With the F1 season coming in hot, we’ve listed some F1 destinations that will get your motors running. Tune in to get inspired on where you should travel next if you’re a fellow speed junkie like us!
Known as The World Driver’s Championship, the FIA Formula One World Championship is one of the world’s biggest and most exciting events. Fans tune in to watch their favourite drivers race around the scenic Grands Prix held in various landmark countries, such as France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and even Singapore!
What started as an effort to bring motor racing back after the first World War quickly turned into one of the world’s most competitive sports, with Formula One fans travelling across the world just for a trackside view of the action.
With YouTrip’s Sonic September month of festivities coming up, here is a list of countries where the famed competition will be held – and the various things you could do while you soak in the racing spirit!
1. French Grand Prix (Marseille, France)
Image credits: Elisa Schmidt
Located near Marseille, the French Grand Prix has been hosted for 14 editions on the Paul Ricard circuit from 1971 to 1990, and again in 2018. Built by the eccentric millionaire Ricard, known for his brand of pastis — a French traditional anise-flavoured spirit and aperitif, the circuit was notoriously hard on F1 engines.
With a population of over 850,000, there is plenty to do in the biggest city in the Cote d’Azur region. A town rich in heritage, Marseille features an old port founded in the 6th Century BC by Greek settlers, the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde — a Catholic basilica and the city’s best-known landmark. Possessing an endless number of bars, restaurants, and cafes overlooking the Mediterranean sea, meals here will always come with a view.
Being the birthplace of bouillabaisse, every tourist knows to visit Restaurant Chez Loury for a traditional warm seafood stew made with rockfish, red mullet, conger eel, spider crab, and red scorpion fish. For a cozy cup of coffee, check out Coogee — a hidden gem with fresh authentic coffee served with yummy desserts.
Read on for more guides on France — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
2. Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest, Hungary)
Image credits: Ervin Lukacs
Staged at the Hungaroring circuit since 1986, the Hungarian Grand Prix is located in a valley, allowing fans to enjoy a wide panoramic view of the track from higher vantage points. While the initial plan was to have the track within the city, officials later decided to build it outside Budapest. The tight layout makes overtaking difficult and has led to the circuit being rated as the third shortest Formula One circuit on the calendar.
As a popular F1 destination for European fans, make sure you leave a few days to enjoy the ‘Paris of the East. Famed for its stunning architecture, Budapest boasts the Parliament Building (one of the most photogenic buildings in Europe) and the great Buda Castle, which houses the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. After seeing the sights on the city’s hop-on-hop-off bus tours, be sure to visit the city’s thermal baths! Found scattered throughout, the baths remind tourists of a time when Hungary was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire. For a relaxing experience, visit Szechenyi, the largest medicinal bath in Europe.
Read on for more guides on Hungary — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
3. Belgian Grand Prix (Spa, Belgium)
Image credits: Stijn de Vries
Located in the quaint city of Spa, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps first hosted the Belgian Grand Prix in 1925 and was part of the first year of the modern World Championship in 1950. Starting off as a treacherous 14km track in the 1960s, the circuit has been revised to a shorter and safer 7km track in 1983. From then on, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit has been a constant presence on the F1 calendar.
Nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Ardennes’, the Belgian town of Spa is not a destination to be missed! Hailed as a fashionable pocket of Northern Europe, the town is famous for its healing waters which were loved by Henry VIII of England in the 1700s. It’s also beloved for its quaint and intellectual attractions! First off, a visit to Europe’s original hot springs and spa at Le Thermes de Spa. Die-hard Formula One fans will not want to miss the Musee De Circuit De Spa Francorchamps. A museum dedicated to motorsport and packed with motor racing vehicles, can it get any more Formula 1 race-themed than this? Lastly, nothing says a trip to Spa than a visit to the best restaurant in the city – L’Art de Vivre.
Read on for more guides on Belgium — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
4. Dutch Grand Prix (Zandvoort, The Netherlands)
Image credits: Sander Trooijen
Between 1948 to 1985, Circuit Zandvoort hosted the Dutch Grand Prix near a popular seaside resort town. Surrounded by sand dunes, the specially designed track made a return to the Formula One calendar in 2020, thanks to local support for Dutch driver Max Verstappen. Interestingly enough, this track was made using communications roads built during the Second World War by the occupying German army.
