Before we start. The Nürburgring is an extremely dangerous place and was removed from the F1 calendar for that reason, runoff is small and the barriers are very hard.
It doesn’t matter what car you’re in, or how experienced a driver you are, there will be someone faster. There are no prizes for the bridge to gantry times and most, if not all UK insurance companies, will not insure you on the ‘ring for a Touristenfahrten Lap.
This is our guide to enjoying the Nurburgring, with without having to drive the track yourself. Be safe, take care… enjoy yourself.
We at EuroWerks love the place, love the fact it’s a motoring Mecca, but equally, respect the risks and strongly advise taking part in an organised track day and get training or professional tuition, trust us you’ll enjoy it more.
The endless amounts of games out there, which feature this iconic track, give the user a rough idea of the circuit layout, the corners kinda point the same way, but you won’t feel the gradients, tarmac or compression changes in a game.
Collectively we’ve covered 200+ laps, and that’s over 16 years, the divisional maths equals small numbers per person, per year but as the circuit reached optimum bragging rights around 2010, and TopGear put the track on everyones radar we stepped away and watched from the sidelines.
The legalities around the Nürburgring and driving on it, are lengthy and always changing, so we won’t cover them here, do your research but what we will cover is how to enjoy the place without risking your pride and joy.
The Nordschleife is a 14 mile long one-way public toll road with 172 corners, which is still an official race track hosting several events from the VLN and Nurburgring 24 throughout the year. Built-in 1928 the was initially constructed as two loops the Sudschleife (southern loop) and the Nordschleife (northern loop)
There isn’t much left of the Sudschleife now as the car parking for the GP track and access and service roads encapsulate this, there are some parts left just to decay and be taken back by nature. In the downtime, when the Touristafarten (TF) isn’t running go and have an explore you’ll be surprised what you’ll find.
The northern loop hasn’t changed much in the 90 years with a few tweaks and ongoing improvements to improve safety for the tourist drives, removing some of the sharper crests and reducing the corner radius, the general layout is the same and none of the corners has changed direction.
The Nürburgring is in the west of Germany, in between the major cities of Köln and Koblenz, and roughly 220 miles from the Europoort in the Netherlands and about 300 miles from Calais.
The European side of the driving is fairly easy, how you get to Europe is your choice, but if you’re anywhere north of the midlands use Hull – Rotterdam / Zeebrugge ferry and anywhere south us the cross Channel routes.
As will all countries, Germany is trying to lower its CO2 emissions and a major factor in global emissions is exhaust emissions in towns and cities. Germany has introduced a sticker which shows how green your vehicle is, you have to apply for these in advance and they cost under €10, but they are valid for as long as they’re attached to the windscreen if you don’t display and drive in a clean air zone, expect a fine.
Places to stay
A quick google search of “Nürburgring Hotels” will give you 100+ results, the area isn’t short of hotels, guest houses, B&B and holiday lettings you’ll find a place to stay to suit your needs and budget if you need reassurance in a place to stay we’ve listed a few for you.
Hotel an der Nordschleife
Situated on the outskirts of Adenau village, but located right next to the Breidscheid bridge.
The 3 story hotel, has balconies to view the track, around the Breidscheid Bridge up towards Berg Werk, great for when its busy and the viewing points are a little crowed.
Website : https://hotel-an-der-nordschleife.de
Contact : +49 (0) 2691 930 158 /
Based in the middle of the Nordschleife, in the town of Nürburg about 400 yards away from the entrance car park, and conveniently where you hire your Apex rental or start your passenger / Taxi ride
Misha of YouTube fame works at Apex, and you’ll see him bobbing around the paddock area at the rear, sadly he won’t be serving you your breakfast.
Nürburg village has its selection of eateries so you won’t go hungry. All the main amenities are in the village of Adenau about a 7 min drive down the hill.
Website : https://www.apex-nuerburg.com
Dorint Am Nürburgring Hocheifel
Would you like a room with a view? How about a view of the GP Track Start / Finish Straight? The Dorint has this and also secure car parking, built inside the new GP track pits and hospitality complex its perfectly situated for track time, and that late-night Nürburgring sign picture.
