There’s so much to love about Formula 1 and its races. Since its founding in 1950, there have been more than 1,000 races across 34 countries worldwide. You’ve got some of the coolest F1 tracks, and with that, it’s a sport of competition, high stakes, and thrills. Podium-worthy figures like Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc have been household names, especially with many families tuning in to watch the races at home.
In recent years, we’ve noticed that Formula 1 has been gaining momentum in terms of popularity and recognition. For example, Netflix’s series, Formula 1: Drive to Survive covers the behind-the-scenes footage of the circuits, racers, and their relevant teams. On the other hand, Lauren Asher wrote and published the Dirty Air series in 2020, which consists of four interconnected novels inspired by Formula 1.
One thing you know for sure is that these races don’t take place in one single location throughout any season. Early in 2022, it was announced that Formula 1 was going to follow a 22-race calendar, with Grands Prix in numerous locations: Japan, Australia, Bahrain, Monaco, Canada, and more. When you want to relive your favourite racing moments, here is a guide to some of the best F1 tracks in the world.
P.S. — We’ll be also recommending what you can do in the cities that held your favourite races!
1. Circuit de Monaco – Monaco
The Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo is arguably the most iconic F1 track in the world, if not the best. In fact, this was where the very first Grand Prix race in 1950. The track runs through the city streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine for a total of 3.33kmand 78 laps.
However, the Circuit de Monaco is also the narrowest and the slowest track for F1 racers. Overtaking can be difficult, and oftentimes, it’s more a test of skill. Regardless, races in Monaco have been associated with luxury and glamour. Celebrities have been spotted to be in attendance, and the afterparties have been lavish.
What else you can do in Monte Carlo:
- Visit the Monte Carlo Casino
- Go on a tour of the Palais du Prince
- Sunbathe and enjoy the views at Larvotto Beach
- Admire the yachts from afar at Monaco Harbor
- Wander around the gardens at Jardin Exotique, Les Jardins Saint-Martin, and Princess Grace Rose Garden
- Watch lively theatre performances at Fort Antoine or catch an opera show at Opera de Monte Carlo
- Experience fine dining at Michelin-star-worthy restaurants like Le Louis XV Restaurant and Joel Robuchon Monte Carlo
Also read: Explore Several Countries by Train: 6 Epic Rail Journeys to Cross Off Your Bucket List
2. Baku City Circuit – Azerbaijan
In 2016, Azerbaijan opened their first F1 city circuit in its capital, Baku. The 51-lap track is located near Baku Boulevard and runs a distance of 6.003km. In the same year that it opened, Baku City Circuit held the European Grand Prix, followed by the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017. The track is generally known for its twists and turns, running through the old town of Icheri Sheher.
What else you can do in Baku:
- Visit the Maiden Tower, Muhammad Mosque, and the rest of Icheri Sheher
- Admire the interiors of Bibi-Heybat Mosque
- Experience architectural beauty (that rivals those in sci-fi films) at Heydar Aliyev Centre
- Explore the spice market at Yashil Bazaar
- Take a late-night stroll along Baku Promenade and be gifted views of Flaming Towers and Caspian Waterfront Mall
- Go on a guided tour of Gobustan and witness the mud volcanoes, Yanar Dag (Burning Mountain), and Ateshgah Fire Temple
3. Bahrain International Circuit – Bahrain
The Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain is a 5.412km F1 track that was first built in 2002. It’s one of the coolest F1 tracks in the world. Running for 51 laps, the first Bahrain Grand Prix was held in 2004. Today, spectators are granted an exhilarating race in the heart of a desert.
Compared to the previous famous F1 tracks, Bahrain has more space for overtaking. However, racers here have to take on the winds, the floodlights, and the temperatures.
What else you can do in Bahrain:
- Try go-karting at Bahrain International Karting Circuit, which is located next to the Bahrain International Circuit.
