Going to the Hungaroring (based on 2015)
- 30th July 2015, 20:44 at 8:44 pm #302723Lizzie KingParticipant
Here are my tips for visiting the Hungaroring based on our experience in 2015 (thought I’d better post it now while I remember things)! Hope it’s helpful…
Going to the Hungarian Grand Prix
1. Tickets – We bought ours from the F1.com website and had to pick them up from the main gate. We went before Free Practice 2 on the Friday afternoon and the pick up process was very quick & simple. We were a bit disappointed that we ended up with cardboard tickets whereas others had very flash credit card style ones! Only disadvantage with this is if you were sitting on the other side of the circuit, as it could have been a long (& hilly) walk round in VERY hot conditions.
2. Getting there – We stayed in central Budapest, from there it was easy & cheap to use public transport. Use your local Metro station to get on to the Red M2 line all the way to “Ors Vezer Tere” from here you need to go through the subway outside, cross the road where you will find the ‘Suburban Railway’ (number 8/9 line to Godollo & Csomor) to Szilasliget or Hungaroring stops (we got off at Szilasliget as apparently the walk from there to the track is easier). It was certainly easy to get to Gates 3/4/5/6 – about a 20-30 min walk (on either gravel, tarmac or across fields – so wear appropriate footwear!), but perhaps a pain if you were the other side of the track.
a. Rail Tickets – You will need to use one Metro ticket to get you to Ors Vezer Tere & another one to get you to the outskirts of Budapest (on the suburban line). At OVT you will find ticket inspectors/sellers to buy your ticket for the last part of your journey to Szilasliget (total of 3 tickets). Metro tickets can be bought at stations & it’s cheapest to buy a book of 10 tickets for 3,000Ft (about £7 for 10/70p each). The ticket for the suburban railway extension is 250Ft (about 60p). We couldn’t work out how to buy a return ticket (or our Hungarian wasn’t good enough to explain what we wanted to the railway staff!) so you’ll have to buy your return ticket from the machine at Szilasliget on the Thursday or they had ticket sellers there on the Saturday and Sunday. We travelled by train on Friday (to & from), Saturday (to & from) and Sunday (just home) and managed to get seats every time (it was warm so save some water).
b. IMPORTANT! You MUST remember to validate your tickets! You’ll see tall, thin pillars with red slots to validate your metro tickets at the Metro station entrances. On the suburban railway the ticket sellers will validate the tickets for you. If you don’t validate your tickets you might get fined – there were ticket inspectors about over the GP weekend!
c. Timing – From our accommodation it took a total of about 2 hours door to door. Trains run every half hour (& take about 30 mins), Metro trains every 5 mins.
d. From Train to Track – Once you reach Szilasliget station there is an obvious path to follow past the pub donned out in hundreds of Finnish Flags. At the bottom of this first path there are some taxis that will take you to the track (about 3,500 Ft/£8) – we did this on the Friday as we knew we had to get to the other side of the track to pick up the tickets. If you are walking, keep walking straight and follow the crowds! You’ll eventually have to pass some campsites and car parks & then you’ll be along the wall of the track.
e. Race Day – We decided to splash out on a taxi to get us there early before the gates opened. We left our apartment at 6.30am and got there in plenty of time at about 6.50. Taxis can only drop you off at the Main Gate & not the other gates. It cost about 7,000 Ft on the meter (about £16).
3. At the track –
a. Rules – They were strict on the ‘no chairs’ policy but you were able to take in food & drink (despite the signs). They also allowed people to bring in those mini-tent/wind shelter things. Not sure that was good if they ban chairs – these restrict the views of people behind much more than a chair would – however, I was jealous of their shade on Friday and Saturday & their wind-breaking properties on Sunday!
b. Seats – There was plenty of space on the Friday but as we had General Admission tickets you could not sit in the grandstands – even for practice. On the Saturday it was definitely busier and Sunday it was PACKED! We got there at 7am on race day (via taxi) and we were near the front of the queue, despite this, they seemed to open different gates at different times & despite splitting up & hubby running to our pre-chosen spot we only managed to get the last spot at the top of the hill near the grid (above the ‘Bernie Says…’ sign). From here you had a view of 2 screens & the grid & pits as well as lots of the track. You were also relatively close to the permanent toilets which were kept clean and filled with toilet paper all through the day (small things make a big difference). However, they were extremely busy on race day as 6 toilets serviced half the track – don’t leave it until the last minute!
c. Food – There was lots of food on offer but what we tried on Friday convinced us to bring a packed lunch for the other 2 days! We brought bottles of frozen water to keep the food cool and they were fab for drinking through the day as they kept cold nearly the whole time. You were able to refill the bottles at the toilets.
d. Weather – when we arrived in Hungary they were experiencing the same heat wave affecting all of southern Europe & it was boiling hot. Despite a thunderstorm on Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday were still VERY hot. The circuit put out tents with sprinklers in to help you keep cool. I ended up buying a wide brimmed hat in town as a baseball cap wasn’t good enough to keep the sun off. I also saw lots of people with flannels or small towels which they soaked through to keep them cool. A fan, manual or electronic, also helped with the heat, as there were very few places to get any respite from the sun. There are some trees to the right of Gate 6 but your view here is limited & you can’t see a screen to know what’s happening on other parts of the track. However, on Sunday the weather changed. At 7am it was chilly & I ended up wrapping myself in the groundsheet rather than sitting on it as the wind was quite cold. However, the sun came out for the race & it was lovely & pleasant by the end. Conclusion: prepare for all weathers!!
