Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain

The Spanish love their motorsport and a true mecca for racing fans is the epic Circuit De Catalunya, built in the late 80s and has been the home for both the Spanish F1 Grand Prix and the MotogP since the 90s. 

A modern classic, this circuit has everything. Probably one of the best opening sections of any circuit in the world. Fast sweeping turns, technical challenges and plenty of fantastic viewing options too.

With seating for some 40,000 spectators and general admission areas holding another 100,000, this is truly a track for the fans. Well connected with Barcelona, its relatively painless to get to and the MotoGP race takes place during the hazy late summer days of September too. Bliss.

“The track is unusual in the sense that it has a bit of everything, it’s a “complete” track. And in that way you need to have everything working perfectly – set up for hard braking, for top speed, it’s another level. Aside from that, you’re always touching your shoulder on the ground! It’s exciting to ride.”

Joan Mir – MotoGP Champion from Spain

At 4.657 km (2.894 miles) this twisting turning track provides all the action you could want from a classic MotoGP race and its definitely provided plenty of action of the years. The track is now known as the The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya but its original name without “Barcelona” is how most remember it.

Spain currently boasts 4 MotoGP races but none has more local heroes than this one. There’s also 3 support races to watch so there’s a lot of high quality action to enjoy across the race weekend.

Plus you have the beautiful city of Barcelona just a 40 minute drive away so its easy to make the most of Catalonia and enjoy an epic MotoGP race too. 

When it comes to grandstands and viewing opportunities there’s something for everyone here including a family friendly grandstand and “kids zone” to enjoy. There’s even a unique grandstand that doesn’t quite face the track (more on that later).

Viewing options

Principal Main

At one of the most iconic race tricks in the world, its no wonder the “Principal Main” grandstand sells out fast. This impressive structure with its curved roof is a permanent grandstand with two levels of seating available.

While the lower tier sits closer to the track action, its really the upper tier that offers the best overall views. From here you can see right in to every pit garage and see all the action on track and in the pit lane. 

You’ll also get great panoramic views from here down the 1,047m long pit straight. The start / finish line is approximately halfway along the grandstand, so for the most pre-race action you’ll want to be seated to the right of the grandstand. This also offers better views of the final corner of Turn 15 known as Curva New Holland.

The sun travels over the grandstand here so the morning sessions will be shaded by the grandstand, with afternoon sessions will have you reaching for the sunglasses.

Top tier tickets are marked with an A, while lower tier tickets are B. There are 28 blocks in the upper level, with 21 blocks in the lower. Block numbers start closest to the last corner, with block 28 closest to turn 1.

The entire structure is built out of concrete, with the seats being curved plastic with back support. They are fairly comfortable but you might want to bring a coat or something padded to sit on if you plan to stay here for every session.

The great thing with the Principal Main Grandstand is there’s plenty of room for everyone. The seats don’t feel too cramped and the walkways are generously sized.

There’s also plenty of amenities close by so everything you need is just a short walk away.

Seats are allocated so you’ll always know where you’ll be seated for the race. There’s not much to see here other than the main straight so I highly recommend using the general admission areas to view some of the other turns during practice and support race sessions.

Grandstand J

Grandstand J is situated further down the start / finish straight, closer to the pit lane exit. So a lot of the start of the race you’ll be viewing from your right hand side as the MotoGP riders make their way past you, fighting for position into the S curves of turns 1 and 2 to your left.

It’s a large uncovered grandstand that spans 15 blocks. Block 1 is closest to the start line although that is some way off to your right. Block 15 is a short distance past the pit lane exit which I think is probably the better end. 

As the pit straight is so long here you’ll want to be catching the action into turn 1, So the higher rows in Zone 15 are the best in Grandstand J.

The grandstand is very tall and has decent views from most rows, with those in the lower rows having some safety fencing obscure your view. But the bikes are moving so fast here you hardly notice it.

The grandstand is split into two sets of rows, upper and lower. With the upper section enjoying much more of turns 1 and 2 here. 

