Bristol is arguably the UK's quirkiest city. It's hard to describe the vibe of the city in just a sentence, but it definitely has a distinct air about it.
A city steeped in culture, arts, music, good food, and even better people, Bristol is a place where anything and everything can happen (we've seen a man unicycling down Stokes Croft with his cat on his shoulder, so we're pretty sure on this one).
Although each district within the city has its own unique and individual style, there are still experiences that scream peak "Bristol" and are the perfect gift for someone head-over-heels with this place.
We have over 400 experiences (and counting) to choose from, it was a toughie but we've pulled together what we consider to be the six most "Bristol" experience gifts to give someone:
1. Upfest art walk with founder Stephen Hayles
Bristol is one of the best places in the UK to visit if you're a fan of street art. The infamous street artist Banksy is said to have been born and raised here, but his artwork is just the tip of the iceberg for Bristol's buzzing street art scene.
Tour Upfest, one of Europe's largest street art festivals, with its founder Stephen Hayles and discover the tales behind the city's ever-changing streets. You'll uncover the secrets that Bristol hides in plain sight.
→ Upfest art walk with founder Stephen Hayles, £40 per adult
2. Gin lover's masterclass with Psychopomp
Bristol is known for being a tad on the rogueish side, so it will come as no surprise to hear that this independent gin distillery started life in a Bristol basement. Fast-forward a few years and now Psychopomp teams up with some of Bristol's finest eateries to bring unique, bespoke gins to Bristol's discerning palates.
Join Psychopomp for an in-depth exploration of gin in their Willy Wonka-esque distillery, enjoy a couple of G&Ts, and taste their seasonal special, a collaboration gin, and their original basement creation.
→ Gin lover's masterclass, £25 per adult
3. Paddleboarding harbourside adventure
Bristol is a city of unique hobbies and unusual pursuits, so it's not out of place to see people across the city enjoying something out of the ordinary.
Discover Bristol's beautiful, historic waterways by paddleboarding the harbour. This activity will give you a whole new perspective of Bristol (including a paddle past the SS Great Britain) and is in the perfect location to enjoy a well-earned meal after!
→ Paddleboarding harbourside adventure, £40 per adult
4. Make your own freehand graffiti art
Embrace your rebellious streak with Bristol artist, Luke Palmer, who paints huge street art murals across Bristol and the UK. You'll discover how to properly wield spray paint and create your own freehand piece whilst finessing your own personal flair and style.
You'll learn the real history behind this often misunderstood art form, and take home a skill that makes the streets of Bristol famous!
→ Make your own freehand graffiti art, £75 per adult
5. Explore Bristol's quirkiest corners with Martin Booth
Join local legend Martin Booth, the editor of Bristol 24/7 and author of 111 Places in Bristol That You Shouldn't Miss, for a walking tour of places in Bristol that you shouldn't miss but probably would miss without his expert guidance and knowledge!
Grab a drink of your choice from an independent bar or cafe that has passed the Booth test and be taken on a journey of the unknown and the unusual. At the end of the tour you'll be given a signed copy of Martin's book (a best seller at all three Bristol Waterstones in December 2020) so you can go on to reveal more fascinating and eccentric destinations about Bristol.
→ Explore Bristol's quirkiest corners, £35 per adult
6. Take a champagne hot air balloon flight over Bristol
You really haven't done Bristol until you've done Bristol by balloon. Every summer the skies above Bristol come alive with hot air balloons and there's something so magical about watching them drift over the city on a warm, sunny day.
This champagne hot air balloon flight will set off from the enchanting Ashton Court and will take you across the city so you can see all of Bristol's historic landmarks from high above! This is a showstopper of a gift, and is the perfect cherry-on-top of any special celebration.
→ Champagne hot air balloon flight over Bristol, £170 per adult