I see inquiries all the time on various internet forums and people constantly ask me in person about wanting to come visit the Isle of Man during the world renowned TT races. Spectating the TT races is not something that can be described, it must be experienced. Just as the racers experience riding on the greatest "track" on the planet, spectators also enjoy the best motorcycle enthusiasts atmosphere that can be found anywhere. How many places can you literally sit a few feet away from a Superbike traveling at close to 200 mph, not to mention on public roads?!?
This page on my site has been created to help those interested in coming to spectate these races. I am very passionate about the TT and love to help spread the word and create more awareness, not to mention more raving fans, of the TT here in the USA as well as throughout the rest of the world.
If you are able to attend the TT please stop by to visit me as I hope to continue to compete their for years to come!
What are the dates for the Isle of Man TT races?
The TT lasts for 2 weeks, one week of practice and one week of racing, from the last week in May to the first week in June.
When should I start planning for my trip to watch the TT races?
Ideally, you should start planning for a trip to spectate at the TT during the Fall of the year prior. Hotels and homestays book up fast!
How do I get to the Isle of Man?
You can get to the Isle of Man in one of two ways. Fly from your airport at home to either Ireland or the UK and then take a ferry over with The Steam-Packet ferry company. You can also book a flight straight to the Isle of Man at Ronaldsway Airport. I personally recommend the ferry for the "full experience" but flying straight to the Isle of Man can be just as lovely.
How do I find a hotel or homestay and what is the average cost?
Hotels are easily found on travel websites. Homestays can be found in the Accommodation forum of the TT website as well as through various other sites easily found through a Google search. Feel free to contact me for other resources as well if you cannot find what you are looking for here. Average cost is about $60-70/night or more after the currency conversion for a homestay, hotels will vary but are almost always more expensive. In general, the closer you stay to Douglas the more expensive it will be BUT this is where the most activity is in terms of the paddock and nightlife.
Are there any other options for accommodation?
Yes, you can camp at various areas on the island for a reasonable price. I have never personally done this but it is one way to experience the TT in all its glory, on a budget!
Does it cost any money to spectate or enter the paddock?
No, spectating at the TT races is free unless you want to watch from of a few of the more popular areas where the TT organizers have constructed grandstands, including the start/finish line and pit lane. It does not cost anything to enter the paddock and see the teams up close.
Where can I spectate?
You can spectate at literally almost anywhere on the TT course which makes it so unique. Everyone has their own favorite spots. Some people like to see the insane high speed areas, others like to see the slower turns and watch the riders up close, and many enjoy the parts where the competitors get a bit, umm, airborne!
How long should I stay, the whole 2 weeks or less?
This is entirely up to you. I will say that the island is a bit quieter during practice week but this is a good time to figure out the best spectating spots as well as getting around to see other sights on the island besides the racing. If you can only come during one week be sure to come during race week as this is when the island is the busiest and has many activities going on for spectators.
What is the approximate cost for a trip like this?
For someone coming to spectate at the TT from the USA you are looking at around $3000 which includes all of your travel and a budget for food and beer. Obviously this is an estimate and the cost could be slightly lower or a lot higher!
I want to ride a motorbike on the island or drive a car so I can go around the TT course, is this possible?
You can rent a car easily on the Isle of Man, just be sure to book in advance! You do not need an international drivers license to drive there but you need to remember to stay on the "wrong" side of the road! Renting and riding a motorbike is not as easily done. I have heard of people renting from places in the UK or Ireland and then taking them over via the ferry, however most rental places would not allow this due to the nature of riding on the roads during the TT fortnight. Many street riders want to experience the TT course but try to do so at unsafe speeds which is never a good thing...
What else is there to do on the Isle of Man besides watch the TT races?
The Isle of Man has so much to offer besides the TT races (however I would recommend them over anything else!). You can see the Laxey Wheel or visit the Calf of Man to eat at a restaurant and watch seals swim in the water below. You can also visit one of many castles located on the island which is highly recommended and they are fairly cheap to gain entry as well. There is also the amazing nightlife during the TT fortnight in Douglas which you may even see some of your favorite TT stars out and about with their teams enjoying a meal or a pint. A must visit is the popular Bushy's beer tent on the Promenade in Douglas at night.
Are the people on the island friendly?
The residents on the Isle of Man are some of the most welcoming people in world, especially if your a motorcycle enthusiast. The atmosphere on the island during the TT races cannot be matched by any other racing event on Earth and it has a bit of a magical feel to it while you are there.
How awesome are the TT races?
You will remember your trip to spectate the TT races for the rest of your life, I guarantee it. The only problem is, you will want to keep coming back!