37 unique and unusual things to do in London

If you are looking to uncover the quirkier side of the city and explore unique and unusual things to do in London, you're in for a treat! From whimsical museums to clandestine cocktail bars, journey through the city's lesser-known wonders, offering an array of unique and unusual experiences. These unconventional activities promise not only to make memories but also to reveal the quirkiest side of London.
Written by Visit London Editors Edited by Hannah Cornish 25 March 2024
Two people are walking in a room at Frameless where a painting is projected on all four walls.
Find yourself immersed within breathtaking paintings at Frameless, an art exhibition in London. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.

Quirky London attractions 

  1. Learn about London's bloody history at The London Dungeon: Delve into London’s dark past through immersive performances, thrilling rides and special effects in a hair-raising walk-through experience.
  2. Meet your favourite celebrities at Madame Tussauds London: Pose for a selfie and get up close and personal with more than 190 lifelike wax figures, including Taylor Swift, Dwayne Johnson and the Royal family.
  3. Experience mind-bending optical illusions at Twist Museum: Test your perception on colour, perspective, shape and sound on exhibits and interactive illusions.
  4. Find yourself at the heart of some of the most famous artworks at Frameless: Walk through rooms and see Edward Mundt's The Scream come alive, or watch the brushstrokes of Van Gogh's Midnight Sky come together as your movements bring the masterpiece alive.

Take a look at more London attractions and other weird things to do in London.

Unusual London experiences

a woman wearing a orange prison jumpsuit with 'Alcotraz Penitentiary' printed on the back, walking through the different prison-themed cells

  1. Jump into a Monopoly Lifesized board: Roll the giant dice, move around the interactive board and take part in exhilarating challenges.
  2. Become a prison inmate for the day at the Alcotraz Immersive Prison Cocktail Experience: Don your orange jumpsuit and smuggle in liquor for some deliciously crafted cocktails during the most unusual immersive experience.
  3. Put on all the glitter and be a dancing queen on ABBA Voyage: For one night, see the iconic Swedish band come to life and perform their greatest hits as if they never left the stage.
  4. Travel to Phantom Peak, a live gameplay where you get to uncover the ultimate secret plot: Immerse yourself in the old town of Phantom Peak and mingle with the locals as you complete quests that will lead you to the whereabouts of Jonas, the enigmatic mayor.

Take a look at more London immersive experiences to do in London.

Unusual tours in London

A group if four people are standing in the streets of London at night and seem to be taken aback by something said by their interlocutor during a Jack the Ripper tour.

  1. Join the Jack The Ripper walking tour: Follow in the footsteps of the notorious Jack the Ripper and learn about some of the greatest unsolved murder mysterious in east London.
  2. Step on board the Ghost Bus Tour: Unearth terrible truths and sinister secrets on a ghost bus tour, taking in sights such as the Tower of London and The Houses of Parliament.
  3. Whizz down the Thames on a speedboat tour: Get the adrenaline flowing with a speedboat tour to see the capitals iconic skyline.
  4. Learn about London’s interesting and unique sites on a guided walking tour: Have an expert guide you around London on an exciting themed walking tour, from Royal London and Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter film locations.
  5. Take your friends our for an adrenaline-pumped challenge at Dare Skywalk: Climb to the top of Tottenham Hotspur's stadium and take in the views 46 metres above the pitch. A thrilling experience!

Find more unusual tours in London to experience.

Quirky museums in London

a family of four sat inside a narrow train with a glass roof, looking out to see the train track tunnel ahead

  1. Ride the Mail Rail at the The Postal Museum: Explore the museum dedicated to the postal service and take a ride on the Mail Rail through the stations and tunnels of the 100-year-old postal railway.
  2. Visit the notorious Clink Prison Museum: Learn about the dark and eerie days of London’s medieval past through original objects and creepy installations.
  3. Discover the Jack the Ripper Museum: Check out the historical Victorian museum in the heart of Whitechapel and learn about the gruesome murder story that gripped the world.
  4. Enter the unique and living Household Cavalry Museum: Admire dazzling displays of military uniforms and watch troopers prepare their horses in the stables.
  5. Marvel at the weird and wonderful at the Horniman Museum: See a Victorian taxidermist's overstuffed one-tonne walrus, giant musical instruments and travel underwater as you marvel at aquatic life in the Horniman's basement aquarium.

Check out more unusual London museums to add to your list.