There’s a VIP grandstand opposite but this doesn’t get in the way too much and you can see some of the action betweens turns 5, 6 and 7 as well.

All seats are plastic with back support, but you’re out in the sunshine for much of the sessions so you’ll want to bring sun cream, hats and plenty of water to keep you hydrated. 

You’ll find a number of amenities right behind the grandstand here including some entertainment too. So you don’t need to walk far to grab a drink and some food between sessions.

Grandstands K and E

Grandstand K is much the same as J with a slightly better view of turns 1, 2 and even 3 if you’re in a high row. 

Wait a short while and the bikes reappear at turn 5 as they race down to turn 6 and 7 where the track layout pinches inwards. You can even enjoy the fast turn 7 and 8 going up the hill. 

This is one of my favourite grandstands as you get a very decent panoramic view of plenty of the best corners at the Circuit De Catalunya

Grandstand E is the same size and a very similar view, just slightly closer to the first turn. Either are a good option especially for the MotoGP race itself.

There are 9 blocks in these grandstands with 1 being closest to the start line. This is the same type of structure as the previous grandstand too, with upper and lower tiers.

I definitely recommend the upper tiers if you can get them as there’s little fencing in the way and unrivalled views in both directions.

The space behind the grandstands here narrows so expect a few queues especially on race day. Toilets are located behind grandstands J and K, with food and some entertainment closer by. 

Gate 5 is your nearest entrance and exit. Also check out the fan zone behind the main grandstand for the bulk of your MotoGP entertainment.

Grandstand F

Located at the end of the start / finish straight, grandstand F is a little different to those alongside it. 

If turn 1 action is your thing then this is the grandstand for you. Composed of 6 blocks the 6th of which sits directly on the entrance to Turn 1, the views here are pretty epic especially at the start of the race.

Watching all the MotoGP riders heading into turn 1 and fighting for position through turn 2 is one of the highlights of the season. 

The walk from the main entertainment zone takes a little longer but if you have seats in blocks 5 or 6 then you’ll be right where the action is. 

Even from block 1 the view is amazing, with the pit lane exit to your right and the sweeping S curves of turns 1 and 2, with the start of the long turn 3 visible as well. 

The chances of you seeing racing action here is very high and with so many grandstands nearby there’s a fantastic atmosphere. 

Maybe the only downside is the lack of action to your left, since most of it will be the rundown to turn 1 on your right and the sweeping left and right at the start of the lap, which mostly happens in front of you. With just run-off to your far left.

Your nearest gate is 5, I’d opt for this one of gate 4 which serves the larger grandstands. Expect queues when leaving after the race as the paths here are fairly narrow.

Grandstand A

Reaching speeds of 315kph (195mph) down the main straight and throwing their bikes into the start of the lap, Grandstand A remains one of the most popular places to view any motorsport in the world as the MotoGP riders battle it out lap after lap at this iconic first corner. 

This massive grandstand, built to seat 4000 people, has an electric atmosphere and a truly epic view of one of the most iconic sets of corners in the world.

Known as the ELF Chicane, the fast twisting nature of these corners is more of an S curve, with Curva ELF being turn1 and Curva Abolafio AKA turn 2.

The layout of this grandstand is unusual too. Stepped to sit parallel with the short straight after turn 2 before the sweeping right hander of turn 3. This very tall, very well positioned grandstand gives you very good views of a lot of the track.

The start / finish straight is visible in the distance from around the end of the Main Grandstand. You’ll see the MotoGP riders screaming down the straight and turning right to navigate their way through the iconic S curve right in front of you. 

The only thing blocking your view of the run up to turn 3 is the crowds in the grandstand itself, other than that you’ll likely see a short section of turn 3 and the run down to turn 5 as well. 

The embankments between these two areas of the track means the bikes soon disappear out of view, you’d get a better view of those from Grandstands K and E.

There’s a real party atmosphere here and the grandstand is so huge you’ll feel right in the middle of the festival vibe. This does mean getting in and out of the grandstand after sessions can take a little longer than other places but it’s well worth it.

