Emirates Air Line

Attractions, Towers and viewpoints Canning Town
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
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 (© Rob Greig/Time Out)
© Rob Greig/Time Out
 (© Rob Greig/Time Out)
© Rob Greig/Time Out

Emirates Air Line

 (© Rob Greig/Time Out)
© Rob Greig/Time Out
 (© Rob Greig/Time Out)
© Rob Greig/Time Out
 (© Rob Greig/Time Out)
© Rob Greig/Time Out

Emirates Air Line

 (© TFL)
Emirates Air Line
 (© Rob Greig/Time Out)
© Rob Greig/Time Out

The Emirates Air Line is the UK's first urban cable car. The 1.1-kilometre route provides a river crossing between terminals close to the Excel Centre at Royal Docks and the O2 Arena at Greenwich. The Air Line has the capacity to carry up to 2,500 people per hour in each direction, the equivalent of 30 buses, giving passengers fantastic views of the City, Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park. 'Night Flights' are available during summer, which offer a longer journey time, music and video entertainment and some rather impressive views of London after-dark.

Single cash fares are available. Oyster pay-as-you-go travellers get a discount, as do Travelcard and other Oystercard holders (though it is necessary for Travelcard and other Oystercard holders to buy a boarding pass from the ticket office or vending machines at the terminals). The '360 degree tour' non-stop return journey is also available. Fares are not included in the Oyster daily capping.

Read our blogpost about Emirates Air Line here.



Venue name: Emirates Air Line
Address: 27
Western Gateway
E16 4FA
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 7am-9pm; Thu 7am-10pm; Fri 7am-11pm; Sat 8am-11pm; Sun 9am-10pm
Transport: Tube: Royal Victoria DLR/North Greenwich
Price: Single cash fare: £4.30, £2.20 children; with any form of Oyster card: £3.30, £1.70 children
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Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

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I've done it a couple of time and taking cable cars from O2 to the other side of the river is a really good experience and well worth it. Great views from all angles but out rather than down otherwise all you can see some constructions. You can see very far and the views are really spectacular. The audio guide is quite interesting and quite enough to entertain during the journey. Would recommend as a an alternative to London eye tourist attraction (or in addition)  if you have visitors to show London.


Completely useless for commuting, actually pretty fun for a day out.

It takes you on a smooth, pleasant little journey, overlooking the Thames. It doesn’t look like much at first, but you actually discover a lot more sights than you’d expect – from Canary Wharf and a little of the City behind to the Thames barrier and Crystal Palace’s tower, without forgetting the O2 obviously.

To get a cheaper trip, use your Oyster card. Enjoy.


Would definitely recommend adding in the cable car as part of a visit to E14/E16 or the 02. Stunning views much higher than I had anticipated. I love the history of the Docklands and the Wharf (Ware House At River Front)

Ros A

Had a cheeky fly over the city yesterday in the Emirates airline which was my second time. First things first, it's a mere £3.50 if you pay by Oyster each way. You really only need to go one way and then can hop on the DLR or Jubilee line depending on which side you end up. 

It's a real novelty and it is quite fun whizzing over the river in a cable car which reminds you of skiing in the alps. The view isn't outstanding because there isn't loads to see - Canary Wharf, the o2, Stratford helter skelter, the shard and a bit of the city in the distance. Beyond that, a lot of grubby dockyard and car parks, which aren't quite so magnificent. 


Not sure if this attraction is falling out of favour but on a weekend in bright sunshine, this wasn't particularly busy. Arrived by boat at North Greenwich pier and was met by a tremendous amount of building work and alternative signposting to the ticket office.  Even the signposting on the terminal building was confusing - 3rd time of trying and we found the right person to purchase tickets from.  The ride itself was wonderful - this is a part of London I don't know well and am interested in finding out more about - but the boring video that was playing on board was irrelevant and uninformative.  We bought a single ticket so when we arrived on the north bank, made for the nearest DLR station at Royal Victoria to find our way to next point of call at Wapping.  (If the DLR is out, it's a long walk to the underground, so check how public transport is running beforehand).  I'm not sure how the other reviewers got their cardboard binoculars - we certainly weren't offered any! Anyway, an enjoyable ride and would like to do again, after I've done a bit of forward research. for myself.

