With the news that Tokyo Olympics is to be postponed until sometime in 2021, we take a look at some of the best former Olympic villages around the world that you can – and should – visit. Olympic Villages are built to house all athletes. Then, once the games are all over, many cities transform them into innovative spaces with fitness centres, entertainment and art.
Other Olympic villages decay over the years, for an insight into the past… Here’s where you can still visit today.
Olympic Villages You Can Still Visit
1. Barcelona, Spain (1992)
This Olympic Village was in the Sant Martí district for the 1992 Olympic Games. Looking up, you’ll see two skyscrapers towering over the Olympic Marina, the Torre Mapfre and the luxury Hotel Arts, which stands 144 metres in height. Below it, a giant goldfish, designed by Frank Gehry, overlooks the sea.
The Olympic Marina has over 40 bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious meal at any time of the day.
2. Beijing, China (2008)
Beijing Olympic Park is where the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympics took place. It contains 10 Olympic venues, 7 non-competitive venues, and a forest park. The highlight to see here is the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium. Using giant steel frames for a grid-like outline, it looks like a bird’s nest of branches. You can tour the stadium – by night is best for vivid lights.
3. Berlin, Germany (1936)
Nearly 4,000 athletes called “Hitler’s Olympic village,” home during the 1936 games. There’s a reception building, more than 140 residential buildings, separate kitchens, a sports hall, a swimming pool, and a hospital. After the games, the Nazis took it over for military purposes. The site was then used by the Soviets until the 1990s, lying abandoned for years. Now, you can only visit the eery village by booking a tour in advance.
You can book guided tours through the Olympic Village between April and September. Please contact the DKB at +49 (0) 33094 – 700 565 or by email: [email protected]
4. Vancouver, Canada (2010)
After the Olympics, the accommodation in Vancouver’s Olympic Village became a mixed-use community. There’s eco-friendly apartments and plenty of retail and places to eat and drink. As you stroll (or kayak!) around the entire Olympic Park, you’ll enjoy beautiful sights, interesting new architecture, and Indigenous artworks.
5. Montreal, Canada (1976)
The Olympic Village in Montreal is a twin-tower structure, built as the athletes’ residence for the 1976 Summer Olympics. The outdoor area of the Esplanade has for everyone—from sports activities to cultural events. In summer, there’s live music and food trucks. In winter, it turns into an outdoor skate rink. There’s lots to see and do here.
6. Seoul, South Korea (1988)
Seoul’s Olympic Park is impressive. It takes over three hours to explore! There’s modern, state-of-the-art sports stadiums, an eco-friendly forest, and spacious grassy fields. Plus, there’s more than 200 amazing art sculptures in a pretty garden. You can also walk on a special acupressure path which massages the pressure points in your feet.
This iconic sporting and entertainment precinct has world-class stadiums, barbecue pits and bars and restaurants galore. And yes, there’s lots of sport you can take part in. Aspiring freestyle gold medallists can even can even swim laps in the pool where Ian Thorpe won three Olympic Gold medals. Sounds fun?