The Nordschleife is covered in graffiti and in the winter it’s often covered in snow. How did the graffiti get there, and can you walk on the Nurburgring when it’s covered in snow? In this article we give the dos and don’t of setting foot on the track.
Can you walk on the Nurburgring when it's open?
This one is obvious. No. Under no circumstances whilst the circuit is open can you walk on the Nurburgring. When there’s tourist driving, a track day or a race event going on you must not walk on the circuit.
If you want to spectate, there are a number of popular spots to watch from, Brunchen being the best. When you do so you must stay behind the fences and the barriers.
If you are taking part in a tourist driving session and you have an incident whilst driving – a breakdown, fluid leak or accident – then walking on the track to get over the armco barrier as quickly and safely as possible is obviously ok.
Can you walk on the Nurburgring when it is closed?
If the circuit is closed during one of the driving sessions, perhaps because there has been a large incident during tourist driving, then the same rules apply – you must not walk on the track. Even if no cars are going round, the circuit is still a live motor racing track and emergency vehicles could be coming around the next corner.
Can you walk on the Nurburgring at night?
We all know that the Nurburgring is covered in graffiti, and that does not magically appear by itself. People who have graffiti’d the Ring do it at night.
At night, long after the circuit is shut, people do walk on the circuit. These may be locals with their dogs, or Bitburg-fuelled Brits with a paint rattle can.
It’s impossible to prevent access to the whole track, such is its length. But be mindful that at any point circuit security may be driving around the circuit. Not only could it be dangerous if you are in the middle of the track, but they can also ask you to get off the track.
Can you walk on the Nurburgring when it's closed for winter?
The Nurburgring season usually runs from March to November. Check here for the official opening times. Outside of those dates it is closed for winter and there will be no tourist driving, track days or motorsport events.
That does not mean that there is no activity on track, however. The winter months are when maintenance, repair and upgrade work happens to the circuit itself. Usually there’s a buzz of activity at numerous sections of the track at the same time.
People do walk on the circuit at this time of year, but if you do you must be aware of your surroundings at all times as maintenance or circuit vehicles could appear at any moment. If you do go for a walk on the track, check out some of the steepest parts like the Foxhole or one of the Nurburgring jumps like Pflanzgarten I to get a sense of just how elevated some parts of the track are.
Check out out list of other things to do near the Nurburgring for some suggestions on other ways to keep yourself occupied
Can you walk on the Nurburgring in the snow?
When it snows at the Ring in the winter months, that is when you can have your fun. As soon as a layer of the white stuff comes down you will see hundreds of locals grab their sledges and head to the track. Just as Celia Martin the racing driver did.
It’s highly unlikely there will be any circuit or maintenance vehicles on track in these conditions. If there are they will be going pretty slowly and they will expect to see people walking on the circuit. So when it snows in the winter months, grab you sledge and get on track. Not many people will be able to say they’ve done that.
Does walking on the Nurburgring mean you're trespassing?
The Ring is classed as a public road during tourist driving sessions to help deal with insurance when incidents occur. But it is a privately owned site and theoretically if you set foot on the circuit it could be said you are trespassing.
In reality, as long as you are doing nothing you shouldn’t be then usually the circuit management tolerates people walking on the circuit in the snow, in the winter months or at night.
Official Nurburgring track walks
If you are keen to walk on the circuit but want to do it safely and legally, the Nurburgring organise an official track walk a few times a year, usually in the evening in the summer months.
For 30 Euros each, you will have a bus shuttling you to some of the best spots on the circuit and a guide giving information (in German or English) and stories about the circuit, its corners and its past. Full information can be found on the Nurburgring website.
Season pass holders also get a trackwalk for free as one of the ‘perks’ for the price going up so much.
Alternatively, some of the Nurburgring Driving Academies include track walks to help familiarise you with the circuit and the many Nurburgring corners before you drive it. See our article on how to learn the Nurburgring for more information on these.