This post lists what I’ve found out about parking at the Greenwich, London O2 Arena (the old Millennium Dome), and my experience of event parking there. I hope it’s useful, and please use the comments to add anything else which you know! The article was originally written at the end of 2014, but has been continually updated. More importantly, the comments thread at the bottom has taken on a life of its own and now, nearly 10 years on, it’s just as useful as the article itself, so do read everything. If you’re short on time, read the introduction here, then scroll all the way to the bottom and start reading the most recent comments first.
The main car parks at the O2 are Car Park 1 (“Event Parking”), Car Park 2 (“Non Event Parking”) and the North Greenwich Station Car Park.
“Non Event Parking” means parking for people visiting the cinema and restaurants, although I cannot understand how they know who’s doing what, and I don’t suppose anyone takes much notice of this. Let me know in the comments below if you know better. Here’s the map:
The area isn’t as huge as it looks, it’s only 5–10 minutes’ walk from the top of the map to the bottom, and if you’re there at night, there are loads of people around, it’s well lit and adequately marshalled, so don’t worry about safety.
Directions: Once you’ve come off the A102, follow the road round and Car Park 1 is the first on the right; Car Park 2 and the North Greenwich Station Car Park are the second turning on the right. If you want to familiarise yourself with the area in advance, have a play on Google Street View here.
If you’re coming to a big event at the O2, and you want the least grief, you can book a place in Car Park 1 online before the event here. Very nice, but also very expensive at
£21.00 £25.00 £26.00 £27.00 £28.00 £29.00. Getting in is straightforward – getting out can be variable: I’ve done it in a couple of minutes, but on one occasion I queued for nearly an hour. Much depends on how close to the exit you can park.
If you get the message “Sorry This Car Park Is Full” when trying to book online for Car Park 1, it just means that the spaces they’ve allocated for pre-booking have been used up. Apparently there are still spaces available on the day, but these cost even more than the above.
Note: if your event is at the ‘Indigo’, commenters below say that Car Park 1 is much cheaper (yes, it’s the same car park). Go figure.
However, Car Park 1 is the most expensive car park, so if you can’t book that in advance, or don’t want to do so, obviously you should try the cheaper non-bookable car parks first when you get there. But you might want to forget pre-booking and just try them anyway – it depends on how much the saving means to you. Because it can be a big saving.
Let’s look at Car Park 2. This is the pay-and-display car park designed for people visiting the cinema and restaurants, with the hourly rates at the bottom of this page. Parking for 2 to 4 hours (probably enough for a gig) is just £9, a heck of a lot less than Car Park 1. As I mentioned above, I’ve no idea how they tell you’re going to a gig, rather than a restaurant …and of course many people do both anyway. So I can’t see why gig-goers can’t use this car park. Commenters below may have an opinion on this.
One more thing: customers with a ticket for Cineworld at the O2 get free parking for up to four hours in Car Park 2! Although the O2 Cineworld is quite expensive, if you thought you were going to be in and out of the car park inside four hours, you could always buy a Cineworld ticket instead of a car park ticket, if that worked out cheaper. You just need to get it validated to get out of the car park.
Last but definitely not least, there’s the North Greenwich Station Car Park (take the second car park entrance off the main road, and it’s the first car park you come to). Despite the name, this is just another car park, no different to Car Park 1 or Car Park 2.
Like Car Park 2, there’s no guarantee there’ll be space here. For one gig, we had to drive round for about 10 minutes before someone vacated a space. On several other occasions, there’s been plenty of space straight away. But the car park is used by people going into London on the tube, so if you’re arriving for an evening gig, there’s a decent chance someone will be on their way back home at that time. It’s well worth a try. The car park seems to have a flat rate of £12.50, but the really cool thing is that you can now pay for it by app without tickets or barriers, and you get a text message saying the money’s been debited to your credit card. Cool. It’s all done by automatic recognition of your car number plate. To use the system,
you must register for a Dash Park account you need the PayByPhone app on a smartphone. That’s all. But if you don’t want to take advantage of all that techno-stuff, you can just buy a ticket.
UPDATE March 2015 (see comments below): it seems that they’ve stuck in a £25 charge for arriving in the station car park after 7pm, possibly to deter concert-goers.But you can still get the cheap rate if you get in before 7pm, as many concert-goers will do.
UPDATE: do also consider not parking at the venue itself; some alternatives are discussed in the comments below.
So that’s my experience – if you have any other tips, let everyone know in the comments below. If you’re short on time, scroll down and read the most recent comments at the very bottom.