Travel Basics – 2024 Belgian Grand Prix

Start planning your trip to the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix 2024 at Circuit de Spa Francorchamps. Advice about visas, money and weather

Belgium is a small country in northwest Europe with a population of 11.4 million and two main regions; Flanders in the North is Flemish speaking (a language similar to Dutch), whilst the southern region of Wallonia is French speaking. The capital of Brussels (Bruxelles in French) is an important center of international politics, home to both the main institutions of the European Union and NATO.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Belgium?

Belgium is part of the Schengen area, a group of 27 European countries (not including the UK and Ireland) with a common visa policy and no internal borders. If you are traveling from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or the UK, you should be granted visa-free entry upon arrival for up to 90 days. Learn more about the Schengen requirements for Belgium.

Belgium Travel: Need to Know

  • Belgium is a first-world country with excellent healthcare. If you are a European citizen, get yourself an EHIC card so you access local health services if the need arises. You should also have travel insurance in place, in case of an emergency.
  • Spa Francorchamps is located in the French speaking part of Belgium, though Dutch, German and English are also widely spoken, especially at the track.
  • Belgium is on Central European Summer Time (CEST) when the Grand Prix is held in late August; this is equivalent to GMT +1 hour (or UTC + 2 hours)
  • Belgium uses type E power plugs (230 V / 50 Hz) – carry a travel adapter if you are travelling from the UK, Australia or USA.
  • Tap water in Belgium is safe to drink, which is good to know if you don’t want to pay €3 for a small bottle at the track
  • In case of an emergency, the main number to dial in Belgium is 112. Operators should speak French, Dutch or English (sometimes German). Alternatively, you can dial 100 for medical emergencies and fire or 101 for the police.
  • More Info: Belgian Tourism Official Website

Money Matters

In common with its neighbors in Western Europe, Belgium uses the EURO. Spa is a fairly expensive F1 destination (see Budget Planner), especially when considering the cost of race tickets, accommodation and trackside spending. Tipping is not that common (bills for restaurants & taxis include a service charge) but feel free to reward good service with a tip of up to 10%.

Staying Safe in Belgium

Belgium is generally a safe country, though it has been in the news in recent years for several terrorist attacks. As with anywhere, you need to be more aware of your belongings and surroundings on public transport and around places such as train stations. You shouldn’t have any particular issues at Spa Francorchamps, though we don’t recommend leaving valuables in your car or tent next to the circuit.

Spa Weather

It rains a lot in Belgium, especially in the hilly Ardennes region where the Spa Francorchamps circuit is located. Fans who attended the rained out 2021 race know this all too well.

The weather can change very quickly here, so you need to be prepared for storms with good quality wet weather gear and waterproof shoes. By the same token, the weather can also be very sunny and warm during the European summer, with temperatures around 25-30ºC (77- 86ºF) not uncommon.

Have you been to the Belgian GP? Leave a comment with your travel tips!

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44 thoughts on “Travel Basics – 2024 Belgian Grand Prix”

  1. penelope furzer

    Hi Andrew,
    We are flying into Brussels airport (BE)? and will arrive Friday 25th at 19.50. We then need to get to our accomodation which is in spa-Francorchamps circuit. It is a bit confusing to say the least, can you help please?

    1. Hi Penelope, depends on how many of you there are, but the best idea may be to organize a shuttle/car to take you direct from the airport to the circuit. It won’t be cheap as it’s about 140km, but could be economic if you have 3-4 sharing the cost. Otherwise, I would get a hotel in Brussels on Friday night, then take the train early on Saturday to Verviers – after that, there is a shuttle to the circuit. More info in Getting There & Around.

  2. Hi

    Going to my first GP Belgium this year.

    Can you advise about the train or bus links to the circuit.

