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Spanish GP getting to circuit


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#1 andyq

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 20:28

Hello people, my first post. I’m going to this years Spanish GP and I have a couple of very basic questions. What is the easiest way to get from central Barcelona to the circuit? The train seems the best bet but will there be a logjam queuing for tickets and the train. Do they speak English at the train stations and can I buy a return ticket, the Renfe websight only gives prices for single journeys. Alternatively I’ve discovered that Sagales run a coach service to the circuit has anyone used this and can tell me if it’s any good?

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#2 F1Annie

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 19:01

Hello people, my first post. I’m going to this years Spanish GP and I have a couple of very basic questions. What is the easiest way to get from central Barcelona to the circuit? The train seems the best bet but will there be a logjam queuing for tickets and the train. Do they speak English at the train stations and can I buy a return ticket, the Renfe website only gives prices for single journeys. Alternatively I’ve discovered that Sagales run a coach service to the circuit has anyone used this and can tell me if it’s any good?


I've been a few times (am going again this year) & have always got the train. I've always stayed in a hotel near to Passeig de Gràcia Station so my tips are only based on travel from there. My strongest tip is to buy your tickets in advance which you can do at Passeig de Gràcia ticket counter. You need to get a 10 trip Zone 2 card (rather than a 'Barcelona Card'). Any spare journeys you can use on the metro or bus. You want Renfe Line 2 which is the St. Vicenç de Calders to Maçanet line. It takes about 20 - 25 minutes to get to Montmelo. The train stops at Barcelona Sants before Passeig de Gràcia but I've heard Sants is a larger station & can be confusing. Friday isn't very busy on the train but you'll reap the benefit of buying your ticket in advance on the Saturday & definitely on race day.

The walk from Montmelo train station to the circuit doesn't take long & is easy. Well signposted & anyway you just follow the other fans. Lots of both official & unofficial merchandise for sale & sometimes cheaper than in the circuit.

Another tip - you will be searched on entry to the track & all liquid confiscated. IMO this is for no other reason then to make you buy liquid inside the circuit at disgracefully inflated prices. I get round this by putting bottles of water in my trouser pockets & in the zipped pockets of a jacket which I carry over my arm. When I get to the gate I march forward with my bag helpfully open. It's inspected & I'm through. I walk until I'm out of site of the gate then transfer my illicit goods to my bag. Stupid carry on I know but I'm damned if I'll pay €6 for a small cup of lager, water or Coke & you need lots to drink if it's a hot day.

When you come to get the train back from Montmelo, if you have a ticket, you queue in the road outside & your ticket is punched before you get on the platform. They brought this in for safety as someone was accidentally pushed on to the line & killed as the crowd surged to get on the train. They allow only the capacity of the train through to the platform but once you're through you will get on even if it's a bit of a squash! If you don't have a ticket you queue to buy one then I think you have to queue again.

I've thought about getting the bus but have always ended up using the train. I always go for a week & tend to do a bit of sightseeing while I'm there so need train tickets anyway.

In previous years the tourist-tat shops in Las Ramblas have also sold sports merchandise. F1 & FC Barca etc. You can sometimes find real bargains.

Hope you enjoy the race & have fun!!

Sorry forgot to say - They may speak some English at the ticket counter but the cards are on display so you can point. I made an error once of trying to speak Spanish in the station. The guy at the counter was Catalan & would rather speak English than Spanish. He wasn't exactly angry but said I'd offended him - I was mortified & ended up answering him in Italian!

Edited by F1Annie, 25 April 2010 - 19:19.


