Whether it’s for the tennis at Roland Garros or the impressive Stade de France, the country has some of the best sports venues for lovers of every sport. Keep reading to discover the most iconic sports venues in France.
Roland Garros is known around the world, even to people who don’t follow the tennis that takes place here every year. It’s an iconic stadium, built in 1928, which has recently been refurbished. It is best known for its 20 clay courts and it is in the 16th arrondissement (suburb) of Paris.
The Stade de France is the fifth-largest stadium in Europe. With over 80,000 seats, its atmosphere often reaches fever pitch. It is used for music concerts as well as big sporting events (rugby, football and athletics).
The Orange Vélodrome in Marseille is the pride and joy of sports lovers in this football and rugby-loving city. It can seat 67,000 people who file into their place of worship in the baby blue colours of l’OM, the local football team. In 2018, a new chic shopping centre opened next door, meaning that now, it really does offer something for everyone. People love its curved roof, designed like the waves on the beach outside.
A favourite among competitive swimmers and athletic types alike due to its Olympic standard 50-metre length, the Piscine Georges Vallerey regularly hosts high-profile championships. With a huge retractable arched sunroof, this pool is a sight for the eyes and its length will definitely test your swimming skills. It was built for the 1924 Summer Olympics and is undergoing refurbishment in 2018.
Le Parc des Princes is home to the beloved Parisian football team, PSG (Paris Saint-Germain). The site originally housed a cycling velodrome at the turn of the 20th century and was where the Tour de France finished. The current stadium was built in the seventies and until the Stade de France was built, Parc des Princes was where national games were played. It has been PSG’s ground since 1974 as well as providing a temporary home for touring rock concerts. Designed by architect Roger Taillibert, it is beloved for its brutalist architectural style.
The Hippodrome de Longchamp is in the Bois de Boulogne park in Paris’ 16th arrondissement (suburb) on the banks of the river Seine. It has been home to horse racing since the 1800s and racing even continued throughout World War II. It is notable for flat racing but has one famous hill that can really put thoroughbreds through their paces. Every year in October, it hosts the famous race – the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – which has taken place since Napoleon III was a visitor. In 2018, it reopened after extensive renovation work and the site has a distinctive windmill, which used to be part of a monastery.
The Stade Jean-Bouin can seat 20,000 spectators and is most commonly known as the home of the Stade Français rugby team. It was designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti who used cement to construct a building that looks like it has been intricately woven.
The Champs-Élysées is one of the most iconic avenues in the world, not just in France or in its capital, Paris. As well as being the place where many high-end shops have their flagship stores, it’s also a great place to finish major sporting events when the world is watching. Every year, it’s the endpoint for the Paris Marathon and the Tour de France.