    I’m staying at
    23c Rue Vieux Herbesthal Lontzen Région wallonne 4710 Belgium

    Any info would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks Andrew

    1. Sorry, I’m not sure from there. The best would be to hire a car, if that’s an option. There may not even be convenient public transport connections from there

  3. Hi Andrew
    This is my first F1 and i will traveling from Brussels by a car, what is the best time to leave on Sat to arrive at least by 11am, I will be having a press pass that i have to pick from there and is there any press parking space.

    1. Hi Edmund, I would be leaving as early as possible, say 8am. There must be a Media car park, but I’m not sure where it is. Possbly next to La Source.

  4. Oscar Verstoep

    Hi Andrew,

    this is my first time going to a F1 race. What do i need to take whit me and is the food ther anny good?

    Tanks Andrew

    1. Take a small backpack with a power bank, camera, spare clothes (check the weather forecast) and a bottle of water. If you are on a budget, there are places selling cheaper baguettes and other food just outside the circuit gates. Otherwise you have a good selection inside, but it’s more expensive. More info in Trackside

  5. Dominic Brough

    Hi, do you know current travel restrictions are for travelling from the UK to the race regarding COVID-19?

      1. Hi
        I am travelling from England for GP and we have everything organised except we need a PCR test 72hr to return to UK. Do we have somewhere we can book or what ďo u suggest

        1. I don’t have specific recommendations. I suggest asking your hotel when you arrive – perhaps there’s a place nearby where you can take the test. Remember you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours for the result.

  6. I am travelling to Brussels and then onto the Formula 1 circuit on the 30th August 2021. I am double vaccinated and will get a certificate from the NHS (British Medical system). I will also get a British (NHS) PCR test 24 hrs before I leave. Is that enough to arrive in Brussels and the travel into the F1 Spa Franco champs circuit? Or do I need to:
    – quarantine for 10 days in Brussels?
    – take another PCR test in Brussels?
    – Get another additional document from the Belgian embassy in the UK saying that I have had a double vaccination?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Oliver,
      I went down this rabbit hole as I’m traveling the same kind of way.
      I am travelling by Car to the Race Via the Eurotunnel and into Belgium. I contacted the embassy who advised as long as we mandate the reason for entering Belgium to be the race, we will be fine. We have to do a test on day 1 or 2, which the Grand Prix is facilitating for us.
      There is no Quarantine unless a positive test.
      Hope this helps!
      Kris

      1. Keagan Barbarovich

        It says that non-vaccinated people from the uk can’t attend the race. Do you know if this applies to children as they cannot be vaccinated.
        Keagan

        1. Just been reading up and I see that the “covid safe ticket” for entering the circuit applies to those aged 12 and above. I honestly can’t see an issue travelling to the race with children if you are fully vaccinated. But it looks like you will need to organize the “covid safe ticket” if you child is aged 12 or above – which means they will need to get a PCR test. All the official info is here:https://www.spagrandprix.com/en/covid-19

        2. Hi just looking for where would be the best to stay I have my flights to Brussels and we have our 3day ticket just looking into booking hotel now

  7. We’re very confused by the travel arrangements regarding covid and the UK being on Belgium’s red list. There’s 3 of us hoping to travel, all fully vaccinated etc but we only have 2 GP tickets. Will all three of us be able to enter Belgium? Thanks

  8. we are a group who are looking to attend the Grand Prix at end of Aug21. I assume we will need a PCR test before leaving the UK, one at the Campsite two days later and one within two days of return to uk

    Does any one know how much the PCR tests will be at the track/Campsites at SPA?
    Also how much on average do the UK ones cost, as the overall costs could be quite prohibitive?

    1. It’s a bit of a minefield at the moment Neil. All the information we have right now is on this page: https://www.spagrandprix.com/en/covid-19
      It seems that the circuit hasn’t yet provided more information about the cost of the PCR tests at the circuit, but a link will be available closer to the race and you’ll need to register in advance if you need to be tested.
      I believe the UK tests cost around 50-60 GBP.

