London 2012 handbook
The London 2012 Olympic Games are just around the corner. The month of July will see the English capital busy with a highly diverse crowd of athletes and fans from around the world. It is expected that it will be sold about 10 million tickets, which were up for sale from early 2011.
Accademia Apulia UK has collated some useful information for those who wish to attend the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Games will begin on 27th July 2012 and will continue until 12th August 2012, whereas the Paralympic games will take place between 29th August 2012 and 2nd September 2012.
For a complete schedule of events, please refer to Organizing Committee's website.
The main areas involved, all within the "Greater London", are three, these are: the Olympic Park, located in the Stratford borough, the River and the Central Area.
There will be also additional sites located outside London.
How to reach London
The quickest way to get into London is definitely by plane. Easy Jet, Ryanair and British Airways may offer inexpensive flights. It’s better to book tickets in advance because the fares will be subject to tangible rises during the Olympic Games.
The three major airports in London are Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. They are all connected to central London through efficient transport services (buses, trains, underground).
Getting tickets for the Games
To purchase tickets is necessary to connect to the official website. Currently the sale is suspended, but we recommend you to look frequently at the official website because probably more tickets will be made available.
You can also refer to Thomas Cook and/or Jet Set Sports agencies, which offer tickets and packages including accommodation.
The sale and purchase of tickets by unauthorized sellers is strictly forbidden. The Organizing Committee provides a list of fraudulent sellers.
Transport in and around London will be extremely busy during the Games. We recommend you consult “Transport for London” website for any last minute changes of transport. Have a look also at the dedicated section on London 2012 website.
Several areas of the city will be closed to the traffic, so it will be convenient to rely on public transport services. Almost all Olympic sites can be reached by underground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and/or London Overground. The bus services will also be increased and will be provided special tickets for buses between 18th July and 14th September 2012.
London 2012 website provides useful tool that allows to plan your journey.
London offers a wide range of accommodation to suit any pocket. To book accommodation during the Games, please visit AccommodationLondon, Lastminute and the London’s section of Hostel World.
It is advisable to book early because the Olympics Games will lead to a surge in requests for accommodation. It is also advisable to remain in central London - Zone 1 and 2.
In England there is a single emergency number, 112. If you don’t speak English well, calling the 112 you can request to speak in your native language. To contact first-aid dial 999, while the Police answers both at the 999 and 112.
101 for City Police (Metropolitan Police Service).
For European citizens, it’s enough to carry the passport or an identity card. It is advisable to check before departure your document is undamaged or expired.
All non-European citizens will need a valid Visa, because the United Kingdom is not a member of Schengen area of free movement.
In the United Kingdom you are allowed to drive with a valid European driving license. For more information, please refer to: site of the Government.
If you are taking specific medications we advice you to bring them in sufficient amount(s). In case you run out of them, you must go to the nearest hospital's A&E.
The health situation in UK is generally good.
To obtain medical assistance is necessary to present the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). We do advise you to purchase a health insurance that may cover for medical expenses and possible repatriation.
Snatchings and robberies are common in London, so please do not carry around valuables nor do we advise you to leave them in your hotel room. It may be best to use a safe-deposit boxe available in your hotel. In the unfortunate event of theft, you must promptly report it to the police.
Should you be arrested, you will be provided with a lawyer and – if need be – an interpreter.
It is better to go to the Olympic events without carrying big bags or luggage. There is strict access control at the sites, that prevent you to bring in any large items. The official website of London 2012 offers a list of forbidden items.
* We thank the Italian General Consulate in London website, which 'inspired' this page.