Liverpool is a lively English city perched on the eastern side of the River Mersey, famed for the Beatles, football, and a delightfully distinct accent.
But there’s a lot more to Liverpool than just stalking Beatle homes or picking fights in arenas.
As a rabid Beatles fangirl born 40 years too late, it should come as no surprise that I’ve been to Liverpool twice now.
I already knew I would be foaming at the mouth as I checked off my Fab Four bucket list, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I’d love the rest of the city too.
So, if you’re wondering what to do in Liverpool I’ve got you. From holing up in cozy pubs to posing with (possibly) the greatest city mascot in the entire world, here are the top fun things to do in the grand city of Liverpool, England.
Save this list of Things to Do in Liverpool for later!
You’ll be very glad you did.
1. Go wild for all things Beatles
Of course, we can’t talk about things to do in Liverpool without mentioning the Beatles. That would just be rude.
I’ve already written a full list of the best Beatles-themed things to do in Liverpool, but to give you an idea of the highlights, you can…
- Go on the Magical Mystery Tour: Check prices & availability
- Visit the Beatles Story Museum: Check prices & availability
- Stop by Beatles Liverpool Museum: Check prices & availability
- Visit Strawberry Field: Check prices & availability
- … and of course, experience a gig at the Cavern Club!
2. Enjoy some live music
I’d be doing Liverpool a disservice though if I didn’t mention that there’s much more to the city’s epic music scene than just one band, regardless of how iconic their haircuts were.
The term Merseyside music is often used to describe the music scene that emerged in Liverpool, particularly during the 1960s when The Beatles experienced their meteoric rise. The Merseybeat sound, characterized by catchy melodies and energetic rhythm, became synonymous with the city’s music scene. Apart from The Beatles, other Merseyside bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers, and The Merseybeats also contributed to the popularity of this musical movement.
The Merseyside music scene has had a lasting impact on popular music, and Liverpool continues to be celebrated for its musical heritage. So, be sure to catch some live music while you’re in town. The Cavern Club is an iconic choice (that does more than Beatles cover bands, I assure you!), but you’ll have no trouble finding a pub doing live music pretty much around every corner.
3. Hop on a boat tour
Liverpool is a city with a rich maritime history, and exploring the waterfront on a river cruise is a fun way to learn about its cultural and historical significance – while also enjoying the scenic journey.
There are various cruises along the River Mersey available, like this one which provides stunning views of the Liverpool skyline and waterfront. You’ll also get to see famous Liverpool sights like the Royal Albert Dock and the 3 Graces. The commentary on this cruise also talks about the Beatles and how they performed on board Mersey Ferries in the 60s, along with historical titbits about the city’s architecture.
For the ultimate sightseeing adventure, you could also do a combined river cruise and hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city which visits more than 14 of the city’s most famous landmarks. It’s perfect if you’re on a time crunch and want to experience the best Liverpool has to offer!
4. Stroll around the Albert Dock
A visit to Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without a dreamy stroll around the iconic Albert Docks. This waterfront gem stands as a testament to the city’s maritime history and vibrant cultural scene, with plenty to be nosy about as you wander through the many galleries, shops, and restaurants.
Once a bustling hub of global trade, the docks have undergone a transformative revival over the years, evolving into a thriving cultural and entertainment district. Whether you’re enjoying a coffee at one of the waterfront cafes, exploring the boutiques for unique finds, or simply savouring the panoramic views of the river, there’s a palpable energy here that makes the area feel oh so exciting…
Especially in the evening, when the docks come alive with shimmering lights on the water, creating an especially magical ambiance.
5. Marvel at the Three Graces at Pier Head
There’s no better place to appreciate the Liverpool skyline than at Pier Head, where three iconic buildings along the city’s waterfront form a stunning architectural ensemble known as the Three Graces: the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.
These historic structures are central to Liverpool’s skyline and have become symbols of the city’s maritime and commercial heritage.
From left to right, the Royal Liver Building is perhaps the most recognizable of the three, with construction completed in 1911, making it the middle child age-wise. It is crowned by two copper Liver Birds, said to watch over the city and the sea. The building was designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas and was one of the first structures in the world to be built using reinforced concrete.
The Cunard Building is the second of the Three Graces and construction was completed in 1917. As its name suggests, it once served as the headquarters for the Cunard Line, a major shipping company and today continues to house various offices and organizations. This building is best known for its grand architecture, featuring classical influences and ornate detailing… and a special museum, which we’ll discuss in a bit!
