Take to the air on the London cable cars and discover a whole new perspective of the Capital’s skyline. Here’s a complete guide.
How To Get To The London Cable Cars
The London cable cars, or Emirates Air Line, travel over the River Thames connecting both The Royal Docks and Greenwich areas of East London.
The two starting points are easy to find on Google maps and are labelled as Emirates Royal Docks and Emirates Greenwich Peninsula.
The Emirates Royal Docks Terminal is located on the north side, close to the Excel Centre.
The Emirates Greenwich Peninsula Terminal is located on the south side, close to the O2 Arena.
By London Underground (Tube):
The London Underground is the easiest way to jump on and off between tourist spots, so we highly recommend using the tube system to get around.
Zones 1-2 contain all the central London districts, and most of the major tourist attractions. The daily cap for travelling in Zones 1-2 is £7.00 when using a contactless bank card.
The nearest station to the Emirates Royal Docks is Royal Victoria (on the DLR Line).
The nearest station to the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula is North Greenwich (on the Jubilee Line).
Both stations are a within a 5 minute walking distance to the entrance.
If you don’t have a contactless card that works in London, the best option is to purchase a 1-Day Unlimited Travel Card. These can be purchased online in advance, and can be used on the tubes, buses, trams and Docklands Light Railway.
Standard buses are available within your daily travel card.
You can find your most convenient bus route through Google Maps by searching ‘Emirates Royal Docks’ or ‘Emirates Greenwich Peninsula’, depending on which side of the river you are coming from.
Then click the bus icon in Google Maps and that will tell you the quickest route on the day you visit.
For those short on time, or those that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
London Cable Cars Entrance Fee
Adult: £4 one way
Child: £2.50 one way
The London cable cars are not a part of the Transport for London ticketing scheme, so a separate fare must be paid when travelled on them.
Tap on with any contactless bank card, which costs £4 for a single trip.
If you don’t own a contactless bank card, you can purchase a ticket at the terminal which costs £5 for a single trip.
Tickets can be bought as a single ride one way or purchased as a return ticket but there is no discount in price.
Tickets can also ONLY be bought at the terminals, they cannot be purchased online in advance.
Depending on what type of experience you want from the London cable cars, the prices vary as shown below.
The Emirate Air Line offer a wide range of packages, from champagne filled flights, to discovery experiences. You can find out more info on the fares and flights experiences on the Emirates Airline website.
London Cable Car Opening Times
Monday – Thursday: 7am – 9pm
Friday: 7am – 10pm
Saturday & Bank Holidays: 8pm – 10pm
Sunday: 9pm – 9pm
The lines close at 8pm during the winter months (October to March) and 9pm during the Summer Months (April to September).
During events at the Excel Centre and the O2 Arena service may continue until later in the evening.
Best Time To Visit + Tips
Many say the best time to visit the London cable cars is at night when the sky is dark and the city is bright.
It makes for a unique viewpoint of London, reaching heights of 90 metres (the highest observation point over the Thames).
When riding the the London cable cars after the sun goes down, you can discover a unique perspective of London’s captivating night sky. Including the reflections of the O2 and the bright city lights of Canary Wharf.
You may even want to take a romantic evening sunset ride on the London cable cars with someone special.
There’s no additional charge for night flights, just be wary to avoid rush hour when people are leaving the office.
It’s also a fun way to get from one side of the river to the other in the daytime too, and makes quite a change from your standard tube ride.
Seeing the city in daylight from a birds eye view can help you to understand more of what lies beneath on the map of London.
What To Pack:
How Long Do The London Cable Cars Take?
Between 10am and 3pm the flight duration is roughly 10 minutes.
This is so that visitors have plenty of time to appreciate the spectacular view on offer!
During peak times however, they travel slightly faster, with the average ride taking roughy 5 minutes to get from one side to the other.
After 7pm, during the night flight experience, the cable cars slow down again and extend the flight to somewhere between 12 to 13 minutes.
The London cable cars pass through the stations every few seconds of the day, so there’s no worry of planning your journey in advance.
