Liverpool is a city with a BIG personality.
In recent years, there have been so many new fun things to do in Liverpool that it’s often hard to keep up with this constantly evolving and dynamic city.
Read on to discover all the fun things to do in Liverpool. It’s the most complete guide to Liverpool you’ll ever need.
Liverpool is the city I call home.
Apart from the time I nipped up the M62 to live and study in Manchester, I have lived in Liverpool for almost all of my life. I think it’s fair to say I know this city pretty well!
Liverpool is famous for many things, not least its maritime history, stunning skyline, the legend of the Liver Birds, and of course, The Beatles and the infamous era of Merseybeat. But although it might be Liverpool’s history that makes it stand out on a map, The Liverpool of today is no less impressive.
After winning the bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool saw millions of pounds from the EU being injected into its historic core, giving the city a swanky new facelift. Don’t get me wrong, the Liverpool of my lifetime was never ugly, but this investment rooted the beginnings of a new, more grown-up and sophisticated version of the city.
Wherever I go in the world, people have always heard of Liverpool. There’s a strange kind of comfort (and maybe an element of pride?) that comes with being able to make such easy connections with people from all over the world because of the city you call home.
So join me as I take you through my complete local’s guide to all the fun things to do in Liverpool. You’ll start to wonder why you don’t come here more often!
This bumper guide of fun things to do in Liverpool is broken down into categories. Feel free to read it all, or use the table of contents to skip straight to the sections you’re interested in.
- 1 IMMERSE YOURSELF IN LIVERPOOL CULTURE
- 2 VISIT THE FAMOUS LIVERPOOL LANDMARKS
- 3 TAKE A FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY
- 4 LOSE YOURSELF IN BEATLEMANIA
- 5 DANCE TO LIVE MUSIC IN LIVERPOOL
- 6 TAKE A TOUR AROUND LIVERPOOL
- 7 CHOOSE A SIDE (LIVERPOOL OR EVERTON?)
- 8 EATING AND DRINKING IN LIVERPOOL
- 9 GET SPOOKED IN HAUNTED LIVERPOOL
- 10 TRY SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT….
- 11 RELAX IN A LIVERPOOL PARK
- 12 CHECK OUT A FESTIVAL
- 13 GET OUTTA TOWN!
- 14 LIVERPOOL ITINERARY – PLAN YOUR TRIP
- 15 WHERE TO STAY IN LIVERPOOL
- 16 NEED MORE LIVERPOOL INSPIRATION? CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO
- 17 EVEN MORE FUN THINGS TO DO IN LIVERPOOL
- 18 WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE TO DO IN LIVERPOOL
- 19 BOOKING RESOURCES
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN LIVERPOOL CULTURE
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Liverpool with culture at their core, you will not disappointed.
Did you know that Liverpool has more museums and galleries than any other UK city outside of London? Pretty impressive, huh?
Not only that, but you’ll find amazing theatres, a unique cinema experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world and one hugely spectacular library.
Museums in Liverpool
As you may know, Liverpool certainly has a colourful past.
It likely comes as no surprise then, that there are a multitude of museums in Liverpool dedicated to offering a balanced account of the history of Liverpool and beyond.
Most of the museums in Liverpool are free to enter (hurrah!), charging only for special exhibitions.
Not sure which museums to visit? Visit Liverpool have a handy guide offering short summaries of what each of the museums have to offer.
My personal favourites? I love the ‘Seized’ exhibition and The Old Dock Experience at the Maritime Museum (the International Slavery Museum is also located on the 3rd floor of the Maritime Museum) and the aquarium and planetarium at the World Museum. I haven’t been yet, but I can’t wait to visit The British Music Experience in the Cunard Building – an exhibition dedicated to British music artists from 1940 to the present day (there is a charge for this exhibition). The history of dentistry at the Victoria Gallery and Museum is also quite unique and interesting too, if you like that kind of thing! Oh, and I can’t not mention The Beatles Story, the world’s largest permanent award-winning exhibition dedicated to The Beatles!
