Liverpool is best known for being the birthplace of one of the greatest Rock’n’Roll bands of all time – The Beatles. However, there’s much more to this city than the Fab Four and their incredible rise to worldwide fame and recognition. A leader in maritime trade and transport during the Industrial Revolution, this city in the North of England has achieved a UNESCO World Heritage Site status in six of its locations, known as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City. Home to Aintree Racecourse and the famous Grand National, as well as two of the biggest football teams in the UK (Liverpool FC and Everton FC), no wonder Liverpool was named European Capital of Culture in 2008!
Either by plane to the John Lennon International Airport, or by train to Liverpool Lime Street Station like we did, The Pool is definitely worth visiting. There are so many things to do in Liverpool that it’s hard to know where to start. Luckily our “How to spend a weekend in Liverpool” travel guide is here to help!
1. Liverpool Waterfront and The Three Graces
Either by bike or by strolling along the picturesque Liverpool Waterfront and Pier Head, the stunning views of the River Mersey on one side and The Three Graces on the other are a must for everyone looking to absorb the rich history of this beautiful city. The Royal Liver, Cunard and Port of Liverpool buildings stand as iconic landmarks of Liverpool’s mercantile architecture and skyline.
The Royal Liver Building
The Royal Liver Building is perhaps one of the most characteristic buildings of the city of Liverpool. Designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas and built in 1911, it was the first major construction in the UK at the time. Two giant Liver bird statues crown the top of the Liver Building’s towers – a symbol associated with Liverpool that dates back to the early 14th century. The iconic emblem is dotted across other signature landmarks in the city and even features on the Liverpool Football Club crest. The 18ft tall Liver birds were designed by German artist Carl Bernard Bartels and hold a sprig of seaweed in their beaks, each looking at opposite sides of Liverpool (sea and land, respectively). The one overlooking the River Mersey is said to represent the wives looking out to their sailor husbands, while the one overlooking the city portrays the latter looking back at their families. Legend has it that, if these two birds were to fly away, Liverpool would cease to exist!
The Cunard Building
Next to the Liver Building, the Cunard Building rises as a Grade II listed building of Italian Renaissance and Greek Revival architecture once home to the Cunard Cruise Line. Built in 1917, it was designed by Henry Alfred Pegram and now hosts the permanent British Music Experience exhibition, an audio-guided journey through the very best of…you guessed it – British music! The Cunard Building also sits next to the Cunard War Memorial, dedicated to the Cunard employees who were tragically killed during WWI and WWII.
The Port of Liverpool Building
As for the Port of Liverpool Building, it was actually the first of the Three Graces to be built! Opened in 1907 and also a Grade II listed building, the Edwardian Baroque was once home to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. Opposite, four statues in honour The Beatles overlook Liverpool Waterfront and Pier Head, while the Museum of Liverpool sits at the far end. Here you can learn more about the city’s incredible heritage, culture and history.
The Beatles Statue and the Titanic Memorial
The Beatles are one of the first things people associate with Liverpool. With The Three Graces as the backdrop, this iconic statue of The Beatles strolling along Liverpool’s Waterfront is a photo you can’t miss. The Beatles Statue was unveiled in 2015, on the 50 year anniversary of the Fab Four’s final concert in Liverpool. Weighing 1.2 tonnes all together, each band member is larger than life size, so don’t let them make you feel short!
Liverpool also holds strong connections to the Titanic, as it was owned by the shipping company What Star Line whose headquarters were located in the Albion House, a Grade II status building across Pier Head. The majority of the passenger liner’s engineers and crew members were from the region and a Memorial to the Engine Room Heroes of the Titanic sits on the opposite end of the Liverpool Waterfront, erected in memory of those who died during the sinking of the liner.
