Since its opening in 2007, The O2 has become a social hub in the heart of London. It is of a staggering scale, being the 9th largest building in the world by volume, and the world’s largest fabric structure.

The O2 is an iconic part of the great city, boasting stunning architecture and attention to detail. In a recent visit, I came to know of a particularly mind-boggling example of this: the dome is held up by 12 yellow support towers (one for each month of the year), is 365 metres in circumference (one metre for each day of the year) and is 52 metres tall (one metre for each week of the year), in homage to the Greenwich Mean Time. The venue offers a range of attractions and has hosted the biggest names from multiple industries.

Up at The O2

Up at The O2 is a breath-taking experience which involves a climb over the world-famous roof of The O2, with a rewarding 360° view of London’s illustrious skyline. Over 650,000 people have conquered the roof since the roofwalk’s opening in 2012, including celebrities such as the Beckhams, George Ezra and Olly Murs. I was lucky enough to participate in a climb last week, and it is an understatement to say I was taken aback by the enchanting views, including the Olympic Park, the Thames Barrier, Historical Royal Greenwich and Canary Wharf.

The experience starts with a safety briefing, after which participants gear up in climbing suits and shoes and strap into their harnesses. They are photographed in their groups, after which the climb begins. There is a ramp suspended above the roof of The O2, and they steadily make their way up - the ramp is divided into six sections of decreasing steepness. Once they reach the viewing platform at the top, 52 metres high, the magic begins, with stunning views of the night-time city all around. My instructor, Claire, who luxuriates in these views every day, said she “never gets used to them”.

“I love working at The O2 because I get to meet all sorts of different people. They all come here and climb for their own special reasons and that’s what makes it very special to work here.” - Claire, climbing instructor at Up at The O2.

On the descent, The O2’s displays of modern art are visible, including Claire’s favourite - “A Bullet from a Shooting Star”. Participants enter the shop once they are back down, where they have the chance to buy their photos - a memoir of a once in a lifetime experience. 

Other Attractions

The O2 is renowned for its range of attractions, which include:

The ICON Outlet is an outlet shopping centre in The O2, offering up to 70% off retail prices to over 60 of the best brands, including Calvin Klein, Nike, adidas, Guess, Gant UK, Hackett, Levi’s and New Balance. It truly is a shopper’s haven. As Marilyn Monroe once said; 

“Happiness is not in money, but in shopping”


The O2 Arena is a state-of-the-art live music arena, which has been home to the biggest names in music, including The Spice Girls, Khalid, Tinie Tempah, Beyoncé, One Direction and Drake. In fact, The O2 even transformed into the O3 during Drake’s seven show residency in April 2019 in a nod to his song “God’s Plan. 

“You know me, turn The O2 into the O3” – Drake, God’s Plan


Indigo at The O2 is a smaller live music venue, which offers a more intimate musical experience.

Cineworld at The O2 has 19 screens, including a 770-seat premier screen and the first ScreenX technology installed in the UK, making it London’s largest cinema.

Hollywood Bowl at The O2 boasts 12 bowling lanes and a VR Zone.

The Avenue at The O2 is home to over 30 bars and restaurants, including Benito’s, Beer + Burger Store, Scarlet Rasoi, Cabana and Pizza Express.

Oxygen Freejumping is an indoor trampoline park offering 50 interconnected trampolines, a giant airbag, a dodgeball court and a high rope Airventure course.

The O2 is a timeless hub of activity in London, a place of discovery and adventure as well as opulence and sophistication. I was dazzled by the venue’s beauty and architecture, as well as the captivating views from Up at The O2 – a once in a lifetime experience which I am sure I will cherish for a long time to come.

by Kinshuk Jain