Euro 2020: a matchday tour of Austria through the London venue

Bucharest and Amsterdam bring good luck, now it’s off to London!

The first knockout game in Austrian EM history takes the OFB team to one of the biggest metropolises in the world, which has more to offer in terms of tourism than can fit in one article.

is still LAOLA1 Also in tourism focus for third place in Austria, which will probably host the European Championship final, a short match tour. Which of the world famous tourist attractions are easily accessible in a walking tour through the city centre? Here you can find out:

1. Stamford Bridge


Photo: © Getty

We start our tour with the name of football! Whichever London football club you love the most: with Chelsea, you get to meet the current Champions League winner, whose venue is centrally located. Ironically, the arena isn’t in Chelsea, it’s in Fulham – Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage is just 2.5 kilometers to the west and is also easy to explore on foot. After the first time no football was played here, that changed at the turn of the century – from the 18th to the 19th century, you remember, because the original Stamford Bridge was a few years old. Originally, Fulham FC had previously been offered to move to Stamford Bridge, but the club declined. Chelsea have been playing here for 116 years.

2. Buckingham Palace (4,8 km)


Photo: © Getty

God Save the Queen! Before each England game, the national anthem is a fixed point, making it clear to every football fan that an English kick is the order of the day. Singed, some old lady has her seat here, and the big state tours take place at Buckingham Palace. The inside can only be visited from May to September, but one of the most important attractions happens outside anyway: the changing of the royal infantry guards.

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3. St. James Park

A visit to a park is also a must on this tour. St James’s Park is particularly suitable due to its central location, right next to Buckingham Palace and overlooking the London Eye. Animal lovers in particular can see a lot here: pelicans for example, which have lived in this park for over 400 years and were once a gift from the Russian ambassador to King Charles II. Or several gray squirrels. Despite its good location, it is also not a classic tourist destination and is therefore rarely overcrowded.

4. Big Ben (1 km)

What would a trip to London be like without Big Ben? The belfry is a landmark of London. The name is actually only the largest of the five bells in the tower – the tower has been called the “Elizabeth Tower” since 2012 on the occasion of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In any case, visitors have to be satisfied with the view of the 96-metre-high tower, as since 2010 tours of the interior have been allowed only to British citizens.

5. London Eye (1 km)

The “London Eye” didn’t open until 2000, but it quickly became an absolute landmark of the city – although it was originally intended to be a temporary facility for five years. At 135 metres, it is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and the fourth tallest in the world, and visibility is up to 40 kilometres, in good weather. The view can be enjoyed especially for long periods of time, as the bike only travels at a speed of one kilometer per hour and stops only for wheelchair users, the rest having to move while the bike is in operation.

6. The Shard (2,7 km)

One of London’s new attractions is “The Shard”, the tallest skyscraper in Western Europe, which only opened in 2013. 11,000 glass panels adorn the front of the pyramid-shaped, 310-metre-tall building – a nightmare for 17 window cleaners, who require a full three months for a complete cleaning cycle. And the windows must be nice and clean to guarantee the highest view of London. The viewing platform is located between the 68th and 72nd floors, still at a height of 224 meters. Curious anecdote: During construction, a fox on the 68th floor got lost after eating leftover food from construction workers. He was later released, but he became the building’s secret mascot – so you can buy plush foxes in the souvenir shop.

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7. Tower Bridge (1,2 km)


Photo: © Getty

Another classic of every tour of London: the most famous bridge over the Thames, the easternmost crossing over the even Great River in London and right next to the Tower of London – the eponymous aspect. Your two specific towers have nothing to do with it. By the way, they have a lot hidden in them: a museum and the old engine room, for example, which tourists can visit. The top two bridges are pedestrian crossings, one of them equipped with a glass floor and only a few for those with a head for height, as it goes down over 40 metres. Incidentally, Tower Bridge is still an important traffic route, with about 40,000 cars traveling daily.

8. Sky Garden (1 km)

The skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street is commonly referred to as “The Walkie-Talkie” and is polarizing with its size. In 2015 the 160-metre-tall building was awarded the “Carbuncle Cup” for the ugliest building in the United Kingdom. But this is not so important to the visitor, as he is most likely coming for an attraction inside: the “Sky Garden”, London’s highest park on a roof terrace. It is spread over three floors and is open to the public free of charge. The garden is fully glazed and offers views of all the city’s must-sees.

9. Wembley-Stadion (15 km)


Photo: © Getty

London has an abundance of football stadiums that are worth visiting – reason enough for an article of its own. If the interested London visitor has to make a decision, the choice lies at Wembley. Not only because it is the location of the Italy–Austria Round of 16 and later the European Championship final: with a capacity of approximately 90,000 spectators, the new Wembley is also the second largest football stadium in Europe after Barcelona’s Camp Nou. The sporting history associated with this venue is long – although old Wembley has not existed since 2003. Even the new Wembley, almost twice as large and four times as tall as the old building, in its short history has been the scene of two CL finals (a third will follow in 2024), the 2012 Olympic Games and many more. Major sporting events. Even the NFL is a regular guest here. Unfortunately, you have to travel in public, as the stadium, which is not exactly centrally located, is about 15 kilometers from the city center.

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Text: © LAOLA1.at


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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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