Your Ultimate Guide to The O2

a large yellow metal structure in a building
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Last Updated on: 30th June 2024, 12:01 pm

Are you planning on visiting London? You’ll love it. London is chock full of amazing things to see and do, but if you’re looking for something different, look no further than The O2 Entertainment District.

A Little Background

Steve and I spent two months in London in the spring of 2024. We spent part of this time pet sitting, which you can read about here. The rest of the time was spent enjoying the fantastic things this city offers.

One of the many things that impressed us was The O2 Entertainment District (often referred to as The O2). It is a 20,000-seat arena surrounded by shops, restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, and various amusements.

A map of the O2 Entertainment District
The O2 map

The O2 is a distinctive landmark in London, though not a particularly attractive one. It is a large white tent-like dome with twelve yellow masts.

The O2 Arena entrance
The front of The O2

Facts About The O2

The complex is located in southeast London on the Greenwich Peninsula.

Originally known as the Millennium Dome, it was built to house the Millennium Experience, a exhibition celebrating the turn of the millennium. It opened on December 31, 1999 and was open every day until December 31, 2000.

The structure was repurposed and reopened as The O2 in 2007.

8.9 million people visited The O2 in 2023.

Features of the building symbolize time:
The diameter is 365 meters, symbolizing the number of days in a year.
The height is 52 meters, symbolizing the number of weeks in a year.
The 12 yellow masts, you guessed it, symbolize the number of months in a year.

What Can You Do at The O2?

Be Entertained

The O2 Arena

The arena seats 20,000 people and is one of the busiest in the world. It’s the third largest in the U.K. after Manchester’s Co-op and Manchester Arenas.

Upcoming big names include Billie Eilish (for 7 nights in July 2025), Noah Kahan (for 3 nights in August and September 2024), the Harlem Globetrotters (in April 2024) and a throwback to my teens, Deep Purple (November 2024).

Click here to see upcoming shows.

The O2 arena is too small for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. The London leg of the tour will take place over eight nights in June and August 2024 in the 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium. Taylor has only performed two songs at The O2. In January 2023, she surprised attendees of a show by The 1975, when she covered their song, “The City,” and debuted her song, “Anti-Hero.”

Indigo at The O2

For those acts that haven’t reached O2 Arena status, there is Indigo at The O2. This 750-seat club hosts live music events, after-shows, and private events.

See what’s happening at Indigo.

Mama Mia! The Party

a building with a large sign on it
The entrance to Mama Mia! The Party

Steve and I saw this but chose not to do it because of the cost. Now, as I’m sitting in the Canary Islands writing about it, I am sorry we didn’t do it.

This four-hour event combines a show based on the Mama Mia concept with a four-course Mediterranean meal.

Overall, the Trip Advisor reviews are favorable, but some people complained about being unable to see the show and weak storylines. However, people loved the audience participation.

Find out more about Mama Mia! The Party here.

Cineworld

If you’re in the mood to sit back and munch popcorn, head to Cineworld. You will have some choices to make, though. In addition to 2D and 3D movies, some are shown in 4DX with moving seats and effects such as wind, water, scent, and strobe lighting. There is also a VIP option with recliners, a bar, and the Superscreen option.

See what’s playing at Cineworld.

Shop

Outlet Shopping

There are dozens of outlet stores offering a wide variety of products, including many designer brands. You can see the list of stores here.

The O2 Shop

Since this is The O2, it wouldn’t be complete without an O2 store for all your tech needs.

a collage of a shopping mall
Shop, then shop some more

Play

Boom Battle Bar

Try your hand at axe throwing or play games like beer/prosecco pong, indoor golf, and pool. You can also show off your performer chops in the karaoke booths. Of course, you can fuel up with food and drinks, too.

It’s best to book games in advance, especially on the weekend. Also, be sure to read any special instructions for the activities you choose.

Only people 18 or older are allowed in Boom Battle Bar after 9 p.m.

You can find Boom Battle Bar locations throughout London and in other U.K. cities. Check them out here.

For a special treat, try the 90-minute bottomless brunch. It looks like tons of fun with changing themes and a DJ. Brunch is offered on Saturday.

Oxygen Activeplay Trampoline Park

At Oxygen Activeplay, you can fall into foam pits, bounce high on trampolines, and play dodgeball. You can even throw yourself onto a giant airbag. This place is sure to wear out your kids. There is a program for toddlers, too.

Bounce on over here to find out more.

Indoor Sky Diving

Get your adrenaline pumping at iFLY London Indoor Skydiving at The O2.

Bowling at Hollywood Bowl

Book your lane and test your bowling chops at the Hollywood Bowl. After that, you can shoot some pool or play a few arcade games. Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, the Hollywood Diner awaits you.

TOCA Social

TOCA Social describes itself as an interactive football and dining experience. I understand dining, but what is interactive football? This article from 2 Adults 3 Children explains it well.

For my U.S. and Canadian readers, we’re talking about soccer, not the football we are used to.

You can enjoy a more relaxed game of foosball, ham it up in the photo booths, and grab something to eat or drink. Don’t miss the Willy Wonka-inspired dessert room.

Selfie Factory

The Selfie Factory is just what it sounds like, a chance to take oodles of selfies in cool settings.

Steve and I didn’t ham it up at the Selfie Factory but did something similar with our daughters in Budapest, where there are two Museum of Sweets and Selfies locations. We all had so much fun at the first location that we also went to the second one.

a collage of people in different poses
Steve, me, and our daughters at the Museum of Sweets and Selfies in Budapest

I highly recommend this for all ages.

Climb over The O2 with Up at The O2

You can walk over The O2! Steve and I did this and loved it.

a man and woman standing on a platform
Steve and I at the top of The O2

Even if you fear heights, give it a try. The staff is super-safety conscious, and you are harnessed and securely tethered to thick cables.

The climb is on a rubber track suspended above the dome. You must wear appropriate footwear (walking shoes or boots with a deep tread). Steve and I used our hiking boots, but most of the people in our group used the Ecco brand boots provided at no extra cost. The boots looked like they were in excellent condition.

The night before the climb, I worried about carrying my essentials as I didn’t have pants pockets. My worrying was in vain; jackets and vests with zippered pockets were available free of charge.

The entire experience took 90 minutes. Learn more on the Up at The O2 website.

Our takeaway: working our latches through the cable supports was a bit tedious, and the views from the top weren’t particularly impressive. Despite that, we felt a great sense of accomplishment when we took that final stop off the track.

For a detailed account of this experience, check out “Climb The O2: A London Icon” by Two Traveling Texans.

Eat and Drink

Choose from more than 40 restaurants and bars. You can use the drop-down menus to search by category and location.

a bar with shelves of liquor
Doesn’t this look inviting?

How to Get to The O2

You can get to The O2 by taking the Underground’s Jubilee Line to the North Greenwich stop. There are also several bus routes that will take you to the North Greenwich Station. For something different, how about taking an Uber Boat by Thames Clippers? It will cost quite a bit more, but it’s a fun way to travel in London.

Steve and I rely on Google Maps to find our way around. You can also find detailed information on how to get to The O2 on their website.

Until Next Time

As you can see, there is a lot to do at The O2. Please be sure to check the website before you visit to make sure what you’re interested in is available.

If you’re looking for something different in London, consider the Crossbones Graveyard and Garden of Remembrance. You can read about it in “The Fascinating and Sordid History of Crossbones Graveyard.”

Happy traveling,
Linda

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