Finally, completed in 1907, the Port of Liverpool Building is the oldest of the Three Graces. It was designed by Sir Arnold Thornley and F.B. Hobbs and served as the home of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. The building showcases a mix of architectural styles, including Edwardian Baroque and Beaux-Arts, with an elegant dome and sculptures contributing to its photogenic grandeur.
The area is especially beautiful at sunset:
6. See the Museum of Liverpool
Another must-do in Liverpool for culture nerds? A visit to the Museum of Liverpool, which offers a captivating journey through the city’s rich and dynamic history. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by immersive exhibits that chronicle Liverpool’s evolution from a bustling port city to a cultural hub, with a diverse range of themes including the city’s role in the slave trade, its industrial prowess during the Victorian era, and its resilient spirit during times of adversity.
A particular draw for visitors is, of course, the section dedicated to The Beatles, with exhibits featuring memorabilia, interactive displays, and audiovisual presentations. From the early days at The Cavern Club to the height of Beatlemania, the museum provides a comprehensive look at the band’s enduring legacy.
And as you meander through the museum’s galleries, you’re also treated to panoramic views of the Albert Dock and the Three Graces, adding in some epic views for good measure. If you’re a nerd like me keen to learn more about Liverpool and how it became the city it is today, this is one Liverpool attraction you don’t want to miss.
7. Stop by the British Music Experience
Looking for fun things to do in Liverpool for music lovers? Housed within the iconic Cunard Building, the British Music Experience is a treasure trove of memorabilia, interactive exhibits, and iconic artefacts that tell the story of British music from the 1940s to the present day (beyond just the Beatles of course).
Upon entering the museum, visitors are transported into the heart of the British music scene, with an array of exhibits spanning genres, eras, and cultural movements. The museum’s vast collection includes original stage costumes, instruments played by legendary musicians, handwritten lyrics, and rare audiovisual recordings – a huge treat whether you’re interested in the British Invasion, the punk movement or the rise of iconic groups like the Spice Girls and Queen.
For those more musically gifted than I, one of the highlights here is an interactive zone that invites visitors to become active participants in the musical journey. You can have a go at playing instruments and recording your own music, or even experience the thrill of a virtual concert! This is definitely a must-do for anyone visiting Liverpool who has even a passing interest in any British bands or musical eras.
I mean… they even have THE Spice Girls outfits:
8. Visit the UK’s biggest catholic church
There’s a common joke that when you travel in Europe, you get ‘cathedral’d out’ pretty quickly, meaning once you’ve seen one stunning cathedral after the next, the awe wears off after a while.
But trust me when I say you’ve never seen a cathedral like this.
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is the largest catholic church in the UK, built between 1962 and 1967. The cathedral is known for its innovative design, characterized by sweeping lines and a circular footprint.
It’s all curvy and futuristic, designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, who clearly thought, “Why be basic when you can be extraordinary?”
The circular shape and sweeping lines give the church an undeniably cosmic vibe, and the interior is like stepping into a space-age sanctuary. The stained glass is a showstopper, with vibrant colours casting a magical glow. And the altar is made from the finest Carrara marble – the same stuff Michelangelo used for his sculptures!
If you’re looking for unique must-sees in Liverpool, make sure you add this one to your list.
9. And gawk at Liverpool Cathedral
Speaking of cathedrals, another noteworthy one to see in Liverpool is (of course) Liverpool Cathedral, known for its vast interior, intricate stained glass windows, and soaring arches.
Officially known as the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, this is the Anglican cathedral of the city. Construction commenced in 1904 with the laying of the foundation stone by King Edward VII, but it wasn’t until 1978 that the cathedral was fully completed. Designed by the acclaimed architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the cathedral is a striking example of the Gothic Revival style.
Boasting impressive dimensions, Liverpool Cathedral ranks among the largest religious structures globally, stretching an impressive 207 yards in length. The central tower, soaring to a height of 331 feet, commands attention as one of the tallest church towers worldwide. It’s also home to the world’s highest and heaviest ringing peal of bells, known as the Great George.
This iconic structure not only fulfils its role as a place of worship but also opens its doors to cultural events, concerts, and art installations, contributing to the vibrant cultural tapestry of Liverpool. During my visit, for instance, there was a moving installation about the plight of Ukrainian refugees fleeing their home country during the war.
The view from up top is also pretty spectacular:
10. Sip cocktails in a hidden phone booth bar
The red telephone box is a true icon, but in Liverpool it takes on some extra special flair at Ex-Directory, where it’s actually the secret entrance to a fun underground cocktail bar!
Fun entrances aside, this bar has tasty cocktails served in an array of fun novelty cups (one of my personal weaknesses). Make sure you book ahead – they can get quite busy on weekends!
