If you’re a London local, it can be easy to fall into the routine of only doing things in your immediate area. The number of times we've suggested a picnic on the common during summer rather than actually exploring the city is diabolical; it’s important to be a tourist in your own city to shake things up.

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If you’re travelling to London from elsewhere, you’ll certainly be looking for something exciting to do with your time in the Big Smoke. Selfridges, the iconic Oxford Street department store, even offers its own experience gifts like an afternoon (beau)tea experience and floristry workshops.

Our London experience guide has something for everyone, with the best experiences to gift couples, family members, and your adventurous friends. You can rest assured that you're in good hands when selecting experience gifts as the RadioTimes.com Going Out team knows a thing or two about what to do in London...

We've researched the best London walking tours, the best London art exhibitions and the best West End shows, as well as how to get cheap theatre tickets to save some hard-earned pennies in the run up to Christmas. We like to try out the things we recommend, too, and you can read our 2:22 A Ghost Story review, Witness for the Prosecution review, and BBC Earth Experience review, and check out our what is Frameless? guide for a sneak peek of the immersive exhibition.

The London activities we've suggested below come from reputable UK experience day companies such as Buyagift, Virgin Experience Days, daysout.co.uk and Activity Superstore, who work hard to secure you the best deal.

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So without further ado, let’s see what exciting things you can get up to in London this year.

For more exciting things to do across the country, be sure to check out our Going Out section for guides like the best UK driving experiences and best steam train experiences.

The London Dungeon

Just like the cinema is the perfect opportunity to put your arm around your date, The London Dungeon is the prime time to feel ‘scared’ and get close to your partner, as you’ll be facing your fears together in this thrilling immersive experience.

From now until Wednesday 14th February, you can use the code VAL24 at the checkout to secure two-for-one tickets at The London Dungeons.

The offer applies when you buy one full-priced adult ticket, and the tickets are redeemable up until 30th June 2024.

Buy two-for-one The London Dungeon tickets for £40 at The Dungeons

Best London experience gifts at a glance:

Best food experience gifts in London

Best London experience gifts for families

Best London experience gifts for couples

  • For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, from £19
  • Sister Act tickets, from £24
  • Painting Class at The Clapham North, from £25
  • London Ghost Boat Tour for Two, £39
  • Hidden Vintage Cinema Experience with Cocktail for Two, £42
  • Escape The Power Cut at Control Room B for Two, £110

Unique London experience gifts

  • Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria tickets, from £66.90
  • The Dare Skywalk for Two at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, £84
  • Up at The O2 Climb for Two, £85
  • Monopoly Lifesized Choice of All Boards Immersive Experience for Two, £98
  • Thames Rockets Break the Barrier River Cruise for Two, £110
  • Become a Zombie for a Day at The London Tombs, £150

Best London experience gifts to buy in 2024

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of attractions to visit in London, with classes, shows, and immersive experiences popping up every day. To help you filter through the barrage of information, we've pulled together our recommendations of the best London experiences you can gift someone, then we've broken them down into categories.

Here are our favourites for 2024.

Jump to:

Best food experience gifts in London

Vegan Pasta Workshop Supper Club

vegan pasta making best london experience
Who said vegan food was bland! Fever

Learn plenty of tips and tricks as you whip up a vegan pasta delight, plus get a vegan recipe booklet to take home in this workshop. There are different flavours on various days, so you can choose whether to make mushroom, butternut squash, spinach and ricotta, or pear and gorgonzola pasta — all of which sound delicious.

Buy Vegan Pasta Workshop Supper Club tickets for £75 at Fever

A cookery class would be the perfect gift for a loved one, and for more inspiration, take a look at our best experience birthday gifts and best London date ideas guides.

Original Chocolate Making Workshop for Two

chocolate making best london experience
A sweet treat for you and a loved one Virgin Experience Days

Discover the rich history of chocolate and make your own sweet treats in this chocolate-making class. You’ll taste cocoa in its purest form, and try a variation of chocolate, then you’ll try your hand at making chocolate yourself! Create and decorate a giant chocolate button, and add toppings to gooey fudge. You should have some chocolates to take home with you if you can resist eating them before…

Buy Original Chocolate Making Workshop for Two for £109.90 £82.43 (save £27.47 or 25%) at Virgin Experience Days

For more experiences like this one, take a look at our best London baking classes and experiences guide.