Top of my list though has to be The Museum of Liverpool. Standing proud in its location on the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site waterfront, The Liverpool Museum is the place to go if you want to understand Liverpool’s culture, history and contemporary issues in a truly engaging and accessible way. And even if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, it’s worth a visit just to gaze out of the ‘best window with a view’ – an award given to a window in the Museum of Liverpool that looks out onto the famous three graces!
Art in Liverpool
There are plenty of fun things to do in Liverpool centred around art.
If you’re looking for traditional art galleries, you’ll find one in the centre of Liverpool (The Walker – branded the National Gallery of the North), one in the leafy suburbs (Sudley House – check out the beautiful woodland grounds after you’re done admiring the art) and one just across the water on the Wirral (Lady Lever’s Art Gallery – set in a stunning model village). All galleries have activities to keep kids entertained as well as great little cafes on-site for a cuppa or a bite to eat.
If it’s modern art you’re after, then look no further than Tate Liverpool, situated on the magnificent Albert Dock. You should also check out Bluecoat Chambers in the centre of town – the oldest contemporary arts centre in the UK and a beautiful building with its own story to tell.
If you enjoy photography, go see The Open Eye Gallery – the only gallery dedicated to photography in the North West. The non-profit gallery hosts regular events, workshops and lectures as well as exhibitions throughout the year.
If architecture is more your thing, pay a visit to RIBA North on the waterfront and explore Liverpool’s incredible architecture on a RIBA tour.
It’s worth noting however, that art in Liverpool isn’t just confined to the galleries. One of the fun things to do in Liverpool is to look out for the Lambananas dotted around the city or track down the public art installation by Modus Operandi hidden away in South Liverpool. And if you’re flying in or out of Liverpool, don’t forget to take a look at the giant sculpture of the Yellow Submarine – one of the more prominent pieces of Beatles related artwork – in its happy home at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
If you’re after some on stage action, you’re spoilt for choice in Liverpool.
Playing host to new and local talent is The Unity Theatre – dubbed ‘the most ambitious theatre in Liverpool’ by The Guardian. The infamous Everyman and Playhouse Theatres have launched the careers of several esteemed actors over the years, and The Royal Court, a recently refurbished 1930s art deco style theatre, loves to showcase, amongst other things, a home grown scouse themed performance. The Empire Theatre, the largest theatre in Liverpool, is the place to go for touring musicals and spectacular shows, and of course, there’s The Liverpool M&S Bank Arena – host to some of the biggest names in music, comedy and performance art that grace the city. Oh, and as if that’s not enough, we’re also eagerly awaiting the opening of the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Knowsley.
If you choose to see a performance at The Everyman, make a night of it and grab some delicious food at either The Everyman Bistro onsite or The Pen Factory just next-door. The Royal Court has some pretty amazing dishes on offer too – book a table and enjoy your food before the performance starts.
Make sure you check theatre listings before you visit and definitely make sure you book in advance!
Cinemas in Liverpool
There are a number of different cinema screens to enjoy in Liverpool. Yes, there is a huge multi-screen Odeon cinema in the centre of town, but there are also some more quirky and independent options worth checking out too.
Sticking with the city centre, FACT (Federation for Art and Creative Technology) is a creative hub housing not only a Picturehouse cinema, but also galleries, a bar, and a café. It’s the place to go if you want to watch both arthouse and more mainstream films in the comfort of a reclining chair.
Just a little further into town is The Everyman Cinema, situated within The Met Quarter shopping arcade. This cinema really is something special. With a bar and a bistro onsite, you can order drinks and food to be served to you at your seat just before the start of the film. Oh, and did I mention that all the seats are small but comfortable sofas? Pure cinema luxury.
Over the other side of town, in the famous Philharmonic Hall, you’ll find a truly unique cinema experience. This beautiful art deco building houses the last remaining Walkurdaw cinema screen in the world. Watch in wonder as the screen rises out of the floor accompanied by the resident organist, Dave Nicholas. And for something really memorable, check out the listings for films accompanied by a live orchestra.
