Sports & Outdoors

A guide to Nürburg and the Nürburgring

From fast cars to castles, experience all that Nürburg has to offer. Whether you’re a motoring enthusiast or not, you’re in for a wonderful break.

Home to numerous motorsports and events, the Nürburgring racing tracks are world-famous. But the stunning town of Nürburg has so much to offer visitors beyond its motor racing heritage. Start your engines and get ready to book your next trip!

Driving from Calais to the Nürburgring

Your trip to the Nürburgring couldn’t be easier. Travelling by Eurotunnel, the drive is approximately 5 hours from Calais and the luxury of using your own car means you can travel at your leisure and make the most of the journey.

For the fastest route, take the E40 from Calais along the coast, through Dunkirk, before heading to Brussels and into Germany.

If you want to extend your journey to explore more of Belgium, the slightly longer route consisting of the E40 and E314 means you get to take in Leuven and Genk before arriving at your destination. This route doesn’t increase your travel time by much and gives you the chance to experience more of Europe as you go.

Taking the E42 directly from Calais gives you the chance to stop at the Parc Naturel Régional de l'Avesnois, where the picturesque landscape combines with the forested trails and wildlife for you to enjoy before moving on. Taking around 5 hours, this is the longest route, but the stunning scenery makes it worth the extra travel time.

If time is of the essence, why not extend your journey and take the time to drive on some of the best roads in Europe, such as the Schwarzwaldhochstraße or take a road trip through France on your way into Germany. Travelling with Eurotunnel means you’ll have the freedom to plan your trip in any way you like.

The history of the Nürburgring

Built in the 1920s, the original Nürburgring racetrack consisted of 174 bends and was 8 to 9 metres in width. The track was closed during World War II before being reopened in the 1950s.

The track underwent refurbishment during the 1970s and in 1984, a new Grand Prix track was completed and added to the complex. Further development has continued through the years, with VIP lounges, grandstands and new box buildings being added between 2007 and 2009.

Today the legendary brand of Nürburgring is synonymous with racing both in and out of Germany. The tracks have hosted some of the most famous motor racing events in history including the German Grand Prix and Formula 1 event.

Every year the track will hold over 300 events, ranging from motorsports to the popular Rock am Ring open-air festival.

Racing cars approaching the corner on the Nürburgring track

The Nürburgring circuits

Known for being one of the longest and most challenging racetracks, the tradition-steeped Nürburgring is home to several circuits.

Grand Prix Track

After a series of accidents, the original Nordschleife was classed as unsafe for Formula 1 and the series was moved to Hockenheim alone from 1997. Because of this, between 1981 and 1984, the Grand Prix track was built in order to attract Formula 1 and encourage them to return to the venue.

The original Grand Prix track underwent further refurbishment in 2001 and was extended by the “Mercedes Arena" section, taking it to its present length of 5.148 kilometres.

The current circuit is between 10 and 25 metres wide and features 7 left and 10 right-hand turns. Known to be one of the most modern and safe racing circuits, the track hosts many events including the Nürburgring Classic.

Nordschleife

Constructed between 1925 and 1927, the Nordschleife has enjoyed a reputation as being one of the most terrifying routes through the Eifel forests. Nicknamed the “Green Hell” by Sir John Young Jackie Stewart the three-time Formula 1 champion, the track is one of the most demanding in the world.

Similar to the Le Mans 24 hour race, the Nordschleife is best known for hosting the ADAC Total 24-hour race. During the event, up to 200 cars holding a mixture of amateurs and professionals race the 25km circuit (which combines the Nordschleife and Grand Prix Circuit) for a full day and night.

Sprintstrecke

Forming the top part of the Grand Prix Track, the Sprintstrecke features the Mercedes- Arena, notably the most difficult part of the circuit. It also includes the start and finishing straight for the Grand Prix and the Blistein Bend, which is the starting point of the fastest section of the circuit and sees drivers fighting for the optimum line.

Müllenbachschleife

Featuring the Dunlop hairpin bend, the Müllenbachschleife forms the lowest point of the Grand Prix Circuit. The section connecting the Müllenbachschleife to the Grand Prix has been nicknamed "Little Monaco” due to the narrow route between the crash barriers.

