Heading to the 2018 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring on 19-22 July? Here’s some ideas to help you plan an awesome holiday in this beautiful part of Western Europe.
The Hockenheimring, which dates back to 1932, is situated in the Upper Rhine Valley, a region famous for its wine and produce that straddles Germany, France and Switzerland. You are never far from a beautiful medieval town or nature trail in this wealthy region of Western Europe. The largest cities near the Hockenheimring include Stuttgart and Frankfurt in Germany, Strasbourg in France and Luxembourg. Sebastian Vettel fan? The German champion’s home city of Heppenheim is just 50km north of the Hockenheimring!
Just 20km from the Hockenheimring, Heidelberg (main picture above) has a beautiful old town with many restaurants and bars to keep you fed and hydrated after a long day at the track. Other attractions of this medieval city on the banks of the River Neckar include the ruins of the 600-year-old Heidelberg Castle on a hill overlooking the city, Germany’s oldest university,Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, and several interesting museums. After dark, head to Karlstorbahnhof, an arts centre housed in an old train station that’s home to a cinema, theatre and nightclub with regular concerts. Add accommodation at the 4-star Heidelberg Marriott Hotel with select packages from F1 Experiences, including daily transfers to and from the circuit.
Get back to nature in the Black Forest
Germany’s biggest nature park, measuring over 11,000 square kilometres, is within easy reach to the south of Stuttgart. The Black Forest region has everything from stunning peaks to beautiful lakes, rivers, and ancient forests. Freiburg, considered one of Germany’s most beautiful towns, makes a good base for a day or two exploring the villages, wineries and nature walks in this beautiful area. Don’t leave without sampling a slice of Black Forest cake!
Go to the Mercedes-Benz & Porsche Museums
The area around the Hockenheimring, arguably the birthplace of the modern automobile, is a mecca for motoring enthusiasts! In 1885, Karl Friedrich Benz developed the Benz Patent-Motorwagen in nearby Mannheim, and the automotive powerhouse that still bears his name today is based in Stuttgart, around 90 minutes’ drive from the Hockenheimring. The Mercedes-Benz Museum in the city houses a collection of more than 150 cars from the marque’s history. Stuttgart is also the birthplace of another iconic German automotive brand, Porsche. The Porsche Museum is also well worth a visit. Both museums, just 10km apart, are open from Tuesdays to Sundays (9am to 6pm) and admission costs €8-10 for adults.
Germany’s seventh biggest city is just 120km south of the Hockenheimring. In addition to being the home of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, the city has plenty of other attractions such as the State Gallery, which houses one of the finest collections of 20th art in Europe, and the Weissenhof Estate, a modernist housing estate built in the 1920s by leading architects, including Le Corbusier. Other landmarks include the main square, Schlossplatz, and the old town with its beautiful old buildings and inns serving traditional local fare.
Check out the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim
This impressive museum of technology history in Sinsheim, 40km from the circuit, has the largest permanent collection of Formula 1® cars in Europe among its collection of 300 vintage cars. Other notable exhibits include walk-on examples of both the Concorde and the Russian-made supersonic plane, the Tupolev Tu-144. More info: Technik Museum Sinsheim. If you can’t make it to Sinsheim (or need a second fix), there’s a smaller sister museum in Speyer, just 12km from the Hockenheimring. Technik Museum Speyer has a Soviet Buran spacecraft and Boeing 747, in addition to various vintage cars, motorcycles and locomotives.