Moving out into the suburbs, Woolton Picture House is Liverpool’s oldest independent cinema. Still with the same seating arrangement, this single screen cinema first opened in 1927 and maintains all of its original charm. You’ll find a mix of films shown here – from classics to new releases. Check the listings on the website for more information.
Liverpool Central Library
Visiting a library probably doesn’t come top of most people’s agendas when they visit a new city, but then most cities don’t have a library like Liverpool Central Library.
So what makes Liverpool’s Central Library, an impressive combination of original 1860s decorative architecture mixed with elegant modern design, so incredible?
Well firstly, stepping into the Picton Reading Room is like taking a step into a library from a magical fairy-tale. One of the most beautiful libraries in the world, The Picton Library displays books on three levels running around the perimeter of the room, with an impressive dome skylight in the centre of the ceiling. The air smells comfortingly of old books and the silence calms any busy thoughts in your brain. A place to visit if you’re craving a bit of quiet.
Secondly, Liverpool’s Central Library is home to some unique and rare archives form the 13th century right up to the present day. If you ever want to study Liverpool’s fascinating history, this is one of the most authentic ways to do it. Also worth a peek are the collections of rare books in the impressive Hornby Library and Oak Room.
And the final reason I think Central Library should be on everyone’s Liverpool itinerary? Look up. Modelled on the dome in the Picton Library, the main part of the Central Library also has a fantastic skylight flooding the open spaces with natural light. And just next to the skylight is a balcony, open to the public, with incredible views across the city.
Need I say more?
VISIT THE FAMOUS LIVERPOOL LANDMARKS
There are certain Liverpool landmarks that are famous all over the world. The Royal Liver Building for example, with its distinctive Liver Birds, is an internationally recognised symbol of Liverpool.
Together with the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building these impressive buildings are collectively known as the Three Graces. You can find them sitting proudly on Liverpool’s Pier Head, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making up part of that stunning Liverpool skyline.
What do the Liver Bird symbolise? Why does Liverpool have a giant sculpture of a lamb crossed with a banana? Click here to find out the answer to these questions plus more fun facts about Liverpool!
The Pier Head is actually jam packed with Liverpool landmarks. Take a stroll and keep a look out for these icons:
- Statue of The Beatles
- Mersey Ferry
- Sculpture of a telescope that commemorates a local 17th century astrologer,
- Lambananas (the original giant bright yellow one can be found on Tithebarn Street but there are smaller, uniquely decorated lambananas dotted around the city)
- Edward VII monument
Phew! And they’re just the landmarks on the Pier Head!
Whilst you’re on the waterfront, you also have to pay a visit to the Albert Dock – a beautiful and unique renovated dock housing not only the Tate Gallery, but gift shops, cafes, restaurants and Rough Hand Made – the best bakery in town.
Whether you’re religious or not, Liverpool’s two cathedrals, joined together by the aptly named Hope Street, are two very different but equally spectacular architectural giants. And of course, no trip to Liverpool would be complete without a visit to see some live music at The Cavern and the Liverpool Wall of Fame on Matthew Street.
Other landmarks you’ll probably want to check off your list whilst you wander around the city centre include:
- St. Lukes Bombed Out Church
- The Wings Mural
- Chinese Arch
- Peace & Harmony Monument
- Hope St Suitcases (A Case History)
Overwhelmed? I’m not surprised!
The best way to see all of Liverpool’s landmarks and learn about their significance is to take a tour. There are taxi tours, bus tours, boat cruises and walking tours.
You can view all options here.
TAKE A FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY
Well, it wouldn’t be a guide to all the fun things to do in Liverpool if I didn’t mention the famous Ferry Cross the Mersey!
Probably one of the most popular things to do in Liverpool, you can catch a ferry from the Ferry Terminal on the Pier Head and enjoy the best views of the stunning waterfront whilst bobbing along on the River Mersey. Check the website for various ticket options, with some including admission to the U Boat Story and/or Spaceport on the ‘other side.’
Wrap up warm – it can get windy out there.
