Liverpool is one of England’s most beautiful cities. Along with Manchester and London, the city welcomes millions of international tourists every year. In fact, Liverpool constantly ranks in the most-visited cities in England as per the Office for National Statistics and is the fifth most-visited city in England in 2019. Although one might initially acquaint this city with The Beatles or football, there are actually plenty of things to do in Liverpool! The city boasts several architectural wonders, a thriving music scene, and dozens of museums.
Whether you’re a fan of The Beatles, a lover of English football, or simply a traveler looking for the next destination, here are fun ideas to add to your Liverpool itinerary.
Where Is Liverpool?
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Liverpool is a seaport city near the River Mersey in Merseyside county. It is also on the coast near the Irish Sea. Additionally, it is 287 kilometers away from London. The nearest airport is the Liverpool John Lennon Airport and the central train station is the Liverpool Lime Street railway station.
How to Get to Liverpool
By Plane: Take a flight to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The airport accommodates more than 160 flights daily, including several low-cost airlines. From the airport, you can find a taxi stand and bus stops. A taxi ride to the city center costs around 12 GBP (16.50 USD) and travel time takes around 20 minutes. Additionally, there are also several bus routes going to and from the city center from the airport.
If you have plenty of time to spare, you can take a flight to Manchester Airport and enjoy a day tour. From Manchester, Liverpool is a 45-minute to one-hour drive away. You can also board the direct rail service from Manchester Airport to Liverpool’s Lime Street Station.
By Train: The Liverpool Lime Street Station services most train trips to and from Liverpool. From London, Liverpool is only a two-hour train ride away so you can enjoy different things to do in Liverpool upon arrival. There is also a direct line from Manchester Airport to Liverpool Station with hourly trips. The station also has direct lines to Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, and more.
By Coach/Bus: Megabus and National Express are the two main companies which have daily trips to Liverpool. By coach, the travel time from London to Liverpool is about four to five hours. Ticket prices start at 1 GBP (1.40 USD) although the prices vary depending on how early you book your trip.
By Private Car: For travelers taking their private car to Liverpool, the city has motorway connections served by the M62, M57, and M58. Take note that there are no toll booths at the Mersey Gateway Bridge and payments are done online. Otherwise, you will have to pay a penalty upon arriving at the post.
What Is Liverpool Famous For?
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Like most cities in England, Liverpool is famous for a couple of things, namely its football scene, music, and architecture.
When you search for “Liverpool” on Google, the results will mostly be football-related. That’s because the city is home to two of England’s popular football teams: Liverpool FC and Everton FC. Both teams play for the Premier League, the top of the country’s football system, and have won several trophies in both English and European football leagues.
Since both teams compete in the same league, they have one of the biggest rivalries in English football. The Merseyside derby refers to matches between the two teams and is a much-anticipated event in the league. If you happen to visit Liverpool during football season, expect to see pubs crowded with fans donning their jerseys and watching different matches.
Liverpool is also famous for its music, hailed by the Guinness World Records in 2001 as the World Capital City of Pop due to the number of number-one records produced here. The city’s biggest claim to fame is also related to the music industry: The Beatles.
Also known as The Fab Four, all members of the band hailed from Liverpool where they started playing at the Cavern Club. Months later in the 1960s, this started the so-called Beat Music movement and eventual British Invasion. Because of the influence of The Beatles, more people started visiting Liverpool, going to the former homes, schools, and pubs where they played. Now, you can join Beatles-themed tours and visit Beatles-related museums and exhibitions.
Aside from The Beatles, other notable artists from Liverpool include Sugarbabes, Atomic Kitten, The Wombats, and more.
As you explore Liverpool, you’ll notice the different architectural styles around the city. From 16th century buildings to modern and contemporary buildings, the city has it all for you. As you enjoy a cruise along the Mersey River or a hop-on hop-off tour, you can find a variety of buildings with different styles scattered around.
Find Medieval, Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian buildings around the city center, mostly churches and townhouses. Commercial buildings like the Bank of Liverpool, the Royal Liver Building, and the Grand Central Hall are well-preserved buildings dating back to the early 1900s. On the other hand, the Liverpool Museum, Echo Arena, and the Hilton Hotel are just some of the buildings with contemporary architecture.
Additionally, the city has over 2,500 declared-listed buildings, structures considered to be of historical, cultural, or architectural significance.