2. Royal Albert Dock and Tate Liverpool
The Albert Dock is one of the most important historic areas of The Pool and is part of what is known as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site also including William Brown Street and Pier Head. The docks were an influential part of the city’s growth during the British Industrial Revolution. This is a character that can be seen in the architecture of the old warehouses and docks in the area. Bombed during WWII and finally restored in the 1980s, the Docks have been converted into one of Merseyside’s main cultural and leisure areas. Here you can find numerous restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, museums and shops surrounding the many narrow boars floating on the Mersey River’s waters.
The area is also home to Tate Liverpool, one of the four Tate Gallery venues. A must for all contemporary art lovers, it offers free admission to both its permanent and temporary exhibitions. We couldn’t resist meandering around the temporary Roy Lichtenstein exhibition when we visited! Other displays that are free to view include works by L.S. Lowry, who lived in nearby Pendlebury and Andy Warhol!
The Merseyside Maritime Museum and International Slavery Museum are located just around the corner from Tate Liverpool and offer a more insightful perspective of the history of the city, also under free admission! Here is one for The Beatles’ fans – the historical Albert Dock is also home to the emblematic The Beatles Story, the world’s largest permanent exhibition on the Fab Four and their rise to fame. Thanks to an audio guide (included with all tickets), the museum takes you on a two hour journey through the origins, lives, music and events that led to the breakup of what is, without a doubt, one of the most important bands in history.
3. The Cavern Club
The famous Cavern Quarter is home to one of the most touristy and busy points in Liverpool. Sitting on 10 Mathew St is the world-famous Cavern Club, the legendary brick vaulted music venue. The Beatles not only played here for the first time, but conquered Liverpool, became world famous and even played 292 times throughout their career. Walking down the spiralling stairs of this intimate underground cavern, a sign reads “Welcome to the Cavern Club, the most famous club in the world“, and you can’t help but feel a special something in the air.
To the left of the stairs, the stage that made The Beatles famous fills up the interior with live music from noon, is almost always crowded. Rock’n’Roll and Jazz memorabilia covers the walls, surrounded by names engraved on nearly every brick of the vaulted cellar. The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Oasis, Elton John, Arctic Monkeys, Adele…they’ve all performed here, contributing to the Cavern Club’s already legendary status.
Initially opened as a jazz club in 1957, it later became a mecca of Rock’n’Roll from the 1960s. However, this is not original club – the Cavern was actually forced to close and refilled to build a vent of the Merseyrail Underground Line in the 1970s, opening on a new site. During the next decade, the site was excavated and reopened again to continue with its legendary history.
Outside, a statue of John Lennon sits opposite the Cavern Club by the Liverpool Wall of Fame, a tribute featuring the names of fifty four Liverpool based musicians with Number 1 UK Chart hits since 1952. At the end of Mathew St and now on Stanley St, the statue of Eleanor Rigby sits on a bench, in honour of the famous Beatles’ song.
The Cavern also features two additional venues – the Cavern Live Lounge (a more intimate area inside the actual club) and the Cavern Pub (just opposite). The Cavern Live Lounge sits at the back stage and opens for live events, such as Beatles/other iconic rock bands tribute shows and live music. While the Cavern Pub, also features live performances and memorabilia, but these are free and come with a long menu of drinks, toasties, wraps and sandwiches, in case you’re a bit peckish.
4. Liverpool Cathedral
Liverpool is well know for its two astonishing cathedrals, one of them Anglican and the other, Catholic. Both equally breathtaking and completely different in design and architecture, they often bring confusion as to which was built first. Funnily enough and although presenting a rather older looking style, the Gothic Revival Liverpool Anglican Cathedral was actually the more recently completed religious building of the two, opening in 1978 after 74 years of construction.
Located on St James’s Mount in the Baltic Triangle district, home of the creative industries in Merseyside, the Liverpool Cathedral is the largest Anglican church in the UK and fifth largest in the world. Seat of the Bishop of Liverpool, it presents a spectacular interior with colourful stained glass windows and high vaulted ceilings. Apart from the usual chapels, the building also includes a restaurant, a café, a souvenir shop and even a neon sign reading “I felt you, and I know you loved me”.
