We all know the Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the London Eye as some of the most famous highlights and places to visit in London. But did you know London also has a unique tourists attraction for dare devils and adrenaline rush seekers? It’s called Up at the O2, and it does what the name basically says, you go up and walk over the famous O2 Arena. One of the coolest things to do in London right now and even a great activity with kids.
The O2 Arena is home to the world’s most popular music, sport, comedy and entertainment events. It’s a multi-purpose indoor arena in the center of the O2 entertainment complex on the Greenwich Peninsula in southeast London. It has the second-highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the United Kingdom, after the Manchester Arena. In terms of ticket sales, the O2 Arena is the busiest music arena in the world.
We learned that the construction of the building has been well thought out, and that everything you see has a meaning. The dome was originally created as a monument to space and time, so the diameter of the O2 is 365 meters, referring to the number of days in the year, there are 12 masts, referring to the number of months in the year and the summit of the walkway is 52 meters high, referring to the number of weeks in the year.
Location - Greenwich Peninsula
The O2 arena is located at the Greenwich Peninsula. Greenwich is home to the Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory, where east meets west at Longitude 0°.
The line itself divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth, just as the Equator divides the northern and southern hemispheres. An absolute must visit if you’re interested in these kind of special places.
Up at the O2 experience
With Up at the O2 you can climb the world famous roof of the O2 arena and enjoy incredible views of London. Views from up here include the historic Greenwich, the Olympic Park and Canary Wharf.
Did you know that the height of the summit is equal to 12 double decker buses stacked vertically?
There are three types of climbs you can choose from when doing the Up at the O2. Every type of climb has its own charms and highlights, so pick one and go for it!
Daytime Climb (Original Climb)
The most popular climb of all. We did the Daytime Climb ourselves and really enjoyed it. During the day you get some amazing views and can see for miles across London.
During the week this Daytime Climb comes at £35, on weekend days its £40.
It’s basically the same experience as the Daytime Climb, just at a different time of the day. As you go up as the sun goes down. Pretty romantic as you experience London against the backdrop of an auburn sky. The Sunset Climb costs £38
Fancy seeing London by night? Then the Twilight Climb might be your pick. You go up when the sun is down and marvel at the 360° views twinkling in the night sky. The Twilight Climb costs £37
Next to the regular climbs, they also offer climb packages, giving that little extra for those special occasions or celebrations.
It’s all in the name, this is to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or whatever it is you have to celebrate. Celebrate your special occasion with a Champagne Lanson toast on the roof. Depending on the day and time of your climb, prices for the Celebration Climb vary from £43 to £48.
Climb and Dine Experience
The Climb and Dine packages let you add on a meal at either All Bar One, Gaucho, Busaba Eathai or Gordon Ramsay’s Street Burger. The perfect package for a full afternoon and night out.
During your climb there are several photographers who take some pretty nice shots of your experience. You’re not allowed any phones or cameras during the climb. Once you’re up at the summit, you’re allowed to take out the phone or camera and take as many photos as you wish.
After your climb you get to see the shots they took and can buy them separately or as a package. When you buy them as a package, you can also download the high resolution photos from a secured website.
We took the photo package as a nice memory of the climb we did with our niece and nephew and to give them a nice souvenir as well. The full package comes with 3 printed photos of your choice, and two keychain photos, plus you get a code to download all photos in high resolution. The full package comes at £30, which we found very reasonable.
Up at the O2 is a unique and one of a kind experience in London and an absolute must do! Thrill seekers will love this activity, but I’m sure anyone who’s into something new and something different will enjoy climbing the O2 and the rewarding views from the summit.
We got to experience Up at the O2 with our 11 year old niece and 13 year old nephew. They were super excited and it was amazing to see them enthusiastically go up the pretty steep roof.
If it’s your first visit to London, you might want to stick with the usual highlights, but if you’re a returning visitor, consider doing Up at the O2. We promise, you won’t regret and think it even is one of the best things to do in London with kids.
O2 outlet shopping
The ICON Outlet Shopping at the O2, as the name already says, another icon under the roof of the famous O2. You can shop designer brands and famous labels including Adidas, Calvin Klein, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger and many more. It’s 210.000 sq. ft. of outlet shopping, with over 60 superstar brands offering up to 70% off retail prices.
This blog was written by travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Ashley. She was invited to climb Up at the O2 on behalf of Traveltomtom, and wrote this blog about her experiences. Check out her Instagram @travelashie.
Enjoy your trip to London!