The track can also be used as an independent circuit and features the famous “Schumacher-S”, a speedy combination of left-right bends and named after the German record world champion Michael Schumacher in 2007.

View of the corner on the Nürburgring circuit surrounded by trees

Motorsports events at the Nürburgring

Typically scheduled for the warmer months, the Nürburgring is open for several famous motorsport events between late June and early September, giving any motor racing fans ample time to soak up as many events as possible.

Formula 1

Famously, the Nürburgring has hosted Formula 1 events 22 times between 1951 and 1976 before hosting the event a further 9 times after its refurbishment.

Although Formula 1 races are not currently being held there, the track is still a huge part of motor racing history and a must-see for any fans of the sport. 

Nürburgring Classic

A historical motorsports meeting, visitors at the Nürburgring Classic event can expect to see the anniversaries of numerous “Legends on the Track”.

Consisting of over 18 races with more than 800 participants, fans of the sport will be able to fully immerse themselves during this 2-day event. If motorsports aren’t really for you, the program also includes a Kids Classic area, food court and large market square meaning that there’s plenty of entertainment on and off the racetrack.

Nürburgring Endurance Series

Fan friendly, the Nürburgring Endurance Series offers spectators the opportunity to witness the work of teams during practice sessions and races.

The total 9 races also offer newcomers to the sport the chance to catch the motor racing fever!

German Touring Car Series

Another popular event held at the tracks of Nürburgring experience the thrill of watching rear-wheel-drive cars up close.

More family-friendly than other motor racing events, fans can see the open pit lane, concerts and attend autograph sessions. If you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, this event can be a great option.

Track days at the Nürburgring

An experience unlike any other, the Nürburgring also offers numerous track days and driving experiences for fans of the sport. Enjoy unrestricted, quality time on the beloved track, the chance to co-pilot a professional racing driver or learn how to drive a formula 1 car like a pro!

Other places to visit in Nürburg

Even if motorsports aren’t your thing, don’t be put off booking a trip. Nürburg has so much to offer all visitors, including stunning countryside which is perfect for hiking or mountain biking and the beautifully preserved Nürburg Castle for those who want to learn more about the area.

If you’re planning a visit in the colder months, Nürburg also has fantastic trails for skiing and snowboarding.

Nürburg Castle

Located within the famous North Loop, the Nürburg Castle provides visitors with a chance to reconnect with the past.

Constructed in 1818, the oldest part of the site is believed to have been built in the 12th century. The restoration work means that visitors to the site are still able to get a good impression of what the former complex was like. Climbing one of the remaining towers also provides stunning views of the surrounding area.

Ring Werk Museum

Sometimes known as "NüroDisney", the Ring Werk Museum has 11 interactive attractions which focus on different aspects of the Nürburgring and its history.

Highlights include “The Nürburgring 24 Hours in 4D”, a 15-minute film which follows a small team who entered into the race a few years ago. The impressive 4D special effects mean you can expect to see sparks flying past your face while you watch.

Another attraction not to be missed is the Nurbus, a high-speed simulator which takes visitors on a trip around the Nürburgring in a matter of minutes.

A great option for families, or days with poor weather, the Museum offers different levels of tickets meaning you don’t have to rush through. With so many different exhibitions on offer, visitors are greeted with the chance to experience motorsport in a number of new and exciting ways.

Volcanic Eifel

Based in the Eifel Mountains in Germany, the Volcanic Eifel stretches from the Rhine to the Wittlich Depression. Numerous signs of volcanic activity are present including, crater lakes, lava streams and volcanic craters.

Still volcanically active, the area also has a natural park and excellent opportunities to explore. The volcano route, stretching from the River Rhine to the Eifel Mountains can be completed in half a day, although with so much to explore you might need a little longer.

Forest trail in the spring forest landscape within the area of millstone and ice caves in volcanic Eifel

Start your drive to the Nürburgring with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

If you’re looking for something a little bit different for your next trip, book a visit to the Nürburgring. From motorsports to volcanic fields, there’s so much for visitors to the town to explore and enjoy.

Travelling there with Eurotunnel couldn’t be easier. It’s only a 35-minute drive from Folkstone to Calais, and driving means you can experience the trip at your own pace.

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