Spa General Admission Bronze Area Guide, Tips & Viewpoints

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

General Admission spectators at Pouhon corner at Spa Francorchamps

Spa General Admission is the cheapest way to get to watch the F1 Belgian Grand Prix first-hand. These are known as the Spa Francorchamps Bronze area tickets. 

I went to the 2023 Belgian GP as a Bronze ticket holder and this article lists all of my hints, tips, do’s and don’ts. 

It includes some of the most popular GA viewpoints (and a couple of less popular ones that I found which are maybe even better).

Plus there’s whole load more information to help you plan your trip – things like money, food / drink, clothing, when to arrive and a lot more are all here.

Contents

Spa General Admission Tickets

If you want to go and watch the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps and only want General Admission tickets, then you need to purchase the ‘Bronze area’ tickets from the official Spa Grand Prix website.

These give you access to the whole circuit, the F1 Fan Zone, all of the GA spectating areas but no access to any of the grandstands.

The prices for the 2023 Spa Bronze area General Admission tickets for the Belgian Grand Prix were:

  • Friday & Saturday: 130 Euros
  • Saturday only: 135 Euros
  • Sunday only: 175 Euros
  • 3-day weekend: 185 Euros
  • 3-day weekend Child 6 – 12 years: 65 Euros
  • Children under 6: Free

Compared to some of the other circuits (Silverstone, Miami and COTA to name a few) Spa have done a good job at keeping their General Admission ticket prices reasonably low. These are now some of the cheaper GA tickets on the Formula 1 calendar.

The full weekend tickets sell out very quickly (usually by January) on the Spa GP website so you need to book them the year before. If you’ve missed them, you can probably find some from online ticket resellers.

You’ll be sent digital copies of your tickets after you’ve purchased them online. You’ll need to either print these or have them available on your phone so they can be scanned to get access to the circuit.

If you want the most luxurious experience possible you need to look at the Spa F1 Hospitality options.

Spa Francorchamps Bronze Area viewing points

BE WARNED: There is a LOT of walking to be done as a Bronze spectator at Spa Francorchamps. If you’re planning on checking out a few of the viewpoints then you can expect to be walking for hours and rack up tens of thousands of steps.

When I went for the 2023 Grand Prix I walked around the whole circuit. I had a couple of small detours and double-backs, but including my walk to and from the parking I racked up over 24km and 34,000 steps!

A Spa Bronze area General Admission ticket gives you access to the spectator pathways that go the whole way around the circuit. Some of the path is paved, some isn’t. If it rains you can expect to have to walk through a lot of mud. 

The map below shows the route of the path in grey. The Bronze areas on the map are all of the different viewpoints that I checked out. Read on for a full description of each.

In reality there are no boundaries to these areas and you can go pretty much anywhere. You can move between each Spa Bronze area freely all weekend. 

BE WARNED (again): Most of the popular spots fill up super quickly and as so packed that you won’t be able to see much, if anything at all. I arrived at 9.30am on the Saturday and the whole place was crammed.

My suggestion (if you’re going for more than one day) is to use the non-race days to walk around and find you favourite spot, then make a beeline for that come Sunday morning first thing. 

Below is more detail on each of the viewing spots I checked out. The numbers on the map above correspond to each of the following sections.

1 - Inside Eau Rouge

On the inside of Eau Rouge there’s a tiny grassy bank right in front of the Gold 5 grandstand. It’s next to one of the spectator tunnels that leads to the F1 Fan Zone.

If you sit on the bank you can just see over the barrier and watch the cars come down from La Source in to the compression of Eau Rouge. You lose them after that.

It’s close to the Fan Zone, so only a short walk from the La Source to Ster Entrances, and I think it’s underrated.  Plus there’s a massive TV screen right in front of you.

2 - Kemmel Straight, just after Raidillon exit

The path alongside the whole Kemmel Straight will be packed. But there are two main spots I’ll pick out.

The first is right after the exit of Raidillon. If there’s a crash at Eau Rouge then you’ll be able to see it from here. If you can go right at the start of this zone then you can see a screen as well.

This is a popular spot so you won’t get a spot against the fence unless you’re super early. People stand on the bank the other side of the path to try and see.

3 - Kemmel Straight, just before Les Fagnes

As you get further along the straight the path rides up and a large bank drops down between it and the fence. That means that from the path you can normally see over the fence.

Not only is the bank packed with people, but at the spot in the middle of the straight where there’s 2 screens the path is a few people deep as well. Again people climb up the bank on the other side of the path.

