OK, I’m a little biased as Liverpool is my current home town, but it’s a great value city and there are so many amazing things to do in Liverpool. It’s a good idea to spend 3-4 days in Liverpool if you can to explore the city centre and surrounding areas, and enjoy the fantastic music and nightlife that the city has on offer. The good news is that Liverpool is very accessible with a national train station (Liverpool Lime Street) and John Lennon airport for trains and flights. So, what are you waiting for? Book your ticket now and head for a fantastic weekend in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities.
Liverpool – Getting there and away
But first, how do you get to Liverpool? One of the positives to Liverpool is that it is so accessible by boat, train, bus and plane!
If you are travelling from other UK cities such as London or Manchester then you will probably take the train to Liverpool Lime Street and the city centre is walkable from there. If you are coming from Chester, there is a direct train link to Liverpool Central.
You may choose to travel in from other UK destinations by coach as it’s a little cheaper (although may take longer if you get stuck in traffic). Liverpool ONE bus station is served by National Express coaches which link Liverpool to coast major UK cities.
If you are travelling from Europe or other worldwide destinations then you will be pleased to know that Liverpool Jon Lennon Airport has plenty of direct flight links with airports in Greece, France, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Portugal and beyond. There is a new airline called ‘Play’ which flied direct from New York to Liverpool (as of 2023). Follow this link to find out what destinations you can fly to from Liverpool Airport.
If your destination doesn’t have a direct flight link to Liverpool John Lennon airport then you can opt to fly to Manchester Airport or London Heathrow, which serve most main international airports throughout the world. Manchester is a great option as you can take a train from Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Victoria station and then get a direct train to Liverpool Lime Street from there. If you’re travelling into Heathrow then you need to take the tube from Heathrow airport to London Euston (Piccadilly Line and Victoria Line) and then take a train from London Euston to Liverpool which is just under 3 hours.
When to Visit Liverpool
The best time to visit Liverpool is in the summer months of July and August. Although you can never quite guarantee the weather in UK cities, and should always carry an umbrella and rain jacket, these months have the best sunshine. Spring in Liverpool can bring a lot of showers and the autumn and winter months are unfortunately cold and dreary.
However, think about the festivals that you might want to enjoy. Liverpool has a fantastic event for Pride and many exciting music festivals throughout the city (Eurovision in Liverpool was a massive hit!). Halloween is big in Liverpool and there is a Katumba parade down Bold Street.
Liverpool is also a great place to be at Christmas time – they make a big effort inside and out! In December (starting from around 5th December) you can enjoy the fabulous Liverpool Christmas market (opposite Lime Street station) and admire the beautiful decorations. You can even party inside a massive Christmas tree!
Another great event in Liverpool is Chinese New Year – there is a big Chinese community in Liverpool and they put on a great show with fire crackers and a Chinese Dragon.
So if there is something particular that you want to enjoy in terms of events in Liverpool then think about your timing and book your accommodation in advance.
The Best things to do in Liverpool
So, without further ado, let’s check out the best things to do in Liverpool. I bring to you the best sight seeing, eating out and cocktails that this amazing city has on offer.
At this point, I should take a moment to thank my travel blogger friend Rachel from Blond Wayfarer and the famous ‘Aunty Deb’ for exploring Liverpool with me on our recent indulgent day out!
In this vibrant and multicultural city, I will get you climbing the Anglican Cathedral, singing Karaoke on Matthew street, enjoying art at the Tate Modern on the Albert docks and snapping selfies at the biggest Chinese arch outside of China!
Liverpool, you never fail to impress!
Breakfast (or Brunch) at the Tavern
Start you day off right by heading to the Tavern on Smithdown Road. Smithdown is the student area of Liverpool, and it’s famous for the ‘Smithdown 10’ pub crawl. But what I love most about Smithdown Road is breakfast at the Tavern. Choose from a variety of English and American breakfast options such as Eggs Benedict, full English breakfast or stacks of pancakes. It’s great value and the perfect start to your day in Liverpool.
Take a Walk in Sefton Park
Sefton park is the largest and most prestigious park in Liverpool. I always think of it as Liverpool’s version of Hyde Park – it even has it’s own cupid statue. Make sure that your walk includes a stop at the Palm House, a glass house full of botanicals from around the world. It is often free to get in provided doesn’t clash with one of their events.
Climb to the top of the Anglican Cathedral
The Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Britain, and the 8th largest church in the world! Built on top of St James’ Mount between 1904 and 1978, this stunning modern Cathedral dominates the Liverpool Skyline. So this is one that’s not to be missed. The Cathedral welcomes visitors, just be aware of and respectful at prayer times. As well as admiring the central Nave and altar, make sure that you take the lift down to the beautiful Lady Chapel – this is all free to explore (but you are encouraged to make a donation towards the upkeep of the Cathedral).
One thing that you absolutely must do is pay for the extra ticket to climb to the top of the Cathedral. The views from the top are stunning and on a clear day you can see as far as Wales!
Top Tip – If you go around midday and speak to one of the helpers (wearing brown robes) they choose one person from the public to ring the bell to start the midday prayer.
