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Past events/London 2012: This event has closed and is no longer open to the public. The next Olympic Summer Games was held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The London article provides a more comprehensive guide to those visiting the city.

The Games of the XXX Olympiad, the Summer Olympic Games of 2012 [1], were based in London, with selected events held throughout the United Kingdom. The official 16 days of the games were July 27 through August 12, though some events occurred before the official opening ceremonies.

The games were followed two weeks later with the Summer Paralympic Games, August 29 through September 9. Most of the paralympic events were held in the same Olympic venues.

This was the third time that London has been an Olympic City, having hosted the games in 1908 and 1948.



It is estimated that around 8 million tickets will be available for the Olympic Games, and 1.5 million tickets for the Paralympic Games. Initial ticket sales ran from 15 March 2011 to 26 April 2011 through the official London 2012 website. The second round of ticket sales was between 23 June and 3 July 2011, and priority was given to those who were unsuccessful in the first allocation process.

The final ticket sales started on 11 May 2012. As of June 2012, remaining tickets for Archery, Beach Volleyball, Taekwondo and Volleyball events are still freely available via the Official London 2012 ticket portal, with adult prices starting at £15 ($24/€19). Tickets are best bought through the official site, as those from unlicensed vendors carry no guarantee of arrival and may be refused on entry to Olympic events.


It's heavily advised to plan your stay and book early.

British travel company Thomas Cook are the official accommodation partner for the Olympic games, and booking can be made through their dedicated London 2012 site [2]. is another official platform for renting accommodation in the city, as well as providing listings of helpful information such as transport links, restaurants, police stations and accessible healthcare.

Hotels are the default choice for most tourists, but many savvy London citizens are renting their properties to visitors over the Olympic period - and this option can provide a more personal and homely experience than a room in a large hotel.

Finding one of these properties is more nuanced: in many cases you can find and contact property owners directly through informal adverts placed on listings sites like Gumtree and Craigslist but there are also agencies that act as middle-men between property owners and visitors to offer Olympic rentals, such as Hampton International.

It’s ideal to be located within easy reach of East London for the Olympic Park but many visitors - particularly visitors who’re not familiar with the area - may be unaware of the Olympic accommodation options outside London that still offer easy access in barely over an hour. And these options can be more affordable than premium-priced London counterparts.

Brighton, for example, offers a seaside situ on the south coast, a vibrant local culture and access to central London within under an hour on the fastest rail connections. And plenty of rooms are guaranteed to be available - some with a sea view. Luton and Gillingham also provide alternative locations for those looking to stay outside the (rather expensive) capital for the games.

Get in

General information about traveling to London appears in the London article. All types of transportation, including trains, buses, air flights, and cruiseships will be adding services during the Olympic period to meet the expected heavy demand.

By rail

By road

By bus

Get around

General information about getting around London appears in the London article. Information about special services designed for the Olymnpic period will appear here. Additional trains and buses will be available to transport visitors between venues.

The Olympic organizers have a goal of 100 percent of visitors to the Olympic Park arriving either by public transportation or on foot. To achieve this goal, parking lots for visitors' cars will be substantial distances away from the Park.

By rail

By road

During the Olympics, special parking and driving restrictions will be in place around most Olympic areas. Penalties for illegal parking will be increased dramatically during the Olympics.

By bus


The site will be home to Britain's tallest sculpture, ArcelorMittal Orbit, designed by artist Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond.


The events will be in several cities, from Glasgow's Hampden Park in the north to Portland Harbour in the south.

The venues include:

  • All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club: Wimbledon. Tennis.
  • Aquatics Centre: Olympic Park, London. Diving, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Modern Pentathlon.
  • Basketball Arena: Olympic Park, London. Basketball, Handball.
  • BMX Circuit: Velopark, Olympic Park, London. BMX Cycling.
  • City of Coventry Stadium (also known as the Ricoh Arena): Coventry. Football (soccer).
  • Earls Court: London. Volleyball.
  • Eton's Dorney Lake: Dorney. Rowing, Canoe Sprint.
  • Eton Manor: Olympic Park, London. Wheelchair Tennis.
  • ExCeL: London. Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Wrestling.
  • Greenwich Park: London. Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, Modern Pentathlon.
  • Hadleigh Farm: Essex. Mountain Bike.
  • Hampden Park: Glasgow, Scotland. Football (soccer).
  • Handball Arena: Olympic Park, London. Handball, Goalball, Modern Pentathlon.
  • Hockey Centre: Olympic Park, London. Hockey.
  • Horse Guards Parade: London. Beach Volleyball.
  • Hyde Park: London. Triathlon, 10k Open Water Swim.
  • IBC/MPC: Olympic Park, London. Press and broadcast center.
  • Lee Valley White Water Centre: Hertfordshire. Canoe Slalom.
  • Lord's Cricket Ground: London. Archery.
  • Millennium Stadium: Cardiff, Wales. Football (soccer).
  • North Greenwich Arena (also known as the O2 arena (formerly the Millennium Dome): London. Artistic Gymnastics, Trampoline, Basketball, Wheelchair Basketball.
  • Old Trafford: Manchester. Football (soccer).
  • Olympic Marathon Course: London. Marathon.
  • Olympic Stadium: Olympic Park, London. Athletics, featuring Running, Jumping, Throwing and combined events.
  • Olympic Village: Olympic Park, London. Athlete quarters.
  • Regent’s Park: London. Road Cycling.
  • Royal Artillery Barracks: London. Shooting.
  • St James' Park: Newcastle upon Tyne. Football (soccer).
  • Velodrome: Velopark, Olympic Park, London. Track Cycling.
  • Water Polo Arena: Olympic Park, London. Water Polo.
  • Wembley Arena: London. Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics.
  • Wembley Stadium: London. Football (soccer).
  • Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour: Dorset. Sailing.



Some of the most popular shopping sites in London include:

  • Bond Street
  • Covent Garden
  • Dover Street Market
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • John Lewis
  • Harrods
  • Harvey Nichols
  • House of Fraser
  • Liberty
  • Lillywhites
  • Oxford Street
  • Peter Jones
  • Picadilly Circus
  • Regent Street
  • Selfridges
  • Soho and Chinatown
  • Topshop
  • Wesffield London
  • Westfield Stratford City
  • Wolf & Badger



  • Forman's Riviera, Stour Road, London E3 2NT. 11.30am - The hottest party during the London Olympics. Located just 100 metres from the Victoria Gate to the Olympic Park, Forman's Riviera is in the perfect position to meet friends and family, clients and business partners from all around the world. Visit before or after attending the Games, or just come to Forman's to soak up the atmosphere of this once in a generation event. Suites are available for exclusive hire for you to create your own branded space with top notch catering designed to your specification; Beach Club tickets allow access for individuals. Palm trees and beach volleyball, cocktails at our pop-up Maddox Club beach bar - the excitement and Glitz of Cannes comes to London 2012. Added to that, guests can arrive by boat from Central London or be dropped off outside the door. You won't have to worry about the transport. This is where the athletes will be celebrating their medal wins and playing beach volleyball... with you. £25.


London has hundreds of options for accommodation to suit all budgets from hostels through historic bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), mainstream chain hotels and apartments all the way to some of the most exclusive luxury hotels in the world such as The Savoy, The Ritz and Claridges where a stay in a top suite will cost upwards of £1,000 per night.

In general, most people tend to stay within "Zone 1" of the underground, however do your research carefully - sometimes being that extra five minutes away from a station can make the difference in cost and quality and local food and drinking options. In any case, you can always catch a bus anyway - by far the best way to see the city and get about generally.

However, the Olympics are having a strong effect in the accommodation environment in London. Rooms are filling up very quickly, prices are going up permanently, and many Londoners are leaving their homes to rent them during the Games. Industry experts say rental prices have rocketed fivefold as spectators from more than 200 countries descend on London to watch their sporting heroes in action.

Since London was confirmed as the Olympic host, many websites have sprung up offering owners the chance to rent out their homes. Additionall, hotels, hotels, and accommodation companies such as The Games Accommodation also launched their specialized websites or minisite such as just targeting tourists and athletes coming for the Olympics.

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