It is a doable walk into Nürburg village of an evening for food and entertainment, and a 10-minute drive in the Adenau, don’t drink and drive, don’t be that person.
RingWerk / RingKarten
A museum all about the Nurburgring and history of racing. The cars on display are always evolving and changing but there’s always something interesting to see or nosey around.
RingKarten, is a go-kart track under the RingWerk museum, get your eye in and some racing before doing your steady TF lap.
Watch a race
The two tracks of the Nurburgring complex host many different race events during the year, sprint series and endurance races to drift events. The Nurburgring calendar is always full and available on the website.
VLN / NLS
The Nurburgring own race series, hosted on both the GP track and the Nordschleife held over 9 endurance races throughout the year, an unofficial free practice session normally takes place during the Friday TF session and qualifying and racing on a Saturday.
Plan to walk and explore the track viewing points during the race, its a 4 hour + endurance event you’ll be able to see all different types of overtaking and late braking manoeuvres from the different viewing and elevation points. Grand Stand seating is available at the GP Track.
The big daddy of endurance events, steeped in history. The Nurburgring 24 draws massive crowds and a full party/festival experience.
The magical scenes of night time racings and headlamps cutting through smokey air from trackside fires and BBQ’s, mixed with some of the worlds greatest GT drivers battling and competing around the full GP Track/Nordschleife combination track.
There are no LMP Style vehicles, all cars look pretty much like road cars, and if you like Porsches you’ll see loads.
Book accommodation early, as it is very popular and recently followed Le Mans weekend. So many a grudge match is resolved on the Nordschleife.
Find Viewing Points
Heres a few of the well known viewing points around the track, the best way to find more is to explore, you’ll get to know the area quicker. Don’t ignore the signage, they’re in English and its no excuse.
- Adenauer Forst
Famous on all the videos, the slow uphill left then quick right always catches people out, expect some excitement here.
Youtube corner, the fast downhill section leading into a sweeping double right-hander flowing uphill over a slight crest to a left-hander covered in trees and always damp or wet.
The corner is easy to find and the viewing point parking massive, on busy weekends and holidays, there is catering on site.
- Adenau Bridge
Dead simple to find and its near Cockpit cafe, just remember the parking at Cockpit is for patrons, not people wanting to view the track.
This is a hike to get to the outside of the Karussell, to get to the inside find Brünnchen and walk 3 miles following the track with the cars coming towards you, for outside of the corner you need to cross under the track where you see a tunnel.
- Hohë Acht
You’ll pass Hohë Acht on the way to the inside of the Karrusell, its the highest point, and there’s a wooden cabin set back from the track.
Things Todo Non-car Related
Nurburg Castle sits 600 yards from the entrance to the TF carpark, you can see if from most of the area as its the highest point. If you fancy a trip up to the top, there is a small entrance fee and then some stairs.
The views from the top are amazing, and you get to see the Döttinger Straight and some of the GP Track.
Toboggan Run –
Sommerrodelbahn Altenahr – https://www.sommerrodelbahn-altenahr.de/index.htm
Roughly 25 mins from the centre of Adenau
Drive to visit Koblenz / Cologne / Bonn
Three amazing cities within an hours drive from the centre of Adenau with loads of history and interesting buildings, great places to eat and things to do, on those rainy days or when the track isn’t open.
Places to Eat
The villages of the Nürburg and Adenau have loads of different eateries, covering every type of cuisine possible, the below are two standout restaurants which we would recommend to the first time ‘ringer, leaving you the experience of finding your own gems in the Eftel mountains.
It wouldn’t be a trip to the Nürburgring without 1 meal at Pinocchios, internationally known as the best pizza place in Adenau, and their portion sizes are amazing
The menu is vast, with something for all, and the service amazing https://pizzeria-adenau.de/
oh and check the VLN race car parked outside the front door.
The Pistenklause Restaurant
The walls are covered with soo much motoring and motorsport memorabilia, its unreal!
It’s advisable to book a table a Pistenklause before the night you wish to attend as its always busy, it been made famous from the Clarkson era of Top Gear, and that Sebenie Schmitt has associations to the establishment.
Food is amazing, and the steak on the volcanic stone is something to behold.