Anticipation is rapidly growing in London as we prepare to play host not only to the world’s most important sporting event, but also to the visitors from every continent who will join us to celebrate the Olympics. The Games will provide visitors with the chance to see London as they have never seen it before; we will be in the midst of a fortnight-long, city-wide celebration. What better time could there possibly be to visit the city?
However, if you are travelling to London from Central or South America, you couldn’t be blamed for feeling a little daunted by the prospect. To help you make the most of London during the Olympics, here is a little bit of insider’s knowledge to help you get the best out of your stay.
Discover East London.
The Olympic Park is located in Stratford in East London, giving you the perfect excuse to explore this colourful and historic area. A good starting point is Spitalfields Market, which makes for a perfect morning excursion. The oldest market in London, it boasts a glorious glass ceiling and is full of stalls spilling with kitsch homemade goods andvintage delights. When you’ve worked up an appetite browsing the stalls, the myriad cafes and restaurants are sure to satiate the appetite of even the most discerning foodie. A favourite for ‘good old fish and chips’ is Poppies, which has a fun 50’s vibe complete with a jukebox. Venturing further east still, you can explore Brick Lane and its vibrant Bengali culture.
Get involved in the Olympic festivities (even without tickets).
Even if you haven’t managed to obtain tickets for any Olympic events, don’t feel that you will be missing out. Instead head to one of London’s loveliest open spaces including Victoria Park, Hyde Park, Potters Fields and Trafalgar Square, where live Olympic screenings will be taking place. The atmosphere is sure to be electric, so take along a picnic and soak up the sun whilst watching the action. If you are looking to get a good dose of culture as well as sports, then the ‘River of Music’ won’t disappoint. It is an entire weekend of free music preceding the Opening Ceremony, with events at popular landmarks along the River Thames, including Trafalgar Square and the Tower of London. Major stars and home-grown talents will be performing, home with all Olympic and Paralympic nations being represented.
Know where to stay.
The Olympic period is a difficult one in terms of accommodation; with millions of visitors to the capital hotel rooms are hard to get hold of. With vacation rentals from onefinestay you can stay in a distinctive private home whilst the owner is out of town; as you have the entire home at your disposal onefinestay a great choice for families, and can offer better value than hotel rooms.
Also check local hostels, such as the YHA who may have accommodation available in time for the games, which may leave you some extra money for entertainment and other travelling expenses.