  9. So the website says you must have a CovidSafeBE ticket, which requires EU residency. I’m not an EU resident but I’ll have been in the EU for more than 2 weeks by the GP weekend, so I’m not sure if I’ll be turned away as the verbiage on the site says the CovidSafe ticket is only available to EU/Schengen residents. It seems I can download the app, though I’m not sure the PCR test info from Luxembourg (where I’m staying) can be input into it. Am I out of luck despite being right next to the race and (finally) able to fit the race into my schedule?

    1. In your situation Peter, I think you should contact the circuit ASAP and get their response to your personal situation – I hope they are not too overwhelmed to reply. I believe there’s a possibility for personal exemptions to the very strict rules around attending the race. Contact: [email protected] / tel: +32 87 22 44 66

    2. Peter,

      That is not actually what the site says: – I Quote:

      Attention : The “Covid Safe Ticket” is only accessible to residents of member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom, the Schengen Area….. The “Covid Safe Ticket” will be available on a smartphone app determined by your country. The app to download for Belgian visitors on your smartphone is: CovidSafeBE.

      So it does not say YOU have to have the CovidSafeBE app, as that only applies to visitors FROM Belgium. Visitors from the UK would need a different app, which I am assuming to to be the NHS app.

      You will certainly able to gain access to the country using just the NHS app and a passenger locator form, as the Belgium’s do now accept the NHS app as proof of double vaccination and that is all that is required from a red country providing you take a PCR test on day one and isolate until you have a result.

      So as far as I can tell, a covid safe ticket consists of an e-ticket that has been nominated to a specific person.
      The NHS App to provide proof of vaccination.
      ID (such as a passport) to identify you as the holder of the vaccination
      A Negative PCR test result taken on the first day, facilities for which will be available on site (apparently, though at what cost, heaven knows).

      You will also need to fill out A Passenger Locator for every person 48 hours before entry to Belgium.

      The wording is confusing, but the reference to the app appears to be relating to the vaccination proof rather than the actual ticket itself. So, I think you need a combination of items rather than a single app.

      If I get any further clarification I will let you know.

    3. Further to my previous reply, The folks at spagrandprix.com have confirmed the App required for the covid safe ticket for U.K Citizens in the NHS app. See below:

      Dear Mister Tim,
      Thank you for your interest.
      You will need the NHS application.
      We remain at your disposal for any questions.

      Best wishes.
      Achille Koller
      Route du Circuit, 36 B-4970 STAVELOT

      t. +32 87 22 44 66 | [email protected] | http://www.spagrandprix.com
      SPA GRAND PRIX S.A. is not responsible for the content of this email and bears no liability for it. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of SPA GRAND PRIX S.A.

  10. natasha haywood

    Hi All, I have bene reading that as UK citizens, we need 3 things to enter the race. IDENTIFICATION, PRINTED TICKET AND COVID SAFE APP. I have tried to log onto the Covid safe app and it would appear there are two ways to verify yourself. One by ‘itsme’ which we cannot use as it is for Belgium citizens and the other is with ‘ehealth’ which seemingly is the same.

    I am double vaccinated and also will be having a PCR test before arrival but this seems like it will not be enough as they want everything on the app.

    Does anyone know how we get our NHS vaccinations onto this app or PCR tests as if not it looks like we cannot attend? Or am I missing something??? Please help xx

    1. Hi Natasha,
      From my understanding the NHS app is enough. On the Spa Grand Prix website, it says that this is recognised as the app for people from the U.K., so you don’t need to get your NHS vaccinations onto any other application. For PCR tests, you should receive an email or printed form of the certificate (depending on where you get tested) and that’s proof for that. Again, I’m not sure you need to have that on any application.
      As long as you have all three things : form of identification, printed ticket, and a recognised vaccination certificate (the NHS app is acceptable for this), you should be allowed access to the track.
      If you do have any questions you can always email [email protected]
      I’ve been emailing them quite a bit to clarify any issues and they’re always great at responding!
      Hope this helps x

  11. Hi I’ve found accommodation 5 miles from spa but how are taxi travel to the circuit. Is it well connected will we find taxi anywhere we stay?