And yes, of course the song ‘Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey’ is played during the crossing!
LOSE YOURSELF IN BEATLEMANIA
In recent history, if there is one thing that really put Liverpool on the map, it’s the music that has come out of this city.
Whether you like them or not (although I’m yet to find anyone that genuinely dislikes all of their work), everyone has heard of The Beatles.
It’s virtually impossible to walk around Liverpool without hearing their tunes playing inside a shop or café, or being pumped outside The Beatles Story exhibition on The Albert Dock.
Liverpool still thrives on the success of The Fab Four, and rightly so – they changed the face of music as we know it. So, as you can probably image, there are so many fun things to do in Liverpool that involve The Beatles.
I can personally recommend The Beatles Story and The Magical Mystery Tour (yes – I’ve done both. Being a tourist in your own city is the most fun!), but there are plenty of other fantastic tours on offer too. Check out these options below.
DANCE TO LIVE MUSIC IN LIVERPOOL
When you’re in a city with such an amazing musical background as Liverpool, it’s only right that you should go and watch some live music.
Over the years, there have been many artists from Liverpool that have risen to international fame. Obviously it goes without saying that The Beatles came from Liverpool, but they’re not the only ones. Fellow Merseybeat artists include Cilla Black (our Cilla!) and Gerry and the Pacemakers (responsible for both Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey and You’ll Never Walk Alone). In more recent years, Liverpool has seen bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Zutons and She Drew the Gun follow in those well trodden musical footsteps.
The best things about Liverpool though, is the variety. Yes, it’s a city that was made famous for its rock and roll and 60s pop, but that’s not all you’ll find here. Jazz, swing, opera, classical, heavy metal….you name it, there will be a venue that plays it!
Of course, you can go and watch some of the big artists (bands, comedians, dance etc) at the M&S Bank Arena, but there are plenty of places where you can go and get a more personal performance. Check out the listings for the beautiful art deco Philharmonic Hall with its perfectly measured acoustics, or head to The Baltic Social, The Shipping Forecast or Arts Club to fill up with more live musical goodness.
And of course, there’s The Cavern. There’s no doubting that The Cavern is quite a touristy venue, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good fun. With a schedule that includes tours, films, and live music throughout the day and into the night, there’s no excuse not to get your fill of live music when in Liverpool!
TAKE A TOUR AROUND LIVERPOOL
If you’re wondering how on earth you’re meant to fit even half of the fun things to do in Liverpool into a short city break, then you may find a tour helpful.
I always like to take a walking tour when I first arrive in a city. Not only do I find it really helps me to get my bearings, but you can also learn so much about a place in 2 hours from a local guide.
There are a mix of both free and paid for walking tours in Liverpool. I’ve done loads of free walking tours in different cities – some have been fantastic but I’ve also been on others where the quality hasn’t been too great. It’s a bit of a gamble, but sometimes it pays off brilliantly!
For free options check out Sandemans, Strawberry Tours and Civitatis. Make sure you have some cash on you for these tours – although technically free, the expectation is that you make a donation to the guide at the end of the tour.
RIBA North on the waterfront offers an architectural tour of Liverpool’s main landmark buildings. This one is completely free – no donation required!
For walking tours that you pay for in advance, check out these great options below.
You can also get a pass for the Liverpool Hop On Hop Off Bus – a great way to learn about the city and see the main sights. Alternatively, to pack as much in as possible, book yourself onto one of these bus or taxi tours.
If you’re after tours specifically focussed on The Beatles, click here to jump back to the section in this article where I talk more about your Beatlemania options.
For something a little different, book yourself onto a TV and film tour. Liverpool is often used as a set location for period dramas and, most recently, the hit TV show Peaky Blinders was filmed at various locations around the city. Check out these options or click the button below to find out more.
CHOOSE A SIDE (LIVERPOOL OR EVERTON?)
If there’s one thing that many people in Liverpool get very passionate about, it’s football.
Now, I’m not much of a football fan, but it seemed wrong to write a guide to all the fun things to do in Liverpool without at least making reference to the sport that can bring the city to a standstill.