If you continue further along the straight towards the entry of Les Fagnes you’re more likely to be able to get a little closer to the fence. There’s no screen up this end, however, and you’ll be looking through the fence rather than over it.

If you turn up mid-morning it’s very hard to get a view of the cars anywhere along Kemmel, so I didn’t rate it as a great spot. If you’re early it will be a good place to see some overtaking, being the longest of the Spa DRS zones.

4 - Inside Rivage

This was one of my favourite spots. On the inside of Rivage is a big wooded area, which on one side gives you a view of Speed Corner and the other side gives you a view of the Rivage approach. 

It’s on a slight slope so it’s not quite as easy as turning around 180 degrees to see both, but it’s only a few steps away.

I found there to be lots of space within the woods, and if you view on the Speed Corner side you’re a long way above the level of the circuit so have a great perspective to see the cars all the way from Speed Corner to the entrance of Pouhon. That was the better view, and one of my favourite at the whole circuit.

There is a TV screen you can see on each side here. It’s right in front of you on the Rivage side and down across the track on ther other side.

5 - Outside Rivage

People spectate all the way along the outside of the track from the exit of the final right hander of Rivage to about half way around the hairpin.

The best spot I found was at the start of the hairpin, just to the right of the Silver 4 Grandstand. It was easier to get a spot right up next to the fence, plus there’s a good view of the big screen. You have a nice vantage point for seeing the braking zone and most of the hairpin from here.

It’s right on the pathway so there’s not a lot of room and it’s very crowded (as most spots are), but if you can get up against the fence it’s pretty good.

6 - Pouhon entry

Pouhon is crazy. As you walk down the hill from Speed Corner towards it, the bank between the path and the fence gets larger. The vantage point increases in height and just gets better and better. But with it, the amount of people increases too. This is probably the most popular Bronze General Admission view point at the circuit.

Once you get down to the braking zone and turn-in point for the corner you’ll find literally thousands of people packed on to the bank.

If you can get there early to get a spot it’ll be an amazing view, with visibility of a screen and a view over the fence. But if it’s later in the day then you either have to barge your way through everyone to find some space.

7 - Pouhon exit

The exit of Pouhon is a little quieter. It doesn’t have the same elevated vantage point so you have to look through the fence from track level, but I managed to get a spot right against the fence even at midday.

The further round the corner you go the quieter it gets. If you can’t find a spot on the main bank on the entry of Pouhon, walk a little further and see what you can find here.

8 - Les Fagnes right hander

On the inside of the track at the Les Fagnes right and left hander is this viewing area.

It’s a pretty long and tortuous route to get there and  isn’t a through-route to anywhere else (apart from the Silver 6 grandstand) so it was incredibly quiet with only a few other SGeneral Admission people watching from here. 

If you try and view at the exit of the left hander you won’t be able to see anything as the barrier’s too high. But if you walk back up the track towarsd Silver 6 on the inside of the right hander you’ll be able to see the cars cornering at pretty high speed. Plus you can see a large TV screen.

It’s an ok spot but not worth the walk. Check out the next viewpoint instead for a much, much better vantage point of the same bit of track.

9 - Stavelot

Walk to the right of the 17-27 grandstand and you’ll find this high-up General Admission viewpoint overlooking the exit of Les Fagnes, Stavelot and Curve Paul Frere.

This is at the quieter end of the track so isn’t usually crowded. The view from the elevated position is great plus you can see three corners. You’ll be looking through the fence but in my opinion it’s worth it. I thought this spot was great.

The only downsides were the DJ in the grandstand blaring out the tunes at max volume (he stops during the races!) and no TV screen. It has loudspeakers for commentary but if it had a screen it would have been my favourite spot.

10 - Blanchimont

If you want to get a sense of speed then this is the spot for you. The spectator pathway runs the whole way along the outside of the track at Blanchimont and the F1 cars are doing over 300kph / 185mph here. But it’s incredibly loud!

You can either get a spot right up against the fence, or find somewhere in the woods on the other side of the path. The woods are on a steep bank so it’s easy to find an elevated spot.

There’s one TV screen on the other side of the circuit right at the second left hander of Blanchimont. But no loudspeakers for commentary.

I enjoyed watching from here for a few minutes but honestly, without ear protection, found it a bit much!

11 - Chicane

As you walk from Blanchimont towards the Chicane, the last corner(s) on the circuit, you’ll find that it gets busier and busier.

Then you reach a point where the pathway is jammed, they’re 4-deep at the fence and the wooded area on the bank is full of people perched on every root or stump they can find. That’s when you know you’re at one of the most popular and unique General Admission viewpoints anywhere at Spa (or probably in the world!)