  12. Neil Whitehouse

    I don’t think a PCR test completed in the UK before departure will be accepted? Needs to be done at the circuit? Spa need to put the registration document on their site though!
    So one test at the circuit on arrival and then have to wait for all clear.
    Another test to travel back to the UK at the circuit need all clear to board ferry.
    Another test in the UK on day 2 of return

  13. Hi. I have been like everyone else losing the last if my hair trying to sort all this out. As i understand this now is this all correct… (Traveling from the uk)
    1. A ticket nominated to a individual.
    2. Double vaccination including the 2weeks or so after vaccination, proof is from the nhs app.
    3. Proof of identification, passport ect.
    4. A PCR test on day one of arrival in Belgium and quarantine until result as requested by Belgium government but not necessary for admission to circuit. Is it possible to quarantine in a campsite ??
    5. Passenger location form started 48hrs prior to arrival in Belgium

  14. We are the same and our desperately needing some clarification.
    As far as I can tell to enter Belgium from the UK the only things you will need are a Passenger locator form, and your Covid safe pass which will be your proof of vaccination.

    To return to the UK you will need a negative PCR and you have to have booked your day 2 PCR test before travelling as the reference number will need to be added to your passenger locator form.

    My problem is we have now been told that your tickets have to have your name on them so there is a delay in sending them out, then when we get to Belgium we have to do a PCR test and quarantine until we get our result back. We are not scheduled to arrive in Belgium until Thursday morning, we have 4 day pass for the Grand Prix so going Thurs-Sunday. If we have to quarantine after taking our PCR test once there how long will this take to come back? Will we miss the first few days of the Grand Prix through isolation. I

    Would really appreciate if anyone could add some clarification to this.

    1. Hi,
      I’m not sure why there’s a delay with getting your tickets. I booked mine with Spa Grand Prix website and all I had to do was go online and add in the information for each individual attending and I instantly received my e-ticket.
      As for quarantining on arrival, I am also not 100% sure on this as some places I have read have said that if you are fully vaccinated it’s not required.
      I know this may not be of much help, but what I’m doing is going to the airport and seeing what they say about that as I’ve tried to contact as many people as I can and no one’s responding. I’m assuming the maximum time it can take is a day for the results?
      If you have any questions you can always email [email protected]

  15. Hi,
    Is the announcing over load speakers in French? Is there a way to listen in English if going to the 2022 event in-person?
    Thanks.

    1. From memory, I think the loud speaker rotate between commentary in French, Dutch and English.
      Another option is to listen to live commentary on the paid version of the F1 app (BBC Live, I believe). But that is dependent on you having good mobile phone connectivity, which isn’t always the case at large events. Perhaps a DAB radio would also work?

  16. Hi,

    We’re staying in Coo for this years Grand Prix, what’s the best way to get to the track from there which isn’t driving?

    If it’s taxis, does anyone know any taxi companies as I’m guessing pre booking them is essential? Online searches don’t bring up too much.

    Thanks

    1. I think the best bet is to ask your accommodation provider, in advance or when you arrive. I’m sure they will have some recommendations for a reputable local taxi

  17. Sixtine Detournay

    Hello,
    I’m going with a friend to spa in the 17-27 grandstand. Do you know if we can go thursday if we have tickets for friday-saturday-sunday. Or do you if we need specials tickets to go thursday?
    Thanks

  18. Going this year with my daughter general admission. Any advice regarding taking a little seat etc or shovel to dig into the hillside? First GP away. Always attend Silverstone. Is it a cashless venue or a mix like Silverstone. Many thanks

    1. Sorry for the slow reply Jo, I was on holiday. I would recommend bringing a small seat for general admission. Not sure about a shovel though, I think this may be considered a weapon and they may not let you in with that. I think you will be able to pay with either cash or card – always good to have both anyway

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