Go and watch one of Liverpool’s two premier league football teams play at home at Anfield or Goodison Park. You can even take a tour around both the Liverpool and Everton Football Club stadiums, and gain access to spaces usually only reserved for players, like the tunnel and the changing rooms!
EATING AND DRINKING IN LIVERPOOL
There are a huge range of places to eat and drink in Liverpool no matter what your budget. From fancy fine dining experiences to pop up street food markets covering cuisine from all over the world, you definitely won’t go hungry during your stay in the city.
A bit of a foodie heaven, Bold Street boasts Indian street food, Turkish, Italian, a specialist fish restaurant, Lebanese and more. Head over to Castle Street for some sophisticated glamour at San Carlo or Neighourhood or try some tasty vegan plates at Heritage. If you want to eat surrounded by history, check out the restaurants in the Georgian Quarter (Hope Street and Faulkner Square have some great options) or The Albert Dock. For all your chain restaurant needs, make your way to the top of the Liverpool One shopping complex or explore the options on Hanover Street. And if, like me, you’re a fan of street food, then a visit to the Baltic Market at the Cain’s Brewery is an absolute must!
If it’s lunch you’re after, why not try a glamorous afternoon tea at The Carriage Works (also great in the evening), Oh Me Oh My or Panoramic 34 (this place has amazing views across the city), or, for something different, try a Punk Afternoon Tea at the Baltic Social. As for my favourite cafes, Rococo is always my go-to place when I’m in town, but I also love The Quarter (Falkner Street in the Georgian Quarter) and Crazy Pedro’s if I’m craving pizza.
Out in the suburbs, Lark Lane on the edge of the beautiful Sefton Park is a real delight with lots of options for lunch and dinner. Allerton Road and Penny Lane also have some delicious restaurants worth checking out, including The Tavern – home of the nation’s best breakfast. Oh, and don’t leave Liverpool without trying a traditional hearty bowl of Scouse!
Drinks wise, you can either get all dressed up for cocktails in a stylish setting (check out The Botanist, The Alchemist, Panoramic 34 or Alma de Cuba – these places all serve food too) or you can take a traditional pub crawl around the oldest pubs in the city. If craft beer is more your thing, book yourself onto a Craft Beer Experience or a Tasting Tour and if gin is more your drink of choice, get yourself down to The Liverpool Gin Distillery for a complete gin experience!
GET SPOOKED IN HAUNTED LIVERPOOL
Being a city with such a rich history, it’s no surprise that there are claims of a few ghosts and ghouls knocking around.
If your idea of a fun thing to do in Liverpool is to scare yourself silly, then you’re in luck! There is plenty of opportunity to give yourself a fright!
Not only can you take a ghost tour around the city centre (I can highly recommend them – a great mix of fun, frights and historical facts), but you can also spend the night in an old abandoned hospital.
Scared? You should be.
TRY SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT….
Sure, you can visit all the famous attractions that Liverpool is so well known for, but what else does this city have to offer?
Turns out, if you scratch beneath the surface a little, you’ll find a whole load more unusual and fun things to do in Liverpool too!
From the craziest crazy golf you’ve ever played (think UV lighting, adult themes and a bar selling imaginative cocktail concoctions) to escape rooms, secret underground tunnels, quad biking, photography classes, board games cafes, Nerf Gun wars, kite surfing and bubble soccer (no, I don’t know what that is either!), there are a bunch of fun things to do in Liverpool that will take you off the usual tourist trail.
I’ve only mentioned just a few of the more weird and wonderful fun things to do in Liverpool here. If you want to know more, click the button below!
RELAX IN A LIVERPOOL PARK
Liverpool has some beautiful green spaces, perfect for stepping out of the busy city and recharging your batteries with a moment of calm.