For those looking for the best views of the city, don’t miss out on climbing Liverpool Cathedral’s tower. Although entrance to the cathedral is free, you must pay a fee to go up the tower.
5. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
The beautiful Hope Street is one of the liveliest areas in Liverpool, home to a multitude of pubs, coffee shops, restaurants, theatres and the incredible Liverpool Philharmonic. At the end of Hope Street lies the Sci-Fi style Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest Catholic building in England. With more modern architecture than the one observed on its Anglican sister, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was built in 1967 and is another of the Grade II listed buildings in the city. Seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool and the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, it features a spectacular interior that’s sure to grab your attention and a variety of events throughout the year. The popular CAMRA Beer Festival is a recurring event at the Lutyens Crypt, bringing more than 200 types of beer and cider to the cathedral for four days of tasting.
6. World Museum
The oldest of the museums that are part of the National Museums Liverpool, the World Museum was first opened in the RopeWalks district in 1853 and moved to its current location on William Brown St in 1860. Open daily from 10am-5pm, the large museum offers free entry to the different themes found throughout its five floors – a planetarium, an aquarium, two centres (Discovery and Natural History), a bug house and various galleries (World Cultures, Natural World, Space and Time, Ancient Egypt and Dinosaurs).
The World Museum regularly features temporary exhibitions in its galleries, which do require booking in advance. We couldn’t resist visiting the China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, which was available until late October 2018. This incredible display featured some of the most important archeological findings of the history of China, depicting the Terracotta Army protecting Qin Shi Huang, First Emperor of China, in his afterlife.
7. Cains Brewery Village
The Cains Brewery Village stands as a large scale redevelopment of the former Cains Brewery, founded by Irishman Robert Cain in 1858 and an icon of Liverpool for decades. After his death in 1907, the company merged with the Walkers of Warrington brewery, lasting only two years until everything was sold. Now, the iconic Grade II listed red-brick brewery and surroundings are being refurbished to modernise the area and brew the emblematic Cains Ales once again.
Intended to feature a hotel, Cavern Club inspired music venues and a cinema in the near future, the Cains Brewery Village is currently home to numerous cafés, restaurants, antique shops and even the Baltic Market with local food, drinks and live events.
The Baltic Market (named after the district) has something to pick no matter how hungry you are, from wood-fired pizzas to cakes and halloumi fries. We couldn’t resist treating ourselves to a mint choc-chic ice cream topped with Aero balls!
Other things to do in Liverpool:
- Sneak into the gents’ loos in the Philharmonic Dining Rooms – originally, this beautiful Victorian pub was built as a gentleman’s club in 1898. Although women’s toilets were added afterwards, the original gents’ toilets were given Grade I status and hold higher prestige than the building itself! Truly worth a quick sneak peak!
- Hop on the Yellow Duck Marine – a bus/boat offering an original and fun way to get to know the history and city of Liverpool.
- Step aboard the Magical Mystery Tour Bus – a two hour bus tour around the most important places in Liverpool associated with The Beatles (Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, the member’s childhood homes and former schools and St Peter’s Church Hall).
- Wander around Liverpool’s Chinatown – one of the oldest Chinatown districts in Europe, featuring a large arched entrance brought directly from Shanghai.
- Visit The Bluecoat – the oldest centre for the contemporary arts in the UK offering exhibitions, live music, dance and literature programmes.
- Ride the Wheel of Liverpool – a 60m tall ferris wheel with 42 capsules that offers incredible views of the city of Liverpool.
Where to eat in Liverpool:
- Moose Coffee – an American/Canadian inspired diner offering delicious homemade pancakes and all-day breakfast cuisine. To tempt you further read our Moose Coffee review.
Moose Dale Street | 6 Dale St, Liverpool, L2 4TQ
Moose Hope Street | 88 Federation House, Hope St, Liverpool, L1 9BW
- Death Row Diner – mouth-watering burgers, wings, nachos and sides in the heart of Hope St. IN-CRE-DI-BLE.