If you’re the first person in the track in the morning you can get a spot at the fence. But you won’t be, so if you want a view from here you’ll have to venture up the steep bank in to the woods, along with hundreds of other people.

It’s very steep (and very muddy and slippery if it’s wet) but once you get under the trees it becomes a little firmer. The higher you go the more elevated your viewpoint, but the gradient is unrelenting. It can be difficult to find a flat spot to put your camping chair, but most people manage.

The trick is to try and find a spot that gives you a view of the chicane and also the screen on the other side of the track. I just about succeeded when I watched the F1 sprint race from here, my view of the apex of the chicane slightly blocked by a tree.

Getting in to Spa Francorchamps

Read the guides below for more information on getting to Spa and in to the circuit itself:

Money

For the last couple of years Spa has gone ‘cashless’. They make you purchase one of their top-up cards that you have to load with ‘coins’ that you buy. The first card costs 0.7 coins.

All food and drink vendors within the circuit will only accept this card.

The exchange rate from 2023 was:

  • 30 coins > 50 Euros

That works out to being 1 coin = 1.66 Euros

With the exchange rate not being 1:1 it makes things seem cheaper than they are. 4 coins for a beer seems ok, but it would actually cost you 6.64 Euros.

There’s what seems like hundreds of manned booths around the circuit where you can top up your card (you can use cash or credit / debit card to top it up).

Food & Drink

There are loads of food and drinks vendors (and bars) around the circuit. Wherever you are on the spectator pathway, you’re barely ever out of sight of one.

The food on offer isn’t very varied. Expect chips, burgers, chips, hotdogs, chips, pizza and more chips. The Belgians sure do love their frites!

Some examples of 2023 food and drink costs at Spa:

  • Heineken 50cl – 4.2 coins
  • Soft drink can – 3 coins
  •  Water 50cl – 2.6 coins
  • Coffee – 2.3 coins
  • Chips with sauce – 4.7 coins
  •  Greek pitta – 8.4 coins
  • Burger – 6 coins
  • Hot dog – 5 coins

You can bring your own food and drink in to the track (but not alcohol) so definitely do that. I would highly suggest bringing a packed lunch, or at least some snacks. It’ll save you some money and you’ll get a little variety in your otherwise beige diet.

Water refill points

After walking around the whole circuit I only found 3 water bottle refill stations. One behind the Silver 1 grandstand, one along Kemmel and one near the 17-27 grandstand. They were all free.

Hopefully there’s a few more that I missed, but if it’s going to be hot I suggest bringing as much as you can carry.

Commentary

The commentary on the loudspeakers around the circuit is in French, Dutch and English.

How much you can hear it depends where you’re sitting. In the more popular General Admission viewpoints it was ok (but often drowned out by the cars) and the less popular spots had none.

There were stalls selling official F1 headphones with a live commentary feed in them. But these cost 100 Euros!!

Instead you could bring your own FM radio and tune in to 106.5FM for the circuit commentary.

When to arrive

The spectator gates and car parks open at 6am each day of the Grand Prix weekend. On Friday you don’t need to get there that early unless you want to get a good spot to watch any of the support race action. See the Spa F1 schedule for details of that.

On the Saturday (sprint Saturday) and Sunday there will be people queued up at the gates by 5.30am. If you are desperate to get a great spot to watch the race then I’d suggest joining them. I arrived at 9:30am on the Saturday and the place was packed. All the good viewing spots had long since been taken.

The traffic will be bad on both Saturday and Sunday morning and evening, so you should leave an extra couple of hours for that just to be safe. More info on the Spa Francorchamps parking page.

What to wear

Two main things to consider: protect yourself from the weather, and wear comfortable footwear.

Spa is in the Ardennes forest which often sees massively changeable weather. One minute you might be in bright 25 degrees Celsius sunshine and the next you’ll be getting rained on. Keep an eye on the forecasts, but they aren’t always accurate due to the region’s changeability. Plan for all eventualities – bring sun cream and light weight waterproof layers that can cover both extremes.

The circuit is huge, over 7km long, and very hilly. To walk around all the Spa General Admission areas you’ll be getting in tens of thousands of steps, so make sure you wear some comfortable footwear that you’re happy to get muddy.