#3 fifi

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 21:27

on the saturday went on the train, was crowded but you got there and followed the crowds from the train station to the track
on the sunday we took the bus and got a bit nearer the track but still a walk

prefered the train tbh, was a lot quicker getting back after the race had ended, the bus was stuck im the traffic and there was only 1 drop off so for us it was 2 subways back to where we were staying


#4 andyq

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 20:16

Thanks for the replies and tips. I had considered buying a T10 at the airport and using it to get to the city centre (and back) instead of the aerobus which i've used before. But at 15.4 euro i'm not sure i'll get my moneysworth out of it in the 3 days i'm there. Is there there a return ticket i could buy or is it a case of a single out and buy a return at montmelo.
One final question, for general admission do you have to use a specific entrance.

many thanks

#5 F1Annie

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 04:33

You can buy a return ticket to Montmelo and no there isn't a separate entrance for GA

#6 tintin

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 14:11

I'd also add that if you're not confident speaking Spanish, all the ticket machines have an option to read the instructions in English (and other common languages)

#7 amr2

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 16:37

I note the posting above about taking drinks into the circuit.

Is that still the case as there is nothing that I could see on the Barcelona GP web-site.

My first trip there this week but a friend who went last year did not get stopped at all....

He said that many people he saw were openly taking in plastic bottles of beer in and were not troubled by officials.

However, I don't fancy being ripped off at Circuit prices so forewarned is forearmed........................

Might need to use a little subterfuge...........

Thanks for any clarification.


Andrew



#8 F1Annie

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:22

I note the posting above about taking drinks into the circuit.

Is that still the case as there is nothing that I could see on the Barcelona GP web-site.

My first trip there this week but a friend who went last year did not get stopped at all....

He said that many people he saw were openly taking in plastic bottles of beer in and were not troubled by officials.

However, I don't fancy being ripped off at Circuit prices so forewarned is forearmed........................

Might need to use a little subterfuge...........

Thanks for any clarification.


Andrew


Andrew

The experience of your friend is puzzling. It could be that it's not a general rule & might be at the whim of the people on the gate. I can only say what happened to me last year (& previous years) & as we went through the gate there was a sign which said no drinks allowed & a huge container full of confiscated cans & bottles.

Actually looking at the forecast we might be needing hot drinks rather than water!

This was race day last year - I hope there'll be more fans this year.

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Edited by F1Annie, 02 May 2010 - 06:30.


#9 amr2

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 13:38

Thanks for that.....

I really don't understand about the disparity in experiences!

My friend is certain of his facts!

We will have to wait and see and perhaps have a few bottles stuffed in jacket sleeves and pockets as suggested earlier.............

Empty stands.......................probably the price of a beer has put them all off coming!!

Maybe now that FA has a more competitive ride this year, the locals may attend........

Andrew

#10 Cardenas

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 19:16

Hello, I'm from Barcelona, Spain and I've been lots of times at montmelo while racing (f1 lemans series, dtm...) and my drinks have never been confiscated, they just take the tap of the bottle. So make sure you have a spare one for your bottles. Also food Prices at the circuit are expensive, so if you can buy before the circuit, I'm sure it will be cheaper.


if there's anything you want to ask, I'd be pleased to answer.

#11 pkenny

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 20:11

F1Annie's directions were excellent. Went last weekend with my son of 10. Made the mistake of going towards the metro trains rather than the local area trains. Nice metro worker sent us back.

Found the Spanish fans better behaved than those in Monza, many of which stood up in the stands for much of the race. In the GA when people stood up they were quickly shamed into sitting back down. Thought this much better.

Strange is the pricing model which leaves large swathes of the stands half empty and the GA sold out months in advance.

#12 amr2

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 20:45

Returned myself from Barcelona a few days ago and have now re-climatised to the UK temperatures!

Had a brilliant stay on Las Ramblas and enjoyed the scenery, the beer and food and the people.......

Great fun and great company.

The advise from other contributors was most helpful and getting to and from the circuit was so easy using the metro and Renfe to get to Montmelo and then a walk up to the track.

Facilities were very good in the main although the GA viewing was particularly crowded on race day and the steep banks were hard work sitting on for the duration of the race day......damp soil meant it was all to easy to slide down to join a lower lever!

However we managed!

No problem at all with taking plastic beer bottles and water into the circuit. Bags searched on entry but only as a security issue.

Now planning next trip...................

Thanks to all.

Andrew