If you're looking for a show-stopping gift for the foodie in your life, our friends at olivemagazine.com have a guide to Gozney vs Ooni, breaking down the positives of each pizza oven brand.

Comedy Night with Three Dish Dinner for Two at inamo

inamo dining comedy date night best london experience
Spoil your significant other with a meal and comedy night Virgin Experience Days

Switch-up the usual dinner time routine: asking your significant other what to cook for tea, opening the fridge to an uninspiring selection of food, then ordering a takeaway from your local. In this experience for two, you’ll begin the night on a high with a delicious three dish meal of Pan-Asian cuisine, like sushi, sashimi, tapas, dumplings and more, at inamo in Covent Garden, before enjoying a comedy evening at inamo’s in-house Comedy Club.

Buy Comedy Night with Three Dish Dinner for Two at inamo for £110.70 £59.95 (save £50.75 or 46%) at Virgin Experience Days

Are you a fan of comedy? Then take a look at the best comedy shows in London.

River Thames Murder Mystery Three Course Dining Cruise for Two

murder mystery three course meal best london experience gifts
River Thames Murder Mystery Three Course Dining Cruise for Two via Red Letter Days Red Letter Days

This next experience will see you cruise peacefully along the River Thames for an evening, but the events inside the boat will be anything but smooth: you'll have to put on your detective cap to work out who the cold-blooded murderer is who lurks on board... Alongside this game, you'll enjoy a delicious three-course meal which is sure to delight foodies and true crime fans alike.

Buy River Thames Murder Mystery Three Course Dining Cruise for Two for £214 £196 (save £18 or 8%) at Red Letter Days

If you're a fan of murder mystery, you'll love our selection of the best Agatha Christie books and best Harlan Coben books, the man behind Fool Me Once.

Mamma Mia! The Party

mamma mia the party immersive experience
Grant Walker Grant Walker

Dance, jive, have the time of your life at Mamma Mia! The Party this November. At this fun-filled experience, you'll enjoy a delicious four-course Greek meal as a musical theatre show takes place around you, then dance the night away at an ABBA disco.

As this is an experience for foodies, let us tell you a little more about the freshly-made meals: for meat-eaters, you'll enjoy traditional Greek mezze and Greek salad followed by confit lamb shoulder and slow cooked beef with roasted garlic potatoes, then, for dessert, it'll be a Greek lemon cake and a choice of tea or coffee. For vegetarian and vegan guests, you'll tuck into roasted cauliflower and stuffed tomato with lentil ragout, then loukoumades for dessert, which are delicious dough balls served with fig jam.

Buy Mamma Mia! The Party tickets from £130 at See Tickets

If you like socialising but dislike how loud it can be, then read our handy guide on how do Loop Earplugs work?

Thames Afternoon Tea Cruise

afternoon tea thames cruise best london experience gift for foodies
Caroline Purser via Getty Images Caroline Purser via Getty Images

What better way to experience London than with a cruise along the River Thames accompanied by a delicious afternoon tea? In this relaxing experience, you'll dig into treats like oak-smoked salmon, pastries and, of course, scones, with as many teas and coffees as you'd like.

Don't focus too much on the tasty bites in front of you, though, as you'll miss out on seeing landmarks like the Tower of London, London Eye, and Tower Bridge.

Buy Thames Afternoon Tea Cruise from £52 at Headout

Graveney Gin Tasting in Tooting Market for Two

gin tasting best london experience
We'll have three more, please Virgin Experience Days

The iconic Tooting Market hosts this fun-filled experience: gin tasting for two. Learn about the history of gin, taste three variations of Graveney Gin’s spirits, and enjoy some nibbles.

Buy Graveney Gin Tasting in Tooting Market for Two for £70 at Virgin Experience Days

Best London experience gifts for families

Balloon Museum

when and where is balloon museum london credit Matt Chung
Matt Chung Matt Chung

This Going Out Digital Writer was lucky enough to experience the Balloon Museum in person, and it's safe to say, they had a ball (if you'll pardon the pun)!