Unique food in London

Two people cheers drinks aboard a valentines themed afternoon tea bus tour

  1. Indulge in a deliciously themed afternoon tea: Tantalise your tastebuds with burger-bites, space-themed cakes or an interactive Wizardry afternoon tea.
  2. Dine in a quirky London restaurant: Experience the sounds of the rainforest, eat within the walls of a prison or order from a virtual 3D menu at a quirky restaurant in London.
  3. Sample tasty food on a London food tour: From flavoursome Asian cuisine to the best of British cuisine, indulge in delicious food whilst touring the capital.
  4. Enjoy afternoon tea and London’s famous sights on an afternoon tea bus: Combine delicious sweet and savoury treats with panoramic views admiring iconic London landmarks.
  5. Enjoy an evening of cabaret at its finest at Lio London: Watch spectacular choreography and acrobatic performances while indulging in culinary delights.

Find more delicious food and drink places to add to your must-visit London list.

Cool places to visit in London

A tour guide shows a photo of a scene filmed inside the Painted Hall in Greenwich.

  1. Take a boat to Greenwich and explore this beacon of maritime history: See the iconic Cutty Sark, a world-famous tea clipper and masterpiece of maritime engineering, before heading to the Royal Naval College and taking time to admire the Painted Hall, a must for art and cinema lovers. 
  2. Explore a tropical oasis at the Barbican Conservatory: Escape reality in the heart of the Brutalist Barbican, amid lush foliage, palm trees and a room of spiny cacti.

  3. Step back in time to the 1940s and find yourself in Cahoots, an abandoned railway station transformed into a speakeasy: Enter the ticket hall and mingle with fellow scoundrels as you enter the illicit world of this underground speakeasy. 

  4. Find yourself surrounded by giant neon signs at God's Own Junkyard: Step into one of the coolest exhibitions you can find in London, with a collection of over 1000 neon signs that could rival Las Vegas' own jazzy, lit-up landscape. 

Find more cool places to visit and hidden gems to add to your list when visiting London. 

Unique activities to do in London

Houseboats on the calm waters of the Canal in Little Venice, London, on a sunny day.

  1. Spend the evening stargazing at the Royal Observatory: Join astronomers in the planetarium as they guide you through the night sky, learning about everything from constellations to meteor showers.

  2. Get ready to be spellbound at the Magic Circle at one of their close-up shows: Enter London's famous magic society and get up close and personal with some of the UK's top magicians. 

  3. Embark on a boat trip along the tranquil waterways of Little Venice in London: Cruise the Regent Canal past London Zoo and Regent's Park on one of the quaint narrowboats to Little Venice.

  4. Venture down the obscure world of Victor Wynd at the Last Tuesday Society, a hidden gem of East London: Explore the museum filled with eccentric curiosities amassed over time – from taxidermy to relics and oddities. 

  5. Explore the charming neighbourhood of Fitzrovia and make a pit stop at a unique coffee shop: The Attendant is not your usual brunch spot, walk down the Victorian public toilets transformed into one of London’s most quirky coffee shop, complete with its  original porcelain urinals.

Find more unique experiences you’ll love in London from culinary destinations to lesser known spots.

Quirky London shopping

  1. Shop nautical goods at 500-year-old yacht handlers Arthur Beale: Browse a wide variety of nautical equipment and accessories including reels of rope, nautical books and lifejackets.
  2. Get rave-ready at Camden Market’s Cyber Dog: Shop fluorescent accessories, LED-covered clothes and rave clothing to the backdrop of a techno DJ.
  3. Visit London’s oldest umbrella shop James Smith & Sons: Explore a treasure trove of umbrellas and walking sticks at this untouched original Victorian shop dating back to 1830.
  4. Buy goods for the living, dead and undead at Hoxton Street Monster SuppliesShop quirky gifts such as werewolf biscuits and zombie fresh mints, with profits from the shop going to Ministry of Stories, a creative writing and mentoring charity for young people.
  5. Live the complete guitar experience at Gibson Garage: Explore the Gibson Gallery of world-renowned musicians and live the ultimate rock 'n' roll experience with over 300 guitars on display. You can even have your own guitar made in the store.

Find unique gifts and quirky souvenirs at the best unusual shops in London.

What is there to do in London out of the ordinary?

Discover many unusual things to do in London for everyone of all ages to enjoy! From themed afternoon tea tours and immersive escape room experiences to panoramic helicopter tours and climbing iconic London attractions, there are so many quirky things to do in London.

What are fun activities for adults?

Don’t just let the kids have all the fun! London is home to exciting immersive activities and escape rooms; be a detective in Sherlock: The Official Live Game, follow Alice down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland VR Escape Room or take part in a range of challenges from the hit TV show The Crystal Maze.

For quirky places to eat, why not check out Mercato Mayfair and dine in the surroundings of an 18th century church-turned-eatery and feast on worldwide cuisine including Asian bao buns and dumplings, fresh Italian pasta dishes and Japanese delights.