How to See the Olympic Games Without a Ticket

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While the lucky ones amongst us have Olympic tickets, the rest of us can still enjoy much of the Games-time fun. The Olympic Games is the world’s largest event and spills out far beyond set competitions in set venues at set times. Even without tickets, there are plenty of ways to get close to the action.

Road Events

Olympic events like the road cycling races on 28 and 29 July take place on public roads and are free to watch along most of the route – get there early to nab a good spot. The race travels through six London boroughs and starts at The Mall. The Triathlon takes place in Hyde Park on 4 and 7 August and the Marathon pass through the city’ streets on 5 and 12 August. Find out about more free Olympic events here.

BT London Live

Hyde Park and Victoria Park will be buzzing with activity when they become the London Live sites during the Olympics. Huge screens will show all the sporting action and there will be sports to try out and free gigs from the likes of Tom Jones, Alexandra Burke, The Feeling and Amy Macdonald. Not to mention Cadbury House which will see huge inflatable purple domes, hopefully filled with chocolate. For the Paralympic Games, London Live will shift to Trafalgar Square.

Olympic Torch Relay

The Olympic torch will be making its way around London for a week from 21 July, and you can line the streets to soak up the atmosphere and cheer it on its way to the Olympic Stadium. Read our post about where to see the torch in London to make your plans.

A Summer Like No Other

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is presenting a packed schedule of events to celebrate 2012, most of them free. WorldPride 2012 kicks off on 28 June, bringing a two-week party in celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. You can develop a taste for opera at BP Summer Big Screens, take a stroll along some of London’s most scenic streets with free Discovery Trails and cheer the parade of Olympic and Paralympic athletes through central London on 10 September.

London 2012 Festival

The festival is a 12-week extravaganza marking the climax of the Cultural Olympiad (a sort of arty version of the Olympics) and is on now until 9 September.  The variety is endless – there are portraits of athletes and Stratford residents at the BT Road to 2012 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, an Indian take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Noel Coward Theatre and a screening of the classic sporting movie Chariots of Fire at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square.


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