My favourite is Sefton Park – the magnificent 235 acre Grade I Victorian Park in South Liverpool. If you wanted a break from sightseeing, you won’t get one here, although there are also plenty of places to relax and grab a coffee or ice cream once you’ve ticked the main attractions. Catch an event at the beautiful Palm House (I got married here!), visit the caves and the waterfalls, view the Bandstand that inspired The Beatles song, ‘Sgt Peppers’ and see if you can hunt down all the of notable statues and monuments. You’ll be ready for some lunch after all that, so either grab something to eat from one of the cafes in the park (the Palm House has delicious tea and cake), or walk to nearby Lark Lane for a selection of cafes, restaurants, bars, cake shops and gift shops.
Other parks worth a mention are Calderstones Park (also in South Liverpool), where you can find a collection of megaliths older than Stonehenge, see an ancient oak tree with a fascinating history of its own, visit the Miniature Railway, Storybarn and Mansion House, and grab a bite to eat at the delicious Reader Café or Ice Cream Parlour.
Also, check out Otterspool Park with amazing walks along the waterfront and Croxteth Country Park with its city farm and stately home. If you’re in the city centre, try St. James Gardens in the grounds of the Anglican Cathedral or St. Nicholas Church Garden in the heart of the business district.
CHECK OUT A FESTIVAL
Check out the literature and creative writing festival WoWFest or the eclectic mix on offer at The Liverpool International Music Festival. And you can’t miss Sound City – the largest international music, digital and film conference in the UK.
There are some amazing festivals and one-off events in Liverpool throughout the year. It’s definitely worth checking the calendar before you arrive to see if there’s anything you want to get involved in.
GET OUTTA TOWN!
As much as I love the city, sometimes, you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Thankfully, in Liverpool, it couldn’t be easier to break out of the city and into the peace of the countryside.
Liverpool is perfectly located for visiting pretty Cheshire and Lancashire villages, going on beautiful walks in the Peak District and the Lake District, experiencing rural adventures in North Wales, or even just taking short day trips to beautiful beaches and nature reserves.
You can make your own way there, or take the stress out of planning and go on a tour.
Want more information about day trips? Hit that button below!
LIVERPOOL ITINERARY – PLAN YOUR TRIP
If you need some help planning your incredible trip to Liverpool, then I recommend you check out my Ultimate Liverpool Itinerary. This post covers:
- How to get to Liverpool
- The weather in Liverpool
- Where to stay in Liverpool
- What to pack for your trip to Liverpool
- What to eat and drink in Liverpool
- …plus a sample itinerary to help you get the most out of your time in Liverpool!
WHERE TO STAY IN LIVERPOOL
There are plenty of places to stay in Liverpool to suit every budget and taste. My top tip would be to book in advance if you want the pick of the accommodation options as places get full, particularly on weekends. Check out this guide if you’re after a hotel with a spa or a pool in Liverpool City Centre. You can also have a search for other accommodation options and compare prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com and Expedia too. Don’t forget to check the reviews on TripAdvisor before you book!
NEED MORE LIVERPOOL INSPIRATION? CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO
EVEN MORE FUN THINGS TO DO IN LIVERPOOL
Looking for even more fun things to do in Liverpool? You can browse and book all available tours and activities using the city guide link below.
WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE TO DO IN LIVERPOOL
I’m certain you’ll love Liverpool as much as I do. It’s an absolutely fantastic city with so much variety and so many fun things to do.
What are your favourite things to do in Liverpool? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!
- WHERE TO STAY: Compare prices on booking.com, hotels.com and expedia.com to find the cheapest hotel deals. For cottages and other accommodation, we use holidaycottages.co.uk. Don’t forget to check the reviews on TripAdvisor before booking!
- WHAT TO BOOK: we use Viator and GetYourGuide. Between them they have a HUGE selection of fun activities!
- HOW TO TRAVEL: we use thetrainline.com for all rail travel. For car rentals, check out travelsupermarket.com and for stress free parking use JustPark to book your space before you arrive!
- WHAT TO READ: Pocket Rough Guide British Breaks Liverpool. I take my Kindle with me everywhere I go – no more bulky books taking up space in my luggage! Try Kindle Unlimited – you’ll never be stuck for anything to read again!