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An Olympic holiday on a budget

If like millions you’re planning to tune in to the Olympic and Paralympic Games coverage this summer, why not go one better and visit London to soak up the atmosphere first hand? One of the most culturally diverse and highly regarded cities in Europe, if ever you needed one, there is no better excuse or occasion to book a cheap flight to the British capital. 

London was recently named the best city in the world by the world's largest travel advice website, and for good reason. Offering a heady combination of theatre, world-class art, fine dining and plenty more besides, London is one of the most enigmatic and bustling cities you’re likely to come across. Find things to do and tours in London at our website.

While accommodation has been extortionately priced ahead of the Games, there are some deals to be had if you do your research. A handy tip is to look for hostels and bed and breakfasts offering last-minute deals for one room here and another there, and, for those who are as adventurous as they are savvy, there will be lots of university accommodation buildings and halls of residences up for grabs. 

Plus, now is a great time to book those cheap flights to London. Depending on where you’re flying from there are plenty of bargains to be had, especially if you look into travelling with a budget airline. 

Usually something that happens to a city once in its inhabitant’s lifetime, the London 2012 Olympics is cause for great celebration, and will see seven years of planning, come to fruition in spectacular style. Early arrivals will discover that a buzz is already building across the country now that the final stage of the Olympic Torch Relay, which will pass through Greater London and end at the Olympic Stadium between 21 – 27 July, is underway.

Those with an artistic eye will be eagerly awaiting the Games opening ceremony, directed by Oscar and BAFTA award-winning director Danny Boyle. Rumoured to feature British cinema’s longest-serving special agent, 007, expect to see James Bond and special appearances from The Queen among others. 

If you’ve missed out on the ticketing ballots for the events themselves, taking place between 27 July – 12 August and 29 August – 9 September, don’t be put off making the trip. Many pubs across the country will be broadcasting the heats and highlights, in addition to free live public screens at Hyde Park and Victoria Park, moving to Trafalgar Square during September.  

With a free initiative called London Live running alongside the Olympics, aiming to bring the games closer to those in London at the time, expect to stumble across lots of events including live music performances, art shows and sports participation, to take place on each day of the games until midnight. 

For holiday-makers in the capital for the duration of the games, a must-see will be the spectacular ‘Best of British’ concert held in Hyde Park to mark the closing ceremony on 12 August, which will see acts from Blur and New Order to The Specials closing, what is hoped to be, the most fantastic and greenest Olympic event in history. 

However, perhaps the greatest culmination of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad will be the biggest festival the UK has ever seen: the London 2012 Festival takes place between 21 June – 9 September and will feature over 12,000 events and performances. From dance shows and public readings to carnivals and workshops, the festival is guaranteed to cater for all tastes and interests. 

For those who are travelling from further-a-field, why not make the most of your trip and take in other parts of the British Isles, and see what Olympic themed events are taking place across the nation? With reasonably priced flights to Dublin, Edinburgh or Cardiff, why not seize the opportunity?

With so much to see and do for free, besides watching the sporting action, you’ll never want to leave the greatest metropolis in the world. 

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