Looking for Things to Do Around the O2 Arena?
The O2 Arena (aka the Dome) has plenty inside it to keep you entertained...for a short while, but you're probably going to need a few more things to keep you occupied.
We’ve popped together a handy guide of things to do around O2 arena just in case you are blessed to be there and in dire need of something to distract yourself from the sheer hopelessness of the situation. London has got it all and it is a lot easier if you know where you’re going and you’re staying in a Plum Guide-approved home. From green spaces, giant bits of art, the world’s most divisive mode of transport and (arguably) the world’s greatest museum and gallery, there are plenty of things to do around the O2 arena that doesn’t involve the
entirely rubbish ill-fated Millenium Dome.
Victoria & Albert Museum
If you manage to see all 6.5 million of the artefacts in the V&A, we salute you. You may not have all the time in the world but even if you’re dipping in it’s definitely worth a visit. Housed on its seven floors you’ll find historic and contemporary exhibits from all corners of the globe. High-profile temporary exhibitions pop-up that require an entry fee, but for the most, it is entirely free. The cafe and gift shop delight and you can spend loads of money on a small sandwich and a print that will get crumpled in your bag. You're in the heart of Kensington here, so it's only right you spend some time browsing the boutiques afterwards – it's one of the best areas for shopping in London, after all.
Huge, diverse and very famous, the National Gallery is a grandiose building home to Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks and a fair few Rembrandts for good measure. From the French Renaissance to the Italian Impressionist period it’s got a lot of ground covered. If you want to see very famous works of art with lots of other people potentially ruining your view of said famous art; go to the National Gallery. (Our selection of London’s most beautiful homes like Parisian Elegance is almost as good as Monet’s Japanese Bridge. Almost.)
Royal Observatory Greenwich
What is the prime meridian and why is it in Greenwich? If you have ever been asked this question at a dinner party and recoiled in horror at looking stupid, fear no longer. The answer (and quite a lot of other things) await you at Royal Greenwich Observatory. Dance along the actual Meridian Line, get to know the stars in the Peter Harrison Planetarium and get up close and personal with all manner of time-related objects from history. You’re almost guaranteed to have a good time. Geddit?
There’s a glorious 183 acres of Greenwich Park to run wild and free in, not bad for South London. It’s a lush spot to get some nature in your bones before returning to the suffocating bustle of London’s city centre with each section of the park offering something different. Wander the rose garden, visit new pals in the Wilderness Deer Park or admire the herbaceous border (and who doesn’t love a herbaceous border).
Make like Johnny Cash and walk The Line. Except you don’t have to dress head to toe in black or belt out country music classics as you do so. The Line is East London’s three-mile homage to sculpture and one of the great things to do around O2 arena. Find works from Alex Chinneck, Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley as you follow the trail through the docks and waterways. Make sure to take a map with you as it sometimes proves as easy to follow as Boris Johnson’s lockdown plans.
Emirates Air Line
Dangle up to 90 metres above the Thames and pay for the privilege. Embrace the slight feeling of unease for an unusual view across the capital city and to gain your own opinion on the project all Londoners love to hate. Spanning from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Victoria Dock it’ll get you from A to B in a much more pleasant fashion than a ride on the terrifying, claustrophobic and ugly iconic Tube.
On the boundary of Greenwich Park and Blackheath, this elegant Georgian property houses a mighty collection of art from 19th-century businessman, Sir Julius Wernher. The impressive array features unique examples of Renaissance paintings, Dutch Old Masters and French tapestries as well as medieval sculptures, glittering enamels and ornate jewellery. Good old Julius liked expensive art and buying big fancy houses and here The Ranger brings together his two great hobbies.
Discover the fascinating and dramatic history of Cutty Sark, England’s record-breaking tea-clipper. Built way back in the good old days of 1869 to ferry tea back from China, it’s impressive that the boat is still standing nevermind welcoming visitors to hop aboard with audio tours firmly plugged in. Explore below deck and mortify impress your friends by taking the helm in both hands and screaming ‘I AM THE CAPTAIN OF THIS SHIP’. On weekends absolute babes dress up as old-e yield-e characters and do monologues. Amazing.
Spend your hard-earned cash with people that actually care. Greenwich Market is packed with independent traders touting everything from gourmet burgers to handmade beauty products and ceramics you didn’t know you needed. With over 100 stalls and a generally quite lovely atmosphere, this is one of the best things to do around O2 arena. It’s indoors too, so perfect for when the great English weather is doing its usual thing. Our guide to things to do in London when it's raining might help you out there too. Want to stay nearby? Choose from one of our delightful homes in Greenwich like Memoirs.
Want to read more of our expert guides to London? Up next is how to spend a long weekend in London.