This post is part of Viator’s coverage of the London Olympics. Leading up to the Games and every day during the Games, we’ll be posting tips from our London-based blogger, Philippa. Be sure to check back often for the latest updates on happenings around London, news on special events and tips for what to see and do in London and the surrounding area while you’re visiting!
Although the official opening ceremony is not until Friday, the footballers are ready to get things started and will begin the first games on July 25th and 26th.
The Women’s teams go first and the opening competition whistle to blow for the 2012 London Olympic Games will be heard at 4pm on Wednesday, July 25th in Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales when Great Britain meets New Zealand.
There are good tickets still available to all these early football games at affordable prices: £20, £30 or £40, even less for students and seniors.
If you’re planning to go to Hampden Park, you’ll need to plan your travel.
From London you can either fly or catch the train to Glasgow. There are flights from London City Airport, which avoids the crowds of Heathrow and Gatwick. Trains in the UK are often the most reliable and comfortable way to travel, though not always the cheapest. The train leaves from London Euston station and takes between four-and-a-half and five hours, so you’ll probably want to stay at least one night in Glasgow. It’s a lovely city with great restaurants, bars, shopping and sight seeing, so you won’t regret that decision.
Booking train tickets in advance in the UK is always a good idea as it will save you money, often substantial amounts compared to buying on the day you travel. There are special Games Ticket Holder train tickets available through National Rail. There are also various websites for booking online. You can pay by credit or debit card online and then pick up your tickets from a machine at the station – it’s a very simple system to use.
Head to Glasgow Central station and there are free shuttle buses out to Hampden Park. It is about an hour on foot from central Glasgow, so you will want to catch a bus. The shuttle bus takes you within a seven-minute walk from the football stadium. A free shuttle bus will also run from Buchanan Street bus station.
If you want to drive you need to book Park and Ride or Park and Walk in advance. It is not included in the ticket price.
Or you can ride a bicycle out to Hampden Park – there are good secure bike park facilities.
Plan to be there early because security checks will be made and you cannot take in any liquids over 100 ml. There are places to buy food and drinks within the venue, but remember you can only use cash or Visa and there are no ATMs inside Hampden Park.
So, if you feel like getting in on the action the moment it all begins, and the crowds in London are already getting to you, head to Glasgow for the football. Then you can say you’ve been to Scotland as well as England.
Read more about the Olympics.