What to bring to Spa

General

  • Tickets – printed or easily available on your phone
  • Money – cards, contactless and cash all worth bringing to top up the Spa spending card.
  • Rucksack

Weather protection

  • Sun cream (even if it’s not sunny it helps stop wind burn)
  • UV protection lip balm
  • Sun hat / cap
  • Sun glasses
  • Waterproof everything – jacket / trousers / cagoule, even a waterproof rucksack (or cover) can help keep your belongings dry
  • Waterproof poncho is a good idea as it can cover your backpack too
  • Umbrella
  • Warm clothes
  • Windproof clothes / snood
  • Gloves
  • Thick socks
  • Waterproof shoes / boots that are comfy and you’re happy to get dirty.
  • Hand warmers 

Electronics

  • Fully charged phone
  • Portable FM radio tuned in to 106.5FM for the circuit commentary. One that you can plug headphones in to is even better.
  • Pay for F1 TV and download the app for the weekend so you can watch / listen to live coverage and commentary (although signal can be patchy)
  • In-ear headphones to connect to your phone
  • A set of noise cancelling over-ear headphones to go over the top of the in-ear headphones from the radio helps cancel out the noise of the cars so you can hear the commentary more easily.
  • Download the Spa Francorchamps app for maps / circuit info / live schedules 
  • Battery bank / power pack
  • Still camera with zoom lens
  • Video camera
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Spare memory cards

Spectating

  • Folding camping chair(s) / stools – one with adjustable legs is especially useful for uneven ground
  • Ear plugs or ear defenders, especially for young kids
  • Small Binoculars
  • Picnic rug or something waterproof to put on the ground
  • Cushion (equally useful on grandstand seats)
  • Pushchair for young children 

Food / drink

  • Food – you are allowed to bring your own food in to Spa. There are lots of food vendors but they all serve similar stuff and are expensive, so bringing your own can be cheaper, better and more varied.
  • Drinks – You are allowed to bring your own soft drinks and water, but no alcohol. No glass bottles allowed. There are a number of bars dotted around the site that will be selling alcohol.
  • Cool box
  • Rubbish bag – don’t leave any litter!
  • Tissues / wet wipes

Prohibited items

Below is a list of prohibited items at Spa Francorchamps taken from the official FAQ page. 

Belgian Grand Prix Track Invasion

Once the Grand Prix is over fans will climb over fences and across tyre barriers to get on to the circuit. People will pick up little bits of rubber or carbon fibre shavings to take home as souvenirs. Some might even re-home the advertising signs or brake-marker boards.

If you want to watch the Podium celebrations these take place down by the start / finish line, so I’d suggest going for the Chicane viewing point towards the end of the race. That way you’re in a great spot to get to the podium quickly.

Leaving the circuit

Once the racing’s finished don’t expect to be able to get out of the circuit any time soon.

On the Saturday of 2023, after the Sprint race had finished, I waited in my spot for around 30 mins in a bid to let some of the pedestrian traffic die down before walking to the exit. Little did I know that wasn’t nearly long enough.

The walk back from the Chicane to the Ster entrance / exit took over an hour (normally a 10 minute walk). Tens of thousands of people crowded on to the little pathway all trying to get to the same place, and the tunnels under the track become a bottle neck.

Don’t plan to be anywhere anytime soon after the race.

Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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HP Racing

Great overview! Went with my sons (19 & 21) and my brother and nephew who live in the Netherlands. This matches our experience really closely. This is a great guide for future visitors! Let them know to bring hiking shoes, rain gear, and a chair with adjustable legs.

Claire

Wish I had this information before attending the 2023 Belgian GP! Some great tips here. When getting one of the shuttles buses from Verviers, expect it to be very cramped! Traffic on the Saturday was exceptionally bad and ended up walking 6km to get to the track. After the race on Sunday, we were waiting up to 2.5 hours for a bus to arrive.

Claire

The collection/drop off point for the buses was at the local primary school. After the race, there was no organisation from the bus company in terms of getting people on safely, pretty much a free for all! Also the last bus was at 7:30pm so people were under pressure to get on the first bus they saw, as to not be stranded.

Yes, we had to walk the 6km to the track due to the traffic. We were stuck in the bus for at least 40 mins before the driver decided to open the doors, which people decided to end up walking. Thankfully we did, as while we were walking we noticed very little movement in the traffic. All we could put the traffic down to was poor traffic control.

Jos

Your website is really great, keep up the good work!
From my little experience I know that you can’t count on your mobile phone for internet. However, I’ve been wondering whether to bring an FM radio to get commentary. Those ear protection you can buy that you showed made me wonder, they seem to be “normal” FM radio ear protectors… Right? Would it be possible to take your own? Or perhaps take a small FM radio and listen to the commentary? Or is it a secured radio band that only those ear protectors can connect to? I know there used to be something called fanvision but that doesn’t exist anymore…

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