The Nurburgring is one of the towering icons of motorsport. Located at the village of Nurburg, nestled among the Eifel mountain range in Germany, this winding track hosts major international racing events, offering stunning surroundings and a thrilling course that tests the world’s finest drivers to the max.
Getting to the Nurburgring
If you’re heading to the Nurburgring to watch a race, or even try the course yourself, then you’ll be covering a lot of miles before you get there. Your journey will take you through France, then Belgium and into Germany, and each country has its own individual driving quirks to be aware of.
Before you head off, visit our route planner to get an accurate set of directions. But basically you’ll be doing something like this:
- Get to the Channel Tunnel, and take the train into France.
- Take a short drive through Northern France and into Belgium.
- Trek across Belgium (maybe stopping over to break the trip up).
- Make your way into Germany.
- Once in Germany your drive is pretty straightforward along various autobahn routes to Nurburg.
Useful information on driving in France, Belgium and Germany
Driving in France
Your trip through France won’t take long, but that doesn’t mean you can just put your foot down and hope for the best. Remember:
- You can’t wear a headset or headphones when driving, even for answering a phone. However, if you’re travelling by motorcycle with an integrated helmet system then you can use it.
- If your vehicle breaks down on a toll road then you have to use the orange emergency phones situated at the roadside.
- You must carry the following items, or face severe fines:
- Warning triangle
- Beam deflectors
- Reflective safety jackets
- The following speed limits apply in normal traffic conditions (other restrictions apply in rain and poor visibility):
- Motorways – 130 km/h
- Dual carriageway - 110 km/h
- Other roads – 90 km/h
- Built up areas – 50 km/h
You can find out more about driving in France here.
Driving in Belgium
Driving in Belgium is much the same as driving in France, though there is no need to carry a breathalyser. The following points should also be kept in mind:
- You must carry a first aid kit and fire extinguisher
- The following speed limits apply:
- Motorways – 120 km/h (unless indicated the minimum speed on a motorway is 70 km/h)
- Other roads – 90 km/h
- Residential areas - 20 km/h (some zones have a limit of 30 km/h)
Driving in Germany
The last leg of your journey to the Nurburgring takes you through Germany. We have a more detailed guide on driving in Germany here, but these are the basics:
- The safety kit required when driving in Germany is the same as in Belgium.
- The following national speed limits apply, unless signs indicate otherwise:
- Motorways – 130 km/h
- Other roads - 100 km/h
- Built-up areas – 50 km/h
- Many roads in Germany have no speed limit, but that doesn’t mean you can bomb along at breakneck speed. The German Highway Code states that drivers must moderate their speed according to the road, traffic, visibility and weather conditions, as well as the vehicle type.
- Exceeding a speed limit by as little as 3 km/h (2 mph) can be punished if you are caught.
Before construction of the Nurburgring began in 1925, races were held on public roads throughout the Eifel. They became more and more dangerous and so it was decided that a dedicated track was needed. When work on the track finished in 1927 the first races were won by Toni Ulmen (motorcycle and sidecar) and Rudolf Caracciola (car).
The Nurburgring was divided into two distinct courses, each with its own unique challenges:
- The Nordschleife
- The Sudschleife
As racing cars became faster and more powerful it became apparent that the Nurburgring was no longer safe, despite some safety additions. The legendary Jackie Stewart found it such a dangerous course that he nicknamed it the Green Hell following his victory at the German Grand Prix in 1968. Eventually F1 drivers began to boycott the track, resulting in the race moving to the Hockenheimring.
Major reconstruction was carried out through the 70s, which saw the German Grand Prix return from 1971 to 1976, but it proved inadequate and more work was undertaken.
In 1984 the GP-Strecke was opened and it is this track that is in continued use, with some slight alterations made in 2001/2002.
When you get to the Nurburgring you can take your own car on the track, or hire one there to take for a spin. Either way, buckle up and get ready to follow in the tracks of the giants of motorsport.
Please note: Not all insurers will cover you when driving on the Nurburgring. Please check with your insurer in advance to make sure you are covered.
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