Desperate for a citybreak? You don’t have to go far to get the “campagne” feeling. Just outside of Paris, on the border with Auteuil, you’ll find the Hippodrome. A real country side experience with the Eiffeltower in the backyard. Perfect for a weekend outing, especially when it’s nice weather.
One of the annual races is the Grand Steeple Chase of Paris on the 18th of May. Jockeys and horses are being challenged with crazy obstacles. Today we watched 8 short races during which between 11 and 23 (!) obstacles had to be jumped.
To experience the ambiance to the fullest, take a chance and gamble on the horses. You can place bets from 2 euros upwards and the screens at the counters inform you which horses have the best odds. It’s very easy and makes the race more fun! From our own experience, it is very exciting to see your favourite finish (in front of course!). And if you play with a bit common sense you can easily win some money or break even at the end of the day. Or you do what we did: in a winning mood spend all your money on a glass of champagne in the restaurant.
You can dress up or down, the variety of people attending the race is quite interesting from an anthropological standpoint. The horseowners and their families have their own stand and dress in beautiful clothing, including hats (or something that should pass as a hat). Then you have the people who actually do all the work – jockeys, stable boys etc. Finally, there are also some serious gamblers present of course, looking to make a fortune. But the majority is just people looking for a change of scenery, dressed normal or nice, whatever they fancy.
As you can see from the pictures the view is amazing (fyi, the big balloon on the horizon on the right measures the air quality of Paris). So go check it out for yourself! We bought our tickets on line.
How to get there
You can take a Velib or Autolib but the Hippodrome is also very easy to reach by metro:
Line 10 to Boulogne and stop at Porte d’Auteuil