How to Spend a Day in Liverpool

a day in Liverpool Albert Docks

Welcome to Liverpool! This diverse and exciting city has now been my home for the last 5 years and I totally love it. Of course, I am biased and would say that one day in just not enough – you need to spend at least 3 days in Liverpool! But, if you are on a layover or a strict time schedule then you will be pleased to know that one day in Liverpool is certainly enough to give you a feel for the city. Before I head straight into your itinerary, let me give you a few travel tips to help you along your way.

How to get to Liverpool

Liverpool is a very accessible city with an airport and main train station with national connections.

If you can fly into Liverpool airport then getting to the city centre is pretty straight forward – get the Arriva 500 bus which is the quickest (less local stops than the 81 or the 86). It runs every half an hour and costs just £3.

If you need an airport with more direct international flights, then you might consider flying into Manchester Airport and getting the train from there. Take the train to Manchester Victoria and then the train from Manchester Victoria to Liverpool Lime Street.

Liverpool Lime Street is the main train station in central Liverpool. You can get to Liverpool Lime Street direct from most major cities including Manchester, Birmingham and London. It works out cheaper if you book your tickets in advance – download The Trainline App and you can book digital tickets on there.

For more detail on travel to and within Liverpool check out this more detailed blog here.

Liverpool Travel Tips

Now you know how to get there and away, here is a summary of my main advice if you are spending a day in Liverpool.

  • Arrive early (at least 8.30am) as there is a lot to see!
  • If you don’t mind a fair bit of walking you can see the main sites on foot.
  • Enjoy the Liverpool ‘Scouse’ accent and don’t worry if you find it a bit hard to understand at first!
  • If possible, stay over for one night because the nightlife in Liverpool is fabulous and should be experienced.
  • Book your train tickets in advance via The Trainline app to save money.
  • Download the Uber app for taxis in Liverpool – they are cheap and you can see how much you will be paying and when they will arrive (get £5 off your first Uber ride by downloading the app here).
  • Wear decent pair of walking boots and a rain jacket – the weather in Liverpool can be very unpredictable and we get frequent showers here.
  • Plan your day to start up by the Liverpool Cathedrals in the Knowledge Quarter and slowly work your way down towards the Albert Docks.
  • Both the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals are free to get in as a visitor.
  • If you want to go inside the Beatles Story then you should book your ticket in advance and go at your allotted time.
  • Don’t miss the Chinese Arch – it’s the largest Chinese arch outside of China!

How to spend a day in Liverpool

So, this is how you are going to spend one day in Liverpool! You will start up by the Cathedrals, then walk down towards Bold street and the central shopping area for lunch. Then you will stop by at the Cavern Quarter and then head to the Albert Docks.

If you need to go to the Beatles Story first thing due to the timing of your ticket, then you can go there for 9am and switch the itinerary around to go from the Albert Docks up to the Cathedrals, rather than vice-versa.

One Day in Liverpool – Morning

In the morning you will be able to have a full English breakfast and then see both Cathedrals, the Bombed out Church and the Walker Gallery and World Museum. As you are on a tight schedule you probably won’t have time to fully explore both galleries and museums, but as they are free to get in you might as well have a quick look inside!

Traditional English Breakfast at the Quarter

Start your day with a fantastic breakfast at one of my favourite eateries in the Knowledge Quarter. It’s called ‘the Quarter’ and serves a fantastic full English breakfast (bacon, sausage, eggs, beans and hash brown) and also does a great Eggs Benedict. Head there for 8am because it’s good to start a day of exploring on a full stomach – you have a lot to see and will need the energy.

The two Cathedrals of Hope Street

From the Quarter, you can walk to the Anglican Cathedral in about 7 minutes. This is the largest Anglican Cathedral in Britain and the 5th largest in Europe! You can choose to go up the tower for a small fee to get amazing views over Liverpool.

Liverpool Cathedrals of Hope St
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Next you will walk down Hope Street towards the Liverpool Catholic Cathedral which is known locally as the ‘Wig-Wam’ due to its rotunda shape. Both Cathedrals are free to enter for visitors and well worth the look.

Bombed out Church

You will then walk from the Catholic Cathedral down Hope Street and turn towards the city centre when you reach the Philharmonic Dining rooms. Walk down Hardman Street (becomes Leece St halfway down) and you will come out by your next landlark – St Lukes, known located as the ‘Bombed Out Church’. It was built between 1811 and 1832, but it got bombed in WW2 and has been without a roof ever since. It has now been turned into an arts and cultural venue with a garden bar.

Chinese Arch

Opposite the Bombed out Church you will see the Chinese Arch with is the gateway to China town and the largest Chinese Arch outside of China.

