• Olympic Aspirations – The 2024 Quintet of Candidates is Unveiled

    by  • September 16, 2015 • Budapest, City Breaks, Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Sport

    Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, Hamburg and Budapest declared candidates to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

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    Although the year 2024 might be a considerable way off, there’s much talk this morning about the 2024 Olympic Games and the five candidate cities which have just been officially revealed. Announcing the news of the five hopeful host cities this morning in Lausanne, Switzerland, it’s more than likely that the 2024 sporting spectacular will be held in Europe, with Los Angeles the only non-European candidate. The other four hopefuls? Along with its American counterpart, Paris has been declared an early frontrunner, with the cities of Rome, Budapest and Hamburg in Germany completing the quintet. Here’s a brief snapshot of the four European competitors.

    Paris
    Having lost out to London as host city for the 2012 games, the City of Lights is determined to be selected as the 2024 winning candidate, a century after it last held the Olympics. From the tourist perspective, Paris is without question a favourite, with iconic sights and architectural grandeur, culture, gastronomic pleasures and retail opportunities in abundance, complemented further by a wealth of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. I’ve waxed lyrical about the French capital on many an occasion, click here to read more about Paris’ plethora of plus points in my most recent blog.

    Rome
    The Italian capital last played host to the summer Olympics in 1960 and so is chomping at the bit to bring the games back to the Eternal City. Like Paris, Rome is a fabulous city break destination, with stunning landmarks, a cosmopolitan vibe and centuries of history to discover at every turn. The Coliseum, Circus Maximus, Pantheon and Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Villa Borghese and, of course, the reverential treasures of Vatican City, Rome certainly has no shortage of unparalleled, centuries-old sightseeing essentials. And that’s before we’ve even talked about the food! With a cuisine as rich and diverse as its architectural heritage, you’d be hard pressed to have a bad meal in Rome. When in Rome, mangia!

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    Budapest
    Having never before hosted the Olympic Games, Budapest’s bid for 2024 is not only an attempt to bring the Games to Hungary, but to Eastern Europe as a whole. And with the recent attention focused on Hungary’s handling of the migrant crisis in both Budapest and at its borders, officials will no doubt be keen to raise its profile of its capital city in a more positive manner. The recipient of many an illustrious title – Paris of the East for one, Pearl of the Danube is another – and unquestionably one of Europe’s most attractive cities, Budapest’s beauty resonates not only from its stunning mix of Baroque, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau architecture, but its enviable position straddling both sides of the mighty Danube River, Buda on the west, Pest to the east.

    Hamburg
    Perhaps the lesser-known of the four European candidates, Hamburg would be the first German city to host the Games since Munich in 1972. Yet despite being named as a contender, Hamburg’s place in the competition is uncertain, with a city-wide referendum being held at the end of November to determine whether or not it will continue its candidacy. Germany’s second largest city and the country’s largest port, Hamburg lays claim to being ‘Gateway to the World’. And whilst it’s renowned for its strong maritime heritage and attractive Old Town, of which the Church of St Michaelis tops the list of landmarks, Hamburg also has a reputation for being quite the party city, its red-light Reeperbahn (locally referred to as the “most sinful mile”) perhaps its most infamous touristic offering.

    So who will win? The results will be delivered in Peru in 2017.

    About

    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.