tours.
I’m not just talking about a little tour through the stands here either, the driving experience tours will really get your blood pumping and in a city with tons of things to do this might be the most memorable.
Keep in mind that during race dates these activities naturally are not available.
If you have any doubts or questions make sure to leave me a message in the comment section below and we’ll get you sorted. In the meantime here are the ways you can visit the Catalunya Circuit:
The Guided Tour
If you’re all about history and discovering little known secrets of the track this one is for you.
From how the races are set up, to how catastrophes are avoided, to the podium, luxury boxes, press room, paddock and tons of other little spaces only accessible to drivers essential to the Catalunya Circuit you’ll visit them all.
Visits last 60-75 minutes and there are three tours daily on the hour between 10 am and 12 pm.
You can book your visit and consult your dates directly via the official Tourism Office of Barcelona by clicking the blue button below:
For large groups you’ll need to contact the track directly via telephone at 93 571 97 36 o or email [email protected].
GT Driving Experience
Maybe you’re looking to up the adrenaline a bit driving the track in a super-fast car like a Ferrari, Porsche, or even a Lamborghini?
The most common package includes a guided tour of the track facilities, lunch at Paddock restaurant, and a spin on the Grand Prix track.
The price depends on the amount of laps you want to do: €280.00 for 2 or €350.00 for 3.
If you’re just looking for the car action you can even choose only the driving option – starting at a one lap spin on the shorter track that will run you only €69.00.
Tickets are bought online at the Circuit Experience website.
High Velocity Driving Lessons
A more secure option given by local driving school RACC would be to learn how to handle any variety of speed machine from replica Ferrari F3 cars to rally cars to a Lamborghini Gallardo.
The courses run anywhere from 4-8 hours.
You can get a list of all the options on the official site of the school.
Track Motorcycle Ride (or Off Road)
This company’s slogan is ‘for those who like give it gas’.
With this ride you can select between taking your ride at the circuit or on a nearby off road track – either way there are few possibilities that offer such speed with such security!
There are both 2 and 4 lap packages beginning at €190.00.
For more information check the MotoZK website.
If blinding speed terrifies you but you still wanna get out on the track why not take a pedal around with Bicircuit?
With cycling permitted twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday afternoons) you can get a good, long look at this legendary track only risking a scraped knee at best! Anyone from amateurs to pros are accepted.
These sessions require to to bring your own so I suggest you rent a good bike.
One session costs €5.00 or you can get an 8-pack for €25.00.
Children under 14 accompanying a paid adult go free.
For Catalunya Circuit cycling schedules consult the official website.
How to Get From Barcelona to Circuit de Catalunya
So where is the Circuit de Catalunya you ask? The track is 32 km (2o miles) from Barcelona in a town called Montmelo.
The Circuit de Catalunya address is: Camino Mas Moreneta, 08160 Montmeló, Barcelona.
It’s easily reachable from Barcelona via the following transport options:
You’ll get there leaving Barcelona on the C-16 highway and then getting onto the AP-7 until you see the exit ‘Montmeló’. The drive takes about 40 minutes.
At the circuit there are 32,000 parking spaces and it’s not far from the venue, just make sure you park near your assigned entrance.
A really accessible and fun option is to rent yourself a scooter from Cooltra since they have branches all over the city and likely near the cool area you’re staying including Sants Estacio, the Airport, the cruise port, and more.
Using my discount code you can get one for as little as €25.00 a day: Mediterranean experience? Check.
During the Grand Prix the Sagales Bus Company offers return bus from Barcelona to Circuit de Catalunya departing from the Estació del Nord (Carrer Ali Bei, 80, metro Arc de Triomf).
Two-way tickets cost €12.00 a day and can be booked calling the number 902 130 014.
The bus takes about 45 minutes.
The R2 train from Barcelona to Circuit de Catalunya departs central Barcelona from Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gràcia or El Clot and reaches Montmelo station, the closest to the venue.
Tickets cost €2.50 and the trip takes 30 minutes from Sants (slightly longer from others).
From Montmelo station to Circuit de Catalunya takes about 30 minutes on foot, albeit slightly uphill. For the main events like Formula 1 and MotoGP there is naturally a shuttle bus!
Check the train timetables before departing.
El Prat Airport to Montmeló
If you’re coming just for the race and need to get there directly from the airport you’ll have to take the R2 Nord train from Terminal 2 and this will take about 50 minutes. If you arrive in Terminal 1 one you’ll have to take the lanzadora (shuttle bus) to Terminal 2.
Naturally, another quick option if a bit expensive (expect to pay about €65.00) is to take a taxi. Drive time should be about 40 minutes in normal traffic conditions.
There also of course is the option of renting a car.
Circuit de Catalunya FAQ
Is there left luggage/bag drop available?
Unfortunately there is no bag drop/left luggage in Montmeló so if you’re coming straight from the airport you’ll have to get off at Sants Estacio (via train) and leave them there.
Do they serve alcohol at Circuit de Catalunya and can I bring my own?
Unfortunately the answer is no on both counts
Can I bring my own food to the events?
Yes, and this is recommended since the prices can get pretty high. That said, if you’re a fan of stadium junk food you may want to buy there.
What should I wear?
For events you’ll definitely want to bring a hat and sunscreen because most areas are straight in the sun and burning is easy to do! Some people also recommend earplugs, especially for children.
I’ve got general admission tickets, any tips?
With open tickets people practically camp out to get the best views so get there as soon as possible.
What Else to See in MONTMELÓ
If you’re thinking of staying in the area a bit longer let me first say that aside from the racing there aren’t many things to do in Montmeló for tourists. My suggestion? Head back to Barcelona and check out some Gaudi masterpieces!
At the very most my readers have stopped for a bite to eat and among the places I’ve heard talked about the Kebar Restaurant is an unpretentious stop where you can get a good sandwich.
Race into the Comments Below
Yes, I’ve ‘sweated six shirts’ writing this article but there’s surely something I’ve missed?
If you have any more questions about the Circuit de Catalunya, the races, or anything else regarding your Barcelona holiday please write me ASAP.
Happy racing 🙂