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Travel Basics – Austrian Grand Prix

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Useful travel information to help you start planning your trip to the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on July 1-3.

Visa Requirements

Austria is a member of the Schengen zone, which is made up of 26 European countries (not including the UK & Ireland) with a common visa policy and no internal borders. Citizens of most Western nations are granted visa-free entry to countries within the Schengen zone for up to 90 days.

Austria Overview

The Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich in German), which has a population of 8.6 million, is a landlocked, mountainous country in central Europe bordered by eight countries, notably Germany, Italy and Hungary. The capital is the beautiful, historic city of Vienna and the official language is German. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a per capita GDP in excess of $50,000 USD.

Money Matters

Austria uses the EURO, which makes life a little easier for travelling F1 fans. Whilst it’s an expensive country by most standards, a trip to the Grand Prix doesn’t have to break the bank (see Budget Planner) and trackside prices are reasonable. Service is normally included in restaurant, taxi and other bills, but it’s customary to round up the bill (e.g. from €18.70 to €20.00) if you are happy with the service.

Safety

Austria is generally a very safe country for tourists with one of the lowest crime rates of any European country. Nevertheless, it always pays to be vigilant, especially at places like train stations and on public transport, where pickpockets can operate. You shouldn’t have any issues at the Red Bull Ring, though if you are driving, be sure not to leave any valuables in your car. There are plenty of drunken fans at the circuit and in the trackside camping areas, but security is strong and we didn’t witness any incidents last year.

Climate

The Red Bull Ring is located in the beautiful area of Styria, close to several areas popular for skiing in winter. It’s a very green area, which means that is rains a lot. Shielded by the Alps from the colder weather fronts that hit northern Europe, Styrian weather is more Mediterranean in nature. There is a good chance of some warm weather in the middle of summer when the race is held; temperatures around 25-30ºC (77- 86ºF) are not uncommon.

Need to Know

  • If you are a European citizen, get yourself an EHIC card so you access Austrian healthcare services if the need arises. All fans travelling to the track should also have travel insurance in place, in case of an emergency.The official language of Austria is German, though English and other European languages are widely spoken, especially at the Red Bull Ring.
  • Austria observes Central European Summer Time (CEST) in July when the Grand Prix is held, this is equivalent to GMT +1 hour (or UTC + 2 hours)
  • Like much of Europe, Austria uses type F power plugs (230 V / 50 Hz) – carry a travel adapter if you are travelling from the UK, Australia or USA.
  • Tap water in Austria is safe to drink.
  • In case of an emergency, the main number to dial in Austria is 112. Operators speak German and English. Alternatively, you can dial 122 in case of a fire and 133 for the police.
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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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