Death Row Diner | 32 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9BX
- Alma de Cuba – Cuban, Latin American and Hispanic inspired dishes and cocktails and live events in the 18th century St. Peters Catholic Church. Fantastic!
Alma de Cuba | St Peters Church, Seel St, Liverpool L1 4BH
- LEAF – a cozy restaurant and café offering a variety of teas, cakes, brunch and soup options and live events.
LEAF | 65-67, Bold St, Liverpool L1 4EZ
Have you been to Liverpool before? If so, what’s your favourite part of the city? If you really loved our weekend in Liverpool Travel Guide, please leave us a comment and show us some love on social media using the buttons below
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Fascinating and detailed review with fabulous photographs.
A guidebook in itself.
Awe thank you so much, David! 🙂 x
Amazing! I have never been there but after reading your review its like I have visited the city👌great pictures
Thank you! I hope you can visit and enjoy this wonderful city soon! x
Great Photos! Liverpool looks lovely in the sunshine :)Xx
Thank you! I couldn’t recommend Liverpool enough, seriously! x
I honestly love Liverpool – such a good city
Lola Mia x
I agree, it’s such a beautiful city! 🙂 x
The pictures are so beautiful. I would love to visit Liverpool some day. Thank you so much for sharing.
Awe, thank you so much Suzanne 🙂 I hope you can visit soon and enjoy every bit of the city, it’s absolutely incredible! x
This really makes me want to visit Liverpool 😍
Glad you enjoyed it! x
This post makes me want to visit Liverpool even more! I’m a HUGE Beatles fan, so to be in a city so close to them would mean a lot. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much for the lovely comment, I hope you can visit soon! x
I am yet to visit liverpool but if I do, I know exactly how to plan it! Thank you for sharing this x
My recent post: https://lifeofellabella.blogspot.com/2018/11/things-i-learnt-after-leaving-school.html
I couldn’t recommend it more, there is so much to see! Thanks for the beautiful comment, Ellie x
I’ve never been to Liverpool but I really really want to! The royal Albert dock and cavern pub look so cool! I’d jump on all of those food places you recommended. Thanks for sharing!
Geraldine | https://geraldinetalks.com
Oh you need to visit, it’s much more beautiful in person! Thanks for the lovely comment, Geraldine 🙂 x
This is a really great post! I’ve book marked it so that I can DEF go to Liverpool whenever I make it across the pond. I can’t wait to visit and explore, and make your suggestions happen. 🙂
Awe thank you Savannah, it makes me so happy to know people enjoy reading my suggestions! I hope you like Liverpool as much as you’ve liked this travel guide 🙂 x
I didn’t know that about the Beatles.
We learn a new thing every day 🙂 x
Lovely post! Brings so much memories to last June when I went to Liverpool. Nice photos!!
Thanks, Robii! Agree, Liverpool is fantastic! x
I realllllllllllllllllllllly love to take my mom to England. But, we might need to spend a whole week in Liverpool as she is a die-hard Beatles fan.
Omg you will both love it, I am sure! x
This was great. I’ve been to Liverpool twice but never as a tourist 🍺, so I’m surprised to learn how rich it is. I’ll be pinning this for the next time I end up in the ‘pool.
Absolutely! I think we should all visit different places with a tourist perspective – there is always so much to see! x
Liverpool is my most favourite place on this earth, I still need to visit quite a few places on this list! A great post and it’s making me want to go back! xx
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Thanks Lucy! Liverpool is such a beautiful place, it has quickly become one of my favourite places in the UK! x
I’ve been to Liverpool so many times and it’s my happy place! These are some incredible pictures! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Thank you, Lucy!
Amazing guide. I would love to visit Liverpool. I hope I will one day
Thank you! I hope this post inspires you to visit Liverpool soon! x
Gosh, I had no idea just how many things there were to see and do in Liverpool! I’ve never stepped foot there as it’s quite far from where I am, but I do want to do more weekends away so might just pop this down. Thanks so much for your guide!