You’ll find toilets, food and drink in the large open space behind the grandstand. Expect queues here unless you leave your seat early. 

This may not be the most family friendly of grandstands due to its size and capacity. Opt for one of the smaller grandstands closer to the start line for more convenience and less walking. For the ultimate child friendly experience you’ll want grandstand N, more on that later.

Gate 6 is your closest entrance and exit, a short walk around the curve of turn 6.

Grandstand M

Located on the inside of the track, you’ll find grandstand M on the outside of turn 5. Access to this grandstand takes a little while as you’ll need to cross the circuit via a bridge just before turn 4. Thankfully there’s an entrance gate not too far from here and plenty of General Admission viewing to be had in this sector of the track. 

This temporary structure is small in capacity and is thankfully covered too, perfect for those looking for a smaller grandstands away from the huge crowds of the main straight and turn 1.

The grandstand is actually 3 structures, the last of which is angled slightly differently to the other two with a better view down the track towards turns 5 and 6. 

Unfortunately the grandstands here are situated close to a lot of run-off gravel at turn 5. So you’re not particularly close to the action here. 

There are 12 blocks available here, oddly numbered from 6 to 18 with the higher numbers in the corner grandstand with the most run-off in front of them.

Having said that, the view of turns 5 and 6 is pretty decent with the fast run down to turn 5 visible for quite some distance to your left. 

All of the action happens to the left or in front of you here, and with the shade from the sun, this makes for a fairly cheap and simple option. Definitely not the best grandstand at Catalunya but not the worst. 

The sun shines into this grandstand from ahead, so I’d recommend sunglasses, as it rises you’ll be more shaded although it can get warm with the canopy overhead.

With such small grandstands, getting in and out for toilets and refreshments is easy and you’ll find plenty of both just behind the grandstand as well as more behind grandstand L. 

Getting around can be a bit more difficult here as you’ll need to traverse the track at the two available bridges to get to any of the other fun stuff on offer including the kids zone near gate 7.

On the plus side there’s plenty of General Admission viewing options in this area. So you’ll have plenty of viewing angles to choose from during the entire MotoGP weekend. I recommend catching some of the support races from some of these areas as the view from grandstand M can get boring pretty quickly.

Grandstand L

One of the oddest grandstands you’ll find at any MotoGP circuit. Tribune L doesn’t actually face the track! Instead it faces between two sections of the track so you have ample view of both the S-es of turns 1 and 2, with the start of 3 to your right. 

To your left is turns 5 and 6 with the run down to turn 7. In between there is a pinch-point as the track closes in on itself, and there you’ll find Grandstand L.

You could argue this is a truly panoramic MotoGP experience as there’s action happening all around you. The track curves around behind you so you’ll soon be immersed in MotoGP bike surround sound.

The atmosphere here is great as you’re also surrounded by race fans both in the huge grandstand and those of grandstand A near turn 2 and those along the main straight and even to your left at turn 5. 

Even at the lowest levels you’re pretty high up here, so its pretty much unbroken views in every direction. 

The only real downside here is access to and from the grandstand. L is situated right in the innermost part of the track, with a decent length walk back to gate 7 which is your nearest gate. There’s plenty to eat, drink and do along the way with more entertainment up by that gate too.

Grandstand N

Located around the curve of turn 9. Grandstand N is perfect for children and is touted as the child-friendly grandstand for ages 6 to 15.

Adults must accompany of course but this one of the cheapest seats you’ll find anywhere at the Circuit De Catalunya.

It’s not the best of views as the grandstand is situated some way back from the circuit thanks to a large run-off area that services Turn 9 AKA Curva Campsa. This grandstand has been extended over the years to accommodate more fans so expect a decent atmosphere that’s potentially more family orientated than other large grandstands at the track.

There are multiple blocks here with varying numbers of rows. Those towards the exit of Turn 9 enjoy more rows adding to the overall height of the grandstand. This gives improved panoramic views although most of the action is in front of you.

The best seats in N are closest to the entrance of turn 9 where you can then see down the track towards turn 10.

