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Olympic London - Things to Do during the Games 2012

Summer 2012 is a definitely unique time to travel in London, when all eyes will be on Britain's capital because of the Olympic Games 2012 or simply London 2012. Here's what to do and to see in London Olympics with a ticket and without it!

Olympic London- Tower Bridge with Olympic Rings - London, UK | Travel London Guide
Olympic London - Tower Bridge with Olypmic Rings | London, UKphoto by © David Iliff

For beginning of our travel plan, let's note what you should see in London 2012. First of all is the Olympic Games itself, which are: Opening / Closing Ceremony and the most interesting for you Sport events. And secondly, in the intervals between competitions, is the city of London with its the most famous symbols: Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and many others.

Opening Ceremony | London 2012 Olympics

Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony is the first main event you "must" to see. Lucky holders of the tickets to London Olympic Stadium (Olympic Park in Stratford) will share the ceremony with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and about 62,000 people inside the Stadium. Needless to say that the Olympics Opening Ceremony is a visit card of the host city and country. The ceremony entitled "Isles of Wonder" (designed by film director Danny Boyle) will lasts for 4 hours. So if you are going to be in the Stadium have a good dinner before!

Important parts of the Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony are: the Parade of Nations of more than 10,000 athletes from 204 nations; The Olympic Flag carrying and hoisting to the Olympic Hymn.
And one of the most awaited parts of any Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony is the way how the Olympic Flame will be lighted. The caldron design, its location and the persons lighting it are also the secrets.

London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony - London, UK | Travel London Guide
London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, Olympic Stadium | London, UK photo by © wiki

the Games | London 2012 Olympics

Sport competitions is what Olympic Games all about. London 2012 has a set of Olympic venues and locations for every sport. The majority of venues have been divided into three zones: the Olympic Zone, the River Zone and the Central Zone. Here's some main olympic venues:

The Olympic Stadium - Athletics;
The O2 Arena (North Greenwich Arena) - Gymnastics;
Aquatics Centre - Swimming and Diving;
Hyde Park - Marathons;
Wembley Stadium - Football final;
ExCeL- Boxing, Wrestling etc.

Whatever sport you like - Swimming, Diving, Athletics, Gymnastics, Sport games, Triathlon and so on - a ticket to qualifications/ semi finals / finals will satisfy your interest.

How to watch London Olympic Games without a ticket

If you don't have any stadium/centre/arena tickets, and you wanna be closer to the Events - then:

Four big outdoor Screens installed in Hyde Park Bandstand. For you: Sport Events (Live) and highlights, with live music performed daily (28 Jul–11 Aug; admission free).

Victoria Park will show the best of the Olympic Games on three giant Screens. Here you can watch Olympic events and participate in sports activities (27 Jul–18 Aug; admission free).

Participate at a live event while some of Olympic sport is on the Streets of London. The cycling Road Races, southwest city (28 and 29 July). Central London will be a great viewpoint for the Marathon (5 and 12 August) and Triathlon (4 and 7 August).

Things to do in London while and after London 2012 Olympics

Trafalgar Square in London, UK | Travel London Guide
Trafalgar Square in London, UKphoto by © wiki

Now, after the Opening Ceremony, and since we know the main venues for our favorite sports, is a time to Discover London. Here's Top 9 London Landmarks for newcomers.

Lets look in short which landmark you may be interested in:

First point is a free places to visit. London Museums are free of charge. Question? - Are they worth a visit? Because most museums is a boring time spending. My answer is yes! London museums maybe one of the best in the world. Pay your attention to two of them: British Museum and the Natural History Museum.

First one, British Museum, will introduce you to the ancient world of Egypt, Greece, Roman Impire as well as to Roman Britain, India, Africa and so on. Jump to metro and your destination for this museum is the Russell Sq. station.

Second one, the Natural History Museum, is like a Disney Land for kids and adults! Have you ever seen a huge Dinosaur Skeleton? If no, then go to the South Kensington metro station for your first meeting, right in the Central Hall of the main building!

Now, lets consider on some, i'd say Iconic landmarks of London so called the London symbols:

Buckingham Palace with its major ceremony - Changing of the Guard - is an acting residence of British monarchs since 1837. Go to the Victoria metro station to make a photo in front of Buckingham.

Then, on the Westminster metro station, you will observe the famous Palace of Westminster aka Houses of Parliament with its Big Ben Tower which also the Elizabeth Tower since 2012. You will remember this building from the Tea Boxes pictures.

Now, the next destinations might be the Charing Cross and Tower Hill metro stations with respectively available Trafalgar Square and the Tower Bridge.

Next point could be some important religious landmarks. Spectacular St Paul's Cathedral with its 528 steps to the roof (St Paul's metro station) and famous Westminster Abbey the place of coronation and burial site for British monarchs (Westminster metro station).

And finaly, for dessert, go to the London Eye. Paraphrasing one advertisement: maybe the most recognizable Ferris Wheel in the world :)

Closing Ceremony | London 2012 Olympics

Everything good has its end, and the London 2012 Olympic Games are going to be closed on 12 August 2012 in the Olympic Stadium after traditional Olympics Closing Ceremony. With duration of three hours, the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics entitled "A Symphony of British Music" expecting to be a great music show with a fireworks. Olimpics Closing Ceremony usually less official then the Opening Ceremony because is a place for relaxation and honoring the Athlets after the Games. The list of artists which will be performing at the Closing Ceremony: London Symphony Orchestra, One Direction, The Beatles, George Michael, Annie Lennox, Spice Girls, Queen, Take That and many others.

In the end of the Ceremony the Olympic Flag will be lowered and carried from the Stadium. The most secret part of the Closing Ceremony is the way how The Olympic Flame will be extinguished.

London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony - London 2012, UK | Travel London Guide
London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony | London, UKphoto by © wiki

"Good bye" The London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and "Hello" (in four years) The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics!

Traveler's NotesLocation

  • London is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
  • Language: English
  • Monetary unit: Pound sterling, £ (GBP)
  • Time Zone: UTC +0 (+1 in summer)
  • Phone code: +44 020
  • Climat: temperate oceanic climate
  • Nicknames: The big smoke, The great wen 
  • Useful phones: 112 and 999 - general emergencies

author: © Alexander Theocharis
legal notice: No part of this article may be reproduced without a written permission of the author.
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