Thank you Lizzie! I would recommend Liverpool in a heartbeat – there is so much to see and the Liverpool Cathedral is one of my favourites! x
I’ve never been to Liverpool before but it looks like such an amazing city. I’ve had friends that have been before and have had such an amazing time. I would definitely need to go to the Caravan Club and the Tate gallery! X
You need to visit! x
I really want to visit Liverpool, the Cathedral looks particularly beautiful! There’s so many beautiful places in the U.K.!
I agree, the Cathedral is absolutely stunning, I love it so much! x
Liverpool is a great city to visit and has to be one of my favourites. It’s such a vibrant and cultural place, not to mention it has some great bars!
I must admit I haven’t been to a lot of the museum/cathedral etc but I will definitely be checking them out the next time I visit. The Cavern club is great for watching live music, isn’t it?
Thanks for sharing,
Oh the Cavern Club is so much fun! Liverpool is certainly one of my favourite cities in the UK 🙂 x
I have always wanted to visit liverpool and these photos and comments just cement the notion!
Wow thank you Kristin! x
Liverpool is my most favourite place in the world so reading this post has made me want to go back even more! Looking at pictures of Liverpool brings back so many happy memories! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
I am so happy you liked my post Lucy! I feel like there is so much more to see in Liverpool, need to be back soon! x
Liverpool is such a good city! So much history, so much to do!
Lola Mia x
I agree 100%!x
One of the things on my summer bucket list is to see more of the UK and this city is on my list – I have never been to Liverpool before but I have heard how lovely it is and your pictures of the city look just as awesome!
Thank you so much Ellie! I would recommend Liverpool in a heartbeat – it’s unbelievably pretty and there is so much to do and see! x
Great read and fantastic photographs 🙂 I wanted to visit liverpool soon, so this is perfect! I didn’t realise you can do so much in liverpool! Thanks for the through information xx
Thank you for leaving a comment, Laura! I hope you find this guide useful on your trip to Liverpool! x
I loved what I’ve heard about Liverpool from people who have been there. Mainly about the vibes during the nightlife and the friendly, sociable characters the people have. Liverpool literally suits me to a tee on paper so its a must visit before I die haha. What I also learnt reading this is that it sounds like it’s been a revolutionary city for English culture as a whole and helped shaped the world for the better!
Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures
Thanks so much for leaving a comment, Johnny! I really hope you get to visit Liverpool soon! x
I have never really visited anywhere up north but would love to go and see all of the Beatles things!
You absolutely should! There’s so much to do in Liverpool, I love it! x
I’m from the North of England too, Newcastle. I’ve visited Manchester but never in Liverpool. I’ve always wanted to check out the Cavern club! I love seeing churches/cathedrals wherever I go. The architecture of those two looks absolutely spectacular!
Liverpool is spectacular, I love going there! I have never been to Manchester actually, and it’s definitely one of the places in the UK I really want to visit x
What a great post and guide! I’ve never been to Liverpool but will now. Nice to know that there a lot more to Liverpool than just the Cavern Club…
Hi Mark, thanks for your comment! There’s certainly loads to do in Liverpool, and I’m sure you’ll have a great time if you get the chance to visit! Definitely a city to consider adding to your bucket list 🙂
Wow…not being able to travel anywhere recently Liverpool looks amazing! These pictures are stunning and theres so much history. I guess I will be adding this to my bucket list of travels 🙂 Thank you for this.
This is so lovely, thanks Kat! I’m so glad you liked this post and I hope you get to squeeze a visit to Liverpool in sometime soon! x
I love Liverpool, the way they mix the old with the new is so well done, this post makes me miss it!
Thanks for leaving a comment, Chris! I’m so glad you liked the post!
I visited Liverpool a few years back
I took the Magical Mystery Tour Bus. It was such a great your. Great city.
The Magical Mystery Tour is such an iconic tour – a must if you love The Beatles! x
Bookmarking this post for future travel! Thank you for posting!
This is amazing, thank you so much! x