This is an uncovered grandstand so be prepared for sunny September weather. This grandstand faces the sun in the morning and is positively backing by midday. Expect highs of around 27C (80F) with usually dry conditions this time of year.

There’s plenty of entertainment and refreshments nearby thanks to the “kids zone” just behind the grandstand. Toilets are close by too and there’s easy access to the circuit via Gate 7. 

Park at A1 for the most convenient journey in to the circuit.

Grandstands B, G and C

For the best stadium-like feel at the Catalunya MotoGP you’ll want a seat at either B, G or C grandstands. Yes I know the grandstand names make no sense here!

Located around the never ending curve of turn 12 the grandstands actually overlook a good number of very technical corners here. 

From most seats you’ll see the race down to turn 10 with the tricky little turn 11 right in front of you. The riders lean hard right as they steer around turn 12 in front of grandstand B, with the short straight before turn 13 in front of grandstand G. The 3rd of the grandstands, C, is the runt of the litter with a sizable run-off in front of it, but decent views across this complex of corners.

There’s plenty of action in front of all the grandstands, but high speed action comes with a need for plenty of run-offs too, so none of the grandstands are particularly close to the track.

This hardly matters though as you get a lot of on track action for your money here. Around 30 seconds or during the race so you’re likely to see many of the riders all at once for a good majority of the race. 

Grandstand G enjoys the best views in this section with turn 10 off in the far distance, all of turn 11, 12, 13, 14 15 and part of 16 visible in front of you. It’s also the grandstand closest to the track between turns 12 and 13 so you’ll get maximum viewing time and maximum noise too.

The noise ramps up more and more as the MotoGP bikes get closer to you and as they navigate turn 13 they head directly away from you causing the volume to rise even higher.

This is probably the most exciting section to watch the riders in action and the fans sure do love it here.

Grandstand C is probably the worst of the bunch here as there’s an asphalt and gravel trap run-off to contend with.  

Add some extra barriers and a service area in front of part of the grandstand and you’ll feel pretty far back from the action.

On the plus side you’ll enjoy a decent amount of track time action thanks to this large section of track in front of you, But the distance from the track does make this one of my least favourite grandstands at the Circuit De Catalunya. 

The giant screen is also a sizable distance from the grandstand so viewing the rest of the race can be difficult here. I recommend getting the MotoGP app for your smartphone for live commentary and lap times. 

Grandstand H

While H isn’t all that far away from C the views here are marginally better. Partly thanks to the track coming towards the grandstand a little, so less run-off in front of you, also partly thanks to a decent view of the run to turn 10 and your vantage point down to turn 16 and beyond.

But mostly this grandstand is better because it’s closer to the giant screen, so your enjoyment of the entire race is better. 

Track time here is decent with plenty to watch in front of you. With thousands of seats in this entire sector of the track there’s a great festival-like atmosphere. 

A big downside is the lack of amenities close to this grandstand. You’ll need to take a walk around to grandstands C and G for all the good stuff.

Your nearest gate is 2 with parking at A3 and A2. There’s also decent camping options on this side of the track and a not too long walk to the fan zone behind the main grandstand. 

Most general admission ticket holders enter through gates 6, 7 and 1. With parking in A1 and D.

General Admission

Thanks to the twisting turning nature of this track that folds in on itself, there are a number of decent general admission viewing areas. Look for signs to “Pelouse” for general admission viewing, almost all between turns 3 and 9. 

The steep hill of turn 3 on the inside of the track is a popular spot to watch the MotoGP bikes daring an overtake around the Curva Renualt, although there’s little chance to watch the race on a big screen there. 

The hill here carries on all the way around to turns 4 and 5 so its easy to walk along and view the sessions from different angles.

My preferred option would be on the outside of turns 4 and 5 as this general admission area continues on around turns 6, 7 and 8 with more easy viewing a short walk away at turn 9. 

There’s also more to do in this section of the track with plenty of amenities, food and beverages, merchandise and kids zone to make full use of.