11. Visit a beautiful & historic pub
John Lennon once said that the price of fame was no longer being able to enjoy a quiet pint at ‘the Phil’, and within seconds of walking into this place, you’ll see why he loved it so much.
The Philharmonic Dining Rooms is probably one of the most gorgeous places to enjoy a drink/meal in Liverpool. Built in 1898, this Grade II listed building is a stunning example of Victorian pub architecture. The pub is renowned for its opulent and ornate interior, featuring beautifully carved mahogany woodwork, decorative tilework, and stained glass windows. As you step inside, you’re transported to a bygone era of elegance and refinement.
Of course, there are plenty of other great pubs in Liverpool to visit, so I’d just recommend popping into whichever ones catch your eye. I also really enjoyed the Grapes (for more Beatles history) as well as the epically cozy ‘Globe Pub’ and the Lion Tavern.
12. Frolic around Cains Brewery Village
Food, drink, fun – you name it and Cains Brewery Village probably has it.
This fun hub in Liverpool is known for its historical significance and vibrant contemporary atmosphere. Cains Brewery was originally founded in 1858 by Robert Cain, and it quickly became one of the largest breweries in the world. The brewery operated for over a century before closing its doors in 1991. However, the historic red-brick buildings of the brewery were saved from demolition, and the site underwent redevelopment.
The revitalized Cains Brewery Village is now a popular destination with a mix of commercial, residential, and cultural spaces. It has retained the historic charm of the original brewery while incorporating modern elements. Today visitors can find various independent shops, creative studios, unique boutiques, art galleries, and businesses… with a key highlight being the Baltic Market, an innovative food market housed in a converted warehouse.
There’s also the Brewery Tap, located within the village, a pub that pays homage to the site’s brewing history… and plenty of colourful street art and murals all around, contributing to the area’s artistic and eclectic atmosphere.
NOTE: Cains Brewery Village also hosts events and festivals throughout the year, from live music and art exhibitions to food festivals, so be sure to do a little research on any special events during your visit.
13. Wander the Georgian Quarter
Taking a wander through Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter is like stepping into a living history book. Picture cobblestone streets, elegant townhouses, and a vibe that whispers tales from the past.
Start your stroll at the Anglican Cathedral, a grand old dame of Gothic architecture that looms large and impressive. Nearby, you’ve got its counterpart, the Liverpool Cathedral, giving you a double dose of architectural goodness. But it’s not all about the buildings; there’s Lark Lane, a cool and quirky street bursting with indie shops, artsy joints, and cafes that make a mean cuppa.
Fancy a breather? Falkner Square is your green escape, surrounded by these lovely old houses. It’s like finding a peaceful spot right in the heart of the hustle. And here’s the thing – the Georgian Quarter isn’t just pretty; it’s buzzing with life. Festivals, art shows, and performances keep things interesting, making each visit a bit of a surprise.
14. Grab photos with a Superlambanana
One of my favourite things about Liverpool is its mascot: the superlambanana.
Half lamb, half banana. A true thing of beauty.
Created by Japanese artist Taro Chiezo, the sculpture was originally commissioned for the ArtTransPennine exhibition in 1998, which aimed to celebrate art across the North of England. The Superlambanana, blending the forms of a lamb and a banana, was intended to be a playful commentary on the complexities of genetic engineering and the potential risks associated with it.
The sculpture stands at an impressive 17 feet tall and is made of concrete and steel. Its yellow colour and unique design quickly captured the public’s imagination, turning it into a beloved symbol of Liverpool. Originally installed on a plinth in the city centre, the Superlambanana was later moved to various locations in Liverpool, including the waterfront and the John Moores University campus.
These days, you’ll find painted Superlambananas everywhere. For bonus fun points, make sure you get a cheesy photo in front of each one you spot.
15. Sleuth around the amazing Liverpool Central Library
Do I consider snooping around a library one of the best things to do in Liverpool?
Yes, I absolutely do.
The original Liverpool Library was established in 1852, and over the years, it underwent several relocations and expansions. The current Central Library building, located on William Brown Street, opened its doors in 2013 after a major redevelopment project that turned it into a striking blend of historic and modern architecture… and one that you need to see for yourself!
Despite its classic exterior, this mega-library boasts contemporary design and state-of-the-art facilities on the inside, with wow-worthy highlights like the Picton Reading Room, and amazing views from the rooftop terrace.
Trust me, this is one thing you can’t miss in Liverpool!
16. Stop by the World Museum
If you’re planning a trip to Liverpool, another place to visit is the World Museum, a treasure trove of cool objects from all corners of the globe.