Located in Old Billingsgate on the riverside, the Balloon Museum showcases artwork by 20 incredible artists, including the Cube Abyss by Cyril Lancelin, an installation by Momoyo Torimitsu which is made up of large, pink rabbits, and a colourful display by Miranda Makaroff.

We loved the interactive elements of this exhibition, like giant bouncy balls hanging from the ceiling, an inflatable maze, and not to mention the huge ball pit, which we could've spent hours and hours in.

Buy Balloon Museum tickets from £15 at Ticketmaster

Kew Gardens with Thames River Cruise for Two

kew gardens thames cruise best london experience
Perfect for the whole family Virgin Experience Days

This experience includes a one-and-a-half-hour sightseeing cruise along the River Thames which will drop you off a 10-minute walk away from Kew Gardens, then you’ll also get entry for two into the beautiful botanical gardens. One of the RadioTimes.com team treated their mum to this last summer, and let's just say they were favourite child for a while...

Buy Kew Gardens with Thames River Cruise for Two for £90 at Virgin Experience Days

BBC Earth Experience

david attenborough immersive bbc earth experience tickets
BBC Earth Experience via Ticketmaster Ticketmaster

The Going Out team were lucky enough to visit the BBC Earth Experience when it first opened, and we can wholeheartedly recommend it as a fantastic family day out.

BBC Earth Experience will take visitors on a journey across the globe as they experience animals and nature from all continents on 360-degree screens; be mesmerised by fireflies in North America, look in awe at snub nosed monkeys huddling together in Asia, and watch hungry hamsters fighting over their food in Europe.

Buy BBC Earth Experience tickets from £15 at Ticketmaster

Take a walk on the wild side with our pick of the best animal experience days.

Madame Tussauds

madame tussauds best london experience gifts for families
Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Who are your parents' favourite celebrities? This Digital Writer's mum has a huge crush on George Clooney, and her dad fancies himself a bit of a footballer. At Madame Tussauds in London, you can meet and take photos with 250 lifelike figures of your favourite celebrities, from the Royal Family and Taylor Swift to Beyoncé and ET, as well as experience 14 interactive zones, and learn all about London's history from up to 400 years ago.

Buy Madame Tussauds London tickets from £22.80 at Madame Tussauds

Tour of Wembley Stadium

wembley tour best london experience
The Lionesses have got us in a football frenzy! Buyagift

With the success of the Lionesses this year combined with the World Cup frenzy, we recommend taking a tour of the UK's best-known football ground. It's the ideal gift for a football fan in your family; the Wembley Stadium tour allows you to see the changing rooms, take a picture in the Press Conference Room and walk through the players' tunnel.

Buy Tour of Wembley Stadium for two adults and two children for £65 at Buyagift

Are you a sports fan? Check out the best BT Sport offers and Sky Sports offers for this month.

Plus, here's how to get cheap football tickets to watch the Premier League without a membership.

Golden Age of Travel on Belmond British Pullman for Two

Golden Age of Travel on Belmond British Pullman for Two best london experience gifts
Golden Age of Travel on Belmond British Pullman for Two via Buyagift Buyagift

This experience is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. During this incredible five-hour journey, you'll tour the English countryside before returning to London Victoria and you'll enjoy champagne and a delicious five-course meal. The carriages of the Belmond British Pullman train date back to as early as 1925 and are beautifully maintained, and train travel enthusiasts will have noticed that this train is named after the father of luxury train travel, George Mortimer Pullman.

Buy Golden Age of Travel on Belmond British Pullman for Two for £800 at Buyagift

Historic Photography Tour of London for Two

history of london photography tour best london experience gift uk 2023
Say 'cheese'! Activity Superstore

If your parents are anything like ours, they love taking photos when they're out and about – and they can never resist a 'family selfie' either. This next experience lets them hone in on their photography skills, as a professional photographer tour guide will teach them all the tips and tricks of photography.

London is packed with impressive cathedrals, structures and churches, not to mention stunning side streets, too, and you'll be taking photos of all of them in this History Photography Tour.

Buy Historic Photography Tour of London for Two for £99 £79 (save £20 or 20%) at Activity Superstore

For more photography experiences, we've compiled a guide to the best photography courses.

