Finding a horse race in the Paris region is relatively easy. It is searching the websites that takes some patience. Racecourses in France. I am not certain whether the hippodromes are “accessible” for those with different abilities.
Auteuil (Metro: Porte d’Auteuil)
From Gare du Nord SNCF main lines (25 minutes) and leave hourly, get off at “Chantilly-Gouvieux” www.voyages-sncf.com
or RER line D (45 minutes), get off at “Chantilly-Gouvieux” www.transilien.com
(I found an Australian website: Rome2Rio with transportation information, which may be helpful.)
Visit the France Galop home page (available in English) and follow the link for “Attend the races”. On the toolbar, click on “Discover the racecourses”. From the drop down menu search each course. If any upcoming races are scheduled, you will see on the page a box labeled “Races to come”. For more information, look in the box labeled “Useful information” for pricing, child care, access, itinerary, food, etc.
Use the SNCF travel page in English and type in Paris – Deauville (two hour ride).
Trains leave from Gare Saint-Lazare. Buses leave from Place de Clichy at 8 am (call 01 46 22 33 80 for more information). (source: Turfoo.fr)
Longchamp is accessible by metro, but is closed for renovation.
Maisons-Lafitte is only accessible by car.
Take either bus number 244 from Porte Maillot (stop at “Val d’Or”), line 360 from la Défense, line 467 from Porte de Saint-Cloud or line 160 from Pont de Sèvres).
By train, leave from Gare Saint-Lazare (stop Saint-Cloud or Val d’Or”).
With the RER, use tramway line T2 (stop Suresnes Longchamp) and then bus number 244.
Free buses (navettes gratuites) leave from Porte Maillot (stop Gare du Tramway Line T2) then buss 244. (source: http://www.turfoo.fr/hippodromes/saint-cloud/)
Dimanches au Galop (Sunday at the races)
A yearly event at the Paris racetracks is the “Dimanches au Galop” between the last Sunday in March and the eight Sundays during April and May. It gives the Parisians a chance to rediscover their hippodromes and enjoy a family day.
You can picnic inside the racing green or within the park. Guided tours – in English and French show you how to bet. Regularly scheduled tours take you behind the scenes of the race track.
There are plenty of activities for the children (carousel, games, seen the stables, etc.) You can watch the parade of horses, the jockeys being weighed — get an inside view of the racetrack.
During one season over 85,000 adults and close to 12,000 children participated at the events. It’s a great day for the friends and family.
Entrance, parking, shuttle buses, everything is free — except your bets! but you can win; I speak from experience!
The Longchamp racecourse Web site has a guide to the Longchamp (events, layout, how to get there – the shuttle service, public transport. Even though it is referring to l’Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barrière race, this information will be helpful for your Sunday “Dimanches au Galop”.
Hippodromes/Race courses in the Paris region:
Auteuil / Butte Mortmart
One of my readers, Emma, sent this fantastic text of her experience this year:
“Ladies could get in free if they wore a hat. You can buy tickets on the door. They only have standard kiosks to bet at (no tic tac toe men), you have to queue for some time to bet each race so in the end we bet on all races in one go.
There are English betting companies there but you can only use them if you are a member (i.e. Ladbrokes or Tote). Most of the staff speak good English. There aren’t enough places to sit so for older members of the group it was tough going. The parking is cheap (about 2 Euros) and very well organised.
There is a little kiddie train that takes you from where you park to the entrance. From where you watch the races it’s quite a trek to get to the parade ring, but what does happen is that when the race is finished the horses have to walk past where the crowds are so you get to see them all again, and the winning horse gets accompanied by a woman riding side saddle and she is all dressed up.
The atmosphere is absolutely amazing, they play triumphant music at the start of the races and it is really fantastic, everyone is in a very good mood and I saw no signs of trouble from anyone, it was very family orientated. I will probably go again next year it was a fantastic experience“.
Visit the Longchamp Web site for up to the date information about other races, history, visiting Longchamp, a photo gallery, etc.
Brief history of l’Arc de Triomphe race
“…The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was first run at Longchamp racecourse on Sunday October 3rd 1920. The first horse across the line was Comrade, who picked up FF150,000; second was King’s Cross, winning FF18,000, and Pleurs was third, winning FF10,000. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barrière offers prize-money of 2 million euros including 1,142,800 euros to the winner. The Arc weekend is Europe’s biggest two-day combined purse, with total prize money of 4.5 million euros on offer. The Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe has been run 84 times since 1920. Sunday 1st October 2006 will herald the 85th running of what is generally considered to be the world’s greatest horserace…“–from the Longchamp website.
The following information is subject to change. Check the France Galop Web site for up-to-date information.
HIPPODROME DE VINCENNES
2 route de la Ferme Tel
+33 (0)1 49 77 17 17
HIPPODROME DE LONGCHAMP
Bois de Boulogne route des Tribunes
+33 (0)1 44 30 75 00
Tel +33 (0)821 213 213 or +33 (0)825 03 01 01 (groups)
LES DIMANCHES AU GALOP
Hippodrome de Longchamp
Tel +33 (0)821 213 213 held in April and May every year: open from 12 p.m.; events begin at 1.30 p.m. Free admission and access to attractions
Details of racecourses.
To find out about the horse races in Paris, go to the source. Readers ask similar questions every year:
“trying to find out which Horse Racing track is running during that time. I have found mixed information.”
The most up-to-date way to find out the horse races in Paris is through the France-Galop Web site. Click on the flag in the upper right-hand corner to reach the pages in English.
You will discover sections on Sunday activities (Dimanches), what to do with your family, about the six major race courses in and around Paris, the calendar, where to picnic, etc.
In addition, the France-Galop site covers the other racecourses in and around Paris and in France. Here is a list of some ideas: Auteuil, Chantilly, Deauville, Longchamp, Maisons-Laffitte, Saint-Cloud, and the regional racecourses in France
Read about the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in “Go to the horseraces in Paris“.