4. Getting on Track – We got on track by the Red Bull stand between Gates 5 & 6. It got really packed by the end of the race, fortunately we were close to the front of the queue. It was a bit of a bundle when they opened the gate & would not be pleasant if you suffered from claustrophobia. I got my foot trod on and my flip flop broke – which wasn’t good walking home! We managed to get near the podium but we were cleared off fairly promptly – security split the crown in two – so be careful you don’t get separated & have a meeting point in case you do!
5. Conclusion – all in all a brilliant GP to go to, a fabulous city to explore: we’ll be coming again!11th August 2015, 16:07 at 4:07 pm #303118OakParticipant
Great post Lizzie, wish we could have found something like this when we were planning our trip this year and looking into transport to the track!
We also travelled by train to Szilasliget then walked to Gate 6 after ham & cheese rolls and coffees in the mad ‘Kimi’ bar at the station. What a great bunch of people, had a good giggle with them pre and post track each day. So welcoming despite us being Hamilton fans!
Boy was it hot Friday and Saturday, then Sunday morning we couldn’t believe it, it was so cold in the wind. We were in Silver 4 so high up and zero shelter from the wind. We dragged our cheap fold-up shower macs out of the bag and put them on as windbreakers, didn’t help much though. Seriously it must have been a good 20 degrees cooler than Saturday. We had a bag full of sunscreen/hats/fans but not a sweatshirt between us! Luckily the sun came out and the wind dropped by the start of the race.
It was our first time to Hungaroring and we loved it. Our only criticism is the lack of toilets (although pretty much always a complaint for us ladies at races). They were kept spotlessly clean by the staff but horrendous queues on the Sunday as just not enough toilets for the amount of people.
We’ve just booked tickets for 2016!15th August 2015, 15:38 at 3:38 pm #303205Leigh WalklettParticipant
Also thanks to Lizzie, I’ve used the taxis the last couple of times as the first time I tried to use the train they shut down the line and we all got evacuated. I have a copy of your guide now for next time as it will be much cheaper and probably quicker on a Sunday afternoon to get back to the city!
As with Oak I was in Silver 4 and it was very chilly Sunday morning, will remember to bring something a bit warmer next time, just in case. Although with the race moving to August next year it’s bound to be an even hotter weekend.
If Kimi is racing next year, I’ll be there.19th August 2015, 9:55 at 9:55 am #303325AndyParticipant
I ended up going out of the circuit on Sunday to consider my options. Very nearly spent €30 on a Ferrari fleece blanket it was that cold!2nd August 2016, 8:31 at 8:31 am #326415StephenParticipant
Lizzie’s 2015 tips were so good I printed them off and took them with me for our 2016 visit, so many many thanks Lizzie! We found most things as Lizzie described, but a few were a little different or we found alternatives. I hope anyone planning a future trip finds these addenda helpful
1. Tickets – My friend purchased these (but I’m not sure where from) and they were posted out a couple of weeks before the GP. It was a lot less stressful than trying to find where to collect I think – worth checking to see if it can be done by whoever you purchase from.
2. Getting there – The Metro in Budapest is really good. We stayed in an apartment yards from a Metro station and used the 72 hour tickets (4150 HUF) to both sightsee, visit restaurants away from our apartment and to get part-way to the track. Most (if not all) Metro stations had ticket machines and you just click the UK flag to get the instructions in English. Payment is card (inclusing contactless) or cash. Individual tickets need validating at the stamping machines whereas our longer passes had an expiry printed, so didn’t need validating. There was also the option of getting a ‘Budacard’ which has a longer expiry option and various benefits; but we didn’t get one of those, so I can’t really comment for or against it! If you do get stuck there were always staff at the metro entrance and we found them all really helpful and friendly. You will need the number 8 train from Ors Vezer Tere to Godollo (it shares a platform with the number 9 train to Csomor and heads in generally the same direction, but if you catch the Csomor train you will need to get off at Cinkota and wait for the Godollo train). We never did work out the timetable but they were pretty regular and we never waited long.
a. Rail Tickets – Our 72 hour travelcard got us travel on the Metro and as far as Ilonatelep station on the Suburban line. At Ors Vezer Tere you will need to buy the 10km Suburban Extension for 250 HUF to get from Ilonatelep to Szilasliget (or Mogyorod as they are the same price). You can do this at the ticket machine and as you can buy tickets in advance we found it better to get the ticket for the return journey (and the following day!) at the same time to save queueing.
b. We didn’t need to validate the suburban extension tickets. Inspectors were on all but 2 of our 8 journeys on this line; they checked our tickets and marked them. Just be sure you have a valid ticket for the return between Ilonatelep and Ors Vezer Tere!
c. Timing – From Ors Vezer Tere to Szilasliget took about 35 minutes and the walk up the hill to the first gate took around 25-30 minutes. Unless you stop at the Kimi bar for a drink haha!
d. From Train to Track – Head straight up the hill and follow the crowd!
e. Race Day – As we had GA tickets we took the train and arrived around 9. We managed to get the spot we wanted but we’d still have got something ok if we’d arrived a little later.
3. At the track –
a. Rules – Wasn’t 100% sure but I think gate security were on the lookout for alcohol. They weren’t bothered by our squash and snacks anyway!
b. Seats – If you’re on general admission, take something to sit on – a towel each did the trick for us, but a picnic blanket may have been better.
c. Food – Inside the track was a little expensive, but if you went outside there were vendors selling decent enough food at much more reasonable prices. Plus they had chilled 2L bottles of water at around 600 HUF (about £1.50).
d. Weather – Essentials… Big hat, suncream and something for the rain!
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