London Eye and Lunch Cruise

london eye lunch cruise best london experience gifts 2023 uk
One of London's most famous attractions. Rudy Sulgan via Getty Images

There are a few landmarks which are synonymous with London: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and, of course, the London Eye. Experience London from new heights (135 metres up, to be exact), then enjoy a two course lunch, plus tea and coffee, on a blissful river cruise.

This experience is for Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.

Buy London Eye and Lunch Cruise for £179 at Activity Superstore

Kia Oval Cricket Ground Tour for Two

Kia Oval Cricket Ground Tour for Two best london experience gifts uk for families
Kia Oval Cricket Ground Tour via Buyagift Buyagift

The Kia Oval Cricket Ground tour is the perfect experience to pull out of the bag when your parent comes to visit you in London. When your parents come to see you in the Big Smoke, they're probably not going to want to visit your local pub, and dishing up a microwave meal while you catch up on soaps together might not cut it, either. So, if they're fans of cricket — we've got you sorted!

In this experience, you'll visit the birthplace of the Ashes, The Kia Oval Cricket Ground in Kennington, and enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of the iconic stadium.

Buy Kia Oval Cricket Ground Tour for Two for £45 at Buyagift

Best London experience gifts for couples

A London theatre show like For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy

cast of for black boys on stage with red lighting
Ali Wright For Black Boys Ali Wright For Black Boys

While a lot of the experiences in this guide will make you laugh and smile, it's important to include a range of things that will also make you think deeply, too. After all, showcasing stories from every walk of life is something London does so well.

In For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, we meet six young black men speaking in a group therapy session, and they discuss the complications of what it means to be a black man in Britain, talking about everything from love and fashion to societal expectations and police harassment.

Ryan Calais Cameron's play is at the Garrick Theatre for a limited time only, from 29th February until 4th May 2024, so be sure to snap up tickets when you can.

Buy For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy tickets from £19 at London Theatre Direct

Hidden Vintage Cinema Experience with Cocktail for Two

vintage cinema cocktail best london experience
Shhhh, it's starting! Virgin Experience Days

Who doesn’t love a trip to the cinema? How about a trip to a vintage cinema with a cult classic showing, and a movie-themed complimentary cocktail afterwards? Sounds perfect.

Buy Hidden Vintage Cinema Experience with Cocktail for Two for £42 at Virgin Experience Days

For special cinema trips, these are the best luxury cinema experiences. Plus, To save money on your cinema visit, here's how to get cheap cinema tickets.

A West End show like Sister Act

Sister Act West End
Hallelujah! Ticketmaster UK

Sister Act is returning to London's West End with two stellar guest stars: Beverley Knight and Alexandra Burke, who will be taking it in turns playing the lead role of Deloris van Cartier. You're probably familiar with the Sister Act plot: Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg in the movie) goes into witness protection as a nun at a convent after she witnesses a murder, but she has more than a little trouble adjusting to her new lifestyle...

Buy Sister Act tickets from £24 at Ticketmaster

These are the best London theatre shows and best Manchester theatre shows, and here's how to get cheap theatre tickets because if there's one thing we love, it's a discount!

Plus, if it's your first time attending a show, you might want to check out top West End theatre tips and advice.

London Ghost Boat Tour for Two

best london experience gifts london ghost boat tour for two
Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you and your other half are fans of all things spooky then, boy, do we have an experience for you! Unlike your typical ghost walking tour, this creepy experience will see you explore London by boat, taking you to Green Park, St James's Palace, Mayfair, Westminster, and the Tower of London — places which are rich with horrifying stories of murder, plague and torture.

Buy London Ghost Boat Tour for Two for £39 at Find Me A Gift

Looking for a ghost tour in other UK cities? Then take a look at the best Edinburgh ghost tours and the best York ghost tours.

Painting Class at The Clapham North

painting class best london experience gifts uk 2023
Sister Act is returning to the West End Catherine Falls Commercial via Getty Images

This painting class in south west London is a great way to finish off a day exploring the city. Depending on which day you pick, you can either paint Three Sunflowers In a Vase or The Starry Night by Van Gogh, or paintings by Steinlen, Kandinsky, Hopper and Monet. No matter which painting you choose, you’ll enjoy your time in a relaxed environment and have a piece of art to take home with you at the end of the day.

Buy Painting Class at The Clapham North from £25 at Fever

Here are the best UK pottery classes to unleash your creativity this year.

