Top 10 Olympic cities worth a visit revealed
SAN FRANCISCO - Reuters
Beijing, ChinaAthens, Greece takes first place on the list. Of all former host cities, no city is as synonymous with the Olympics as Athens. Visitors to Athens can see the Panathenaic Stadium, built entirely of white marble, which housed the original 1896 Olympic Games. OAKA, the Athens Olympic Sports Complex, can be found in Maroussi, a northern suburb, and was the site of the 2004 Olympic Games. Architect Santiago Calatrava added his signature flair to OAKA by adding a new roof structure and the “Agora,” a steel arch designed to shade spectators from the bright summer sun. No trip to Athens is complete without checking out some of its more traditional architectural gems – visit the Acropolis and see the ruins of the Parthenon and Erechtheion that symbolize the society which gave us the Olympic tradition.
Stockholm, Sweden takes second place on VirtualTourist.com. The website said: “Stockholm is also unique in that this year marks the hundredth anniversary of the 1912 Summer Olympics, the first to be held in Sweden. The visit should start in Gamla Stan, the city’s old town, where a short stroll will take tourists past the Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral.”
While Antwerp, Belgium takes third place, the website added, “Though Antwerp was awarded the 1920 Olympics under melancholy circumstances, the resulting city and its reputation as a culture capital illustrate how much things can change in 50 years.”
Australia’s Melbourne is listed in fourth place. Despite the fact that most people thinking of “Olympics” and “Australia” conjure up images of Sydney, the first Olympic Games in Australia were actually held in Melbourne in 1956, according to the website, and today, visitors to Australia’s second city will find it still has an exciting sports culture, as well as a burgeoning arts scene.
Famous for its Olympic Games opening, Beijing, China took fifth place.
“The city of Beijing, while steeped in history, was also a bastion of ‘Old China,’ especially when compared to more modern cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong. After securing the host bid, the city vastly improved its infrastructure, as well as its air quality and public transportation,” according to the website.
Innsbruck, Austria takes sixth place and Albertville, France is listed as the seventh destination.
According to the website, conveniently located along the Great Alpine Road, Albertville is uniquely positioned on the border of France, Switzerland and Italy, in the middle of France’s Rhone-Alps region.
Though the 1992 Winter Games were awarded to Albertville, the competitions were held actually spread out between several small alpine towns. This Olympics was most notable for being the first time a unified Germany competed together for medals, as well as the former Soviet Union competing as the “Unified Team.” Today, Albertville serves as a great starting off point for any winter sports enthusiast, since as it is located between France’s two other Winter Olympic host cities, Chamonix and Grenoble.
Eighth place was awarded to Nagano, Japan, and Salt Lake City, Utah received ninth place.
“Visitors today can check out the Utah Olympic Oval on the western side of the city, or head east and hit Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, and Snowbasin Ski Area, where former Olympians have competed for gold,” according to the website.
The final slot was given to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Few Olympic cities can provide the variety of experiences that are available to visitors to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, said the website, adding that while some natural occurrences were already in place for the games, like the amazing trails and conditions of the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the city also made numerous green improvements in preparation for the games.