- Go on a tour of the vibrant streets and alleyways of Manama Souq
- Buy handicrafts and witness them being made at Al Jasra village
- Savour the sun and sand at Al Jazayer beach in Zallaq, and Solymar beach on Amwaj Islands
- Go diving at the world’s biggest underwater theme park inside Dive Bahrain
- Visit the Tree of Life in the middle of a desert
Also read: A Guide to Exploring the Extraordinary in Bahrain: Pearl Diving, F1 and more
4. Autodromo Nazionale Monza – Italy
Italy has one of the best F1 tracks in the world. The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is a 5.793-km track that runs for 53 laps per race. Since its first race in 1922, the Italian Grand Prix has been held at the circuit, thus making it one of the more historical F1 sites. On top of that, Monza’s tracks are arguably the fastest in the world.
For the majority of each lap, the cars can go up to an average speed of 350km/h. Throttles are always on full power, and there are enough chicanes to give the brakes the same kind of treatment.
What else you can do in Monza:
- Dine-in at Darmas Restaurant for some of the best Italian food in town
- Sip on the best wine at Vineria Dei Tintori Monza
- Witness remnants of history at Museo e Tesoro del Duomo di Monza
- Visit historical sites like the Duomo di Monza, Chiesa di Santa Maria, and Arengario
- Get on a train to Milan for shopping and more attractions like the Sforza Castle, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and the Royal Palace of Milan
Also read: 8 Hidden Beaches in Italy That Only Locals Know About
5. Marina Bay Street Circuit – Singapore
Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit is a race track you cannot miss. Being one of the coolest F1 tracks, it showcases the glittering Marina Bay in the background. The circuit is 5.063-km-long, with a total of 61 laps per race.
Since 2008, the Singapore Grand Prix has been held here, but it’s known as one of the most taxing races in any F1 calendar. You’ve got the bumpy roads, humid weather, and 23 corners. Many racers have been said to lose 3kg in one race from stress and sweat.
What else you can do in Singapore:
- Explore food and heritage in Singapore’s Chinatown
- Go on a night safari at Singapore Zoo
- Visit the various themed parks at Botanic Gardens
- Shop ‘til you drop along Orchard Road
- Spend a fun-filled day on Sentosa Island with S.E.A Aquarium, Universal Studios Singapore, and Madame Tussauds Singapore
- Fall in love with nature in man-made locations at Gardens By the Bay, Cloud Forest Dome, and Flower Dome
- Take a picture with the Rain Vortex Waterfall at Jewel Changi Airport
Also read: The Ultimate 6-Day Singapore-Malaysia Itinerary For First-Timers
6. Yas Marina Circuit – United Arab Emirates
With a budget of over billions of dollars, the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi was completed in 2009. It’s the most expensive F1 circuit ever built, but today, it stands as a venue for sports and entertainment events such as the prestigious Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It’s a 55-lap circuit that runs a total of 5.554km, making it one of the best F1 circuits. Besides its purpose in the F1 calendar, Yas Marina Circuit also serves as a famous tourist attraction on Yas Island.
What else you can do in Abu Dhabi:
- Jump into a world of thrills and high speeds at Ferrari World
- Go on a kayaking tour of Abu Dhabi’s eastern mangroves
- Observe animals from afar at Sir Bani Yas Island’s wildlife reserves or meet falcons up close at Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
- Fall in love with the world’s largest desert dunes in the Empty Quarter
- Sunbathe on the shores of Yas Island
- Admire art and history through the exhibitions and galleries of the Louvre Abu Dhabi
Also read: 12 Best Countries for Extroverts Who Love to Travel
7. Circuit of the Americas – United States
The Circuit of the Americas is one of the best F1 tracks that opened in 2012. The annual United States Grand Prix is held at this circuit in Austin, Texas. Racers speed through a 5.513km track and cover up to 56 laps in one single race. Many have said that certain design elements of the circuit resemble other real-life circuits, including Suzuka Circuit in Japan, Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom, and Hockenheimring in Germany.
What else you can do in Austin
- Watch a million bats take off from Congress Bridge every night
- Explore the local food and drink scene at Austin’s best breweries and restaurants
- Take a chilling tour of Austin’s historic, yet haunted sights with Haunted ATX
- Immerse yourself in an artistic hall of mirrors at Wonderspaces
- Jump your way through a water obstacle course at Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures
- Go on a distillery tour of Dripping Springs
- Go skydiving at Skydive Spaceland
Also read: Here Comes the Sun: Top 10 Cities in the World With the Longest Sunny Hours!