Think ancient artefacts, fun exhibits on space, a peek into the lives of ancient Egyptians and even a Planetarium and aquarium where you can get up close with all sorts of aquatic wonders.
All that said, the World Museum is not just about staring at cool things, there’s also interactive exhibits and hands-on workshops. Of course, based on this description, you can infer that this is a great thing to do in Liverpool with kids in tow, but I’m sure geekier adults will also find it a fun place to visit… especially on a rainy day.
17. Check out the Maritime Museum
Looking for another satisfyingly geeky thing to do in Liverpool?
Set against the historic backdrop of the Albert Dock, the Liverpool Maritime Museum stands as a captivating tribute to the city’s maritime legacy.
Inside, the museum contains an array of maritime artifacts, ship models, and interactive displays that bring Liverpool’s maritime narrative to life. It’s not just a collection of exhibits; it’s a journey through the city’s pivotal role in global trade, migration, and shipbuilding. The museum doesn’t shy away from addressing the complexities of Liverpool’s past, including its connections to the transatlantic slave trade and the significant part it played in the Titanic story.
For those curious about life at sea, the museum also offers a fascinating exploration of sailors’ experiences, from the cramped ship cabins to the challenges faced on the open waters. Beyond its educational value, the Liverpool Maritime Museum is a family-friendly destination, with interactive exhibits catering to visitors of all ages, so definitely put it on your list if you’re looking for fun (kid-friendly) Liverpool activities.
18. Admire cool street art
Another fun thing to do in Liverpool is looking out for street art.
While you’ll no doubt come across quite a few while exploring, some known hotspots for finding murals include The Ropewalks area, known for its independent shops and cafes, Liverpool’s Chinatown (especially around Nelson Street and its adjacent areas), New Bird Street, Dale Street, and The Northern Lights complex.
One of my personal favourite murals though is of course the Ringo Starr mural at the former Empress pub (which is where Ringo’s mum worked when he was growing up, and also the site of one of his solo album covers).
19. Tour the legendary Anfield
Booking a tour of Anfield Stadium is an absolute must for any visitor to Liverpool, especially for football enthusiasts and those eager to immerse themselves in the rich history of one of the world’s most iconic football clubs, Liverpool FC.
For mega-fans, it’s safe to say that Anfield is not just a stadium; it’s a legendary site of pilgrimage. Luckily for visitors, the guided tours offer an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into the hallowed grounds where legends have played and historic moments have unfolded.
Not only do you get to walk through THE players’ tunnel, you can also indulge your nosiest self while seeing the changing rooms and the manager’s dugout.
Of course, the tour also extends beyond the pitch, with visits to the Liverpool FC museum, where you can explore an extensive collection of memorabilia, trophies, and interactive exhibits fit for any fan.
20. Visit Sefton Park
Looking for greener things to do in Liverpool? Well, sounds like a visit to Sefton Park is in order.
This sprawling 235-acre park is a verdant escape that offers a delightful retreat for locals and visitors alike. As you enter through its grand gates, you’re greeted by wide, tree-lined avenues, picturesque lakes, and beautifully landscaped gardens.
The crown jewel of Sefton Park is the enchanting Palm House, a glass conservatory dating back to the Victorian era. This architectural gem houses a stunning collection of exotic plants and flowers, creating a botanical haven that feels like a step into a tropical paradise.
Beyond its scenic beauty, Sefton Park offers an array of recreational activities. The park is dotted with walking and jogging trails, perfect for those seeking an active escape. Families can enjoy the playgrounds, while the expansive meadows and picnic areas beckon those looking to unwind under the open sky. The boating lake adds an extra touch of charm, offering a peaceful spot to watch swans glide across the water.
21. Venture out to Speke Hall
Lastly, I’ll finish this post off with an outstanding item on my Liverpool bucket list that I didn’t get to see for myself…
It’s so pretty though, how could I not include it?
Nestled along the banks of the River Mersey, Speke Hall is a beautifully preserved Tudor manor house surrounded by picturesque gardens and sprawling grounds. As you approach the half-timbered facade and intricate black-and-white architecture, you’re transported to the 16th century, when this magnificent house was first constructed.
The estate hosts seasonal events and workshops, providing an immersive experience into Tudor life. As someone who appreciates a blend of history and outdoor exploration, the idea of wandering through woodlands, participating in family-friendly activities, and perhaps taking a riverside walk along the Mersey is incredibly enticing…
If you manage to visit before I get back to Liverpool, make sure you let me know what it was like!
Did I miss any of your favourite things to do in Liverpool?
Let me know in the comments so I can add more unique Liverpool must-dos to the list! Safe and happy travels 🙂