Escape The Power Cut at Control Room B for Two

Escape The Power Cut at Control Room B for Two best london experience days
Escape The Power Cut at Control Room B via Virgin Experience Days Virgin Experience Days

Nothing says testing your relationship like an escape room! The clock is ticking, and you have 90 minutes to solve puzzles and decipher cryptic clues with the aim of fixing the power cut before the time runs out. What makes this escape room different to a lot of others is that you'll step behind the Battersea Power Station Control Room's original control desks. Oh, and you'll also enjoy two cocktails each.

Buy Escape The Power Cut at Control Room B for Two for £110 at Virgin Experience Days

Are you a fan of live music? Here's how to get cheap concert tickets to see your favourite artists for less.

Plus, we were lucky enough to attend a candlelight concert, and you can read our thoughts in our candlelight concert review.

Unique London experience gifts

Become a Zombie for a Day at The London Tombs

zombie london tombs best experience uk
Virgin Experience Days

In this one-of-a-kind experience, you and a friend will be transformed into terrifying zombies and given a lesson in the art of scaring people, as well as how to apply your own FX make-up. You'll take these skills (and your creepy exterior) to scare visitors at The London Tombs.

Scaring people is thirsty work, so you and your zombie cohort will be treated to pub grub at The Bermondsey Bierkeller as part of the experience, too.

Buy Become a Zombie for a Day at The London Tombs for £150 at Virgin Experience Days

Take a look at the best UK zombie experiences, best UK dungeons, and best UK Halloween events, if you dare...

Up at The O2 Climb for Two

climbing up the o2 best london experience
See the whole of London from new heights Virgin Experience Days

View London from dizzying new heights with this experience. You and a fellow adventurer will climb 365m to the top of The O2, take the opportunity to snap some incredible photos with the whole of London stretched out behind you, before heading back down to earth.

Buy Up at The O2 Climb for Two for £85 at Virgin Experience Days

Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria

Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria
Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria

For a limited time only (just nine weeks), Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria will be performed at the Royal Albert Hall in celebration of the production's 30th anniversary. This particular performance tells the story of a kingdom which has lost its King, and like all Cirque Du Soleil productions, you can expect stunning acrobatics.

For more information about the performance, read our Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria tickets article.

Buy Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria tickets from £66.90 at Ticketmaster

Thames Rockets Break the Barrier River Cruise for Two

speedboat river thames london experience
Hold on tight! Buyagift

We all have that mate who’s a huge thrill-seeker; so if you’re planning a day out for them, you know afternoon tea isn’t going to cut it. Treat your daredevil friend to a speedboat ride across the River Thames. Take twists and turns along the river at high-speed and catch glimpses of landmarks like The O2, all while listening to tunes across the ages. Just remember to hold on tight!

Buy Thames Rockets Break the Barrier River Cruise for Two for £110 at Buyagift

If that wasn’t adventurous enough for you, check out the best UK driving experiences and best London escape rooms.

The Dare Skywalk for Two at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

The Dare Skywalk for Two at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium best london experience gifts
The Dare Skywalk for Two at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium via Virgin Experience Days Virgin Experience Days

Do you live life on the edge? How about the edge of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium? Take in views of the capital city as you journey 46.8 metres above the football pitch and onto a glass walkway to scale the outside of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Buy The Dare Skywalk for Two at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for £84 at Virgin Experience Days

Monopoly Lifesized Choice of All Boards Immersive Experience for Two

Monopoly Lifesized Choice of All Boards Immersive Experience for Two best london experience gifts
Monopoly Lifesized Choice of All Boards Immersive Experience for Two via Virgin Experience Days Virgin Experience Days

Take one of the most beloved (and arguably the most competitive) games to the next level with a life-sized version of Monopoly. Spend 80-minutes – any longer and we're sure arguments would begin! – building houses, taking rent, avoiding jail, and completing escape room challenges as you make your way across the Monopoly board. Afterwards, be sure to recharge in the on-site bar and restaurant, The Top Hat.

Buy Monopoly Lifesized Choice of All Boards Immersive Experience for Two for £98 at Virgin Experience Days

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Looking for things to do in 2024? Here's the best murder mystery experiences, the best VR experiences, and the best immersive experiences to try.

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