Covered with popular bars, restaurants, and beach clubs, Zandvoort might look unassuming but rest assured that there are tons of things to check out. Visit Bernie’s Beach Club, a highly rated beach club that is closest to the circuit and has a whole agenda of F1-themed events to celebrate the return of the Dutch Grand Prix. Other famous beach clubs include Club Nautique where you might spot a familiar F1 face or two, Far Out with its regular music nights, and Holland Casino with its table games and 300 slot machines coupled with a fabulous restaurant. For the best food options, be sure to stay close to the foreshore! De Zeerover is famed for its amazing traditional Dutch pancakes. While Filoxenia is hailed to be ‘the best Greek restaurant in The Netherlands’ with its generously sized portions. And of course, fans certainly can’t miss out on Le Grand Prix Pizzeria!
5. Italian Grand Prix (Monza, Italy)
Image credits: Ouael Ben Salah
Did you know that the Monza circuit is the oldest circuit on the current Formula 1 calendar? Dating back to 1922, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza stretches to over 10km and includes a 5.5km loop. It was then redeveloped into a high-speed banked oval in the 1950s. As one of the four current F1 circuits to form part of the inaugural Formula 1 World Championship in 1950, the track has only been absent from the lineup once in 1980.
A small town just outside of Milan, Monza has ruins dating back to the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages. Its most famous site is the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral of Saint John. Locally known as the Duomo of Monza, it was dedicated to John the Baptist. If nature is your thing, take a walk through Monza Park and the Royal Palace’s gardens, which are the largest in Europe. For those who don’t fancy themselves a small-town mouse, a 30-minute train ride will take you straight to the fashion capital of the world, Milan. For all things designer, head straight to Quadrilatero d’Oro, where all of Milan’s designer shops can be conveniently found in this one location. You can also find Milan’s flagship three-story Ferrari Store near Corso Vittori Emanuele II, where car enthusiasts can peruse the wide range of merchandise and memorabilia on the brand and its racers.
Read on for more guides on Italy — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
6. Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka, Japan)
Image credits: Nomadic Julien
Built by the popular Japanese car brand Honda, the first non-championship F1 race was held on the Suzuka circuit in 1963. Over the years, the race has been shared by Suzuka and the Fuji circuit. With Formula 1 finally signing a 3-year contract extension with the Suzuka circuit in 2021, they managed to keep the Japanese Grand Prix on the calendar.
Located in between the major cities of Nagoya and Osaka, Suzuka is a convenient location that is easily accessible by public transportation. Most travelers usually start from one major city (either Nagoya or Osaka), proceed to Suzuka, and end their travels in the last city. Starting from Nagoya, be sure to carve out some time to visit the Toyota Exhibition Hall and the serene Atsuta-Jingu, a shrine that had been built roughly 2000 years ago. Since Nagoya is closer to the circuit, you can definitely hear the roaring engines of motor vehicles during a race event.
For food lovers, you can find plenty to do in Osaka – the food capital of Japan. You can’t go wrong with Okonomiyaki Chitose for its Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki, Ippudo Nanba for the famous Oppudo ramen, and Matsusakagyu Yakiniku for the best barbequed beef.
Read on for more guides on Japan — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
7. United States Grand Prix (Texas, USA)
Image credits: Megan Bucknall
Dating back to the early 1900s, the United States Grand Prix used to run on tracks in Long Island (New York) and Savannah (Georgia) before Austin native Tavo Hellmund announced plans to build the Circuit of Americas in 2010. Designed by Hermann Tilke (of course), the track welcomed fans for its inaugural F1 race in 2012. Located just 22km southeast of central Austin, the 5.5km circuit made its comeback in 2021. With a sell-out crowd of over 400,000 people, it was birthed as one of Formula 1’s best-attended events in history!
Named the live music capital of the world, you can always hear live bands playing throughout downtown Austin at any time of the day. Head down to 6th Street and Red River for some of the most famous clubs in the country. A favourite of F1 mechanics, drivers, and media, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar is a rock and roll bar that is open 7 nights a week and is great for people who just want to sing their lungs out in a crowd. Recommended by F1 photographer Jamey Price, Iron Cactus boasts amazing Tex-Mex food and has been rated as a Top 10 tequila bar in the country by USA Today.
For our tree-huggers, head on down to Zilker Park for fantastic views of the Austin skyline. Alongside a large botanical garden, the park is home to the famous Barton Springs, a natural spring where you can cool off year-round. Adventurers can rent a canoe or kayak and head to Barton Creek, which flows out to the Colorado River that runs throughout the city.
