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When the track is open you just need to drive to the entrance, buy your tickets at the ticket office (or through the app - details on prices page, and drive onto the Nürburgring circuit itself. It's that simple. The entrance is on the west side of the main straight, just to the south of Nürburg. See the map.
Nüburgring Calendar: Touristenfahrten & trackdays
Nordschleife and GP TrackMotorcycle only Touristenfahrten
Over the years many people have called for cars and bikes to be separated on Touristenfahrten and many bikers have stopped riding on public days due to the dangers of either being hit by a car or slipping on oil or fluids dropped from a vehicle. There were four bike-only evenings in 2014 but none since that I am aware of, and there don't appear to be any planned for 2019.
Other events at the Nürburgring
If there is an event happening at the Nürburgring when you want to go, it could either be on the Nordschleife (where Touristenfahrten happens), or the Grand Prix track, or both. Some events take place on the morning or afternoon only, but you should bear in mind that access to either track will be limited, and hotels in the area might get booked out far in advance.
You can find out more about these events by visiting the official site.
Private track days at the Nürburgring
Private track days are where the Ring is closed to the direct public and open only to those who have pre-registered. The benefits of driving the Nordschleife on a closed track day are that there will be fewer cars, the standard of driving (should) be higher than on Touristenfahrten days, instruction is available and encouraged, and there is no third party liability for UK drivers (see Insurance). Sometimes the track is opened for Touristenfahrten in the evening after the track day.
Organisers vary in how they operate the day in terms of format (Open pitlane or sessions), type of car (Road legal, race cars, or both) and over taking rules.
More details of some organisers such as Destination Nürburgring, Circuit Days and RSRNurburg can also be found on the Organised Tours page
The Nürburgring can be hired at short notice by manufacturers or track day organisers, and the track
can open and close at very short notice - although the managers have said this year they will try to avoid this. However, you have to accept that there is a risk the Ring may be closed when you get there. You can minimize the risk by checking the Ring's official Touristenfahrten calendar:
The Nürburgring trackside office has the most up to date information on track opening times. The number is +49 2691 302 630, but don't expect them to speak English.
(Formerly VLN) There are ten four hour races a year in this endurance series held on the "Gesamtstrecke - a combined Nordschleife and (shortened) GP track. Entrants range from compacts and classics to fully developed race cars. Viewing access to most of the Nordschleife is free (Parking is charged at Brünnchen parking lot and select other locations) and Grandstand tickets on the GP Track are €18, which including access to the paddock. VIP Tickets including hospitality box access starts from around €169. Most races start Saturday 12pm and there is usually an evening Touristenfahrten after the race finishes at 4pm. It's well worth going to see if it coincides with your visit and is rarely crowded around the track.
RCN is apparently the oldest touring car race series in Germany. It is described as grassroots motorsport so expect familiar cars but not the full race cars of the VLN. Viewing around the Nordschleife is free for spectators.