This is a big year for Hungary’s Formula One race. The 2015 event marks the 30th time F1 will visit the bowl-shaped circuit on the outskirts of the city.
That makes it the ninth most visited track in F1 history, alongside Zandvoort in Holland. The circuit somewhat surprisingly is third on the list of circuits to host the most consecutive grands prix, its 30 races since 1986 putting it ahead of venerable circuits such as Silverstone, the Nürburgring and Suzuka, which have all had more fractured relationships with F1.
What does that say about the Hungarian Grand Prix? Well, it certainly says that it’s popular with fans. Crowds are always strong here and are traditionally bolstered by an influx of Finns, who come to support the likes of Kimi Räkkönen and Valtteri Bottas and also to party like mad in the very F1-friendly city of Budapest. Unlike Montreal or Melbourne, the city has largely recovered from the F1 fever of old and to be honest, aside from the proliferation of fans wandering up and down the main thoroughfares, you won’t really notice there’s a major sporting event happening 20km up the road.
That doesn’t mean that the city isn’t a terrific F1 venue, however. Indeed, it’s one of the most entertaining F1 visits all year, with something for everyone from the undeniably tacky to the top end – it’s your choice.
The city is split into two distinct areas by the Danube. Buda is the bit with the hill and is very picturesque, especially the Castle District, which you should make time to visit. It’s leafy, quiet, posh and there are some great places to eat and drink up there.
Pest is the more commercial part this is recommended as the side to stay on as the circuit is on this side of the city. Pest is awash with terrific bars, restaurants and clubs plus it’s got the major shopping districts. Stay somewhere within shouting distance of the pedestrianised Vaci Utca and you can’t really go wrong. We’ll get to a few restaurant, bar and club recommendations in a minute. Believe us, there are loads.