Earth : Europe : Britain and Ireland : United Kingdom : England : London : London 2012
This article is a travel topic
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 previously 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. InclusiveLondon.com is another offical 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.
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.
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.
During the Olympics, special parking and driving restrictions will be in place around most Olympic areas. Penalties for illegal parking will be increased dramtically during the Olympics.
The site will be home to Britain's tallest sculpture, ArcelorMittal Orbit, designed by artist Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond.
The venues include:
Some of the most popular shopping sites in London include:
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.