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It's been almost one year since London hosted the Summer Olympics, and soon the state-of-the-art venues will be open to anybody on a tour of England. City officials are preparing to open Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a sprawling complex that will offer everything from recreational areas and event venues to sports facilities and art installations, The New York Times reports. Although this may be the most recent former Olympic venue-turned-tourist-draw, it's not the only one. Many countries that have hosted the games have seen their installations turned into impressive attractions. Here are some of the best:
Anella Olímpica, Barcelona
When the Summer Olympics came to this Spanish hotspot in 1992, it left a big impact. Before, Barcelona was viewed as more of a port city but eventually it became a popular seaside destination. More than 20 years later, the impact of the '92 games can still be felt, and that is certainly the case with Anella Olímpica - the Olympic Ring. The stadium remains open to the public, who can tour the grounds that feature an impressive collection of modern architecture.
Sydney Olympic Park
The Sydney Summer Olympics were held more than a decade ago, but the city's Olympic Park remains a popular attraction today. It is continuously updated and features an urban park, restaurants and variety of annual events and festivals. For instance, you could check out one of the many bars before admiring the dozens of pieces of urban art. In fact, the park is home to the largest urban art exhibit in the country. You should also make a point to add the iconic Olympic Cauldron to your tour of Australia as well as the gorgeous Olympic Stadium.
Whistler Olympic Park, Vancouver
The Winter Olympics are unique in that they feature many sports you don't often get the chance to see otherwise. Activities such as curling, ice dancing and speed skating are rarely featured any other time of the year, and at Whistler Olympic Park in Vancouver you can get the chance to experience these sports firsthand. Specifically, you can try your hand at the biathlon or take a bobsled ride. For the more adventure-minded, there are ample opportunities for both cross-country and back country skiing.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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