Chloe D

 I'm a sucker for anything that gets me a good view of London (to Instagram, obviously), so the Emirates Air Line was a must for me. The journey gives you ten minutes suspended above East London, with amazing views of The O2, Canary Wharf and the the Olympic Park. At £3.50 for a one-way trip with an Oyster card, I thought it was well worth the price (even if the cable car does take you from nowhere to nowhere…), however I probably wouldn’t go back for a second time. My only criticism is the slightly unnecessary and monotonous video about the history of the East End that plays throughout the trip, but that can easily be ignored. Package this cable car ride up with a visit to Trinity Buoy Wharf or Greenwich and have a fun, adventurous day out.

Kirsty E

Although this is never going to accomplish what it set out to do, to provide a commuter link between the 02 and the Excel centre, this is still an enjoyable, unique attraction which will appeal to all ages. A gentle but exhilarating (if a little fleeting) journey across the Thames is what you are treated to, with some surprisingly stunning views along the way. On a clear day you can see most of London while soaring gracefully through the air in your own 360 degree bubble, including Canary Wharf, the Olympic Park, the runway of City Airport and of course the 02. Personally I think it is a little overpriced, even with an oyster, especially as there is no real reason to get off at the Excel centre unless there is an event on. However, it's a nice way to pass half hour and you do get a free pair of cardboard binoculars!

Kritt N

The Emirates Air Line is the UK's first urban cable car which crosses over the river Thames and connects North Greenwich (or rather The 02 Arena) to Royal Victoria (or the ExCel Arena).  Be warned, it can get very busy on the weekends so try and go during weekdays if you can. Month by month, you might find that the cable cars are decked out in seasonanal themes. I went along just before Halloween and the cars were plastered with stickers of bats and pumpkins accompanied by classic Halloween music like Michael Jackson's Thriller. The views are pretty incredible as you can imagine whatever time of day you go. If you want to see more of London, then I recommend hopping on board during the day. You'll be able to see the Olympic Park, Thames Barrie, the City and Canary Wharf. At night, you can't really see further than Canary Wharf but London really is pretty when lit up. Getting a good photograph at can be tricky, however, given the low light condition.

Spectacular and as exciting it may be, at £3+ a pop I found it a little too expensive for a pretty short ride. The journey does last 8-9 minutes but you'll be amazed at just how fast that time flies when you're in the air.


I tried out the cable cars last night and I had been told by my housemate that they were quite underwhelming - and only decent, if gazing at shipping containers is right up your alley. I think my housemate is a tough nut to please, because I actually quite enjoyed this. I dropped on a a lovely early evening - so the weather arguably helped. You get an incredible view of both the Thames barrier, the Cit runway, and the brave souls walking over the O2. Yes there are a few cranes and such but this didnt detract from it. Id love to go back and do this at night - I did notice the advert for night flights - so seeing London lit up would be worth checking out too. It's easy on the pocket too - better if you have an Oyster. It's quite high up - but the ride was smooth and we had a car to ourselves. You even get mini binoculars as part of the package - though these do make you look a bit like wall-e. It's sumet different and worth doing if you don't mind heights.

Charly Lester
moderatorStaff Writer

As far as public transport in London goes, this is pretty bloody awesome.  And the best part is that you get an incredible view of the city, but whilst still paying public transport prices - making it far preferable to the likes of a £25 visit up to the top of the Shard. If you're going to the O2, I'd certainly recommend making time for a round trip on the cable car.  And if you can time it around dusk, then you'll get to see the city in both daylight and darkness ... the latter is arguably the prettier.  Don't panic if you're scared of heights - the ride is really smooth, and having shared a car with a few friends with vertigo, everyone was surprised at how non-scary it is.

Jane M

I just had to go on Emirates and travelled to Greenwich for the experience. It was a bit like going on a gentle fairground ride. I was on my own in the gonola. I felt slightly nervous at first as I went up in the air. Then I relaxed as I saw the view of the river, the Thames Barrier, the runway at City Airport, other gondolas hanging from the cable and the O2. The flight was smooth and apart from being slightly nervous of heights I enjoyed it.