Best Things to Do in Liverpool
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1. Visit The Cavern Club
When you think of the best things to do in Liverpool, a visit to The Cavern Club is a must. Once a nightclub, it reopened in the 1950s as a jazz club and later became the center for rock and roll during the 1960s, hosting hundreds of shows by The Beatles. Since then, The Cavern Club has hosted other famous bands like Oasis, The Rolling Stones, Queen, and more.
2. Take the Mersey Ferry Cruise
Hop on the Mersey Ferry and see Liverpool’s highlights from a different perspective. This hop-on hop-off cruise has different stops around the city so you can conveniently visit different places. An audio guide is available for additional information on the nearby landmarks and buildings.
3. Explore Sefton Park
Escape the busy streets and visit Sefton Park, a 235-acre public park said to be one of the largest in the city. The park, aside from being a relaxing getaway, also hosts several music festivals and events. Take a break or see an abundance of plants and flowers at the stunning Palm House.
4. Drop By the Museum of Liverpool
Learn anything and everything about the history of this city at the Museum of Liverpool. The museum contains archeological finds, botanical collections, and other items related to its history. Additionally, the museum showcases Liverpool’s significance and importance to the country throughout the years.
5. Check Out the Royal Albert Dock
One of the best (and free) things to do in Liverpool is hanging out at the Royal Albert Dock. Surrounded by buildings made of brick, stone, and cast iron, this became the first non-combustible warehouse system. The Royal Albert Dock also has several cafes, restaurants, and bars for those looking for a break while admiring the riverside views.
6. Watch a Game at Anfield
Whether or not you’re a football fan, visiting Anfield is one of the best things to do in Liverpool. Its seating capacity of more than 53,000 makes it almost equal to that of the San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao, one of the best cities to visit in Spain. Enjoy a tour of Anfield and discover what makes Liverpool FC a powerhouse team. For the complete experience, watch a home game and feel the English people’s love for football.
7. Visit the Victoria Gallery and Museum
The Victoria Gallery and Museum, also known as the VG&M, is one of the must-visit museums in Liverpool. It contains most of the art collections donated to and created by the University of Liverpool. Best of all, admission to the museum is free, perfect for travelers looking for cheap activities.
8. Climb Up the Radio City Tower
Similar to the Space Needle in Seattle, Liverpool’s Radio City Tower gives you a 360-degree view of the city. The 125-meter tall radio and observation tower is also one of the tallest buildings and structures of the city. Climb up to the top and get a bird’s eye view of Liverpool, best viewed in the evening with the city lights.
9. Stop By the Liverpool Cathedral
Liverpool Cathedral is a gorgeous Gothic cathedral in the heart of the city. In addition, it is the largest religious building in Great Britain and is the fifth-largest in the world. Pay a visit to the cathedral and marvel at the tall arches, its intricate stained glass windows, and its organ, the largest in the United Kingdom.
10. Shop at Bold Street
For shopaholics, shopping at Bold Street is one of the best things to do in Liverpool. The shopping quarter is home to quirky stores, local cafes, and other independent businesses. Shop for vintage items, second-hand books, and handcrafted homeware. Before or after your shopping trip, visit one of the many cafes or restaurants for a quick bite.
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11. Visit the Merseyside Maritime Museum
Get a deeper insight into Liverpool’s history as a seafaring city at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Strategically located near the Royal Albert Dock, the museum features model ships, paintings, and a life jacket worn by a survivor of the Titanic. The museum also hosts seminars and events regarding Liverpool’s history.
12. Don’t Miss The Beatles Story Museum
Fans of The Fab Four should have The Beatles Story on their list of things to do in Liverpool. This museum details the history of the band, containing recreations of places like The Cavern Club and Abbey Road as well as other Beatles-related items like John Lennon’s glasses and George Harrison’s guitar. You can also buy shirts and other memorabilia at the store, the largest store of official Beatles merchandise.
13. Marvel at the City’s Architecture
Admire the city’s diverse architectural wonders on a leisurely walk around the city center or go on specialized tours. See the Three Graces, a group of buildings that give Liverpool its distinct skyline. The Georgian Quarter, St. George’s Hall, and RIBA North are also some of the must-visit places for architecture enthusiasts.
