A number of countries in addition to sending athletes to London for the Olympics, have also chosen to set up cultural hubs in the city as well.

Showcasing their national stereotypes, and also acting as a useful base for their operations, some are quite small little things, but there are some quite sizeable affairs being set up to promote their holidays and businesses.

A list of the ones I am aware of below:

Most are free, although a few seem to be charging for entry, and if I read it correctly, the Dutch want your passport as well.

Personally, I think I will be trying out Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Russia.

Africa 27th July – 12th Aug
A village of stands presenting the cultural and artistic diversity of the African continent through an exhibition area and a restaurant Kensington Gardens

Austria 27th July – 12th Aug
The Tirolean Alpine Garden, overlooking Trinity Square, will resemble an Alpine Hut serving traditional food and drinks. Trinity House, Tower Hill

Belgium 27th July – 12th Aug
Access to the Middle Temple grounds from 11am to 2am each day for £5, with food/drink and entertainments. Free to Inner Temple with tourist displays 11am to 7pm. Inner Temple, Fleet Street

Brazil 21st July – 8th Sept.
An exhibition of contemporary Brazilian art and design that celebrates the nation’s rich cultural offering. Somerset House

Czech Republic 27th July – 12th Aug
A large space showing off the country, along with quite a lot of daily music events taking place. Business Design Centre, Islington

Denmark 27th July – 12th Aug
A Danish universe of food, design, Viking history and entertainment – with special events on set dates. Open 11am-10pm with some late nights. St Katherine Dock, Wapping

France 27th July – 12th Aug
Not sure what is happening, but whatever it is they are charging £5 admission – appears to be mainly French food and drink, displays – and a chance to see inside this historic building. Old Billingsgate Market, Tower Hill

Germany 26th July – 12th Aug
Public viewing of the Games, German food and drinks, live music on stage every night. Free from noon to 5pm. £10 from 5pm-1am. Docklands Museum, Canary Wharf

Haiti 25th July – 15th Aug
An exhibition promoting Haitain culture. William Road Gallery, Islington

Holland 26th July – 12th Aug
A range of displays, entertainments and the usual Olympic events. Entry is EUR10 and you will need a Passport for ID. Music events most evenings. Alexandra Palace

Ireland 27th July – 12th Aug
Visitors can watch all the live Olympic action on large screens, chill with a pint and a bite to eat, enjoy an abundance of live entertainment. Entry is £10 (£15 after 6pm). The Big Chill House, Kis Cross

Jamaica 3rd Aug – 13th Aug
Open from 4pm-midnight, a variety of Jamaican cultural events including food, fashion shows and music. Also a Bob Marley exhibition and 50th independence anniversary festival. Millennium Dome, Greenwich

Italy 27th July – 12th Aug
An expo for Italian food and culture, along with displays of Fiat cars and artists. QE2 Centre, Westminster

New Zealand 25th July – 12th Aug
Food and drink with evening events on the square just behind the train station. Entry is £5 excluding special events. Granary Square, Kings Cross

Nigeria 20th July – 12th Aug
The exchange at Nigeria House will also include films, Nigerian plays and poetry, Music from some of Nigeria’s top acts and exhibitions of Nigerian products, including arts and crafts. Theatre Royal, Stratford

Russia 29th July – 7th Aug
Picnic zones, performance spaces, sport activities area, pavilions, and exhibitions. Displays and events most days. A separate Sochi.Park offers more but costs £18 entry. Kensington Gardens

Switzerland 20th July – 12th Aug
A range of free entertainments, along with traditional food/drink and several exhibitions. Glaziers Hall, London Bridge

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4 Comments

  1. anony mouse

    Oh, Ian. I really really like your website. But recently (or perhaps I’ve only begun to notice it recently?) you’ve been falling into the “also … as well” trap. Please only use one of these two options per sentence. They mean the same thing.
    Thank you and good night.

  2. Thanks for this! I went along a little tour with my housemate of Switzerland, Austria and Denmark on Saturday and had good fun. We passed by France, but I wasn’t quite convinced of the £5 entry fee. I think I enjoyed the Austrian one best, although the LEGO Olympic Park at the Danish display was pretty excellent.

  3. Byron

    Tried a few of these on Saturday, bit disappointed in the ones I tried as I could probably have found better examples of these countries around London on any given day.

    South African: Avoid – worst boerewors roll ever, no atmosphere. Was expecting a braai!

    Brazilian: Good art and design exhibit, but no food or drink that we could find (and we were really hoping for some good Brazilian to make up for the poor show by South Africa)

    Switzerland: Beer and basic Swiss food (Raclette and Bratwurst).

    Interested in hearing what you thought of the ones you tried!

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