8. Red Bull Ring – Austria
Austria’s Red Bull Ring track in Spielberg is one of the coolest F1 tracks out there. The gorgeous landscapes of the Styrian mountains make the perfect backdrop, complementing the Austrian Grand Prix that’s bound to keep you on the edge of your seat. Since its opening in 1996, the track runs for 4.318km and 71 laps. After the race, you can venture out to explore the rest of the city.
What else you can do around Spielberg:
- Go on picturesque hikes in Tremmelberg and Steinplan
- Visit Eggenberg Castle in Graz
- Stop by the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum in Thal
- Walk through Graz’s Old Town and Main Square
- Explore Salzkammergut Cycle Way for a great view of Styria’s finest lakes
- Go skiing in Kreischberg
Also read: 7 Reasons Why We Always Look Forward to Austria & Why You Should Too!
9. Circuit Paul Ricard – France
The Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France is one of the best F1 tracks for a reason. Good weather and an abundance of corners of varying speeds make it an ideal spot for test circuits. Since 2021, the French Grand Prix is held at Circuit Paul Ricard — you’ve got a 5.842km long track that was built in 1969. Also nearby is the French Riviera, which is famous for its wine, food, and beaches.
What else you can do around Le Castellet:
- Admire one of Europe’s most beautiful gorges, Les Gorges du Verdon
- Go on a tour of Provence’s lavender fields
- Explore the city of Marseille, including its gastronomic scene and historical buildings
- Try sea kayaking in Ramatuelle Nature Reserve
- Live out your summer dreams at Port of Toulon, Prado Beach, and Giens Peninsula
- Sunbathe and go shopping at Grand Port Maritime de Marseille
- Take a ferry to Ile des Embiez for clear creeks, forests, and vineyards
Also read: 14 Most Incredible Places in France
10. Hungaroring – Hungary
The Hungaroring in Mogyoród, Hungary is one of the best F1 circuits. Since its founding in 1986, there have been 36 World Championship Races held. As such, the Hungarian Grand Prix has been an integral part of many tourists’ summer travel itineraries in Hungary. Many people line up for the hot atmosphere, the intense races, and the potential to visit Budapest afterwards.
What else you can do around Mogyoród:
- Cool off at Aquarena Water Theme Park, Mogyoród
- Go clubbing in the Jewish Quarter of Budapest
- Live out your hopeless romantic dreams at a rose garden on Margaret Island
- Opt for a peaceful spa day at Szechenyi Thermal Bath’s saunas
- Visit Buda Castle and its attractions for a taste of culture: the Hungarian National Gallery, Castle Museum, and National Széchenyi Library
- Take a picture of the gorgeous Danube River from Chain Bridge
Also read: 20 Best Countries With Digital Nomad Visas for Long-Term Workcations
11. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps – Belgium
As one of the best F1 tracks in the world, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Stavelot, Belgium is the primary circuit to host the Belgian Grand Prix. In the 54 World Championship Races it has held, racers’ skills and nerves are pushed to the limits. Initially, in 1921, the was 15km and covered the distance between the towns of Francorchamps, Malmedy, and Stavelot. But in 1979, the track was shortened to 7km.
What else you can do around Stavelot:
- Learn the history of Belgium’s famed F1 track at Musée du Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
- Visit Benedictine Stavelot Abbey, one of the country’s first monasteries
- Enter the main square of Place Saint-Remacle in Stavelot for cobblestone streets and semi-hidden views of the Haute Ardenne hills
- Have fun at Plopsa Coo, a theme park located within Les Cascades de Coo
- Go kayaking at the same waterfall with Coo Adventure
- Every Sunday, witness the Laetare de Stavelot and its festivities
12. Jeddah Corniche Circuit – Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Corniche Circuit is also another one of the coolest F1 circuits in history. In fact, it’s probably the newest track on this guide. In December 2021, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was held for the first time. The cars are so fast on a 6.174km track, and there’s no stopping when there are challenges along the way!
What else you can do in Jeddah:
- Go shopping at Jeddah’s iconic malls, including Mall of Arabia and Red Sea Mall
- Explore the souks and historical landmarks in Al Balad, the city’s oldest neighbourhood
- Try a range of activities in South Corniche, including kiteboarding, windsurfing, and birdwatching. In the North Corniche, you can go swimming, seaside picnicking, and nightly strolls.