14. Drop by Goodison Park
Aside from Anfield, Goodison Park is one of the must-visit stadiums in Liverpool. Home to Everton FC, the stadium opened in 1892 and has a total seating capacity of 39,414, although the numbers can double depending on the event. Goodison Park has also hosted a number of matches for the FA Cup and the prestigious FIFA World Cup.
15. Enjoy the British Music Experience
For music lovers, visiting the British Music Experience is one of the best things to do in Liverpool. This interactive museum lets you get up close to personal items and instruments used by famous musicians like Oasis, David Bowie, and the Spice Girls. You may even join dance classes or try learning how to play the guitar, piano, and other musical instruments.
16. Join a Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Hop-on hop-off tours are a convenient way of exploring the city. All you need to do is to hop on the bus at designated stops, enjoy the panoramic views of Liverpool, and hop off at your chosen top to continue sightseeing. Hop-on hop-off tickets also include discounted or free entry to certain attractions and discount coupons.
17. Marvel at the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral’s Architecture
The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (not to be confused with the Gothic Liverpool Cathedral) is the largest Catholic cathedral in Britain. Enter this cathedral and admire its distinct design and structure, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Frederick Gibberd. The cathedral also boasts modern angles and shapes that blend harmoniously with traditional stained-glass windows.
18. Take Selfies at the Silver Jubilee Bridge
Catch postcard-perfect views of Liverpool from the Silver Jubilee Bridge. Opened in 1961, the bridge originally had the name Runcorn–Widnes Bridge until it was reconstructed and renamed in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee. Take photos of the single arch and bask under the picturesque sunset views.
19. Enjoy Nightlife at Concert Square
Cap off your night of exploring and sightseeing with a fun night at Concert Square, the heart of Liverpool’s nightlife! This is where you can find the best clubs and bars in Liverpool. Mingle with the locals over drinks and party until the wee hours of the morning.
20. Join a Beatles Tour
Joining a Beatles-themed tour is one of the most exciting things to do in Liverpool. Aboard the Yellow Submarine as you visit places like their schools, studios, and even childhood homes. See iconic places and take photos at Penny Lane, Strawberry Field as you learn more about the lives of the world-famous musicians.
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21. Explore St. George’s Quarter
Liverpool’s St. George’s Quarter is home to gorgeous Victorian-style buildings and structures. The neighborhood is also near known theaters like The Liverpool Empire, Royal Court Liverpool, and The Playhouse Theatre. Bring out your cameras and don’t forget to take pictures of this beautiful neighborhood.
22. Get Lost in Chinatown
If you’re planning your visit sometime from January to February, don’t miss the Chinese New Year celebrations at Liverpool’s Chinatown. This is also the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Explore its quaint streets and make sure to sample the Chinese food at one of the local restaurants.
23. Laugh Out Loud at a Comedy Club
Liverpool humor, also known as ‘Scouse humor’ is laid-back yet funny. And on your trip, make sure to add a comedy club visit to your list of things to do in Liverpool. You can find plenty of comedy clubs open starting Thursday until the end of the week. There’s also the Liverpool Comedy Festival held in September, a must-attend event for comedy enthusiasts.
24. Admire Some Street Art
Around the city, you’ll find walls and empty lots with colorful and thought-provoking street art. The Baltic, the RopeWalks area, and the Fabric District are just some of the places you visit to see the artworks. For a more organized and structured guide to the city’s street art, book walking or sightseeing tours specializing in Liverpool’s street art.
25. Visit the World Museum
The World Museum is another must-visit museum in Liverpool. Aside from the free admission, you’ll get to see an extensive collection of artifacts, meteorites from different planets, and a dinosaur skeleton. For lovers of stars and astronomy, the Planetarium at the World Museum regularly holds shows and seminars.
26. Cycle or Walk Along the Liverpool Loop Line
Bring your bike or go on a relaxing walk along the Liverpool Loop Line, an 11-mile trail. Away from the city streets, the trail is perfect for families and those who want to go for a run or an exciting bike ride. There are plenty of routes to choose and since the roads are flat, beginner bikers won’t experience difficulty on the trails.
27. Check Out Tate Liverpool
Visiting Tate Liverpool is one of the best things to do in Liverpool, especially for those who want to see the Royal Albert Dock. The museum specializes in modern art, showcasing British artworks from the 16th century to the present.
