Over the last couple of years, I’ve gotten into Formula 1 and after a trip to Budapest last year to watch the Hungary GP, I was even more hooked. My boyfriend, Haydn, is a Max Verstappen fan so for his Christmas present in 2021 I got us weekend tickets to the RedBull Ring for the 2022 GP. I picked seats in the RedBull Grandstands so we could soak up the atmosphere – it did not disappoint.
To really make the most out of the weekend I took a couple of days off work to make a long weekend of our time in Austria. This meant Haydn and I had a couple of days to explore Vienna before driving to Wiez, where we stayed over the race weekend.
Day 1 – Wednesday 6th July
The first day was all sunshine and blue skies so Haydn and I wanted to make the most of the great weather and explore the city. We headed toward one of the main tourist attractions in Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral. One of the key things that makes this Cathedral unique is the tiled roof which you can see up close from the North Tower. I had to grab some cash out in order to go up the tower, it costs €6 for an adult and I think it’s worth it! You can spend as long as you like at the top of the tower and not only is the tiled roof beautiful, but the views are amazing too!
After finishing in the Cathedral Haydn and I continued to explore some of the streets surrounding the main center of Vienna. One of the buildings I liked the most was St. Peter’s Catholic Church, it has a beautiful domed roof and the teal colour stands out vibrantly against the rest of the building.
Once we were starting to get hungry we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then went back to our hotel as we knew there was a rooftop bar we wanted to go up to. We booked a room at the Raddison Red hotel which is located in the second district. As a treat, Haydn and I even decided to upgrade our room to have a river view since it was cheap enough to do and we *think* this will be our last holiday together for the year. The rooftop bar had a nice vibe, we weren’t able to get a table outside but we got a comfy sofa inside. As the sun was setting we were able to stand outside in a quiet spot to take in the view. It was a really chilled way to end our first day and I felt as though we’d already seen some of the key things on my sightseeing list.
Day 2 – Thursday 7th July
Unfortunately, the weather turned a little on the second day, it was still warm but there was quite a breeze and the sky was covered in clouds. We decided to head over to Schönbrunn Palace, which is a World Heritage site that sits on 160 hectares of land. The grounds are beautiful with so many hidden gems tucked all over the place, you could spend most of the day just wandering around and exploring all the little paths and trails if you wanted to.
I particularly liked all the flowers located directly behind the back of the Palace. The gardens were so pretty and there was even a fountain at end of that section of the garden.
After we had finished exploring the Palace we used the metro system to get to and from the centre of Vienna. We agreed on a stop along on route back in order to get something to eat and have another little explore. For lunch, we went to a burrito bar which is one of our favourite things to eat and it was delicious! Haydn and I had lunch near and shopping centre and as the weather was still a little cold I decided to grab a cardigan to have another layer. then we headed back to the main centre and went down some of the streets we hadn’t seen before. This led us to the Hofburg which is a former principal imperial palace.
After sunset, Haydn and I continued to explore the city and found a nice spot in front of Wiener Staatsballett which has ballet shows on throughout the year. It was a really cool piece of architecture and looked so beautiful in the twilight.
Day 3 – Friday 8th July
A big part of our trip was, of course, the Formula 1 weekend, luckily for us, the event at the Red Bull Ring included a Sprint Race – which meant qualifying on Friday and even more racing over the weekend. In order to not miss any of it, we decided to rent a car ourselves and get a hotel about an hour away from the track in Weiz, the more popular town to stay in over the racing weekend is Graz. On Friday morning we went to the car rental place and picked up our vehicle. Although I have a driving licence, I only passed back in December 2021 so we agreed Haydn would do the driving since he has more experience.
We drove straight to the track and found it relatively easy to get parked up and head to the track – Friday was actually the worst day in terms of traffic into and out of the ring for us. We had seats in the Red Bull Grandstands which were almost the furthest away from where we were parking our car each day. It took about 45 minutes to get from the car to our seats but it was all part of the experience. On the first day I showed my support for McLaren, my favourite two teams are Red Bull and McLaren and I wanted to join the orange army for the rest of the weekend… But Friday was all about McLaren!
Day 4 – Saturday 9th July & Day 5 – Sunday 10th July
On the drive to the track on Saturday I was keen to stop at one of the viewpoints we spotted in the car whilst driving to the hotel the night before. I have no idea where this was but there were some really scenic mountains all around, which is basically the description I could use for everywhere drove in Austria – it’s such a beautiful country.
The atmosphere at the track all weekend was incredible and we both really enjoyed ourselves. Being a part of the orange army was great and we were able to see so much of the track from our seats that we felt really involved all the way through. I was also very happy to have seen more of Lando race as the previous year we watched the Hungarian GP where Lando was out early in the race.
One of my favourite things about watching the race at Red Bull ring was the sheer amount of support for Max and Sergio, throughout the race so many orange flares were set off. At the end of the race with a Red Bull driver on the podium a sea of orange smoke literally took over the entire circuit – it was unreal. I loved it!
We stayed until the end of the race and then drove back to Vienna to drop the car back. We had one more night in the city but were too tired to go anywhere so had an earlyish night still buzzing from the weekend full of racing!
Day 6 – Monday 11th July
We had an afternoon flight back to the UK which meant we were able to take an easy morning and enjoy some more of Vienna. We had breakfast, got a coffee and just strolled around Vienna. Once we got back to Danube river we relaxed on some wooden loungers that are built into one of the viewing platforms and just soaked up some sunshine and enjoyed the peacefulness. Since we had our backpacks with us from checking out of the hotel we didn’t want to move too far as they were quite heavy. Relaxing for the last hour or so and just enjoying each other’s company was the perfect way to end our trip.