15 March 2019
The pulsating, high-octane thrills of Formula One racing will be back on screens across the globe this weekend, with the world’s top drivers going head-to-head for one of the most prestigious championships in motor racing. Part of the allure of F1 is the glitz, glamour and pageantry of each event, set to the backdrop of incredible destinations.
To celebrate lights out on the new season, we’ve put together a list of our favourite destinations from the F1 calendar that are as ideal for a getaway at any time of year as they are on race weekend.
Where better to start than the place where the 2019 Formula One season will be kicking off? Melbourne is Australia’s must-visit destination. Often compared to a European city, Melbourne gets its image from streets of beautiful architecture and a vibrant culture epitomised by its gourmet foodie offerings, hip bars and cafes and a thriving arts scene. It is also known as Australia’s sporting capital because, in addition to hosting the Australian Grand Prix, the city is home to the Australian Football League Grand Final and Australian Open tennis tournament.
F1 race weekend: 15-17 March 2019
Hotels we recommend: The Langham Melbourne, Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Pullman Melbourne Albert Park Hotel
As the biggest city in the world’s most populous country, Shanghai has plenty to keep both its people and visitors occupied. One of the most popular areas of the city is The Bund, a mile-long stretch of waterfront where you will find a variety of colonial architecture from the 19th century and unrivalled views of the modern metropolis across the Huangpu River. If you want to see the city from above then look no further than the Oriental Pearl Tower with its three spheres, while Nanjing Road - Shanghai’s shopping hub - is a haven of designer brands, boutique stores and authentic Chinese restaurants.
F1 race weekend: 12-14 April 2019
Hotels we recommend: Radisson Blu Shanghai New World, Grand Kempinski Shanghai, Fairmont Peace Hotel
“Head to The Bund at sunset and watch as Shanghai turns from day to night and its illuminations come out to play. It’s a great time to capture photos of the skyline and to take a cruise down the Huangpu where you’ll be sailing between the old colonial buildings on one bank and the new steel-and-glass structures on the other.”
Dave, Travel Counsellor
The annual Spanish Grand Prix takes place at the Circuit de Catalunya, the gateway to which is the beautiful seaside city of Barcelona. Here, you will find a destination heavily influenced by the stunning works of Antoni Gaudí which can be found all over, including Casa Batlló, the UNESCO-recognised Casa Milá and Park Güell. There's also Sagrada Família, the famously unfinished church with a projected completion date of 2026. If you’re heading there in the warmer months, from May to September, you’ll be able to soak up rays and take a dip in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea at one of the city’s beaches.
F1 race weekend: 10-12 May 2019
Hotels we recommend: W Barcelona, Arts Barcelona, Meliá Barcelona Sarrià
“Barcelona is an amazing place to holiday. There really is something for everyone in this city, whether it be a beach, cultural gems or somewhere to simply relax. It is somewhere you can enjoy until the early hours, as well as being family-friendly.
“I also found the city extremely easy to access in my wheelchair. In a short space of three days. we were able to enjoy the beach, take in the five-star luxury of the W Barcelona Hotel that is situated on the sea front, and head inland into the city streets to find the major attractions without hassle.”
Nick, Travel Counsellor
Monaco is home to the quintessential F1 experience, playing host to one of the world’s most famous sporting events. If you’re there over race weekend, you’ll be limited to what you can do as the world’s second-smallest country goes into lockdown for its annual marquee occasion.
What’s great about Monaco is that virtually the entire nation is accessible on foot, and if you are visiting between April and October, you can visit the Prince’s Palace, the official residence of Prince Albert II and his family. See the lavish rooms and priceless artwork that adorns the palace walls, and make sure to be outside for 11:55 to see the traditional Monegasque ritual of the changing of the guard. Other points of interest are the Oceanographic Museum and Monaco Cathedral, where you’ll find the tombs of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III.
F1 race weekend: 23-26 May 2019
Hotels we recommend: Fairmont Monte Carlo, Le Meridien Beach Plaza, Columbus Monte-Carlo
The Singapore Grand Prix is famous for being a night race venue, with the Marina Bay Sands Circuit temporarily transforming the city-state into a race track. Away from the racing, experience multicultural sights and sounds including the Singapore observation wheel and Gardens by the Bay nature park. The world’s highest infinity pool can be found at Marina Bay Sands, and while access is complimentary for guests, visitors can buy a day pass and spend the day relaxing in the water and sipping cocktails while taking in jaw-dropping views of the city’s skyline.
F1 race weekend: 20-22 September 2019
To stay: Marina Bay Sands, Raffles Hotel, Shangri-La Singapore
If you would like to book a Formula One break or want to visit one of these fantastic destinations, contact your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of a raft of benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and even after your stay.