28. Sample Local Cuisine
Food is one of the best ways to acquaint yourself with a city. In Liverpool, make sure to dine at the local eateries and pubs to get a taste of the cuisine. Make sure to try their Bubble and Squeak (made from potatoes and cabbage), Wet Nelly (bread with spices and dried fruits served with custard), and the iconic Scouse (a stew made from meat or lamb, potatoes, and onion).
29. Shop at Liverpool ONE
In need of retail therapy? Head to Liverpool ONE, a large shopping complex in the city center. It boasts numerous shops, a cinema, different entertainment facilities, and even two hotels! With easy to access transport links, this is a great way to spend time in the middle of Liverpool’s busy city streets.
30. Relax at Crosby Beach
Before the day ends, watch the sunset from Crosby Beach. The beach looks out onto the Irish Sea and has views of North Wales. You can easily visit this beach by public transportation or private car. When visiting Crosby Beach, don’t forget to take a photo with the statues composing Antony Gormley’s Another Place.
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31. Explore Pier Head
Pier Head is perhaps one of the most beautiful spots in the city. That being said, a visit here is one of the best free things to do in Liverpool. It boasts three of the city’s most popular buildings: the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building, and The Port of Liverpool Building. Additionally, Pier Head is also the landing site for most passenger ships arriving and departing the city.
32. Visit the Speke Hall
Travel to the quaint suburb of Speke and see the Speke Hall, a Tudor-style manor house. It is also one of the prime examples of Tudor architecture, built way back in 1530. Explore the manor grounds, rooms, and gardens as you learn more about its history. Before leaving, rest and replenish at the on-site restaurant.
33. Hang Out at Chavasse Park
Soak up the summer sun at Chavasse Park, a vast open space in the middle of Liverpool’s city center. This is the best place to hang out after a day out of museum-hopping, sightseeing, or shopping. In addition, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from and a Nature Trail for children.
34. Join a Ghost Tour
Fancy a spine-chilling way to spend time in the city? Joining ghost tours are one of the best things to do in Liverpool. These tours go around some of the spookiest places as your local guide recounts urban legends and myths. This is definitely one of the most unique ways of learning about Liverpool’s history.
35. Check Out the Liverpool Arena
With a seating capacity of 110,000, Liverpool Arena hosts local and international concerts, comedy shows, and sporting events. The arena welcomed artists like Sir Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Beyonce, and more.
36. Get Artsy at Walker Art Gallery
For art lovers, a visit to Walker Art Gallery is a must! The museum boasts one of Europe’s largest art collections dating back to the 14th century. Aside from English artists, the museum features works from Dutch and French painters like Rembrandt and Poussin. Admission to the museum is free, so this is one of the best things to do in Liverpool for budget travelers.
37. Wander Around Birkenhead Park
Birkenhead Park is one of the city’s major parks and is also the first publicly funded park in the world. If you’ve visited Central Park in New York, you may notice similarities between the two as Central Park is said to have been inspired by the design of Birkenhead Park. Explore, take photos of the gardens, or simply just relax and enjoy the tranquil ambiance.
38. Marvel at Sculptures Around the City
Aside from world-class museums and parks, Liverpool also features several sculptures scattered around. From famous figures such as The Beatles and Queen Elizabeth II to abstract pieces like The Seed and Superlambanana, take a selfie with these sculptures.
39. Try Wakeboarding at the Liverpool Wake Park
For adventure lovers, wakeboarding at Liverpool Wake Park is one of the best things to do in Liverpool. The wake park also offers beginner classes for those interested in learning the sport and provides a friendly yet competitive space for those wanting to show off their tricks.
40. Watch a Show at the Liverpool Empire
Catch a show at the Liverpool Empire, located near St. George’s Quarter. The theater has hosted concerts from artists and bands like AC/DC, Elton John, and Queen. Additionally, musicals like Mamma Mia!, Grease, Footloose, and Thriller all had shows in this Neoclassical theater.
Enjoy Different Things to Do in Liverpool!
When people think of Liverpool, The Beatles and the football team of the same name always come to mind. But there’s definitely more to Liverpool than its music and sporting culture. There are museums, historic sculptures, and hilarious comedy clubs. The city is also famous for its architecture, parks, and ports. Safe to say that when you enjoy the many things to do in Liverpool, you’ll realize that this English city has plenty of charms!