Five Commonwealth Games cities to visit
Sports fans of all persuasions – from armchair enthusiasts to seasoned professionals – will be pleased the Commonwealth Games are back in full swing.
It's the fifth time Australia has hosted the Games, with the action this time taking place along the beautiful Gold Coast. Of course, the event is a great showcase for the area, with its miles of alluring beaches and vibrant, outdoorsy lifestyle.
Once the event is over on 15 April, it will return to being one of the high-profile areas that have previously hosted the Games and if you’re tempted to visit Commonwealth hosts of years past, here are five places the Citybond team think should take a lap of victory.
It was 1955 when Cardiff became the capital of Wales; three years later, the port city hosted the 1958 Commonwealth Games. At the time, only 35 nations participated, compared to the 71 teams expected this year. Today, Cardiff is the largest city in Wales and with an attractive waterfront along Cardiff Bay and the world-renowned Millennium Stadium, it welcomes around 20 million visitors annually. It’s also home to more than six hundred castles (more than any other country) many of which are nearby to Cardiff, so there‘s no shortage of delights to explore.
The Caribbean’s first and only time hosting the Commonwealth Games was during 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica. The capital city’s infrastructure had only been seriously developed a few years before, mostly because of the international recognition Jamaica started to receive for its reggae music. Today, it's one of the most visited islands in the Caribbean and welcomes more than two million tourists annually. Away from its beaches, nightclubs and the Bob Marley Museum are popular attractions. While just outside the city, the Blue Mountains are rich with coffee plantations, scenic trails and its famous 2,256-metre peak.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Held in 1974, Christchurch, New Zealand is the smallest city to have ever hosted the Commonwealth Games - today, the population is still less than 400,000 people. The Games also had the honour of being the first time New Zealand broadcast colour television in the country. While the town was affected by an earthquake in 2011, its quick recovery means Christchurch continues to welcome around five million tourists each year. It’s for a good reason: the old English charm, towering mountains, cycling routes and picturesque coastline make it hard to stay away.
The 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada, is notable for being the first event where a computer system sold tickets. To facilitate the Games, the 56,000-seater Commonwealth Stadium was custom-built and the venue continues to host major matches and concerts today. Edmonton, a city of almost one million people and the capital of Canada’s Alberta province, sits on the North Saskatchewan River. Plus with its access to the Canadian Rockies it’s popular with international and domestic travellers and a go-to destination throughout the year.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The final Commonwealth Games of the twentieth century and the first to take place in an Asian country, the 1998 Games took place in Malaysia’s bustling capital city, Kuala Lumpur. This was also the first year that team sports were included. This proved a smart and successful addition, as it led to more competitors and an increase in television viewers. Today, Kuala Lumpur is a lively city with more than 27 million visitors a year and is known for its enormous malls, vibrant nightlife and as a starting point for exotic and endangered wildlife reserves.
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