What To Expect At The London Cable Cars
The London cable cars are officially known as ‘The Emirates Air Line’ and one of the top things to do in Greenwich.
They cross a 1km distance over the River Thames in East London, between The Royal Docks near Canning Town and the Greenwich Peninsula in North Greenwich. It is sponsored by Emirates Airline, hence its title.
With the London cable cars being the highest observation point over the Thames, (90 metres high) you can expect to experience stunning aerial views of the Capital’s skyline.
Not only that, but you’ll see U-bend of the River Thames and the neighbouring suburbs beneath.
Gliding above the Thames, the London cable cars are a unique experience in the city of London and an activity that must be ticked off your London Bucket List.
When you arrive at the station you can simply tap your payment card on the barriers and this will grant access through to the cable cars.
They pass through every few seconds and each car takes up to 10 people and two bicycles. The boarding is monitored by staff.
The London cable cars are a great tourist attraction for any traveller. Couples, families and solo-flyers are all bound to have an amazing time. As long as it’s a clear day!
Also riding the cable cars at dusk makes for a great Fun Date Idea In London.
The Surrounding Areas
The Royal Docks
From The Royal Docks you can visit Newham City Farm, the Museum of London Docklands and the ExCeL.
It is a unique waterfront and a growing home for business and culture in Newham, East London.
There are a couple of restaurants at the Royal Docks. One being a Thai Restaurant, another being a boat restaurant and the third being a cafe to grab a coffee and cake.
Further afield, along the Excel Marina walk, there are a few more restaurants and cafes too, including a Tesco.
This is just a minute or so away by foot from the Emirates Royal Docks Terminal.
A bustling tourist spot with a great range of things to do, ideal for a day trip out with family or friends.
Whether you’re interested in local history with at National Maritime Museum or impressed by stunning panorama views from the Royal Observatory, there’s something for everyone.
Greenwich has a great high street and the popular Greenwich Market too for the shopaholics.
As soon as you step off the London cable cars at the Greenwich side of the river, you are almost right outside the O2.
The Emirates Aviation Experience
If you have time on your travels, the Emirates Aviation Experience (located at the foot of the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula Terminal) is worth a stop.
The Emirates Aviation Experience has 4 simulators, in which you can test your take off and landing skills.
You can learn about the science of flying and what happens to your body at 30,000 feet. As well as watch exactly what happens to your luggage after check-in.
There’s so much to see and learn at this unique tourist attraction, it’s certainly great value for money for advanced flyers as well as newbies.
So whether you’re looking to pilot an A380, or just extend the day for the aviation geeks, the Emirates Aviation Experience is not to be missed before or after your London cable car trip.
Where To Stay In London
Luxury – The London EDITION
The London EDITION is located in central London’s Fitzrovia district, with Oxford Street, Theatreland and Piccadilly Circus all within a 10-minute walk.
Inside, there is a Michelin star restaurant, 2 cocktail bars, a 24-hour front desk, free WiFi and free use of the on-site fitness centre for all guests.
With a view of the vibrant city, each en suite room come with a flat-screen TV and air-conditioning.
An iPod docking station, bathrobes and a mini-bar are also provided.
Each evening, the restaurant offers a contemporary British menu using fresh, British produce.
Mid-Budget – Corus Hotel Hyde Park
Set within a 20-minute walk fromand boasting a stylish, lounge, Corus Hotel Hyde Park features modern rooms with free WiFi.
The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from Paddington Station, offering a direct train link to Heathrow Airport.
The cosy, air-conditioned bedrooms at Corus Hotel have private en-suite bathrooms and satellite TVs with on-demand movies.
Rooms also feature work desks, tea/coffee facilities, iron and ironing boards.
The conservatory brasserie serves a modern European menu using seasonal produce. Olio Bar offers light snacks and beverages, and overlooks Hyde Park.
Budget – The Queens Hostel
Featuring free WiFi, The Queens Hostel offers accommodation in London, just a 2-minute walk to Queens Park Rangers football stadium.
Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Rooms come with a shared bathroom.
You can play tennis at this hostel, and the area is popular for golfing.
For more places to stay in London, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.
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