Visit the Biggest Chinese Arch outside of China
Many people think that the biggest Chinese arch in the UK is in London, but they are very wrong! At a whopping 13.5 meters tall, Liverpool’s Chinese arch is not just the biggest in Europe but the biggest outside of China full stop. And if you are into Dim Sum, there are plenty of amazing Chinese restaurants to enjoy – my favourite is Huet Ben.
Enjoy the Art of the Stunning Walker Art Gallery
The Walker Art Gallery (located near to the World Museum just opposite Liverpool Lime Street Station) has one of the largest art collections outside London. As well as the 20th Century pieces of Bridget Riley and Henry Moore, you can also admire some Victorian and pre-Raphaelite works. Look out for famous pieces by Monet, Turner and Holman Hunt.
Have a night out (or day out!) on Matthew Street
Matthew Street is home to the Liverpool Music scene and is the famous destination where the Beatles started out. Make sure that you look out for the statues including John Lennon casually leaning up against the wall of the cavern pub and the happily posing Scouse show business legend Miss Cilla Black.
(Scouse means Liverpudlian for those of you who didn’t already know!)
You should definitely pay to go down into the Cavern club and see where the Beatles originally played. They have live music day and night with a mixture of Beatles covers, other traditional rock and roll numbers and new local artists.
Top Tip – Don’t get the Cavern Pub and the Cavern Club mixed up. It’s the club where you want to go to which is the original place (go down some spiral stairs to a lively basement!)
The great thing about Matthew Street is that it is lively and happening at all times of day and night. Hell, you can even go and get pissed and sign Karaoke with some random dude at 11am on a Thursday morning!
Explore the Albert Docks and Get your Selfie with the Fab Four
The Albert Docks is a fantastic place to explore. The main three buildings of this areas are known locally as the Three Graces – The Liver Building, The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building. This area of Liverpool is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Liver Building is crowned by two Liver Birds, the mythical creature that is the symbol of Liverpool’s heritage.
The area around the main dock is full of restaurants, souvenir shops and local eateries (yummy fudge and ice-cream!) There are also some interesting museums here including the Liverpool Museum and the National Slavery Museum.
But no visit to the Albert Docks is complete without your Fab Four selfie! Find the statue of the famous Beatles – John, Paul, Ringo and George. Even if you’re not really a big fan, they say that you haven’t truly visited Liverpool until you get you picture taken with this statue!
The Beatles Story
Any Beatles fan simply must visit the Beatles Story, a museum dedicated to the lives of the Fab Four. They were the first UK band to break America and they put Liverpool on the map as a top music venue of the world. Learn about how they travelled to Hamburg in a cramped mini bus to expand into Europe. Take a look at photos, news reels and memorabilia from their lives and how the band evolved through time.
The Beatles Story features an impressive collection of authentic memorabilia including original instruments, John Lennon’s spectacles, Ringo Starr’s drum kit, costumes, rare album sleeves and photography and original handwritten lyrics that’s never been seen anywhere else before. And my favourite pièce de résistance – John Lennon’s beautiful last piano.
Have a Cocktail at the Hard Days Night Hotel (or even stay there!)
After enjoying the Albert Docks and Matthew Street, why not pop into the Beatles Hotel? Even if you’re not a guest you can go into Bar Four and have a cocktail (such as a ‘Help!’) You can also enjoy the Beatles based artwork such as original work by the artist Paul Ygartua who attended Liverpool Art College with John Lennon and his first wife (Cynthia).
If you are looking for an upmarket Beatles Liverpool experience then you can book a room to stay the night. Classic rooms start at around £100 per night (low season). You can treat yourself to the John Lennon suite which will set you back over £500 per night. The Locals Joke that you can get the Ringo Star room for free!
Get your Culture Fix at the World Museum
The World Museum is my favourite Liverpool Museum and guess what? It’s completely free! This museum is near to Liverpool Lime Street station and is MASSIVE – with four floors to explore. There are a number of fascinating exhibitions including the Ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian (with real Mummies!), an Aquarium and the World Cultures which has Buddhas and pottery from 19th Century Asia If you’re into Natural History there is a whole floor with animal and dinosaur exhibits. There is even a Planetarium on the top floor (extra charge).
I would recommend that you are selective about the exhibits that you want to see because it is so big…unless of course, you have a full day to spare in which case you could totally fill it here!
Vintage Shopping on Lark Lane
Most shoppers in Liverpool head to the massive and modern Liverpool ONE shopping centre. But if you are a little alternative then you might like to check out the vintage and second hand shops on Lark Lane. There is an abundance of vintage shops, second hand furniture shops and cute souvenir shops with healing crystals. The bohemian vibe makes it also a great place so stop for a snack or a drink. Let me recommend some of my favourite places to eat and drink down Lark Lane – Milo Lounge, Love and Rockets and the Bookbinder.
Eat at Panoramic 34
If you have some cash to flash and fancy an upmarket meal then you need to book a table at Panoramic 34. If you have any kind of celebrity(ish) status then let them know that you want the VIP table which will overlook the Liver Building and the Albert Docks. The lunch menu is great value – you can get two courses for £35. We spent around £55 each on two courses, drinks and tips and it was well worth it. I had the beef ribs which was cooked to perfection with melt-in-your-mouth meat. Many of their cocktails come with edible flowers! This is the place to enjoy Liverpool in style!
If your visit to Liverpool is time restricted then you might enjoy this article on how to spend a day in Liverpool.