Read on for more guides on USA — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
8. Mexico City Grand Prix
Image credits: Carlos Aguilar
Staged at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the circuit held its first Mexican Grand Prix in 1962. The venue would go on to become part of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1963 and held its last event in 1970 due to the large crowds of over 200,000 people flocking to the event, making it dangerous for the drivers. However, the F1 returned to the track in 2015, with Hermann Tilke redesigning the circuit to add a slow-speed ‘stadium section’ and cutting off half of the infamous Peraltada final corner.
Bursting with cultural must-sees and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, Mexico City is an absolute must for tourists to allow some extra time to see, do, and taste before they fly home. This year, the National Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) holiday coincides with the Grand Prix, with the main celebrations taking place after race weekend on Tuesday. For those who have watched Disney’s Coco, you would know that this holiday is a colorful and flower-filled celebration of friends and family who have passed on. The city hosts all-night parties, faces are painted with flowery skulls, and bakeries serve Pan de Muerto – a puffed, sugary, orange-flavoured bread. Aside from the celebrations, be sure to visit Chapultepec Park (Bosque de Chapultepec)! Known to be one of the largest city parks in the western hemisphere, Chapultepec Park is home to forests, a castle, a zoo, an amusement park, several lakes, and the National Museum of Anthropology. For the best cultural experience, take a walk through the city and enjoy its street cuisine – from real Mexican tacos to carnitas and tamales, you can’t find better Mexican food elsewhere.
Read on for more guides on Mexico — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
9. Sao Paulo Grand Prix (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Image credits: Loïc Fürhoff
Located in the Sao Paolo suburb of Interlagos, which translates in Portuguese to ‘between the lakes’, the Interlagos circuit hosted its first regular round of the Formula 1 world championship in 1973. While most fans still refer to the circuit as Interlagos, it actually has been officially renamed Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in honor of local driver Carlos Pace who won his only F1 race on the track in 1975 but tragically died in a light air crash in 1977.
Compared to New York, Sao Paulo is a hugely cultural city with fabulous foodie spots and a thriving club scene. Tourists who are thinking of visiting this city for the F1 races should definitely think about allocating a few days to explore the sprawling city. The first thing you should do is to visit and pay respects to motor racing legend Ayrton Senna’s grave, located under a tree from the entrance to the Morumbi cemetery in the south of the city. Visit the Mercado, Sao Paulo’s municipal market, for everything from spices to fruit, vegetables, nuts, sweets, seafood, and even flowers. The market is definitely the place to try out a few Brazilian delicacies: coxinhas (deep-fried chicken and cheese balls), pastelle (deep-fried pastries filled with meat and cheese), Moqueca de Camaro (shrimp in coconut milk), and the national cocktail the Caipirinha. Near the market stands The Hocca Bar, which sells the delicious local delicacy: the ‘mortadella’ sandwich. Imagine layers of Italian meat with cheese, pickles, mustard, and pretty much everything you fancy in one ginormous sandwich.
Read on for more guides on Brazil — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
10. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Island, United Arab Emirates)
Image credits: Abed Ismail
Joining the Formula 1 calendar in 2009, the Hermann Tilke-designed Yas Marina circuit has been established as the final race of this year’s season. Organizers have extended the contract from 2021 through to 2030, securing the beautiful twilight race’s spot. Despite being the most expensive race, tickets for the Yas Marina circuit have always sold out – proving the track’s allure.
Although Yas Island is not a long-haul journey to Abu Dhabi, it certainly might feel like it. However, you would find that the city’s landscape is definitely worth the trouble. Stroll along the iconic Corniche, an 8km long stretch of white sandy beaches, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and hotels that add to the luxurious image of Abu Dhabi. For art lovers, do not miss out on the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which takes inspiration from its sister site in France. Check out YouTrip’s Guide to Abu Dhabi for the best things to do in the glimmering city.
If you find yourself having a little more budget, take a short trip to Dubai! Less than 2 hours by road north of Abu Dhabi, the City of Gold is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and home to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Right next door stands the Mall of the Emirates, a massive shopping center with the world’s leading luxury brands, restaurants, a cinema complex, and an indoor ski slope! A trip to Dubai wouldn’t be complete without visiting the famous White Orchid restaurant for its fabulous Asian fusion food.
Read on for more guides on Dubai — one of the up-and-coming F1 destinations in 2022
Get Inspired By Where To Travel Next With Our Guide To F1 Destinations
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