Travelling the world gives us the chance to enjoy an array of amazing sights and wonderful experiences. Providing a unique opportunity to visit places and appreciate cultures that we’ve never come across before, it can nonetheless become repetitive for those who fail to plan ahead.

While it might seem as though drinking cocktails on sunlit terraces and sunbathing by the pool will never grow boring, there are so many opportunities and events to experience, from sporting tournaments to music festivals to the opera.

Among these is horse racing. Offering unparalleled thrills and a unique chance to witness these magnificent animals up close, it provides a universally exciting day out, especially when you get to enjoy it at one of these three phenomenal tracks.

Here’s where to travel if you want to see the sport at its finest.

Meydan, Dubai

Dubai is famed for its unparalleled luxury, and its Meydan Racecourse undoubtedly reinforces this stereotype. Home to the world’s first five-star trackside hotel, its attractions include everything from top-quality eateries through to an engrossing museum. Its grandstand alone is magnificent. Stretching for more than a mile, it has seating for up to 60,000, with the luckiest of this number able to watch the on-track action from the Meydan’s incredible rooftop infinity pool. Home to one of the highest prize cups out there, its Grade 1 Dubai World Cup is the jewel in its crown, and it’s well worth flying into the country solely to witness this single sporting event.

Ascot, England

While England may not be able to compete with Dubai in terms of sunshine and blue skies, it nonetheless has a racetrack to rival all others: the inimitable Ascot. With the mere name conjuring visions of elegant white fences and beautifully attired guests, the course is home to some of the most important events in the racing calendar.

Open since 1711, it is a favourite among royals and racegoers alike, thanks to its thrilling atmosphere and fantastic on-track action. Particularly spectacular during Royal Ascot – one of the highlights of the racing year – it attracts over 300,000 spectators in the space of a mere five days, with more than £5.5 million handed out as prize money. The ideal choice for those with an appreciation for all that makes horse racing special, it provides an unforgettable experience for those who attend. If you really want to make it a day to remember, try your luck by placing a bet, either at the track itself or via an online sports betting site like NetBet, which tend to offer significantly better odds than their more traditional counterparts.

Piazza del Campo, Italy

Piazza del Campo acts as the backdrop for a unique sporting event: the Palio di Siena, described by some as ‘the toughest horse race in the world’. Held twice a year in Italy, the festival takes place every July and August and dates back to medieval times, when its earliest competitors would ride buffalos around the track. Riders from 10 of the city’s 17 districts still compete against one another, riding bareback around the famous central piazza. The setting is spectacular, with the event drawing immense crowds. Offering an atmosphere unlike any other, it’s a spectacle that must be experienced in person to be fully appreciated, and those lucky enough to attend all report the same: that the sights, sounds, and excitement of the day can never be forgotten.

The pinnacle of the horse racing world, these racetracks offer everything from tradition to incredible luxury. Showcasing the sport at its finest, they need to be seen and experienced to be believed, so why not plan a special trip to witness these once-in-a-lifetime sporting events for yourself?