2020 Vision: Exploring future Olympic destinations
Rio de Janeiro is still the name on everybody’s lips following the stunning conclusion of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
But the Olympics can still offer plenty of travel inspiration beyond the Copacabana – some of the world’s greatest cities will either be hosting, in Tokyo’s case, or competing for the festivities over the next decade. With this in mind, Expedia, the largest online travel agency, invites you to take a journey into the future and see what these potential host cities have to offer.
SUMMER 2020 – XXXII OLYMPIAD
Tokyo saw off stiff competition to win the rights to host the 2020 Olympics, and when looking at what the city has to offer, you can understand why. The Japanese capital is unlike any other – a sensory experience, bustling with noise, energy and flavour. Nowhere encapsulates this better than Tokyo’s ‘Kawaii’ district Harujuku – known for its neon fashion and vintage boutiques.
While there’s more to Japanese food than sushi, it’s certainly a good place to start. The Tsukiji Market offers the freshest fish, fantastic breakfasts and a fantastic atmosphere. The market is known for its tuna auction, though only a privileged few will be able to bid, as only 20-30 people are allowed in at once.
By night, a robot show is a good way to soak up some local culture, with tickets for 5,000 YEN (roughly £35). Located through a brightly coloured, neon-lit, mirrored corridor, the main event sees girls dressed as warriors fight each other on giant robots to gain victory.
Return flights from London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda and seven nights’ stay at Shinagawa Prince Hotel from £880pp – a saving of £163 when booked as a package.
SUMMER 2024 – XXXIII OLYMPIAD
What can be said about the ‘City of Love’ that hasn’t already been said? Whether you’re taking in Montmartre, home to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica and artistic hub Place du Tetre, or heading to the Musee d’Orsay to check out one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist paintings, you’ll feel the vibrancy and culture the city has to offer.
Taking a step away from the traditional hotspots, why not become part of the cultural in-crowd at Au Chat Noir. This open-minded bar in Parmentier hosts literary types from all over Paris due to its thriving spoken-word and open-mic events. Mondays from 8.30pm see performances from poets, writers and rappers while the whole week is studded with events or all kinds.
Return flights from London Luton to Paris Orly and three nights’ stay at the Pullman Paris Montparnasse from £241pp – a saving of £96 when booked as a package.
Rome is truly ancient, turning 2,769 this year and every via and piazza drips with old world charm. The Spanish Steps are a majestic point of interest, whether you’re there to see the home of poet and expat John Keats, or the beautiful Baroque fountain by Pietro and Gian Lorenzi Bernini. Nearby, Piazza del Popolo offers access to the terraced gardens of the Pincio Hill and its panoramic views of Rome. And why not cap off an evening of exploration by sampling some of the famed Italian cuisine at Le Mani in Pasta? Even if you’re not a fan of carbs, you can grab a truffled fish carpaccio or hearty meat course.
Return flights from London Luton to Rome Fiumicino and three nights’ stay at the Trilussa Palace Hotel Congress & Spa from £299pp – a saving of £95 when booked as a package.
Los Angeles, USA
The iconic, sprawling metropolis offers a huge range of experiences; from the glitz of Hollywood to the grit of Downtown L.A. Make sure to take in the hipster community of Venice Beach and Santa Monica and enjoy the eclectic collection of street performers, comedians and bodybuilders on Venice Beach before watching the famous west coast sunset.
A trip to the City Of Angels also wouldn’t be complete without visiting Hollywood (and possibly Disneyland!), but don’t forget the ultra exclusive Beverley Hills and Malibu districts, where there are celebs galore to be spotted. If you want to take a step back and soak it all in, why not head up to Griffith Park and Observatory to enjoy some stunning views of the city before you leave?
Return flights from London Heathrow to Los Angeles LAX and seven nights’ stay at The Belamar from £925pp – a saving of £296 when booked as a package.
Budapest might not have quite the name recognition as some of the other host city options, but it’s rapidly increasing in popularity and offers a real wealth of history and culture, from its time as the centre of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to a capital of a communist state.
Now reunited, the districts of Buda and Pest converge on the Danube River, giving glorious views and trendy bars in equal measure. If you like a good walk, why not stroll up the cobbled streets of Castle Hill and check out the magnificent Buda Palace before heading to the central old town, Belvaros, to be immersed in the fascinating history of Budapest. If you’re ever feeling a bit hot and dazed, why not cool off in the city’s best-known baths at Gellert Hill.
Return flights from London Stansted to Budapest Ferenc Liszt and three nights’ stay at Corinthia Hotel from £314pp – a saving of £43 when booked as a package.
*All deals for three night stays were researched for the 11-14 October 2016 and seven night stays cover 11-18 October 2016. Prices based on two persons sharing a room, flying from London airports. Accurate as of 23 August 2016.