Liverpool Chinese arch
Liverpool Chinese Arch

St George’s Hall

Walk from St Luke’s Bombed out Church towards Lime Street station and opposite Liverpool Lime Street you will see St George’s hall. It ‘s a Grade I listed building of neoclassical design which contains concert halls and courts of law. Me and my husband were going to get married there, but they wouldn’t allow dogs, so we chose Hope St hotel instead!

Walker Art Gallery and World Museum

Continue walking past St George’s hall and you will come to two Neo-classical buildings with Corinthian columns – The Walker Art Gallery and The World Museum. The Walker Art gallery houses one of the UK’s largest art collections outside of London.

World Museum Liverpool
Liverpool World Museum

The Liverpool World Museum contains incredible collections from around the world including Greek, Roman, Egyptian antiquities and World Collections including 19th Century Asian artefacts. The World Museum also has an aquarium and a planetarium inside – it’s MASSIVE!

You won’t have time to fully explore both of these, but as the are free you may want to pop in and get a feel for one or two collections.

Lunch on Bold Street

It’s time to stop and refuel, so head to Bold Street (the street with the Bombed out Church at the top) where you will find an abundance of restaurants. If you are up for something traditionally Liverpudlian then go to ‘Maggie May’s’ for the best ‘Scouse’ in town. Scouse is a stew containing beef, potatoes, carrots and onion. It’s often served with red cabbage. Some of my other favourite places to eat on Bold Street include La Parilla (Mexican), Leaf (Greek Taverna style) and Mary (small plates).

PM – Cavern Quarter and Albert Docks

In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to enjoy Liverpool’s main shopping areas, see the Cavern Quarter (made famous by the Beatles) and then head to Liverpools famous UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Albert Docks.

Church Street and Liverpool ONE

With your belly full of ‘scouse’ it’s now time to head to Church Street, which is the main shopping area in Liverpool. Expect it to be busy and full of musicians and street entertainers. It is a lively atmosphere for sure!b At the end of Church Street, you will come to Liverpool ONE which is the modern shopping and entertainment area built in 2008. Sadly, you won’t have much time to shop and explore here if you want to fit in the Cavern Quarter and the Albert Docks!

Cavern Quarter

To get to the Cavern Quarter from Church street, take a right (when looking towards Liverpool ONE with Bold Street Behind you) and head down Whitechapel and Button Street until you reach Matthew Street. In this area you will find the Cavern Club (it’s open in the daytime too if you want to pop in for a drink) and several statues of famous people – Eleanor Rigby, John Lennon and Cilla Black (although Cilla was recently taken for renovation, but I think she is back now!)

Albert Docks

From Matthew Street you will walk down towards the Royal Albert docks. This area is a UNESCO world heritage site and is home to some famous iconic Liverpool buildings including the Liver Building and The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.

Liverpool getting there and away
Liverpool Albert Docks

In this area, you will also find the Beatles Story and the statue of the Fab Four. If you want to go into the Beatles Story, you will need to spend between 1-3 hours. Book your ticket and plan your time for this in advance. When you are ready for a sit down and relax then I recommend the Fab Four cafe!

Evening – Cavern Quarter, Concert Square, Smithdown Road or Lark Lane

If I were you, I would be totally KNACKERED after all that! But you may be younger, fitter and more ambitious than me, so I am going to give you a few options for bars to finish your one day in Liverpool with a celebratory drink.

Cavern Quarter

Many tourists like to head back to the Cavern Quarter for a drink and dance in the Cavern Club. They always have live music on in the Cavern Club (don’t mix it up with the Cavern Pub which is not the authentic place where the Beatles played). The musicians that play in the Cavern Club all get vetted and have to have a certain number of Beatles songs as part of the set. There is a small and cosy dance floor where you can dance day and night with tourists and locals alike. All of the bars around Matthew Street have a really fun atmosphere and many of them offer live music or Karaoke!

Concert Square

Another option for bars in Concert Square – head back up to Bold Street and you will find it (locals will guide you). There are a lot of Irish Bars and Sports bars in this area including McCooleys and Coyote Ugly.

Getting out of Liverpool City Centre – Lark Lane and Smithdown

Let’s suppose you fancy something really different….getting out of the city centre to discover the really locally drinking spots. There are two options for this and both would require you to jump in a taxi (down Uber for this). The first option is Lark Lane which is full of gorgeous restaurants and more authentic pubs and bars. It’s popular with the locals and particularly young professionals. Your second option is to head to Smithdown Road where all the students drink – my favourite local bar on Smithdown is Black Cat. Either of these will give you a more local feel, but out of the two I would say that Lark Lane is better and offers more choice.

Well, after all that you will be well and truly mashed! But you will have made the most of your day in Liverpool and lived it up! I hope that you enjoyed my one day Liverpool itinerary and I would love for you to leave your comments on my blog and let me know how you got on.

Further Reading

If you are looking for more inspiration for Liverpool then check out these articles on my blog: