The population of London is expected to hit a record high during the Olympics as hundreds of thousands of people descend upon the city from all over Europe and the world. Already known as a cosmopolitan city, the capital will truly became a melting pot of culture, race, and diversity during the Olympics. In part I of our Dos and Don’ts in London during the Olympics, we shared some tips on how to get around London during this peak period. For part II, we will be discussing what to watch out for during your visit to London for the quadrennial games.
1) If you are planning to head to the bars and pubs to celebrate your country’s victory in the Olympic Games, do not stay out too late in less crowded areas outside Central London. Its advisable going to popular and crowded late night spots such as the West End where you can still see the streets bustling with party-goers even at 4am. Generally, the South and East suburban areas in London, notably Brixton and Hackney, are considered unsafe. Therefore, it is advisable to be more cautious and if possible avoid such spots late at night.
2) Do not take illegal minicabs in London. Some areas in London are not serviced as well by black cabs, particularly late at night. This has resulted in illegal minicab activity in certain areas. The illegal minicab drivers have no private hire license and these drivers tout for business off the streets. If you are approached by them on the streets in the midnight, it is best to walk away and find alternative transport to get back to your hotel. Its better taking a black cab, booking a licensed minicab by telephone, or taking a night bus.
3) If you wish to avoid the massive crowds, try not to travel to the Central London and East London where majority of the Olympic sporting events are held. As many people will be heading towards the Olympic Stadium and the pubs and bars with big screens, this could be a good time to escape to the quiet streets and explore the West and South of London.
4) Do not park around the Games venues and along the Olympic and Paralympic Route Network. No parking lots will be provided at or around venues so spectators are strongly encouraged to travel by public transport, walking or cycling. Vehicles found parking and loading along the ORN/PRN will be towed or receive a Penalty Charge Notice. Also vehicles should only park on a single yellow line. Parking on a red line or double yellow line is not permissible and will be fined.
5) When travelling by tube, get in to a carriage which has other people in it and avoid deserted suburban stations.
6)There have been cases of pickpocket in London, so ensure always that your handbags are closed properly and be alert about your pocket or keep your wallet or money in buttoned pockets, especially in crowded areas.
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A wide range of cosmopolitan restaurants, wine bars, bistros, pubs, quality shops, and leisure and sports facilities are located nearby too.
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