- Admire the majestic mosques in Jeddah, including Al Rahma mosque
- Take a boat trip in the Red Sea and engage in fishing, yachting, and shipwreck diving
Also read: Shopping Like a Local in Saudi Arabia: Everything You Need to Know
13. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – Canada
Did you know that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve wasn’t originally a race track? In 1967, Notre Dame Island in Montreal was built for a world fair. After the 1976 Summer Olympics, the Circuit Ile Notre-Dame was born. However, in the first Grand Prix (1978), the track was renamed to honour Gilles Villeneuve’s maiden victory. Today, the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix is hosted at this very circuit that has held 40 world championship races.
What else you can do in Montreal:
- Take a stroll through Mount Royal Park
- If you want incredible views of the city, go on an observation Ferris wheel at La Grande Roue de Montréal
- Feed your inner art history nerd at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
- Eat your way through Marché Jean-Talon, North America’s largest open-air market
- Watch Cité Mémoire, the world’s largest outdoor video-projection installation
- Experience a drag show at Cabaret Mado bar
Also read: These Are the World’s Safest Countries for Travel in 2022
14. Silverstone Circuit – United Kingdom
Don’t underestimate the track design; the United Kingdom’s Silverstone Circuit is actually one of the best F1 tracks in the world. Since its first race in 1950, the track has been home to 59 world championship races. In the late 1980s, the Silverstone Circuit was established as the British Grand Prix’s primary location. Many of F1’s most exciting races are here, and the event tends to have the most attendees on sight.
What else you can do around Silverstone:
- Sign up for a cocktail masterclass at Silverstone Distillery
- Befriend llamas at Catanger Llama Trekking
- Admire the bluebell woods and wildflower meadows of Coton Manor Garden
- Go on a tour of Delapre Abbey, a historical landmark in Northamptonshire
- Camp out or go golfing at Whittlebury Park Golf Course
- Enjoy a fresh morning of cycling and birdwatching in Pitsford Water
15. Autódromo José Carlos Pace – Brazil
Now, what do you get when you combine the elements of three racing circuits? Well, you get the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo. Yes, you’ve read that right. Brazil’s racing track is inspired by Brooklands in the UK, Roosevelt Raceway in the US, and Montlhery in France.
Since 1973, it has been the main venue for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Spectators can treat themselves to up and close views of the races, which is totally worth the experience.
What else you can do in São Paulo:
- Football fans can visit Museo do Futebol, a museum dedicated to the crowd favourite sport
- Appreciate leisure, nature, and architecture in Ibirapuera Park
- Dip a toe into the city’s theatre and art scenes on Avenida Paulista
- Commemorate Brazil’s independence day with historical landmarks such as Parque da Independància and Museu Paulista
- Explore the historical town of Embu Das Artes
- Watch graffiti art come to life in Beco do Batman in the Vila Madalena neighbourhood
Also read: These Are the Best & Worst Cities for Work-Life Balance in 2022
16. Suzuka Circuit – Japan
At Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan, the Japanese Grand Prix is truly a sight to behold. Unlike the other circuits, this one follows a figure-8 design. Such a feature is the reason why the Suzuka Circuit stands out in our list of best f1 circuits in the world. Many drivers and fans claim this as their favourite, citing the passionate racing environment and unforgettable location as their reasons.
What else you can do in Suzuka:
- Visit the shrines of Japan, including the Tsubaki Grand Shrine which has a waterfall
- Hike along the trails of Nyudogadake and climb to the peak to see a torii gate
- Fall in love with a field of flowers in Suzuka Flower Park
- At Suzuka Circuit Motopia, enjoy the various racing-themed attractions
- Go camping and hiking in Miyazuma Gorge
Also read: 32 Things to See and Do in Japan for First-Time Travellers
Formula 1 is a sport that opens you up to untapped travel opportunities. Many have considered these races are a major tourist attraction, and in fact, they are. Who cannot deny a chance to witness their favourite racers zoom across the winding tracks? Even if you’re not an F1 fan, you can’t help but love the anticipation associated with a race. But when the race is over and you don’t know what to do, then explore the nearest city. There’s so much to see and do, so better make that ticket worth it!
Featured image credit: Abed Ismail | Unsplash